Every year when Oscar season rolls around I become an increasingly cynical person. I stop enjoying the movies I’m watching and instead start to tick off the list of tropes I see in a game I like to call “Oscar-bait Bingo.” In the coming months, cinema screens worldwide will be treated to my two least favorite Oscar-baiting sub-genres:
As much as I love movies, I’m completely against the franchise bandwagon. Every time I hear about a movie I love having a successful opening weekend at the box office I get a sense of impending dread that they are going to ruin my memories of it with a plethora of inferior sequels. Even though I grew up on the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises, both the books and the films, I’m not feeling nostalgia so much as cynicism whenever a prequel is announced or released.
In this internet savvy age, successfully avoiding spoilers for movies and TV shows is a talent we all wish we had. All it takes is a brief glance at after an opening day or a TV air-date to find that what you’ve been waiting to watch for ages has been spoiled before you’ve even been granted a chance to watch it. Yet these overly enthusiastic tweeters aren’t exactly the biggest threat to my enjoyment of a film, even if they do deserve a slap across the face for making me enjoy it far less; the biggest threat is the trailers for the films themselves, which increasingly spoil crucial elements of a movie before it even opens.
For the next 30 days, own my soul. This isn’t the first time – in fact, whenever I subscribe to a new movie streaming service, I have a habit of trying to watch everything I want in that 30 day window so I cancel before I start having to pay. There are plenty of good reasons to stay subscribed to a website (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t), and there are a plethora of good streaming services available, but if you’re on a tight budget taking advantage of a free trial is the only option.
There was an odd time in the late 1980’s where Michael Keaton was the biggest star in Hollywood. Since hanging up the Bat-suit in the early 1990’s, he has continued to have a successful career, yet will never reclaim that success he once had. In Birdman, the first foray into comedy from Amores Perros director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Keaton plays an actor whose life is overshadowed by the fact he once was a megastar due to playing a superhero decades earlier (sound familiar?
It may still be summer blockbuster season, but awards season is almost with us. Over the next few weeks we’ll have a flood of trailers for award baiting movies, and The Imitation Game ticks multiple boxes: a World War 2 period drama, a biopic, a Harvey Weinstein production and a chance for Benedict Cumberbatch to finally get some awards recognition.
Earlier this week, the British government announced that after years of trying to make it work, they were finally giving up what was already a losing battle. From 2015, it will no longer be illegal to file-share in the UK, to the fears of the entertainment industry. Instead, certain internet providers will email their customers just four warning letters per year informing them at how their killing the industry, to which they’ll probably reply with a shrug and will continue to download the latest episode of Game of Thrones without a second thought.
Is it possible to give a film a bad review before anybody’s seen it? Apparently so, as the North Korean government have all but threatened war with the USA based on the trailer for The Interview. The new comedy re-teams James Franco and Seth Rogen, who co-directs with Evan Goldberg, as a hapless TV presenter and his producer who go to the “world’s most dangerous country” to interview Kim Jong-Un.