Staying Home: The right choice, right now

Here’s hoping you didn’t bother going to the movies last weekend. We sure didn’t. Hollywood’s got a lot of nerve trying to entice us to sample its current menu of drivel pies and trash sandwiches.

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It’s an old phenomenon–movies continue to be a profitable powerhouse despite sluggish economies. During the very sluggishiest of economies, The Great Depression, Hollywood was one of the only industries that continued to line pockets (of the studios at least).

Of course, there are certain events that have given pause to even the most avid moviegoers–the attacks of September 11, 2001 being the most famous. The weekend immediately following, many releases were delayed due to (one would hope) fatcats who truly had their minds on something more important.

And then came September 7-9, 2012. We suffered no terrorist attacks, no unseasonal blizzards, and no sudden bout of collective amnesia during which we all forgot how to use Fandango.com. These new releases, unfortunately, were not delayed. They just blew chunks.

So hurrah, ladies and gents! We made history this weekend as one of the lowest grossing box office takes of ALL TIME. A paltry $67 mil should show those goons that we refuse to be served scrapings from the bottom of the barrel. We’ve got Netflix instead, and we aren’t afraid to use it.

Here’s the roundup of the movies you (didn’t) miss:

Branded

Now this is truly terrifying (from the official site):

Branded is a dark and mind-bending journey into a surreal, dystopian society where corporate brands have unleashed a monstrous global conspiracy to get inside our minds and keep the population disillusioned, dependent and passive.

Congratulations, writers Aleksandr Dulerayn and Jamie Bradshaw, you’ve really stumbled upon something here. The only little hole in your plot is that a corrupt system of manipulation that professionally disillusions the global population doesn’t turn a society dystopian—it just turns a society regular.

A stunning 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, Branded evokes quotes like “Nothing more than a freshman’s first term paper for a sociology 101.” (Monica Castillo, Boston Phoenix) and “what is this I don’t even.” (Josh M., commenter).

The Cold Light of Day

Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, a mysterious briefcase…a sure recipe for success, right? Well, at least 7% of Rotten Tomatoes critics agree.

Perhaps the “my family’s kidnapped, so all of a sudden I know a crap ton about guns” plot will go away one day, but I, for one, find something reassuring in the fact that there will always be a movie currently playing in theaters that I can count on to be gray, explosiony, and soulless.

I have not, and will not, see The Cold Light of Day, but I would bet my measly retirement fund on it having any combination of the following lines:

  • Not on my watch, you son of a bitch.
  • Give me my family back, you son of a bitch.
  • It’s payback time, you son of a bitch.
  • I’m too old for this son of a bitch.
  • Say hello to my little son of a bitch.
  • I coulda beena son of a bitch.
  • Son of a bitch? Where we’re going, we don’t need son of a bitch.

The Words

I dig the simplicity of the name of this film, which questions the moral fortitude of an aspiring writer played by Bradley Cooper. To me, the idea that you should come up with a memorable, meaningful name is just dated. I would have titled The Cold Light of Day a spare, elegant Guy with Gun, and Branded could have benefited from a simple name like Duh. Only the tagline of the last Twilight iteration tops the literal purity of The Words’s title with the truism “Everything has been leading up to this.” I might have gone the extra mile by saying it even more clearly with something like, “The last one in the series,” but no one asked me.

— ∮∮∮ —

This coming weekend refuses to disappoint with the only thing better than a Bruce Willis family-kidnapping-action-flick: a Nic Cage family-kidnapping-action-flick (Stolen). If that’s not your thing, there’s always Finding Nemo 3D or Resident Evil: You Have to Admire Our Refusal to Die.

So let’s get motivated to beat our own record, and make this the worst box office weekend in history. We can do it, I know we can. We just have to refuse to lose. Who’s with me?

 

Photo by: AmsterSam – The Wicked Reflectah

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson writes all sorts of things — from marketing content to movie reviews to this very bio.

2 comments on Staying Home: The right choice, right now

  1. lasingh on said:

    “The only little hole in your plot is that a corrupt system of manipulation that professionally disillusions the global population doesn’t turn a society dystopian—it just turns a society regular.” Brilliant.

  2. i saw Cold Light of day… it was awful and seemed like a shotty tourism movie for Coastal Spain… or Italy… wherever it was filmed.

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