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Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

Michael Strorm

There's nothing "bizarre" about Hollywood's obsession with action-oriented comic-book superhero blockbusters over the past decade.

Why? Short answer- even allowing for the occasional flop, they make Hollywood lots of money. End of story.

Despite its navel-gazing self-romanticisation, that's what Hollywood at the top level's always been about, not art. If two hours of a turd overdubbed by PewDiePie made more money than "Spiderman Re-Rebooted VII", they'd jump on that franchise. (*)

Hollywood studios' management have always been a bunch of creatively bankrupt f**ks that see something making money, then jump on the bandwagon and milk it. They won't stop doing this until it's blatantly obvious that this particular bandwagon, er... cow is dead and even decomposing, i.e. no longer making money. The Comic Book Cow is still alive and well, however.

Superhero movies suit Hollywood because they're focused on "properties" (*) which are more easy to control than star actors who have a tendency to ask for lots of money after a while and often end up featuring in films that flop regardless of their presence.

Their spectacle-focused nature and easily-understood characters painted in bright, primary colours (literally and metaphorically) over subtle dialogue and character development is suited to the increasing reliance on "international" (read 'non-US') markets- *especially* China- where the former type of movie is more likely to work in markets where the audience has little or no English.

This last point is why anyone who dislikes the current trend of Michael Bay style films (i.e. primarily a disjointed mess of noisy explosions and cluttered action) shouldn't hold their breath expecting it to get better. If anything, it's likely to get worse. Hollywood sees big money in China... and as noted, that's all it comes down to.

(*) Note how widespread the use of the (originally) business-oriented term "franchise" has become when discussing these "properties" (there's another one) in cultural and artistic terms. Whether it started out as pretentious- and intentional- aping of Hollywood-speak by wannabe critics who didn't realise it reflected not the "show" but the "business", or it simply reflects how Hollywood's underlying mentality has ultimately rubbed off on popular culture... its use is nevertheless appropriate. Spiderman et al *are* business "franchises" and business "properties".

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