Monday, July 27, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: The Factory

2012, Morgan O'Neill (Drift) -- Netflix

It's 2015, the Blockbusters are gone, the Netflix redboxes are gone, the corner store DVD business relies mostly on Chinatown illegal copies. The only "video stores" (I like to think that term will be used, as long as the business model lives, no matter what the media) are small, niche places catering to a select crowd. What is the next mass market model? Digital downloads, right? Sold to you by the media companies themselves, on barely capable networks supplemented by other media companies forcing you to buy the fastest, most expensive Internet speeds, in order to make it usable. Or, you have to have their "cable" service, i.e. video on demand.  Pirating? Pirating is showing a discernible decrease, as the media companies succeed in shutting down the sources -- the torrent sites. With the few who live on, you take your digital life in your hands as ads, malware and trojans dominate the sites. What is the next model? Or, what is the current model that will reach the top?

And where does the Straight to Video movie fit into this? I am from the days of renting stacks of movies on Friday nights, of wandering the shelves seeking out an interesting plot or box over, based on your genre interests. If the company had the right B or C grade actor, a decent sounding plot and familiar box art, then it got rented. There is a big difference between small, low budget indie movies by first time directors and movies that are made a certain (bad) way because it is cost effective. Not Uwe Boll bad, made for foreign markets and air flights, but tired, retread plots with boring direction, serviceable acting creating an entirely forgettable product. How are these going to be rented in the future? Video On Demand? Or like I did, flicking and flicking and flicking through the lists on Netflx, not interested in the heavy movies on My List, but just seeking some light crime fiction.

The Factory is a by the books investigation movie, as John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter hunt down a killer who takes young prostitutes on snowy nights. But never any bodies, so I am not sure how he stretches out missing persons cases long enough to be obsessed with them. He works so hard, isolating his wife and family, and never seems to be assigned any other real cases. Weird. This is where inexperienced, and downright sloppy, screenwriters come into play. He has tons of notes, your typical connected by threads board in his shed. But when he investigates, no details he has previously connected come into play. Or barely any. A long investigation must actually have something useful beyond "dark sedan". Does anyone other than cops call a car, a sedan? Anywayz, drawing a story from that real life crime where the nutcase had the girls trapped in his house for years, we add Cusack losing his daughter to said nutcase only to find out.... well, I won't spoil the surprise ending for you. You will have to suffer life I did.

And how do you like that incredibly innovative, artistic and emotive box art?