This past weekend I saw the much touted film '300'. Without going into detail, it was probably the bloodiest, most violent film that I've ever seen. They were stacking bloody body on top of bloody body...literally. After the second or third head decapitation, we became numb to the act. Spearing...and twisting...and wrenching...well that was run of the mill. It was supposedly based on the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.. But there were monsters and gods and elephants..oh my!! I mean...were there monsters back in 480 B.C.? I don't think so.
It was a movie designed to showcase gore...and I don't mean Al. Was there any redeeming value to the story? Not really. It was typical of what Hollywood is throwing at audiences these days. They toss great stories and green light scripts about guys who wear masks and run around with chainsaws, slicing and dissecting the neighbors. Every once and a while they slip and release a great story...but those slips are becoming fewer and fewer.
Hollywood used to make films like The Sound of Music and Grease. They made Gone With the Wind and Rebecca. What has happened? Why market to the lowest common denominator? Because that's where the money is. There is no thought of moral responsibility. I don't think that they have any.
There was a time in my life when I dreamed of being a film director. I wanted to be the next Robert Wise, Frank Capra or John Ford. I couldn't help but wonder what those great artists would have thought about the Hollywood of 2007. What would they have thought about the overt violence and sexuality? I think that they would have been surprised and saddened. They created great movies. They moved the camera and the story like the masters that they were. They generated sexuality without dropping a skirt or removing a bra. They could get more out a of a scene with a look or a gesture. Today...nothing is left to the imagination...NOTHING. And that doesn't speak well for the Hollywood Imagineers
If I could tell young film goers anything...I'd probably suggest that they go rent a Frank Capra, John Ford, Victor Fleming or Alfred Hitchcock film...and if they don't know who they are then Google them. They'll see what Hollywood once did...but may never do again. And that's sad.