Hollywood’s History of Violence

After spending many weeks consumed by planning to move, moving, and unpacking, Seth and I are going out tonight, despite the cold, and catch a movie—but which one?  January begins the spring doldrums. Holiday movies have gone out with the Christmas tree and Oscar candidates are still in the theaters, but we have seen all those.  Except for Beasts of the Southern Wild, which has only played in art houses, and Zero Dark Thirty, which Seth doesn’t want to see and which features torture as an interrogation technique.
What’s left is the bottom of the Hollywood barrel—movies so awful the studios are just trying to make back the production costs. Horror (Mama), ridiculous comedy (Parental Guidance, A Haunted House, Movie 43) and violence. There seems to be no end to Hollywood’s history of violence.

Have We Had Enough Yet?

Bullet to the Head, Sylvester Stallone, StalloneGee, haven’t we had enough of violence lately?  
Here’s the rundown of what’s available in that genre:

  • Parker – . . . grindingly violent, a role that turns on inflicting—and suffering—pain.” Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
  • Broken City –  Rated R for “pervasive language, some sexual content and violence”
  • The Last Stand – Arnold Schwarzenegger with a big gun and semi-intelligible dialogue
  • Gangster Squad – ” Mr. Penn’s psychopathic monster is fun to watch when he’s contemplating violence or unspeakable mutilation, but not when he’s committing it. And an extraordinary amount of mayhem is committed, so much so that the movie’s original opening last fall was delayed after the movie-theater massacre in Aurora, Colo.; some of the violence was dialed down (not all that much, to judge from what’s still on screen), and a sequence depicting gunfire in a movie theater was relocated to a soundstage Chinatown.” Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
  • Django Unchained – Racist violence in the Old West that’s “ferociously violent . . . blood-spattered . . .” Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal 
Sigh.  If we drive to Framingham and fight the crowds we can see The Impossible about the Indonesian tsunami.   

What’s coming up?  Well, there’s Bullet to the Head.  Now that title puts the violence right out there. What is Hollywood thinking to release movies like this after multiple mass murders?

When is enough, enough?  Oh, right.  When people stop going to see them.  That would be us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *