Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Noble Movie Rejected by Rubes

Hollywood today was reeling from weekend tallies for their latest critical darling, “Grindhouse”, which despite sterling directors and an outstanding cast had opened at only #4 at the box office with half of the expected gross. Studio executive Harvey Weinstein said that the opening proved that moviegoers were “uneducated hicks that need re-education into what makes a great film.”

Director Quentin Tarantino expressed regret at audience’s lack of sophistication. “We thought that the American viewing audience would be ready for an ultra-violent, super-bloody version of ‘Kentucky Fried Movie.’ I guess we were wrong, and it’s really a shame.”

Critics were agreed. Phil Mataker, president of the Critical Reviewers for American Publications, had a solution. “We are proposing that beginning in junior high-school American students be forced to take ‘film studies,’ where they can be educated about what makes a good movie. American viewers’ appetite for films like ‘Passion’ and ‘300’ shows that we are seriously disturbed, and only a strong program of indoctrination can stem the tide of this kind of madness.”

Weinstein liked the proposal but didn’t think it went far enough. “Showing R-rated features to schoolchildren is a good start, but it’s the grown-ups who need a reality check. It’s clear that adult audiences need re-education to help them appreciate our art.”

Janet Vee, editor of Film Literature On Parade, hinted that perhaps a different marketing strategy this week might make improve box-office results for the bloody double feature. “I’ve heard that their new ad campaign is going to be centered on comparing it to similar films that audiences have enjoyed. The tagline should be something like this: ‘Directed by Robert Rodriguez, who brought to film another graphic novel by the same guy that wrote ‘300’, and Quentin Tarantino, famously inspired by the same movies that inspired ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, comes a double-billing of films gorier than ‘Passion of the Christ’ and longer than ‘Titanic’!”

Although much has been written on the impending financial disaster of the film, Weinstein dismissed notions that his studio had produced another flop. “After foreign DVD sales, merchandising, tax write-offs, selling off props and costumes, and hocking the statues we won for their metal value, we expect to make a small profit in the ten to twenty-dollar range. And as you can see by our movies, Dimension Films is not in the movie business for profit, so that’s okay.”

Weinstein also admitted that opening Easter weekend might have been a mistake. “We didn’t realize how seriously these knuckle-draggers took their mumbo-jumbo. Next time we’ll save our goriest fare for a more appropriate holiday, like Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving.”