There are numerous reasons to lament the way cinema is heading — inflated ticket prices, needless 3D, the death of film projection, all leading to all sorts of problems that affect the quality of Hollywood’s output.
But let’s put that aside for now and focus on the positive changes. One of the great advantages of the advent of streaming video is that it makes small, little-seen movies as readily available as blockbusters. There are many films I would likely never have gotten around to if doing so weren’t so simple as clicking a button — The Arbor and Poetry are prime examples. These are the movies that benefit from being available when you’re “in the mood” for a rambling Korean film about an old woman taking poetry classes, or a pseudo-documentary about a foul-mouthed playwright. (Which, admittedly, is not always.) It’s less of an investment to begin a film with the option of turning it off and selecting another if it doesn’t captivate you. (Though I dislike this practice as a rule; many great films aren’t so obviously great within the first five minutes.)
I used to think Britney Spears was a secret genius.
An auspicious debut, her famous “virginity,” the Timberlake chronicles, a well-timed smooch with Madonna — it was all so masterfully plotted, so expertly timed to keep her in the limelight. She had to be pretty crafty to map this meteoric rise to the top of the teen pop pantheon (and the world!), right? Yes — and I admired her for it.
Well, I finally have time to write something about The Avengers. But what to say about a movie so massive? Something everybody’s already nattering on about? A film that easily took the record for the best opening weekend of all time?
I thought maybe I wouldn’t bother, but considering that it was my most anticipated film of 2012 and its colossal gross is likely to be the year’s biggest (though The Dark Knight Rises may put a pin in that), it seemed silly not to say something. So here it is.