September 29, 2006
We're Not Gonna Take It! and Other Bad Art
A theater in downstate Illinois has shut down for a few weeks, rather than be forced by the marketplace to subject its community to the best Hollywood has to offer this month: Jackass 2 and Beerfest. Read about it here.
Hey! Come back!
It's not that these movies are morally offensive, per se, that's led to the business owner's boycott. It's that they're just awful. The Chicago Tribune called one of the two films "an insult to sophomoric movies everywhere." The owner, Greg Boardman, has put a lot of money into making his theater a destination point for movie fans--cutting edge tech, roomy seats, fancy carpet. Adding a film that relies on vomit and self-flagellation for laughs is, I suppose, a bit like gilding the lilly--although only a bit.
I'm intrigued by this story because I don't often see people who make money off of mass culture proactively filter content for their customers. The only instance I can recall, in fact, is a music video that MTV restricted temporarily nearly two decades ago. I'm sure there are other cases, but I can't think of any.
I can hardly think of anything else to say, I'm so shocked by this guy's moxie. Hollywood is more Goliath than David, and the private owner of a two-screen theater in a small Illinois town is more David than Goliath, but he certainly took his shot. Maybe the rest of us can be encouraged by my new hero to expect a little more from our entertainment.
By the way, Likewisebooks.com is now up and running. Be sure to check it out.
Hey! Be sure to come back too!