Simon Pegg in a Radio Times interview, posted earlier today: “Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection — gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed.
“I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and thinks we’ve been infantilized by our own taste. We’re essentially all consuming very childish things — comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously!”
“It is a kind of dumbing down in a way.” Wells interjection: Kind of? Back to Pegg: “Because it’s taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about…whatever. Now we’re walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot.”
I’ve written about this trend for so long it looks like up to me. Here’s a 7.23.14 post in which I summed up my angriest feelings about it. Here’s a re-posting of a riff I posted on 2.22.14 after seeing Pompeii:
“Epic, escapist, large-scaled cinema has been engulfed and poisoned by the ComicCon virus (video-game and comic-book mythology, physics-defying fantasies), and submentals the world over are submitting to the historical visions of pulp-loving low-lifes like Zack Snyder (whose 300 I hated) and Steven DeKnight (the Spartacus series) and Pompeii‘s Paul W.S. Anderson (the poor man’s Snyder). Some of the ‘fans’ (i.e., the ones who watch this crap ironically) obviously know that the video-game vistas and blatantly fake-looking CG compositions are unfit to watch and that the cliched, braindead dialogue is unfit to listen to, and yet everyone is nodding out and munching away in the multiplexes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We all know things are bad — worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy.”