Sunday, March 31, 2013

Where have all the Good Films Gone? (this winter)

Film journalist Scott Feinberg posted a question to twitter asking people their favorite movie so far this year, and I blanked.  So far I have only seen two films which were officially released in 2013 Oz the Great and Powerful and Admission, neither of which merits any "Best of" award.  For some reason this year seems particularly dry.  If you haven't been to or live near a film festival which screened things as a film lover you are out of luck.  I may need to start heading to the Sundance Film Festival from now on, to get me out of my winter blues with the movies.
This year only two films have cracked 100 million so far, and they are Oz the Great and Powerful, and Identity Thief.  I saw Oz, because I am huge fan of the original film, books, and stories associated.  I almost saw Thief out of protest for Rex Reeds atrocious characterization of Melissa McCarthy but if the same guy who made Horrible Bosses made this dreck count me out.  Horrible Bosses was one of my least favorite comedies of this decade, forcing humor rather than letting it naturally occur.

If you look at Metacritic and very few films merit a "fresh" or good rating.  Most of the the films still in Rotten Tomato fresh category are left overs from the Oscar season like Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi.  There have been some 2013 which have cracked into the fresh range or had somewhat better reviews on Metacritic like Mama (65 percent fresh), Oz the Great and Powerful (61 Percent), The Croods (67 Percent), and the two best reviewed commercial releases were Warm Bodies (79 Percent), and Side Effects (85 Percent).  Even of these five the lower three rank lower on the Meta Critic scale.  I feel like I say this every year, and it pains me to not have movies to go see, or movies I do not enjoy for months at a time.  I do not have much hope for April either but 42 looks solid, so a thaw could be on the way.

Part of the problem in recent years is the way the awards ceremonies have moved up.  Many years ago Oscar films like The Artist would have had a limited NY and LA Christmas release, I would say the same for Slumdog Millionaire.  These films would have built up steam to their eventual Oscar wins in March if the calendar had stayed the same.  Next year because of the Winter Olympics the Oscars are back in March.  Will the movie release calendar go back to the way it was?  Most likely, but that leaves dryer fall season because people do not want their films to lose steam too quickly, I have one word for you, Argo.  

I need good films to released all year long, it kills my spirit to see my options for the weekend are The Host, G.I. Joe, and Temptation, really Hollywood?  Is this your idea for a quality film experience?

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