DOG: Listening to the Kermode and Mayo film programme on Radio 5 last week, I was struck by an email from a listener that was read out during the top ten box office countdown. This email was in response to the general critical thumping that Johnny English Reborn, the UK’s number one movie, had taken. And the correspondent had a great point.
Whether you like Johnny English Reborn or not, this was an increasingly unusual film. A PG-rated movie, that’s been targeted with a full family audience in mind. As the email went on to say, the film was a rare beast. The writer of the mail explained that he and his wife had two children, aged nine and six, and that it’s very difficult – outside of DreamWorks and Pixar animated fare – to find a film that they can all enjoy together. And whilst Johnny English Reborn was no classic, it fitted that criteria.
You have several issues leading to this
-Family movies like that don't break the bank. If a studio has to choose between a slightly sexual shot in Transformers, or turning it into mr Poppers Penguins....well the first side will make you almost a billion dollars, the second will be lucky to break 100 million.
-I COMPLETELY Agree with your point you make later on. Where are the goonies etc...I have been saying this for a long time, movies today feel lackluster. Its a bunch of action sequences with a story somewhere deep down. There are no "classics" in regards to a good overall movie. (yes you can dive into details and find a few) but not a lot, and will those movies stack up to real classics? Probably not. Hollywood has simply lost its way, and because of the lower grade movies filling up the theaters every week, people think slightly good is AWESOME. Its like that old joke, a skinny ugly girl in a group of fat uglier friends makes her look WAY better than normal. And no I'm not saying "todays movies all SUCK!" I'm saying why can't Hollywood make the right formula anymore? For example The Walking Dead would lose its "survival" formula and be ALL about killing zombies if Hollywood got its hands on it first.
-Lastly you have those "parents" that make a big deal about everything. "Oh they made a masturbating joke in Transformers, dont let your kids see this its horrible!" Really? Transformers is one of my brothers favorite movies and he is 6 and guess what? He didn't even pick up on the joke because he is too young to figure it out. What I'm saying is studios could try to achieve this "family" PG rating, but its hard. You have to go through so many tests. I mean when was the last time we saw a G rated movie? Even cartoons don't get that rating anymore. Look at it this way, if the OLD Looney Tunes were made today, these parents would get it cancelled after the first episode.
Good article btw