How to Make an Intelligent Blockbuster (via Mark Kermode)

Mark Kermode breaks down the Hollywood Blockbuster mindset, and details how to write an intelligent blockbuster without alienating people. This is a little off topic for our blog posts, but Mark's polemic relates to narrative and writing in a slightly broader sense. I don't want script writers to feel left out of this blog. Mark says:

As a film critic, an important part of my job is explaining to people why they haven't actually enjoyed a movie even if they think they have. In the case of [Pirates of the Caribbean 3], the explanation is very simple.

He very entertainingly describes the concept of 'diminished expectations', and proceeds to rage about the quality (or lack thereof) of the modern 'event blockbuster'. On the bright side:

the fact remains that, if you obey the three rules of blockbuster entertainment, an intelligent script will not (as is widely claimed) make your movie tank or alienate your core audience. Even if they don't understand the film, they'll show up and pay to see it anyway – in just the same way they'll flock to see films that are rubbish, and which they don't actually enjoy. Like Pearl Harbor.

This may sound like a terribly depressing scenario – that multiplex audiences will stump up for "event movies" regardless of their quality. But look at it this way: if the audiences will show up whether a movie is good or bad, then does the opportunity not exist to make something genuinely adventurous with little or no risk?

Read the article in all its angry glory here: