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Dear Hollywood: Listen to Your Fearless Critics … or Else

Industry must consider contrarian views before another can’t-miss film misses

Team China just gave Hollywood an earful.

A Chinese propaganda outlet savaged the U.S. film industry for the failure of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” in China and fears that Hollywood’s best days are behind it.

The fifth film in the saga hauled in just $2.3 million in its opening frame, one of many recent box office disappointments.

The prose is withering and blended with anti-U.S. sentiment. Yet, to be fair, the Global Times article has a point.

“Hollywood blockbusters, especially those released after the pandemic, have visibly declined in quality. Beneath the flashy special effects, the dated universality of the US’ prevailing values is becoming more apparent … as Hollywood becomes increasingly out of touch and indulges in ‘political correctness’ without knowing when to stop, classic IPs must be squeezed bone-dry before they are discarded.”

Chinese-based writers have an agenda, of course. Diminish U.S.-based content and promote state-controlled filmmaking which brims with pro-China lectures.

Hollywood should still give the commentary a look. Then, once the industry catches its breath, start watching videos from some of its most ardent, stateside critics (and their subscriber counts).

  • Nerdrotic (784K)
  • The Quartering (1.56M)
  • Pop Culture Crisis (64K)
  • The Critical Drinker (1.72 M)
  • Film Threat (83K)
  • Call Me Chato (106K)

These YouTube (and Rumble) creators hammer new Hollywood content early and often. They do so with vigor, shredding stories with overtly woke narratives and studio types who insult them.

Remember director James Mangold’s reaction to rumors that “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” ditches its hero for an empowered Mary Sue type (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)?

These channels also share smart, sober reasons why various films and shows fail to engage the audience. This Critical Drinker video brims with his signature snark, but he methodically breaks down why “Dial of Destiny” disappointed audiences.

“The antagonists are incompetent and comically useless … [Mikkelsen’s Voller] comes across as a complete non-entity who never comes across as even remotely threatening or interesting. Mikkelsen’s a great actor, but any actor is only as good as the script they have to work with.”

And that’s one of his more gentle barbs.

“How is it possible for a studio to hate the very characters that allow them to exist in the first place?” the Drinker asks after describing the Indy of “Destiny” as old, sad, worn out and clueless.

Is Drinker over-the-top in his approach? Perhaps. Is he wrong? Hardly.

Indiana Jones And The Destruction Of Legacy

Yet Hollywood’s blinkered status likely keeps the views far away from the people that matter most. The creators and the suits who write their paychecks.

Are they consuming these entertaining videos? Agreeing to disagree on core points made within?

If not, why not?

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Did anyone in the room that approved the “Dial of Destiny” trailer raise a hand and ask if insulting capitalism is a smart way to promote a $300 million movie?

If not, why not?

Creators can insert any kind of message they wish in a film, but surely someone understood sticking that line in the trailer could work against the film’s best interests?

Disney, in particular, should be begging employees to binge watch some, if not all, of those YouTube creators for a month and take notes.

As is, the studio will lose millions with “Dial of Destiny,” which under-performed in the U.S. and around the world. The film’s minuscule Chinese box office figures dashed any hopes the overseas tally might save the day.

The aforementioned creators aren’t frustrated conservatives lashing out at “lib’ral” Hollywood. Some of these creators are either Libertarian or apolitical. They’re movie fans, nerds even and, in the case of Chato, a former TV executive willing to call out Hollywood for its mistakes.

RELATED: GINA CARANO: DISNEY BASICALLY PUT MY LIFE IN DANGER

Conservatives understandably bristle at an industry promoting diversity and hard-Left messages at every turn. Most consumers reject tearing down iconic characters like Luke Skywalker and, now, Dr. Indiana Jones.

We’re seeing more unforced errors across the board, and it’s often tied to woke overreach. The recent “Grease” prequel series got canceled and memory-holed in record time. Disney+ sank millions into its teen sci-fi drama “Crater” only to yank it, and its progressive messaging, weeks later.

You don’t have to be conservative to reject woke storytelling. Just ask Bill Maher.

The problem isn’t restricted to Disney, of course, but the Mouse House’s failures get the most attention. Meanwhile, we’re left with two of the can’t miss summer blockbusters – “The Flash” and “Dial of Destiny” – fighting to see which one will cost its studio more millions.

Fans have been demanding Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s professional scalp for some time, using her as a symbol for Disney’s current malaise. The bigger problem is clear. Hollywood suits aren’t listening to the American movie-going public.

And they should.

Not only would they diversify their storytelling efforts but shield themselves from a cold reality. Audiences increasingly reject even “sure things” at the cineplex, and China can no longer save their fannies at the box office. 

In fact, China might pour salt on their fiscal wounds instead.

26 Comments

  1. Disney got a point. Capitalism is stealing our money. I’m not going to let Disney steal my money with crap movies and lame theme parks.

    1. Wrong!, That’s what Socialism actually is, not Capitalism, Capitalism creates jobs and value for customers

      Do your economic research

      1. Your sarcasm detector needs to be taken into the shop, This One. PP’s comment was so saturated with (spot on) sarcasm that it could’ve qualified as a superfund clean-up site.

        1. Oh, I’m sorry sir, I couldn’t tell it was sarcasm whatsoever, I deeply apologize- I DON’T CARE

  2. These YouTubers are circle jerking themselves. None of them offer a point of view different from the other. It is an echo chamber. I am not a fan of woke politics either but this “every bed has a woke boogie man under it” is exhausting and ridiculous. The lesbian kiss in Lightyear was so overblown that you had thought it was an orgy.

    1. It’s an orgy in a kid’s movie. What a disgrace you are. If you think Lightyear should turn a profit, Lesbian kiss isn’t how to do it.

    2. Can you provide us an example of your “boogey-man” claims? What’s an example where the YouTube critics were lock-step in agreement about ideology-over-story but were wrong? Please back up your assertion instead of just making it and ejecting. Thanks!

    3. You see it as a small thing. Parents see it as a cascading affect. There is only X parts per billion fluoride in water but add that to the thousands of other chemicals we consume on a daily basis with only X parts per billion and what you end with are boys thinking they are girls and screaming psychotics with a gun in schools.

    1. Except they’re not the same nationalities. Might as well throw in Canadian Chato too, if we’re going to blenderize this. 😉

  3. I worked with a guy that was an x-college teacher. We road together 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, so you can imagine we talked most anything and everything. I was young, was maybe 15 years older than me and the subject of learning came up often. My take on life was that anyone with the right teacher could learn, his was the opposite. He said “there are those will not learn, who no matter the effort put forth will never learn. I’m old now and in my years I’ve come to believe in the Hebrew God YeHoVaH and His son, that his parents, his mother and his step father were mandated from heaven to call his name Yeshua because yoshia (Hebrew word pun) there are those who call themselves by the the slur that the pharasaic jews named them (christians) who believe his name is Jesus. I believe the Torah is universal, forever and always. The rules and regulations (the commandments of men were the reason that he was always up in the face of the leaders, who through their traditions had – as the Christian denominations do today – made rules and regulations to capture men for easy fleecing.
    The Torah states that humility – humbleness is required to truly learn anything and that the more someone believes they know it all the less they know. Sure any one can learn the hard sciences but true knowledge that leads to wisdom always requires one to be humble.

    1. Couldn’t resist sharing this: my firm belief is that Jesus of Nazareth, were he to come to Earth now, would NOT support a great many of the beliefs most Christians hold today, particularly the widespread notion that he, himself, was to be worshipped as some sort of false idol. He preached often that priests and temples (which would be our pastors and churches today) were NOT REQUIRED for one to know his God, WHO IS LOVE IN ALL IT’S INFINITE FORMS AND FORMLESS.

      Hopefully I didn’t offend by riding on the coat-tails of your post, and I emphatically agree with the bulk of it. (And apologies to the rest for the off-topic conversation).

      GOD BLESS YOU!

  4. Christian Toto mosses the point that just as Chinese media is used by the state to propagandize, this is now Hollywoods purpose. Deep government pockets could care less if their propaganda makes a profit. Hollywood no no longer has a purpose to entertain, it’s new role is to propagandize.

  5. Ironic that the Chinese are lecturing us about prapagandistic films, when every movie coming from China is a propaganda piece for the CCP.

  6. The destruction of America for the Socialist Democrats One World Order. BlackRock, who faced intense backlash for championing ESG, Disney is going bankrupt as no one wants its Woke message. Guess who is its largest investor? On FEB. 07 ‘21, Disney hit $197, today it is in the $80’s. He says he’s ‘ashamed’, CEO Larry Fink did not say he would stop. Most major studios have seen the end and have gotten rid of their Diversity Officers for talent.

  7. An aging actor that obviously could never physically pull off the CGI scenes, another know-it-all female protagonist, and it’s all coming from Lucasfilm, you know, the entertainment heads that actually kickstarted editing old movies to be more woke.

    With all that going for it, what could possibly go wrong?

  8. You claim to be “christian” with the smallest (c) I could find on my keyboard and you feature a review by some guy who just BLASPHEMES THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST . Now, I know your faith is fake as CNN’s news , since I know that you NEVER did this Acts 2:38 and that this Acts 2:4 has never happened anywhere NEAR you in your misbegotten life, but for your fellow fake christians who busily scrutinize the COLOR of FICTIONAL CHARACTERS, please explain to THEM your PROMOTION of this blasphemous filth!

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