By Tom Macy
May 31, 2010
There is a gap of roughly two and a half months since I have written a Selling Out column. I could give a myriad of reasons for my absence, all crowding under the blanket theme that is my tight schedule. But honestly, the real reason is because there haven’t been any movies I’ve felt the need to talk about. My response to the collective slate of releases this year has been “meh.” And because of this, my movie going has dropped precipitously, for which I feel a little guilty.
That I’ve been less than ecstatic so far is not earth shattering, I don’t think I was doing cartwheels over many films at this point last year. But what feels different than other lackluster release calendars is that now, each time I walk out of the theater, there’s this question that lingers in my brain. “Why do I care? What’s the point?”
For years I’ve defended genre films, saying I didn’t care about movie clichés as long as they were done well. Not to say Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood were good uses of clichés, but when I watch them I think “but how could it be any better?” As in, I realize that the movie is not all that great or engaging but it isn’t dreadful. It’s just the same stuff we’ve seen time and time again. The reason Iron Man was so great the first time around was because we hadn’t seen him before. Same with Gladiator – which we all know Robin Hood is a sequel to.
So have I finally reached a point in my life where the clichés line doesn’t ring true for me anymore? Have I finally really seen it all one too many times? I’m not 13 anymore – the age Hollywood aims to keep in their crosshairs more than any other. When I was that age, The Rock and Broken Arrow collectively blew my mind - which leads me to the scary but not altogether out of the question notion : maybe I’ve just outgrown movies.
Of course, I’ll never out grow them completely. There are always going to be “movies for grownups” here and there that will be satisfying. But this idea that my love affair with big Hollywood flicks has come to an end is hard to swallow. My current love of cinema and its artistic capacities is something that was directly born from the nine-year-old who was paralyzed with thrill when the T-Rex – inexplicably coming out of nowhere – took those raptors apart. That type of thrill is something I haven’t experienced - not only this year, but in a long while (to be fair, How to Train Your Dragon did pop my eyes out a bit, but that’s on a completely different level). I’ve been growing more aware that maturity is ruining the magic of movies for me, but recently it’s taken on a realization that the possibility of never experience that magic again may be the reality…
For movies, that is. Now, television is a different story. Because when Locke, Flocke, the smoke monster, the Man in Black, whoever, was heading towards that ladder down to the boat and I heard “LOOOOOOCCCCKKKKEEEE!!!!!” then saw Jack standing in the rain, I think I did my first fist pump while watching filmed entertainment in almost a decade. That’s right. This column is about Lost! Psych!