“In such a crowded marketplace, being able to break through the clutter is half the battle,” he says. “Sequels, already branded, make it that much easier to break through that clutter with a title that is already familiar to consumers.”

Anyone still wondering what’s wrong with Hollywood would do well to look at this studio chief’s statement. They’re no longer movie makers, they’re marketers. This explains the explosion of sequels (remember the heady days when the third installment was always the last one?) and profusion of focus-group dictated movies that represents today’s movie industry.

I have a soft spot for fun and/or exciting films (witness my recent review of Hot Fuzz). I just ask that my entertainment come with a dash of originality or wit, instead of the bloated mush and retread sentimentality that is usually proferred for my hard earned $15. I’m often accused of being a movie snob because of my disdain for this mindless dreck. Normally I’d deny this, but if the price is paying to see Saw IV or claiming to enjoy Spiderman LCVIII, “snob” is a badge I’ll wear proudly.

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