With exams quickly approaching, it can only mean one thing: the bright and sunny days of summer are about to come! The arrival of this hot and† relaxing season is commonly marked by the nation-wide release of action-packed films in movie theaters. So what can you expect to see playing at your local cinema? Here’s a short sampling.
This May will mark the release of a diverse selection of almost edible goodies: a chick-flick called “Bridesmaids,” the fourth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and “The Hangover Part II.” And watch out for J.J. Abrams’ mysterious sci-fi film “Super 8” this June. The Steve Spielberg-produced project is almost guaranteed to be a box-office success. Let’s not forget that “Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows, Part II,” which will hit theaters in July. No explanation is needed for how awesome it will be.
My hope, though, is that a majority of these films will contain at least some creative value. A film that has artistic value is essentially a piece of work that has a sense of integrity that prevents it from heavily relying on cheap entertainment gimmicks. Movies like “The Hangover Part II” will most definitely be comprised of slap-stick humor, but “Harry Potter” might possess artistic value because of its story line and highly anticipated graphical, magical scenes.
So the directors, actors, designers and production crew have to achieve a balance between artistic value and entertainment. Movie studios rely heavily on the mass distribution of films to generate monstrous profits. So, sometimes the creative energy of a project can be stifled and swept away by the influence of those same people to create a purely entertainment-driven blockbuster. There’s nothing wrong with watching the next action film or romantic comedy, but it’s time for Hollywood to allow originality to take hold and not consistently on the same old formula for success.
Though, there is a way to make a film artistically sound and thoroughly entertaining. It all starts with the script. If dialogue is original and not cheesy, it produces genuine performances by the actors. Though a solid story is necessary for making an enjoyable film, it also requires an efficient and hard-working production team. What we take for granted sometimes is the enormous amount of man-power and patience it takes to film scenes and string it all together in post-production. The end result usually creates the illusion that the movie was a snap to make.
The artistic quality of a film during post-production is at a higher risk of being watered down when the movie bosses start to get previews of an upcoming film. Yes, it is important for them to watch the film and approve it for release under their distribution system. But it would be nice if those same people recognized that the perpetual commercialization of movies weakens the overall performance of any project.
Remember though, you don’t have to live your summer exclusively by eating popcorn. If you’re tired of the same old generic films coming out, thoughtfully critique them on the Internet. Not every film will be bad this summer. But if you call into question how small the budgets of non-action films are, you’ll notice which movies were made with a fine balance of entertainment and artistic integrity.