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In our opinion: Hollywood needs a paradigm shift

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  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 2:12 a.m.

    There is a solid market and audience for those films. Hollywood is smart to reach out to that audience to meet their preferences and tastes.

    I do not see why all the pressure for drastic change. If people don't like what they see, leave the theater and don't return. It's simple economics. No one is forcing them to go.

  • heidi ho Fort Collins, CO
    Aug. 18, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    I don't even go to movies anymore. I don't like the loud noise, the constant swearing, the constant violence and sexual references, overt and covert. I also don't like the 15+ minutes of loud advertising before the movie. Give me a nice home theater and a sweet, clean movie and I am happy.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    What Hollywood needs to learn from many of the flops this summer is that a film needs more than a steady stream of violence to be successful. It needs a coherent story and characters that the audience will care about. In recent weeks, we've seen a succession of television ads for slasher movies in which the only plot points being emphasized in the trailers is that the characters are about to meet violent deaths, one at a time. Why would we want to go to the theater to watch people being killed? We want to watch good acting with character development and stories we can enjoy and remember.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Lousy movies at the movie house, lousy movies at red box, lousy movies on HBO. For every movie worth watching, there are dozens that are not. Time to re-evaluate if I was a movie investor.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Comic Book, Zombie and Apocalyptic stories w CGI are the rule these days. And superheroes recycled every 6 to 8 years (Spiderman, Superman). All with canned plots and improbable story lines. When was the last time we saw a movie with about real people with real problems and a real field of grass and animals?? Just watching the previews is depressing as I realize none of these movies is relevant to real life. No wonder half our teenagers want to cover themselves in tattoos and dress like zombies. Look at their movie idols...

    And one more thing...could we have some stories about someone going from bad to good? Les Miserables was a start but for every Les Mis there are 10 "Breaking Bad" stories or the one about the dysfunctional family with a stripper, a hooker and drug dealer (those are just the kids).

    Hollywood is capable. Look at "Dave in Real Life" or "So We Bought a Zoo" or MI4 (if you want action). I'm not saying I want The Waltons, but enough of the Marvel Comic movies!!!

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    It seems that in many cases movies are "special effects in search of a story."

    Filmmakers should start out with a good story, and only include those special effects that are necessary for the telling of it. They should forget about 3D until they can come up with something decent in 2D.

    I don't think that everything has to be tailored for children, and I enjoy a good action movie myself, but not every story calls for explosions or car chases. I suppose many movie producers consider the lack of car chases the greatest weakness of authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

    And how about some original tales, instead of remakes of old TV shows and of classic movies that got it right the first time and don't need to be remade?

  • Liz Beaver Holladay, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    I think Hollywood needs to "keep it real," as the kids say. This is not to imply robots, aliens and monsters are unwelcome, but if there is no good story, no honest characters to get behind, it falls flat. That's what happens when the movie is about making money instead of entertaining people. I don't think Hollywood needs to abide by specific moral standards as much as they need to be passionate about what they churn out, instead of trying to create formulas that they think the hu-mans will like. It will also give us a better variety of films instead of "Zombie Flick 14," "Rom-Com 20" or "That one about the cop who was supposed to retire the day all h-e-double-hockeysticks broke loose."

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 18, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I think a big part of the problem is the cost of advertising and distribution. Even movies made for a very modest sum require upwards of $30,000,000 to place before a decent size audience. Right off the bat you need to sell a lot of tickets to cover that cost. Therefore, you have to have something pretty spectacular to get enough people to turn off the TV and shut off the computer and go to the theater. Maybe that's why its cheaper to send a rover to Mars these days than to make a summer blockbuster movie. Let's face it, Hollywood cannot compete with Cable and the Internet when it comes "small" pictures that are driven by stories rather than pyrotechnics. I think the economics of movie making will eventually make the local theater financially impractical.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    I didn't leave the republican party...they left me.

    My feelings about Hollywood echo my sentiments about the republican party.

    Hollywoods message will always appeal to some people...

    However, their message is failing to connect with a growing number of Americans.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    Salt Lake City is extremely well positioned for quality film. The Salt Lake Film Society, Utah Film Center, and the Sundance Institute bring a wealth of independent, foreign, documentary, and artistic films to Utah audiences-- precisely the sort of things this editorial desires. Throw in some other opportunities, such as the annual Global Film Initiative (10 films for $10), the Organ Loft, retrospective series at Brewvies, D--- These Heels, film classes at the UofU (screenings open to all), and you have plenty of thoughtful fare without CGI, zombies, or explosions, often free or at east inexpensive.

    And yet these films are usually sparsely attended. There is little support for them in these pages. They are not often promoted, often not reviewed in these pages. Sometimes they are even savaged, such as in Carmen Rasmusen's recent column that sight unseen dismissed an actress's work as pornographic. If the DesNews wants to see the paradigm shift happen, it needs to step up and promote the good stuff. How many column inches were devoted to "The Lone Ranger" or "World War Z" versus the Hitchcock series at the SLFS or "An Unfinished Song"? Put your newsprint where your mouth is.

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    I rarely go to movies anymore. they are trash, and I am not talking merely about morals. I am referring to creativity, talent, and imagination. In addition the constant barrage of propaganda by Hollywood trying to sell the rest of the country on their morals (or the lack thereof)is beginning to sour. This has been a long time coming, and I hope the decadence of the industry brings on a crash. That is the only way to bring reform.

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    I'm not here to argue with any of the above comments, I just want to disagree with some of the points the article made.

    Mega-Budgets: I'm not sure what Spielberg meant when he said mega-budget, but the wolverine, RIPD, and after earth wouldn't really be considered in the range of mega-budget. White house down could maybe be considered mega-budget at $150 million, but it's the smallest of mega-budgets.

    to be continued:

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    ...continued

    Bombs/Flops: None of the movies they listed were that popular, but how the writers define "bombed" and "flopped" needs to be reevaluated. I imagine that the production budget isn't the total cost of a movie, but considering it's the only number to go with, I will use it. Wolverine matched it's budget on its domestic gross alone. The worldwide gross of After Earth, Pacific Rim, and Lone Ranger (other sites who are dedicated to movies have its budget at $215 million) all passed their reported production budgets.

    I agree that Hollywood needs to change, but I think the writers were so excited to push their point that it wasn't well researched. Numbers I looked at were on a website with some mojo... if you catch my drift

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 18, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Oprah Winfrey, along with her talented cast, has saved the summer!
    The movie is a hit!

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    My last comment for now. I found another list on a different site (so there may exist some irregularities that I fully recognize if someone disagrees with me) that has a list of production budgets. Again, this list may be incomplete and like I said above, production budgets most likely don't reflect worldwide total cost, but it's the only number I have to work with. Anyways...

    This list has 31 total movies with a budget of $200+ million and 86 total movies of $150+ million, so I don't think the movies I mentioned count as mega-budget movies.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    The best action/adventure movies from years past had a few key elements: 1) A great story 2) A focus on character development, 3) great lines (not complex, but great - e.g. "make my day..." or Toht from Raiders Of The Lost Ark, "You Americans, you're all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions."), 4) Regular comic relief 5) Romantic tension and 6) elements that kept the film real while prompting the audience to suspend disbelief.

    Hollywood today reverts to sex and innuendo, CGI sequences, graphic violence and needless swearing that are poor substitutes for the above. Many films in recent years seem to sink to the lowest elements culturally, and leave the audience worse off than when they entered the theater.

    When Hollywood does produce good work, which they occasionally do, we will often see the film in the theater, then buy the film for our collection. When they produce trash, we choose other activities instead. Maybe they will learn from their pocketbooks.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    I certainly agree that a steady parade of big, noisy, ugly and dumb movies can be dispiriting. But they'll do well overseas--it's not an accident that the final scene in Pacific Rim was in China. Meanwhile, there were lots of terrific smaller movies this summer, the most recent of which was The Butler.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    First of all, we only go to one or two movies @ year and only if they have been highly recommended to us. We do not like swearing, crudeness, immoral sex depicted blatantly on the screen, violence, disrespect in families, etc. Thus, we will not be going to "Meet the Millers" (probably not the right name) nor "The Butler". The former because of its total raunchiness and the latter because of the last part of it politicizing the current administration, and that with which we definitely DO NOT AGREE! So, we're fine! We don't miss anything, and we definitely won't patronize a movie we know we would be uncomfortable sitting through. Let Hollywood continue to lose money until they finally understand that we want clean, decent movies....period!

  • gharmons Helendale, CA
    Aug. 18, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    Some movies could be worth watching but are too long—the "too long" consisting of "too much of too much." Man of Steel could have been a good movie, but it had too much violence that lasted too long. Carefully editing out the 15-20 minutes of "too much of too much," and it wouldn't have been such a disappointment.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Aug. 18, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    It's what happens when moneymen cut the scripts down to what they think those dumb consumers want.

    They moneymen demand a formula plot so that's all that gets made.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 5:37 p.m.

    1st & formost movies are escape. No more no less. If it doesn't appeal to you fine. Don't go. But, DON'T get up on your soapbox... just stay at home and watch Lawrence Welk reruns or The Sound of Music for the 47 millionth time. That said...

    re: eastcoastcoug

    Its a comic book movie you know what you are getting. I can't help it if Columbia/Sony keeps making a pigs breakfast of Spiderman. I had no problem w/ the Fantastic 4 franchise but appearantly Fox thought otherwise.

    re: gharmons

    MoS was a little over the top but decently paced. I actually enjoyed a Superman Movie for a change. It was The Lone Ranger that had bland characters and was 15 minutes too long.

    As for my preaching, If Orlando Bloom is Batman in the Superman Sequel then someone will have to Call 911 for me especially when Karl Urban (Bones Star Trek) is ideal.

  • DGDENTON Gainesville, TX
    Aug. 18, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    I seldom go to see movies. The reason is the language and the violence depicted. Even movies designed for children can be offensive with innuendo which is beyond the understanding of children. Unfortunately, some of the children do understand the implications of the dialog. The objective of most movies is to portray an immoral lifestyle as "normal." I don't want to see a movie where someone urinates, defecates vomits or a male is hit in the groin. The "humor" is at the level of a young child and is often demeaning. Ever since the 1960's when the movie industry discarded the codes of morality, the movie going audience has been shrinking. In the early 1970's, I remember the first movie I walked out on when I just couldn't stand the poor quality another minute. I have been skeptical of the movie industry ever since.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    I rarely go to the movies anymore. We'll go as a family to a decent family oriented movie but most of what Hollywood produces is junk. We even cancelled our satellite tv service as well. We were spending $100 a month and not finding much worth watching. Instead we went to netflix for $8 a month. The kids are loving the old shows with some morals. Leave it to Beaver is actually a favorite believe it or not. It brings me some joy to know they aren't really attracted to the junk Hollywood is producing these days.

    Some studio has to take notice of this and they will make a boatload of money. Just look at the movies geared towards families. Even the not so great ones are making a profit.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:47 p.m.

    Spielberg's comments probably relate more to the idea that the past repeats itself. He was part of the Hollywood Renaissance that saved Hollywood last time it flopped. But contrary to the D-News' assertion that it's because there aren't enough family-friendly films, last time it was big-budget musicals sank Hollywood studios.

    I actually agreed with many of the points about CGI, etc. It's gotten pretty absurd. I seriously can't think of a movie I'd care to see less than "Pacific Rim." We, as viewers, aren't all that impressed by CGI anymore, and there is little else about the film. But fear not, there are a lot of great films being produced every year, you just have to look to independent and foreign films. I use the analogy that Hollywood is like Denny's--predictable, but not very good. Indy and foreign are like local diners. They could be terrible, but they are also often amazing. Even when it's bad it tends to be bad in a way I haven't seen before.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    There is the movie "artists"
    and then there is the movie "industry".

    One is strictly about making a great "movie",
    The other is only focused on getting the most $, with the least.

    Greedy business men are smothering creativity.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Once these movies are released internationally and then on DVD, every one of them will turn a profit. There is really no incentive for filmakers to do anything different.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    21 Sundays coming up (and some other days of the week) I'll watch football for free in my living room. I'll enjoy the World Series. Next spring they'll be March Madness and The Masters. All free... paid for by advertisers showing me (sometimes in an entertaining way) products I'll never purchase.

    Likewise movies are best watched at home, in my favorite chair, with my own cooking/snacks, closed captioning, pause/rewind, fast forward... the movie theater is dead. There isn't a credible reason for going -- even boredom. You can watch 10,000+ movies at home.

    But someone has their butts in those seats in stadiums and theaters. Thank you.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    Maybe I'll listen to Spielberg when he refrains from putting the F Bomb in a movie where it was totally inappropriate. Think Lincoln folks.