Quote of the Day
"It was, readers of The New York Times recently learned, a very good year for Paramount Pictures. Two of the year’s biggest hits, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” have helped the studio climb out of its financial hole with a combined domestic take of more than $500 million. Both movies are deeply stupid, often incoherent and hinged on the principle that the spectacle of violence is its own pleasurable end. “Transformers” is also casually racist. But hey, that’s entertainment.
Or, more specifically, that’s Hollywood entertainment in the conglomerate age. The major studios have long been in the business of serving sludge to the world, but now the reek often spreads around the globe simultaneously with massive coordinated openings. “Revenge of the Fallen,” for instance, opened the same day on more than 4,000 screens in the United States — about a 10th of all the screens in the country — and soon about 10,000 more abroad. “Angels & Demons,” the sequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” opened on some 3,500 screens domestically and ate up more than 10,000 internationally. The French film “Summer Hours,” meanwhile, the best-reviewed release in The Times that weekend, opened on two screens.
—Manohla Dargis, "Amid Studio Product, Independents' Resilience," December 17, 2009