Sunday, July 24, 2011

For The Greater Good

"The Greater Good" - an intellectuals most fascinating dilemma. Can one wholly remove an aspect of its society in order to generate wide spread improvement? Or indeed, should one? It's a complex argument that philosophers have hypothesized, analyzed, and debated for centuries. It's allure to those with the avidity for power and the sanctification of society is unmatched. So much so that it has enchanted some of our greatest thinkers, not to mention one of the most powerful Wizards of all time (that's right, I just dropped a Dumbledore book reference on you).

So now we take this task to movies. Their ability to influence and interweave within one another is quite astounding when you think about, which I believe makes them a perfect medium through which one can tackle this question. What would happen if we were to remove a single film from history? Our own choice for our own reasons, with the goal being the betterment of film on the whole? So I asked you, my lovely fellow bloggers to join me in taking on the challenge. To immerse ourselves in a world without a particular film and see how things turn out. For my own part, I think the results are rather interesting.

1. What film would I destroy? The basis of the entire argument. What film would I eliminate from history? I have to be honest, I've thought long and hard about this and it's not an easy choice. Every action has consequences, some good, some bad, and a few that are a little bit of both. So with that in mind I decided to go for the cheap shot and take down a film that ignited years of frustration and redundancy in my middle school era - James Cameron's 1997 Blockbuster TITANIC.

2. The Intended Outcome: Beyond the time I would have gotten back from all the girls out my school talking about the film incessantly for all that time (gah, I swear how many times do movies have to steal the "I'm King of the World" line?), I think the most intended outcome would be the ripple affect throughout cinema. Without Titanic, L.A. Confidential would be geared to battle it out with Good Will Hunting for the Oscar take down. Catapulting the careers of all those involved. The movie Pearl Harbor would never be made, saving us all three hours of Michael Bay excruciatingly trying to direct acting through a painfully placid love triangle. This move would also free Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet to begin their journey through independent and arthouse blockbusters far sooner than one would have ever dreamed of - earning their Oscars and praise along the way. James Cameron would be remembered for his work on Aliens and the Terminator series rather than the obsessive narcissism that he's become known for now with Titanic and Avatar taking the blunt force of his fame. Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On is also never made... for the betterment of all I think. Not to mention the added bonus of Billy Zane now being free to star in The Phantom 2 - hey, a kid can dream can't he?

3. The Actual Result: Here comes the tricky part. What would actually happen? In all honesty, I think it wouldn't have been all that pretty. With L.A. Confidential rising to the forefront, Russell Crowe gets pegged as Hollywood's next big star a few years earlier than anticipated and the screenplay to Gladiator gets lost in the pile of other offers. Matt Damon becomes Hollywood's new pretty boy, and begins the journey through as many romances as he can, a move that eventually spirals him out of contention for The Bourne Identity, which fails after having hired Damon's longtime friend Ben Affleck to star. Without Pearl Harbor Michael Bay ends up making Armageddon 2 - widely considered by critics to be the worst movie of all time... it breaks all box office records and Michael Bay becomes more powerful than ever. Billy Zane ends up becoming a feature star in second rate off Broadway plays. Kate Winslet struggles to get her career going and ends up mucking around in unseen direct to DVD films for nearly a decade before she finally breaks through playing Meryl Streep's distraught daughter in a 2007 epic. Leo's relationship with Scorsese is never established and he ends up limping after The Man in the Iron Mask calls into question his bank ability as a star. He eventually finds steady work as a somber cop with a dark past in a mid-2000's TV show. James Cameron tries to get his lifelong dream project about blue aliens off the ground, but is never able to find the funding for it. He eventually settles for directing Terminator 3, which stalls at the box office leaving him to seek out 'safe' films to fall back on, eventually taking the directing role of Transformers, following Michael Bay's decision that the series is beneath him. On the plus side, Celine Dion's journey to being hidden away in Las Vegas is expedited, saving us all any more ballads of hers. Bill Paxton, on the other hand... well he's Bill Paxton of course he's fine. The man is cinematically invincible!

So there you have it. The world without Titanic. Not exactly the most chipper, but I'm sure there would be plenty of alternate bright spots for us to brag about! Like the fact that Kate Winslet would have never made The Holiday and none of us would have to swallow the thought of her and Jack Black together. See, all better now.

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out all the other entries:

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5 better thoughts:

Anonymous said...

Hah, instantly thought of the Dumbledore/Grindewald storyline.

I would've camped outside the theater for Phantom 2.

Bernard Hill never becomes Theoden, and the Return of the King is never released after The Two Towers disappoints.

Red said...

Hah, instantly thought of the Dumbledore/Grindewald storyline.

I would've camped outside the theater for Phantom 2.

Bernard Hill never becomes Theoden, and the Return of the King is never released after The Two Towers disappoints.

Brittani Burnham said...

Here's mine:

I was a word off on my link when I emailed you. Dang.

Dan said...

Thanks for putting this together. I really enjoyed your entry and I had a blast putting mine together.

simoncolumb said...

i orginally though your verdict on TITANIC was exceptionally harsh as I do like the film but your indsutry-based arguments stand tall. Maybe the arrogance of AVATAR would never have happenedc either...

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