Perhaps Hollywood is taking its cue from Diesel Jeans' reprehensible advertising campaign, which advises people to "Be Stupid."
How else to explain the blight that constitutes the current crop of summer movies? It's not just that summer has become the silly season -- it's become the stupid season. And everyone seems willing to define quality downward, rather than say, "Hey, what the hell?"
Look at the frenzy over the casting announcement of Megan Fox's replacement in Transformers 3 -- as if it mattered whether Fox is replaced by a model, a mannequin or an ottoman. Most of this blather had to do with why Fox was replaced (Because she can't act? Because she's a pain in the ass? All of the above?) and whether the new girl had any talent to speak of.
Two thoughts spring to mind: First of all, does talent matter in this case, in either a micro or macro way? In the micro sense, obviously it doesn't, if Fox was able to play the role. And obviously not in the macro sense either: The movies still would have been crap if the role had been filled by Dame Judi Dench. The next movie could be all CG (and probably should be), for all the contribution that human actors make.
And the second and more important point is this: Why are they making another sequel to two films which, future studies will show, can cause brain damage to anyone who watches them? That's the important issue -- that audiences and studios keep enabling Michael Bay to further degrade movies, as well as audiences' expectations of them.
Naturally, that question was never asked, because the answer is so obvious: Quality doesn't matter if the movie makes money. While the dwindling number of indy and small-scale film companies still carry the torch for intelligent and edifying filmmaking, the studios have given up on making movies that matter or even ones that don't insult the intelligence of the average adult because -- again -- adults don't matter to Hollywood.
It's a vicious circle, unfortunately, like the one that killed the American attention span.
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