After attending to family business, I’m back in the breech. My thanks to those who expressed condolences.
Hollywood is desperate.
Movie after movie is essentially the same as the one which preceded it. The same sets of characters are recycled, repackaged, rebooted, re-imaged, rewritten, and redirected. It’s as if there isn’t enough bravery to attempt to do something new.
UNLESS . . .
The movie breaks new ground in showing something salacious as a distraction.
Remember all the hype about Sharon Stone flashing the camera in Basic Instinct? Now one can see much more flashed on The Red Carpet this coming Sunday at the Oscars. Flashing in a movie is SO passe.
Imagine, if you will, a typical Hollywood studio office, with two executives pondering what moves they can make to restore profitability, and diminishing the need to go to the state for a taxpayer-funded subsidy (Really!):
What can we (read: Hollywood studio execs) do to pull people in without having to do a good movie and risk being too cranial for the viewing public?
Full Frontal Nudity? Been done to the point that people expect that.
Societally-deviant relationships? Been doing that since I Am Curious Yellow, if not before.
Simulated sex? Not with so much of the real thing available from porn sites.
What about we get kinky? Bondage has worked since horse operas were popular. Tie a wench to the rails and wait for the train! It stirred many a metabolism.
Except that we can’t use trains. Too many fools seem to think they are harmless toys and might try this themselves. John Landis almost lost his ass misusing a helicopter filming Twilight Zone, and killing three people doing it.
How about we peek at the world of BDSM? It’s got sex, bondage, power games. We could make the dom a wealthy billionaire and the sub a virginal college student . . .
THAT’S IT! Call in the writers! Get me a treatment STAT!
And so, yet more titillating dreck is shovelled in front of the proles who have little enough real excitement in their lives, who are willing to shell out real money in trade for pretend experiences.
People in the promotion business should be reading up on this social marketing phenomenon. It’s so wrong, and yet they made it into a blockbuster. People’s lives are so drab that they are willingly misled into visiting a world which really doesn’t exist despite all the real-life trappings used -Helicopters, sailplanes, high-rise penthouses, limousines- to amuse and entertain two people who can’t possibly be real while having an improbable relationship.
50 Shades should have been a MGTOW classic, a guy with all the money in the world who could do anything he wanted any time he wanted once the daily business needs were attended. He would have more hot women than he’d know what to do with throwing themselves at him, the ultimate alpha of their dreams (read: rich). He could pump them and dump them, and others would line up for their turn. Why does he instead spend his time stalking a mousy kid with no overt sexuality with an eye toward completely controlling her life?
I don’t see any MGTOW taking on the full-time control of another human being. He’d have enough to do with keeping his own life managed. And if he’s a billionaire, he has to keep his business operating or the fairy tale ends – FAST!
What this movie is really about is a male-supremacist. A guy who has no life, who doesn’t have it together enough to become wealthy, who couldn’t attract a woman with a fist full of Franklins in a Nevada cathouse. You know – a loser like this. But you wouldn’t make a killing on that tale.
I read a comment on a New York Times comment thread regarding 50 Shades. The writer proposed changing a few things about 50 Shades, demonstrating by doing so that the story was really about the man’s money turning on the readers, and not the kinky sex. Swap billionaire for cross-country trucker, swap the college student for a truck-stop tart, swap the toys for a strip of used mudflap, and swap the playroom for the camper perched on the back of the truck:
Now doesn’t THAT make for a bodice-ripper!!!! Smell the flapjacks burnin’ while the pages are turnin’!!!
I’m going to go WAAAAAAAAY out on a narrow branch, and suggest that most people aren’t smart enough to figure out how they are being played by this movie. Women all want to think that they could become an obsession for a rich man, even if they have to put out. Men might think that if they got a bit physical in the bedroom they’d get more of the kind of action they crave. Both are doomed to serious disappointment. (One such whines here, blaming everything EXCEPT herself.)
I’m watching to see if this is one of those movies which fades fast after the first week and word-of-mouth has made the rounds. But the damage it’s already done will resonate for quite a while, as those misled into attempting similar deeds discover they aren’t made for it and blame everyone but themselves.
That’s my 2 cents’ worth.