We saw the latest Mission Impossible last night - one of the most expensive movies ever made, with a leading man who famously still does at least most of his own stunts, which promised amazing set piece after set piece after set piece.
Halfway through, I realized I was really bored. It's not that the visuals weren't amazing - they were immaculate - but there was nothing else to it. An empty shell of a movie that barely had a coherent plot and couldn't bring itself to make me feel much of anything at all. I'm really glad I didn't brave the theater for it, even though it was clearly designed to be watched on a big screen.
On the other hand, a few weeks ago we saw Talk to Me, the low-budget horror. It was superb: well-acted and tightly-written, with similarly immaculate visuals but produced for orders of magnitude less money. The cast and crew were relative unknowns, but it was perfect. No need to brave a theater to watch; it was just as good (maybe better) at home.
The former was considered a box office disappointment; the latter was considered to be a big success. I hope we get to see more well-crafted films by emerging filmmakers that don't ask us to risk getting coronavirus in some sticky-floored, overpriced box. Movies are amazing, but the way we watch them has lots of room to evolve, and with it, the economics of which films get made.
Franchises, retreads, and soulless popcorn fests are exhausting. Give me something new, in a place where I feel comfortable.