Movies are bound to let you down. They’re billion dollar a year businesses, with most of that money coming from advertising. With those billions of dollars, movie companies are able to hire the most talented and creative people for their projects. As fans, we’re subjected to months of trailers, talk show interviews and behind the scenes featurette’s that hype each individual movie as “the next big thing”. Pessimists almost automatically disqualify the movie as a failure. Optimists, such as myself, get sucked up in the hype, and no matter how many bad reviews they read, will spend money to see that movie in the theater.
For 2 guns, the action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington and (gasp) Bill Paxton, I tried a different approach: dissect the movie and the hype surrounding it with a realistic attitude. So many really good movies have been ruined because of an out of this world trailer. For example, the trailer for Superman: Man of Steel was one of the best trailer’s I’ve ever had the privilege of watching. The movie was good, but after watching the trailer 40 times, you unfairly expect a cinematic masterpiece, thus clipping it’s wings before it ever got a chance to fly.
Back to 2 Guns. When the trailer’s were first released and I heard who the 3 top billed stars were, it was almost impossible not to get sucked up in the hype. Marky Mark and Denzel as a good guy tag team against an evil Bill Paxton?! I felt like I died and went to movie heaven. Then I thought of Superman. And I remembered how a great trailer and massive hype ruined a movie I really wanted to enjoy. As I entered the theatre for 2 Guns, I was ready to watch a good/really good movie. Not a bomb, not a masterpiece. 2 hours of witty one-liners, impressive explosions and the guaranteed shot of a sexy Spanish woman’s boobs that are in every Denzel Washington movie (see Training Day, Flight, 2 Guns). That’s exactly what I got. Leaving the theater, I was glad I had realistic expectations for the film, but it still felt bittersweet. The Golden Age of Cinema is so far gone that you couldn’t see it with a telescope in your rear view mirror, but at least now I see modern movies for what they really are.
The bigger theme here, at least in my opinion, is how the once great praise we had for movies are now shifting to TV. Go anywhere in the country and you can converse with someone who feels the same way you do about Mad Men, or Breaking Bad, or Sons Of Anarchy. I doubt the same can be said about 2 Guns.
The link above will take you to yahoo’s list of the 25 best written tv shows of all time. No shit. Now to be honest I’m a supremely biased human, and I haven’t seen a lot of these shows, but here’s a few thoughts on the list.
The Sopranos is a clear cut number 1. Done and done. Amazing storyline, theme, characters, top to bottom this show captivated anyone and everyone who watched it. The Wire? Probably my favorite show all time. The human element of this shows makes the viewer feel what it’s like to be apart of a crime stricken city where no matter who you are, knowledge is power. Then there’s the classic comedies. SNL, Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers, etc. but I find myself furious to see the Simpsons on there.
Is the show well written? Maybe, but it’s not South Park. No television show outside of a news outlet stays as current and satirically witty as South Park. Throw in the fact they produce an animated show in 6 days, of this caliber, and to me it’s top ten easy.
I see a lot of other shows on there that I’m unsure of their quality, but assume they’re included simply because of their long runs and nostalgic feel. See MASH, Twilight Zone, and the Dick Van Dyke Show.
I really only decided to write this because I’m a huge fan of South Park and KNOW they don’t get the respect they deserve (although the creators don’t want/need it). I’d probably get made fun of for writing this if I was more famous as well. Anyway, I’ve said my peace and as far as the the best written shows of all time, South Park, in my eyes, deserves a seat at the head table….budday.
PS I kind of hope I get made fun of by them with this post