Tuesday, September 02, 2008

When Disaster Strikes!

With Hurricane Gustav, to the relief of New Orleans residents, turning out to be a fifth rate Katrina at best, there was only one (possibly two after it's all said and done with the Palin pick) major disaster of note this Labor Day weekend. Since it suddenly struck in the early morning hours of Friday the 28th it has become a true disaster on a national and soon to be global scale, hitting every state and slowing expanding into the overseas markets. Despite being warned about its arrival on a ubiquitous, daily basis for a good clear month by all the major media outlets, there was little our government nor us the average citizen could do to avoid it. That's right it was the general release of another Jason Friedberg and Adam Seltzer movie.

Just as this nation was beginning to bring itself back up and rebuild in the wake of the damage left by "Meet the Spartans" just this January. Just when were beginning to remember what it was like to laugh again; we are pummeled again by "Disaster Movie" and its all out assault on humor, plot, talent, and the art of cinema in general. I don't know if its due to the effects of worldwide global warming or deforestation, or the depletion of the ozone layer but since Date movie the rate of appearances of these Friedberg/Seltzer productions seem to be accelerating and (as unimaginable as it is) getting worse with every incarnation. While there has been plenty of critical literature concerning the growing dangers of these projects, the American movie going public continues to fuel these films in the face of the humorless truth.

The scientific and cinematic community is still not in total agreement as to how such bad movies can possibly be created, but there some common facts that have been established which may aid in someday finding the key to finally understanding and eliminating these movies forever. Some known facts:
  • They are produced so cheaply that they cannot help but make money in the theaters. Even if you eliminated their primary audience of middle school children and the producers' parents, the sales generated from "tickets sold to confused old people by accident" will still ensure enough profits for a sequel.
  • They usually appear at the beginning of the year (around January, February) in the deadest winter period for films. With the exception of "Disaster Movie", these movies thrive and flourish in the harshest of box office environments, where better movies wilt.
  • They are short. The average length of these films top out at around 85 minutes. This is accomplished by eliminating any elements involving plot, depth, or story and inserting a string of celebrity impersonators and passing it off as a joke.
  • Carmen Electra. Her mysterious involvement with the great majority of these pictures appears to be the true key to understanding the series. Perhaps containing may put an end or at least severely hinder the production of these movies.
Despite the research done on the field, the sad fact of the matter is that there doesn't seem to be any end to the proliferation of these films. Even as the latest incarnation rages across the movie screens of the nation, another picture is predicted for early next year. We as a nation are running out of options to turn the trashy tide. Eventually the ultimate option may be a national permanent moratorium new movies all together.

As dark as the future seems, there is still a hint of hope for the future. The previous three Freidberg/Seltzer films (Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans) have averaged domestically over $19 million dollars in their first weeks and usually finished at number one or two. "Disaster Movie" on the other hand, finished a positive 7th place with a $6.6 million dollar domestic haul. That's a positive development we can build on, but we will need a concentrated global effort with pledges of support from our government and the governments of the world.

We must work together to eliminate these productions, if not for us than for our children and for generations beyond. Can you in good conscience bring a child into a bleak, joyless world with twice possible trice a year releases of these films? I for one look forward to that hard fought, bright day in the future when blockbuster films need not fear crude parodies by talentless hacks, where options for quality films exist past the Oscar season, where Carmen Electra is only remembered for her acclaimed work in "The Chosen One: Legend of the Raven", where we are free to laugh again.

Until that glorious day...vigilance.

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