You've likely noticed the ubiquitous poster for Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds. It features a tortured Earth being crushed in a monster alien palm. If I remember correctly, isn't The War Of The Worlds about aliens who arrive to destroy us, not the Earth? In fact, they like the Earth. It's the humans they want to blow up. Leave the Earth out of this.
I have to confess, in the world of pixels I've blown up a few planets in my day. I'm guessing filmmakers do it to get your attention. Nothing says "Look over here!" like savaging somebody's planet.
I have a small request for Hollywood: please stop blowing up our green orb. "Look, on the screen, there's our lovely planet seen from space. Isn't it small, lush, beautiful?" Then, kaboom! The Earth explodes into a trillion molten pieces. I noticed in the fall trailer for the otherwise entertaining Team America: World Police. "Wait a second. If the Earth is blown up, how come I'm still here watching this movie? Cool!"
Not to be outdone, the trailer for the more recent and very crappy Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy has the Earth flame out to Louis Armstrong singing It's A Wonderful World.
Well, not any more, apparently.
I'll laugh at pretty much anything, But for this kind of thing to be funny you have to find it absurd and unthinkable. These days I'm having a harder time with the unthinkable part.
As many have documented, we're currently destroying the Earth in pieces, so these explosions are technically not a joke, only a time-lapsed mild exaggeration. How about the slow-motion realization that we've already triggered massive climate change across the globe?
It also seems to me that it's not our joke to tell. If some alien race were making a blockbuster action movie about a ridiculous planet with silly inhabitants who blow themselves up for no good reason, then that's funny! For the aliens.
A recent UN conference in New York to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons ended in total failure. "The nuclear non-proliferation treaty is all but dead,' several major newspapers trumpeted. Excellent work, chaps.
"Okay. How about throwing in that blow-up-the-Earth shot now?"
And there's the quarterly announcement that some new terrorist group or rogue nation is polishing up its weapons of mass destruction.
"Hey, where'd you stick that planet- exploding visual, Charlie?"
But there's a more imperative reason why I'd like Hollywood to stop the pyrotechnics. If you're a movie watcher, I'm sure you've noticed the amazing blockbuster mirroring effect.
That happens when a flick comes out about, oh, let's say sharks attacking people, and suddenly reports about a ton of shark attacks are filling up the newspapers. When there's a movie about killer tornadoes, in the real world, amazingly, we have the most dramatic tornado season on record. So that's why I ask Hollywood. Please. Don't tempt the fates. You're getting us where we live.
Albert Nerenberg is the founder of Trailervision. His feature documentary Escape To Canada will be released in the fall.Albert Nerenberg is the founder of Trailervision. His feature documentary Escape To Canada will be released in the fall.