Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Meme-ing of American Entertainment

You don’t have to make sense to make dollars.

The universe in which an otaku lives is often one of a perceived righteous insulation from the “Americrap” entertainment which makes the Japanese entertainment media look so appealing. There is a stage that every otaku either passes though or becomes permanently stuck in, which has a basic premise of “Japanese manga and anime are the better than anything else, so I don’t need to pay attention to American anything because it’s all crap.” This was once a sustainable idea, in that in no way were the two markets ever going to significantly interact with each other, however for about a decade that has not been the case.

The problem… one of the problems… one of the many problems in the process in which the previously stated otaku isolationist sentiment is being made an impossibility, is that the domestic market always seems to have just the right elements to bring the most unredeeming elements of each entertainment methodology together in massive commercial endeavors. The specific element that is having a particularly noticeable effect is the 2 second attention span.

Now the quick non-substintive way of deciding what to make a movie/TV series/toy line/etc by looking at a presentation package for 24 seconds and then making some sort of decision whilst uttering le catch phrase du jour is nothing new. What is new is that this laser beam of unintelligent arbitration of creative commercial entertainment is now slicing straight through that otaku bubble of insulation mentioned previously. We have now the evidence that this beam has simply increased in strength, in this ghastly piece of gloriously expensive reptilian anal spew:

It’s important to point out that Chow Yun-Fat is and shall forever be awesome. However like anyone involved in the actual filming of this impending crapfest, he was simply a person paid to do a job and anyone in this group can not be held responsible for this cinematic post-natal abortion. The responsibility is that of the executive producers and investors that greenlight this very idea. Caught up in the moment of flashy 1 minute sizzle videos of Aeon Flux, Speed Racer, or any other animation made Hollywood live action, the frenzy picked up Dragonball too. That frenzy was unabashedly unconcerned with anime, continuity, originality, or anything else that would be associated with cinematic integrity. No, all they were concerned about, and all they had time for before putting down millions of dollars to make a major motion picture, was “the energy” of the title, and there’s a word we can use for that; meme.

Like the Speed Racer production, this film will be generally regarded as a failure. It will probably be a financial failure for the cinema operaters (not the studios) and is already an artistic failure. However there is hardly an American now who has not gotten the message loud and clear that failure is often rewarded and is by no means an impediment to financial gain and the ability to further replicate such monuments to failure. The smug satisfaction that an anime fan can take in the failure of this film is quickly evaporated in the knowledge that every Hollywood adaptation of an anime have all been abysmal failures, and none of those will make a dent in the momentum of further efforts in the same vein. Hollywood will not save itself.

Working in show business makes an atheist out of you very quickly when confronted with things like this:

This is real. There is no god.


Steve Harrison said...

I make a prediction.

Studio will decide it IS a piece of crap, give it a 'soft' opening of under 2000 screens (probably more like 1500 to 1700 screens), and rush it to DVD within two months of the opening.

It's opening weekend will be about $17 Million Dollars. It still may place in the top 5, depending, but it'll be off the radar the next weekend.

Whadda ya think? Am I way off or scary on target?

The Angry Otaku said...

I think the opening will be closer to $10 mill than $17.

Bonnie said...

Yeah, other than the opening weekend, I'm gonna agree with Steve...