For screenwriter / wrestling fan Max Landis, the box-office whimper from American Ultra has forced him to take to Twitter and join that debate that people are constantly having on the state of cinema — how it used to better in the “good old days.” Some look at the golden age of Hollywood with Bogart and Hepburn as the high points, while others look toward to the New Hollywood in the ’70s. Then you have the folks who love the big ideas of the ’80s. There’s even a few who trumpet for the silent era still, with all of the points leading to one thought: Movies just aren’t like they used to be.
Landis decided to hit Twitter and discuss the movie’s shortcomings, calling back to the films of the ’80s and ’90s as those beacons away from the sequel-heavy selection that enter theaters today. As Landis points out, American Ultra opened behind numerous sequels, remakes, biopics and ideas that aren’t “original,” as he’d call it. It mustered some fairly middling review scores and could only produce a little over $5 million at the box office. That enough to make anybody question the state of media, honestly.
Here’s where it seems to begin:
He’s not wrong, but there’s a point or two missing, possibly. There’s a lot of things taking attention away from a movie like American Ultra at the theater and the things that are getting the attention are known quantities. You’d also have to factor in the timing and all that good junk. Landis doesn’t stop there, though, soldiering on toward the state of Hollywood and where it leaves a film with his imprint (and director Nima Nourizadeh’s, while we’re at it):
And then, of course, it ends with a question that has no answer. And a bit of a knock against Thor 2 (which deserves it because it was kinda pointless).
So what do you think? Is Landis correct? Is the trend in Hollywood killing “original” movies in the eyes of consumers who only seem to want those known quantities? Or was American Ultra just the victim of a late August burn? Or was it just terrible?
(Via Max Landis)