Are movies art, entertainment, or something in between? For me, they can be rather artistic, but first and foremost they’re entertaining. If they don’t make me happy to be spending a couple of hours watching them, they’re a waste of time. Plain and simple.
I understand that my opinion isn’t shared by everyone.
Among the people who disagree is Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster, who laments one of the most popular film genres available: the superhero movie.
“Going to the movies has become like a theme park,” Foster said in an interview with Radio Times Magazine. More importantly, though, she says that like it’s a bad thing.
“Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking — you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth.”
She added, “It’s ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world.”
But Foster fails to explain how people viewing the movies they want to see — movies fans have been clamoring for — is ruining anything.
What people like Foster fail to recognize is that people don’t have to watch a movie on any given night. They choose their entertainment based on what looks entertaining and won’t bother if they find nothing of interest playing. They see the movies they want to see and nothing else. If there weren’t superhero movies to watch, they’d either find something similar to watch —maybe the latest action blockbuster — or they’ll stay home. The same is true of those who don’t like superhero movies. They either find something else or they don’t go to the movies.
In other words, people pick the entertainment they want. It’s freedom, pure and simple.
So how is this ruining anyone’s viewing habits?
If I had to hazard a guess, I’d suppose Foster believes that if these superhero blockbusters weren’t there, people would gravitate more to so-called important films or movies with more complexity. However, that’s not going to happen. Maybe if someone were to balance that complexity with the things the majority of the moviegoing audience wants, it would work, but most movies won’t do that.
If Hollywood listens to the Jodie Fosters of the world, we’ll get the movies that she thinks we should consume, and then Hollywood will be in real trouble. After all, if they fail to entertain me, then television, books, or video games will be more than happy to do so. And guess where my time will go?
Foster is deluded if she thinks I’d be alone in my exodus.
So here’s a thought: Let’s stop griping about people who enjoy entertainment for entertainment’s sake, mmmmkay?