Friday, August 29, 2008

Mad as Hell: Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer

You don't need me to tell you who Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer are. You know who they are, and what they've done. And, assuming you're with the general consensus, you hate their guts. You know their movies, or know of them, the latest of which, Disaster Movie, was released today. Their colossally bad comedy films (and I use the term "comedy films" very loosely), have, if nothing else become the standard for bad movies. We movie communities use it as a running joke, often fake-threatening each other with it: "I'll tie you down and make you watch Meet the Spartans!" Yet they keep coming. And we continue to watch them, even if only to make fun of them. After which we vomit and curse for a little while, then have a good laugh at the filmmaker's expense. But there's a deeper problem with this scenario you may not be seeing: the laugh's not on the filmmaker's, it's on you. You're the victim here, don't kid yourself.

Think about this. Disaster Movie is the fourth movie to be released by these hacks in the past three years. Four movies in three years. Two just this year. Despite the overwhelmingly negative response to their every creation, Friedberg & Seltzer continue of to shovel crapload after crapload down our collective throat. Why is this anything more this than a major irritation. Because this is not simply poor filmmaking, this is a personal insult to the audience. Hollywood has proved once and for all that they care nothing for their viewers, just the almighty dollar. Look at Disaster Movie (if you can stomach it), and see how little Hollywood truly thinks of us. The film industry has become totally disenfranchised from their consumers. What you want doesn't matter anymore, only what you're willing to pay settle for. And unfortunately, there apparently are those desperate enough to turn to Friedberg & Seltzer for a witless laugh.

If Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer aren't the very definition of Hollywood tyrants, I don't know what is. Obviously I respect the rights of these men to put whatever they so desire into their so-called "films", it's a free country (or so I'm told). But these men have been given an amazing opportunity, one many of us would kill for, and they have completely and utterly squandered it. They have abused their priviledges as much as humanly possible. These aren't filmmakers, they are serial rapists. They have taken a beautiful art form and repeatedly defiled it. They have repeated twisted and corrupted it until it is nothing but a repulsive mockery of it's former self. What truly angers me, however, is the fact that these men are given the exposure and backing of major films. You go to the major websites, Yahoo, MySpace, IMDB, and the pop-ups advertising the film fill the screen.

Why is Hollywood forcing this upon us? Why are we forced to endure what we so clearly don't want? Because Hollywood just doesn't care. They don't listen to us because they don't have too. They make money off it, so they keep making it. Hollywood hardly ever releases anything that hasn't been proven to be profitable in the past, because they aren't willing to take chances with their money. Take The Dark Knight for example. Obviously it was an incredible film, at the complete opposite end of the spectrum as Disaster Movie. But the only reason it was greenlit it was that is was a proven character with a proven cast and director. Imagine if The Dark Knight had consisted completely of unknowns. Imagine if Nolan and the cast were talented but no name filmmakers, and Batman was an entirely new character. Had that been the case, The Dark Knight would have never seen the light of day (pardon the pun). Unfortunately, as talentless as Friedberg and Seltzer are, they make money, simply because they have resources, and it makes me mad as hell.

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