Just when I was starting to think I was alone in my opinion that the taste of the American moviegoer has taken an alarming downward slide recently, it's Smokin' Joe to the rescue. Carnahan has weighed in on his website about the disappointing opening weekend numbers for Grindhouse, and he seems to be wrestling with the same questions I am: "What is wrong with American moviegoers? Is there nothing new that they're willing to embrace? Jesus it's the worst kind of erosion. We're making dumber and dumber films and they're becoming cash cows." You said it, Joe. As someone whose primary joy in life is going to the movies, I've been especially irked at this erosion, and the ease with which the studios are going along with it. When I was in college, I could go to the local movie theater on any given weekend and find enough there for a triple feature -- and I'm talking about movie-movies, not art movies. There was almost nothing I wouldn't see. Today it's a completely different story.
Looking for a silver lining, Carnahan points to 300 as an example of a recent movie that did well at the box office and had something going for it artistically, but I just saw 300 recently and I'm very much on the fence about it. I don't think I can join his campaign on that one yet. Before going on to talk about Grindhouse some more, he puts his finger on the main issue, which is that these days we're often faced with movies that don't want to be good. "Some of these flicks don't even try, because they know in the end, exactly the age range and demographic driving ticket prices these days. Those monstrosities (the names of which I won't mention) are pure pieces of commerce, marketed to perfection."
On a happier note, Carnahan also points his readers to the recent interview we did with him about his upcoming projects, including White Jazz, the Pablo Escobar movie and others. If you're a fan, check it out. And stay tuned to Cinematical as we continue to report on all movies -- the good, the bad and the unwatchable.