Going Extinct Again

Remember that Spielberg/Lucas speech that foretold the downfall of movie making? I came across a nasty little post about Gore Verbinski‘s response to that speech. You can click through if you want the snark. More interesting to me is the original interview that spawned the schadenfreude: this piece. Verbinski mostly agrees with The Speech.

[quote]I think there’s so much good television that it’s hard to get people to go to theaters without making it some kind of event. I think studios are working backwards since they lost their DVD sales, they are working backwards from “How do we get a theme park and a ride and a this and a that…”[/quote]

What I hear, and what I don’t hear the snark-master recognizing, is that everyone regrets the direction Hollywood is following and that no one is responsible for taking it there. It just happened. To blame something like Pirates of the Caribbean, a Verbinski film that looks like genius only in hindsight, is a ret-con. That movie earned every dollar it made by being damn fine entertainment.

Interestingly, the rest of the interview, which offers a possible answer to the trouble of Hollywood, gets ignored. Read some of Verbinski’s discussion of his The Lone Ranger film making decisions. The minutiae of the train sequence is compulsive overkill. Any choice that leads you to make Hans Zimmer compose around the William Tell Overture is . . . not wise. The emphasis on spectacle is dangerous. This sounds like gimmickry that serves that big-event action picture genre, rather than the character and story development. If Hollywood producers think we come to the movie theatre for the event only, they will lose as Spielberg and Lucas predict.

Twitter chatter has this movie as an epic fail. To me it sounds like this movie had too much head and not enough heart when it was in development. Just because a lot of money is on the line is not a reason to hyper-control the creative process.

Although that dead bird on Johnny Depp’s head could have used some directorial decision control . . .


  1. I can’t help but bring up the Superman movie we just saw. (Years from now if someone reads this post there will undoubtedly have been …

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