Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"It rains on the just and the unjust alike, except in California."

Just this last thing about the Watchmen movie: it pointed out how much a dark sense of humor the graphic novel had, something the movie didn't follow through on as much. Such as the above line, which in the film, got cut down to, "It rains on the just and the unjust alike."

But the drop in the second week box office, after a decent opening weekend, almost seem symptomatic of Hollywood's problems. Dawn of the Dead and 300 both did well, but in part because they had no names and were relatively cheap to film, despite being recognizable properties. Zack Snyder tried to follow through in the same way on Watchmen with the relatively no-name cast, but he couldn't help but require expensive effects because of the property. And then legal issues came up to further divvy up whatever profit the movie actually makes.

I think that Los Angeles (and to a lesser extent, New York)' film industry is on the blink of oblivion. Whatever the unions do or don't do, whoever the moguls sue or don't sue, the entertainment economic model is increasingly untenable and whatever rough beast now slouching to Studio City waiting to be shot (on digital video, of course) could probably do just as well or better in Oregon or Arkansas or Wisconsin.

Some days, I can't wait to see it all fall down. Other days, it makes me sad and scared. Maybe someday I'll post my theories on the possible new models that might emerge, so that twenty years from now, when Jeff Zucker-tron owns the entire West Coast, everyone can look back and laugh at my blinkered predictions.

"How could he not foresee that Comcast would develop wireless skull implants?" The tight-pants, not-hip-hop listening ingrates I didn't fight in a war for will chortle.

Meanwhile, I'll sit in a theatre with Sam Neill, watching movies and going mad.