I have recently had the pleasure of spending 108 minutes of my life watching Darren Aranofsky’s latest masterpiece Black Swan. An absolute delight of a film, it pulls you further and further into a confusing and complex world of characters and motives leaving you mentally exhaustd by the films close.
Last week, I had the joy of watching 127 hours. I was intrigued to see how Danny Boyle would make a man being stuck in one place interesting for an hour and a half. Consider that 99% of those watching know how it ended and you start to see the challenge the Slumdog Millionaire team had in getting cinemagoers to part with their £10.
It seems to be a challenge that Danny Boyle looked at, mocked a little bit and breezed over with the disdain that got Aaron Ralston into his perilous situation in the first place. The film is an interesting study of a man in a disastrous situation who slowly wakes the realisation of what he has to do to save himself; and why he has to do it. James Franco’s performance alone is worth the ticket money, and Danny Boyle doesn’t dissapoint with his shots of the vast Utah dessert.
As much as I enjoyed these two films, they still annoyed me in one way. Why are they both out now. Not only these two films, but The King’s Speech, Blue Valentine and The Fighter are all due a trip to the cinema soon. And why are they all out now? Answer, so that they are fresh in the voter’s minds when they choose who to give various Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes to. And why do these count so much? Because the little line “Academy Award Nominated” at the top of the DVD case helps persuade us to part with our cash, again.
The Hurt Locker – winner of Best Film at the 2010 Oscars – has so far racked up $30m in DVD sales alone. Considering it cost $15m to make, that is a neat little profit. It is also a fairly good film.
However, Green Zone is a fairly good film too. Inception is a pretty decent film as well. So far Matt Damon’s Middle East war spectacular has made $15m in DVD sales whilst Christopher Nolan’s Dream-bending masterpiece has made $60m. Neither of these were released with to try and squeeze a DVD recommendation from ‘the academy.’
A good film is a good film. People will go and see quality, they’ll buy it on DVD and they will tell there friends to go and see it! Basically, it will make money for the backers.
It is infuriating to have gone through months of cinematic releases such as Hot Tub Time Machine and Couples Retreat to then have to try and cram as many good films in to January as possible. Why not give us something to see before and after the first month of the year?