Blockbusters are the sprinkles on the cake of contemporary society. Some people don’t like sprinkles, but most do, since they are just sugar and food colouring and taste nice, and when future historians look back they’ll obviously be interested in the dry cake beyond the sprinkles, whereas normal people will just nibble at the sprinkles and maybe some of the icing and leave the rest behind a potted plant or something.
I’m sure that no one would disagree that when it comes to the objective ranking of films you can match them exactly with how much they made at the box office. It’s like the democracy of the cinema. One ticket price equals one vote.
By the way, blockbusters get their name from the behaviour of people who have just seen them; they become so angry knowing that they’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see these brilliant films again that they smash up everything they see in the streets on the way home, or “bust” the “block;” hence “blockbuster.” Possibly…
Anyway, do you want to know how they did it, so that you too can rake in a 10:1 return on investment, pick up your well deserved Oscar for biggest explosion of the year, and be admired by all but the staunchest of jowly faced film critics? Well, here we go:
You know the line “All men are created equal” from the American Declaration of Independence? Obviously that was before the Famous Hollywood Amendment that added “Apart from A-listers, who are definitely better than you. And their entourage, who get VIP access too, of course. And their friends and family, and anyone they want to invite. So, yeah, everyone except you. You’re just common scum.” Although I think it was just a verbal addition that nevertheless everyone abides by.
Anyway, nothing gets the audience going like a star with a face smoothed by hours of make-up, and acting skills honed by years of people telling them how fabulous they are at it, as well as literally minutes of practising their lines before they came on set.
Not only that, but afterwards (or before, or during the film) you can read about what the star thought about being in the film, and what cereal they ate in their trailer, and whether they had “a really great time working with some really great people, y’know”. You can even join in the telephoto-fuelled speculation of which of their co-stars they are currently getting with, and look at the advanced computational photo fit of what their cherubic children might look like, and consider what they might be called (They’ll probably be named after that brand of cereal that the star loves so much).
And all the time you’ll be fuelling those who feed off celebrities with your money, and feeding the celebrities, in turn, with your soul. Just saying…
4. Quotable lines:
“I’m detective John Kimble.” “That’s a ferret.” “Stop whining.” “It’s not a tumour.”
Who would have thought that all of those famous lines that we all use every day were from the same film, “Kindergarten Cop,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (The world’s most quotable man and a blockbuster unto himself)?
Anyway, films have quotable lines for a reason; because every time you say them the film gets a little bit of free advertising. You’ll drop the line, sound amazing, and all your friends will think you are super groovy for being so original as to use a line that was in a film possibly in a related or even in an unrelated context to whatever conversation you interrupted with your coolery.
For example, at every party you’ll still find at least one person who thinks it’s terribly clever to quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail, released a short 35 years ago, and never once has anyone got sick of it and wanting to stave their face in with a wine bottle every time they say “We are now the knights who say… Ekki-ekki-ekki-ekki-ptang-zoom-boing.”
Why use one projector, when you can use two? Why see things in two dimensions when you can see them in three? Why pay the normal price for a ticket when you could be paying double? For years these questions had no answer; but now they do, and it’s so cool that it already has an acronym; “3D”.
Oh, and it’s much more realistic; you know how in real life when the focus suddenly pulls from the thing you’re looking at to something right in front of you so, or when something comes flying out of the background right at your face, or when everything seems to float eerily in mid air in front of you? Yeah, well 3D films have got that too!
“Why has no-one ever thought of making 3D films before?” you might ask, “It’s simply the best idea ever and certainly not a fad.” To you I would say, yes I’m sure it isn’t a fad. And I’m sure the annoying glasses will only become less annoying every time you have to put them on, rather than more so. Everything which is annoying becomes less annoying over time, like a mouse scratching in the wall, or an irregularly dripping tap, or tinnitus. And I’m also sure that it wasn’t a fad when they tried 3D films in the 50s, and the 80s, and the 90s. Oh, and the 1890s as well.
Some might say that making something very funny is very hard. Not only is their no definition of what is funny, but everyone has a different opinion, and you must walk the line between mundane and obscene, derivative dross and unconventional bewilderment.
Well of course those people who say that are over-thinking comedy killers who obviously ain’t never heard a fart! Then they’d know regular funny from blockbuster funny. Here’s a definitive list:
Obviously, anything to do with bottoms is hilarious. Falling over is hilarious. Belching is hilarious. Pulling faces is hilarious. Irreverent pop culture references are hilarious. Over-emphasised sarcasm is hilarious, and men screaming like girls when they have been surprised is extremely hilarious.
Conversely, clever wordplay is not hilarious. Subtlety is not hilarious. Bathos is not hilarious. Satire is not hilarious. Anything that takes more than a second to ‘get’ is not hilarious. Anything from an old film is boring cos it’s old like old people who are also boring, and is consequently not hilarious.
If you look at the top five grossing films of all time, you’ll find that all of them have explosions in them. Now think about the top five moments in your life; how many of those involved explosions? Ask yourself which is more exciting; your life, or the bit in The Dark Knight when the Joker blows up the hospital? Exactly.
Explosions make everything awesome. No matter how sophisticated you think you are, or how many subtitled films about intense dark haired lovers exchanging significant glances you’ve seen and claim to prefer, or how many independent cinemas you can name and give me directions to, there’s always that little bit of a human brain that refuses to come out of the cave, and thinks “Ooh! Big whooshy fire!” at the first flare of flame. Nothing ignites the interest like a high budget Hollywood explosion.
So as I’ve proved, Blockbusters are the best films from both the objective financial point of view and the objective superiority point of view, which do not only get to have their cake and eat it, but eat some of everyone else’s cake as well, even though their cake was much bigger to start with and even if it’ll make them sick.
By the way, a film blog which I enjoy is http://www.cinemaobsessed.com/ by Chantale and Angie.