I completely understand Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese's criticism of Marvel movies. Although I respect Marvel for pulling off such a complex shared universe and entries which qualify as great films on their own, it seems that recently the studio has succumbed to the mainstream trend of either not caring about the viewer or insulting their intelligence by serving them an effortless product expecting them to swallow anything with a Marvel sticker on it. The recent Thor and Doctor Strange films fit Scorsese's description perfectly – they are theme park rides, not cinema. Instead of defending its position in cinema it sadly and unnecessarily supports Scorsese's denouncement.
But the issue is much larger. The era of fun and mature blockbusters like Aliens, Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Terminator is over. From an academic point of view, the fact that all of these franchises have modern entries which fail to engage the viewer in the same vein as their predecessors did is fortunate as it allows us to deduce a general trend accross several brands.
What I feel connects all the modern franchises is the redefinition of both the creator and the audience. Long gone are the days of creative individuals with a unified vision, originality and human approach inexpressible by numbers or formulas. Todays films are calculated, playing it safe, following statistics and estimations and following patterns that are guaranteed to generate profit without putting too much effort in the film. The goal of corporations is to generate as much profit as possible with the least possible effort. Right now, streaming services oversaturate us with low-effort TV shows, but the views are still high. This strategy is sadly paying off for the producers but not for viewers who are unwilling to lower their standards.
When it comes to the audience, it is clear that the concept has degraded over the years. Apparently, the model viewer's IQ has lowered, their emotionaly maturity has receded, their taste has dulled. Basically, studios treat viewers as if they were children and it is a toxis relationship. It is a one-directional patronizing relationship which disrespects the viewer's capabilities and reverts to the "magic bullet" theory of mass media presuming that the viewer is just a passive blank-headed sheep who will accept anything as long as it is easily-consumable and oversweetened enough to cover its otherwise bland taste.
Hopefully, the trend will change and viewers will reject this disrespectful attitude.
Published: 6 months ago
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Thor: Love and Blunder
Modern blockbusters think viewers are stupid
Thor: Love and Thunder is only a symptom of a larger trend going on in the film industry nowadays. Modern blockbuster films are either getting dumber or they anticipate dumber audicence.
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