Journalism student at Northwestern University with aspirations to become an Arts & Entertainment columnist.
Junior Contributor I
As long as era-defining superstars have been consistently pumping out the pop songs that have become eponymous with the decades...
Ryan Milowicki Apr 18, 2014
This is a very well-written and interesting take on a topic that has intrigued me as long as I have been watching and critiquing films. If you ever wanted to do a follow-up article on a similar topic, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the differences between the yes-or-no system of Rotten Tomatoes and the standardized score system of Metacritic. Both have pros and cons, and I’m curious to see which system you think does a better job at giving films their fair judgement.
It’s interesting to see these trends play out even in films portraying recent history. As you mentioned in your article, World Trade Center is a good example. Even in movies like 21, based on the MIT students who counted cards in Las Vegas, they cast Jim Sturgess and Kate Bosworth in the lead roles, even though the actual students were of Asian descent. That being said, it’s nice to see movies like the Jackie Robinson, Nelson Mandela, and Cesar Chavez biopics come out in the last year. We’re starting to see many highly talented actors of color gaining important roles. Hopefully the rest of Hollywood starts to catch up.
The real problem here is that modern audiences have fallen out of touch with the more subtle nuances of physical comedy. A guy like Brendan Fraser has the acting capability to create humor with his body movements and his facial reactions to scenarios around him, yet he is often regarded with scorn by the majority of people out there. Why? Because people’s expectations for comedy have changed to fast, witty, and often raunchy dialogue. Thus, when you get a Fraser or Sandler movie, the movies throw in flatulence and effects of the like in order to scrounge up what few laughs they can. The actors themselves can not be held entirely to blame.
The most exciting thing thus far about this whole enterprise is that Lawrence Kasdan has signed on to be the screenwriter. He did a great job with Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Once I heard that news, I regained that glimmer of hope that Episode VII might be a worthwhile addition to the canon. The casting of Adam Driver was a major step in the right direction as well.