Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Have Seen the Future, and in it, There's Another Transformers Movie

I've tried to avoid the hype surrounding this year's hit film, "The Hunger Games", but much like a festering blister it was something I simply could not ignore.  From what the articles and reviews stated, the film seems to be some sort of modern ripoff on "The Running Man" as well as pretty much every film about a dystopian future.  In short, evil corporations run everything, and the poor and young are forced to hunt one another for sport and the amusement of rich, evil plutocrats.  Enjoy your popcorn!

This seems to be the one recurring theme in any pop-culture vision of the "future"--somehow, evil corporations will run everything and do evil things that must be stopped.  You name it--"Terminator", "Back to the Future Part II", etc.--in fact the only exception I can think of is the Star Trek universe.  Why is it that Hollywood writers seem intent on warning us about how evil and powerful corporations are?

Then it hits me--think for a minute about the only actual corporate entities that screenwriters have to deal with on a regular basis.  The movie studios!  The same group of snivelling, money-grubbing tyrants that steal ideas, doctor original works to cheapen them (and sell a few more tickets), and destroy hopes and dreams.  The group of thugs that wouldn't know film as an "art" any more than Dow Chemical would appreciate the finer points of opera. 

Take Harvey "I Stopped Eating Babies Only Because My Doctor Said They Were Fattening" Weinstein.  The year that "Saving Private Ryan" had every reason to pull off the Oscar for Best Picture, ole Harvey decides to bribe the hell out of the Academy so that they could decide "Shakespeare in Love" needed to win.  This man is a soul-destroyer, like ten Michael Boltons.

These are the corporations that decide to re-make "The Stepford Wives", not because anyone in the 2000s said "hey, I wish someone would re-make that 1975 film that almost no one saw!" but just because.  These corporations greenlight Michael Bay every chance they get, even though the man's grand contribution to cinema was a couple of racially-insensitive cars talking to one another.  These corporations destroy lives, destroy art, and destroy happiness.

So maybe the films about horrible futures where corporations act this same way are nothing more than cries for help from screenwriters who are far too scared to come out and explicitly tell the world what horrible, horrible things they are forced to do behind closed doors with the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Louis Mayer, or Steve Paramount. 

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