"This would be an apt place for me to deviate into a gravelly 'Gran Torino' old-man rant about the permanently arrested, riskless nature of our culture — how everything in modern major moviedom is now derived from material meant for children or adolescents and aimed at adults desperate to remain in that state well into chronological maturity. But that’s not new."
So writes Mark Harris in his brilliant, lengthy essay for Grantland, "The Birdcage," a detailed dissection of "Hollywood’s toxic (and worsening) addiction to franchise movies." The eye-opening graphs above and below, published by Grantland to accompany Harris' fastidious piece, provide us with a disturbing preview of what's to come at our local cineplex.
Harris's essay itself is even more jaw-dropping.
Grantland printed "The Birdcage" on December 16. Yesterday, only a mere two weeks later, Variety ran an article by Brent Lang, its senior film and media reporter, which pretty much validates Harris's salient point.
"‘Star Wars’ Beats ‘Avengers 2′ for Most Anticipated Film of 2015," published by Variety on December 30, reveals the results of a Fandango survey, announcing that the most eagerly awaited movie would not be the new James Bond opus, neither the "Jurrasic Park" or "Mission: Impossible" sequel, not “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” but - drum roll, please - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Which is a surprise, given that the last couple "Star Wars" flicks have been depressingly mediocre and conventional.
But never underestimate the pull of those adolescent adults. Fanboys rule.
Happy New Year!