Is Being "Formulaic" a Bad Thing?

It isn't surprising that articles about film in the Los Angeles Times often express prejudices that rub film sleepy-makers the wrong way. When we're awake long enough to read them.

With Patrick Goldstein's column Cue the sequel, and the safe, boring route, however, we can see both sides. We empathize, naturally, with moviegoers like Goldstein who resent this season's action picture being barely distinguishable from pictures with the same stars and the same directors who were making basically the same movie for the last decade or more.

But that doesn't mean we agree with him. That would be setting off down the slippery slope of encouraging film sleepy directors to grow as artists to the point of making other kinds of films. Say...ones that keep the audience awake. Which would be a big mistake. When an audience goes to see a movie hoping it will put them to sleep, same old/same old is a good thing.


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