2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An old man pines the past,
This review is from: Do the Movies Have a Future? (Hardcover)
This whole book can be summed up very simply, "Things were better in the old days!" Denby wrote a book (really just a collection of his New Yorker reviews) that has one main theme: movies are on an inexorable downward spiral, along with a secondary theme bitching about the loss of critics.
He's right, to a point. Original movies not based on a pre-sold properties have trouble in the marketplace. This isn't because of the loss of critics, but because movies are just another form of entertainment in this vast attention-based ecosystem we are living in.
And movies aren't an art form; they are a business run by giant corporations who only care about their bottom-line. And corporations don't really like art, because it is too unreliable. That's why pre-sold franchises are so popular with Hollywood studios (x production budget + y publicity&advertising = z profit.) Due to the democratization of video production, this business model may change in the very-near future.
He has some interesting insights in the Judd Apatow slacker-striver genre, but Denby's grating nostalgia was too much for me.