Hollywood blockbusters: you may not like them, but they are important

By Herb Scribner

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I understand why people don’t like Hollywood blockbusters.

MCT

But I think they deserve a little credit, too.

Think of all the hot new movies that came out recently only to grab the attention of movie-goers like the last bag of Raisinets at the concessions counter. You’ve got movies like “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the “Transformers” series and the “Harry Potter” saga. All of these films rake in a lot of profit, sometimes a record-breaking amount, and bring in more viewers than most other films released each year.

Much of the time, these movies lack in acting and quality. Some are berated by critics because they don’t match the artistic prowess of films like “The Artist” or “Good Will Hunting,” films that are arguably best known for the performances of the actors in them.

But it’s an unfair judgement. Big-budget movies often do more for us viewers than the Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed films.

They connect us.

What other movies can we all say we went to see together? What other movies bring us all to the theater and give us the same great experience? We certainly won’t get that after seeing “J. Edgar” or countless other great films that find themselves up for Oscars. How often do we watch the Oscars and think to ourselves that we haven’t seen those films that are up for the biggest, most prestigious awards?

We’re lucky when blockbusters are put up for awards, like “Inception.” In this case, it’s a movie we’ve all seen and is championed by the critics and film industry.

Otherwise, movies that are often reviewed as being great and Oscar-worthy tend to polarize the viewing audience. We separate for these movies. We are divided. Because these films tend to be longer with less action and more dialogue, a great amount of viewers stay away. Sometimes they get a limited-release.

But films like “Transformers” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” bring us all together. They get us all into that theater for 90 or so minutes. They bring us something that is nearly unseen anywhere else.

Next time you go to a movie, remember that it’s more than what you see on screen. It’s about the overall experience in which you are engaged. It’s about laughing, crying and scowling together as an audience. We’re all together as one when those lights dim. Sometimes I believe that idea is simply lost among the masses.

You may not like these blockbuster films. You may realize they often hold little or no significance in the grand scheme of film. Sometimes they are made for brain-numb viewers who can’t hold it together for a fantastic few minutes of Sean Penn.

But the truth is that they’re important. They keep us remembering who we are as an audience. They make us remember what is so great about seeing movies.

So remember this: you may not like it, but it is important.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Scribner.