What was once a series content to celebrate simple boy-racer pleasures, the seventh Fast & Furious fell prey to a recent tentpole-film affliction: ridiculously over-complicated plotting. Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation writer Drew Pearce draws an analogy for this blockbuster bloat, responsible for routinely pushing run times over the two-hour mark: “Much as I love a prog-rock album, if it’s a pop song I like it to be short and sweet, and I think it has more impact that way. And summer blockbusters are very proggy right now.” Mission impenetrable: are Hollywood blockbusters losing the plot?
Since April three of the biggest movies in history have opened: Furious 7 (with a worldwide gross of 1.5 billion dollars), Age of Ultron (with a worldwide gross of 1.3 billion dollars) and Jurassic World (with a worldwide gross of half a billion after just one weekend, and heading towards a likely record). With Star Wars down the pike in December, we're looking at a record setting year for the box office, largely on the backs of franchise action/adventure films. Mark Harris writes about the new franchise film economy in Park Effects, and relatedly, Alex Pappademas considers the efforts to create a farm league of indie directors for these new billion dollar movies in Mr. DNA.
This summer's Transformers 4 have seen its fair share of negativity, considering it's a master class in economics and its predecessor is Michael Bay's first art movie (last linked discussed previously.)
Why Every Hollywood Movie Seems Exactly The Same. - A look at the book that's become Hollywood's new bible.
"Little slices of glamour beamed directly into your home in half-hour chunks; a perky theme, flashy titles, charismatic host, inventive format, gags, quiz, games, raucous outro – the works! Incredibly plain people given a quick glimpse of the good life, to which the tanned, funny man in the nice suit held the door." The joys of the 1980s game show. [more inside]
Are you a fan of Channel 4's venerable game show Countdown, but never had the chance to play? Check out this well-made Flash version. It's just one of the classic British game shows made interactive at wedigtv.com, which also features The Price is Right, Family Fortunes, and Blockbusters. Caution: Heavy Flash video, commercial breaks, and some of the UI takes a bit of practice. Via.