January 25, 2006
Christopher Orr at TNR bemoans the loss of what he calls the B+ movie; you know, a decent film that does not aspire to blockbuster status. I've always sensed this. I'm not a film buff in any sense of the word, but I saw Burt Lancaster in "Come Back Little Sheba" and thought how that movie could never ever be made today. It has a literary feel, solid acting from Lancaster and Shirley Booth, (spoiler!) and an unsettling and unhappy ending. Orr:
There was a time when Hollywood excelled at producing such solid but unexceptional fare--Westerns are the classic example--but no longer. These days, almost every movie needs to have a special hook, a tease, something that will make it new and different and (in theory) better. No one wants a base hit; it's all about swinging for the bleachers.
He answers his own question at the end of the piece. These "films" have gone to the small screen. He uses the example of the "Law & Order" franchise. I've always thought most Buffy/Angel/Firefly episodes to be small films more than TV shows. With the DVD distribution and syndication, the business models have likely blurred.
Posted by John Kranz at January 25, 2006 1:35 PM