Five Things We Learned at the Movies

 

It won't be long now before Oscar season picks up momentum and film critics across the country set about surveying the ambitions and aspirations behind the year's most "serious" and "substantial" films. For many writers, the autumn rush is the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel — the promised sunrise after a stretch of silly and frivolous summer blockbusters concerned chiefly with opening-weekend receipts.

Yet while some critics shun the summer spectacles (so many of which are critic-proof to begin with), these films stand as the clearest examples of where cinema and commercialism overlap; they are essential case studies offering observers a window into the motives of the film industry and the mind-sets of filmgoers. Which blockbusters resonated with audiences ("The Dark Knight"), and why? Which seemingly safe bets flopped ("Speed Racer")? Which dark horses excelled ("The Incredible Hulk")?

More to the point, what does all this mean for the movie buff, the theater owner, and the studio executive?

(NY Sun)

 


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