2015 is shaping up to be the year of the blockbuster. From Star Wars to Avengers right back round to Fast & Furious 7, cinema is set up to be big, brash and a whole lot of fun. Yet some people aren’t on board with this. Some people think that cinema is become homogenized, that super hero movies and Michael Bay now dominate the big screen and because of it we are losing all those special little films that not everyone sees, but those who do never forget.
On top of this, there is a growing idea that cinema, and Hollywood in particular, isn’t taking any risks. People point to this years Oscar’s nominations and claim they are dull and bland. That they lack the va va voom of cinema of old. Now, I could get on board with that to a certain extent. There is no denying that films like The Imitation Game lacked a certain sparkle, as much as I did enjoy it. However, that same nominations included Boyhood, a wildly ambitious film about growing up and time, something which was done in such a way that we may well never see again. It’s not Richard Linklater’s fault that the Academy seemed to fail to grasp that.
]Sure there is a lot of shit out there. I can’t stand Michael Bay and a lot of Blockbusters do draw a yawn. However, in something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we are seeing how these films can be crafted to be so much more than big explosions. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was closer to a political spy thriller than an action movie. Sure, it ended with all the bangs (an issue with Marvel films which I have written about), but before then it was completely different to what had come before. While Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t even a superhero movie, but rather a sci-fi one, which drew from the likes of Star Wars to be truly brilliant. It suggests you haven’t actually watched these films if you suggest they are all the same.
But of course, big over the top action fests aren’t to everyone’s tastes. I get that, I don’t understand it, but I am aware it is an issue. However, to suggest that cinema doesn’t cater to you, is still a bit ridiculous. If we continue to focus on last year, I genuinely do believe there was at least one or two pieces of work for everyone. Art house sci-fi your bag? The mesmerizing Under the Skin would be right up your street. Family fun? Well I think I’ve made it clear just how much I love Paddington. Even your classic revenge thriller was done up and turned into something completely different in the wonderful Blue Ruin. Cinema is strong, you might have to scratch under the surface to find some of it, but it is there.
So yea, the Oscars might be a bit bland (although personally between Boyhood and Whiplash you grabbed two of my favourite films from recent times) and blockbusters may take up a ridiculous number of screens at your local cinema (seriously, how many showing of Fifty Shades of Grey does one city need?) but it really doesn’t mean you need to despair. Every week there are films coming out and while quite a lot of them are absolute crap, there are also so many that will make you laugh, cry and even think. You want to be challenged and questioned then don’t go along and see Fast & Furious 7 at your local World of Cine, instead step off the beaten track and give something else a go, it might just change your life.