If it’s true that the average person goes to the movies primarily to be entertained, you really have to wonder how some of the biggest blockbusters from the past few years have managed to make so much money. Many of today’s blockbusters feel more like work than fun. Michael Bay’s Transformers films are an obvious target, often criticized for being too long and overly dull, while Christopher Nolan’s films have also contributed to the tendency to keep everything grim and grounded in reality. Marvel’s The Avengers is a recent exception to the rule, being that it is a bright, colourful comic book movie chock full of humour, and audiences clearly responded to that fact.
The release of Len Wiseman’s Total Recall remake this weekend makes for an interesting comparison in terms of what blockbusters used to be and what they are now. The 1990 film may not have been entirely believable, but it provided plenty of escapism and imaginative imagery. By contrast, the new Total Recall trades in quippy one-liners and absurd practical effects for slick CG and angry scowls. The same topic came up earlier this summer with regards to Battleship, Snow White and the Huntsman and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. What do you think? Are today’s popcorn movies aiming too high in terms of depth and artistry or is that actually a good thing? Do too many writers put plot before personality? Why aren’t we having as much fun at the movies anymore? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.