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The poverty of high production values

Just watched Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. I have never been a big fan of the director though I did like Collateral. He has tended to waste good actors as in Heat. But what I was thinking about as I watched this film was how beautiful it was, how many images just stopped you dead, and also how boring the film ultimately was.

There was no writing to speak of, no content. This was a collection of cliches used only to hang a camera on.

How absolutely empty it was was brought home to me by the next two films I saw, both miles above, Hump Day and Moon.

Hump Day was low budget shooting, almost unknown actors, and while it was not that complicated, it did make you think. And Moon was as existential as you could ever hope for. Minimal sets, one main actor but a real story.

And this is why I am making myself scarce at the cineplexes these days. Too many pretty pictures and too little thought. Scripts still don’t seem to matter. I think if you are spending millions on a film, at the very least it should be interesting.

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