Wednesday, July 24, 2013

O beautiful for spacious skies

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are starring in a new movie called “2 Guns.”

All of the advertising for the film shows our two heroes, back to back, firing their ready pistols while dollar bills rain down upon them.

This is no doubt a crucial plot line, but does it also tell us a lot about the actors and the makers of the film?

Washington and Wahlberg are both genuine movies stars, bankable and beloved by their fans. Washington also happens to be a gifted and serious actor who studied for years at ACT in San Francisco. Wahlberg was a rocker, until Penny Marshal of Laverne and Shirley fame spotted him and told him he ought to be in the movies. That’s where he’s been ever since.

My concern is this. 

In the current climate of gun debate in the United States, only weeks after the end of the Zimmerman-Martin trial and in the same decade as several mad mass public murders, how can anyone of conscience peddle this drek, take money for it and call it entertainment. The title says it all. Guns are good. Guns are fun. Guns are the right solution to problems. Did the NRA sponsor this idiocy?

Whatever I may have thought of Washington (considerable) and Wahlberg (not much, lucky dope) before this celluloid poop, I now think a lot less.

Acting – even for big movie stars, often especially for big movie stars – is a precarious business at best. You may live at the top of Mulhullond Drive and you will still wonder where your next pay cheque is coming from.

Nevertheless... do these folks live entirely in a bubble? Do they not read the papers or watch the six o’clock news?

Can they be citizens or men of conscience?

Apparently not.

3 comments:

Drew said...

At the end of the day, it's the public that decides whether movies like this are made. So long as people pay to see this, and pictures like Fast and Furious, the James Bond series and any other "action", shoot-em-up, corpse-and-robbers film, producers will crank them out.

Of course -- and I think this is your point -- if high-profile actors started saying, "I will not lend my name to this kind of entertainment", that might be a wakeup call to the public, too.

One piece of encouraging news, though: three big-money blockbuster movies, with lots of hype to go with the guns and explosions and eye-for-an-eye "justice" (which is alright, so long as the good guys are doing it), have stiffed at the box office, while the innocuous "Despicable Me 2" packed them in.

Maybe that's the message from the public that we've been praying to see.

Bentley said...

David,

Your commentary is very important and 100% right! It is high-time that celebrities be held accountable for the destructive impact their choices/actions (i.e. films, songs, attitudes) have on our culture. It is dreadful. Far too many people grab hold of boatloads of cash for terribly harmful trash and morally bankrupt, destructive images, recordings and simulations. Then, they divorce themselves from the harm they cause, by declaring: it's just a movie, it's just a TV show, I didn't write it. Exposing the linkage is the only way we will survive. Most of today's movies 'stars' are glib and guilty of harming society. Yes, the patrons of such films and TV shows fuel the fire, but the film creators ignite the mess in the first place. BENTLEY

Anonymous said...

avid , nice to see a straight up opinion on Hollywood. I have family living in Alabama and the stuff going on in the urban centers makes all the movie shootemup seem tame. I get the point and God knows the US needs to start to clean up its act but if the public doesnt show up at the box office then the actors wont need to get a concience.

Good luck to the USA as they are on the verge of a major meltdown.
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