Gladiators PSA — The Perils of the Recession!

by Dustin Freeley on February 8, 2011 · 7 comments

Here at Gladiators, we rarely try to sway public opinion; instead, we spout opinions in the hopes that discussions are fostered, movies are watched or burned, Crash is ultimately washed away from all rental queues and, at times, minor physical altercations are incited, as long as there is movie-impelled passion behind them. Fighting over anything else is just pedestrian.

However, it is important to shed light on the relevance of the current economic recession. Sure, Gladiators is a few years late offering an analysis of the current situation or any insight to maneuver through these less prosperous times, and we’ve probably dropped the ball on previous occassions, given that Slumdog Millionaire’s won in 2008 for Best Poverty Porn Film that makes us feel much better than those poor Indian kids who are having their eyes burnt out by a scalding spoon in order to garner a few extra dollars for their pimp; however, as numerous articles in The New York Times1 and Wall Street Journal suggest, the recession has come to a close and that it’s safe to begin spending money again, only this time with a bit more responsible restraint, it’s important to point out the revenue stream that has been poured into The Roommate’s pockets over the last week.

Folks, this past weekend, The Roommate – the dozenth version of 1992’s Single White Female – topped the box office, earning 15 million dollars, which suggests to me that viewers were left with little more to spend on a Friday or Saturday night than the average $7.95 1 it would cost to sit through this regurgitated film that offers sexy co-stars, baiting us with the potential of skin and sensuality but snuffs our hopes and dreams by falling in the PG-13 realm. So, maybe kids are the culprits for the February 6th – 8th Conundrum of 2011, but isn’t this indicative that their money spigots (their parents) aren’t able to dole out enough green to see two other bad movies as opposed to one aberration?

Exhibit B as to why The Roommate is a sign of the continuing recession is the number two film: Sanctum, one that was shot in 3-D, thus upping the cost of a standard movie ticket by five or six dollars to cover the cost of the cheap twenty-five cent toxic plastic byproduct glasses that will eventually make everyone cross-eyed like the Opti-Grab. Potential future epidemics aside, the reluctance of viewers to pay thirteen dollars a ticket shows a slow in overall money designated for the “weekend entertainment budget.”

Granted, January, February and March are often the months where movie viewing is a crapshoot and have offered us such classics as Wolfman and Shutter Island, but is it possible that word of mouth drove waves of adolescents away from The Rite, No Strings Attached, The King’s Speech and The Green Hornet? I understand not seeing The King’s Speech because it doesn’t scream party-night precursor, and despite Colin Firth’s amazing performance, it would come across just as powerfully on a 27” inch HBO broadcast; however, could anyone truly have justified saying to a group of friends, “I heard The Green Hornet was awful. Let’s see The Roommate instead. It’s rating 8% on Rottentomatoes!”

In all honesty, I’m not solidly sold on ratings from Rottentomatoes – they do love both Crash and The Kids Are All Right {shudder} – but anything that rates alongside Nic Cage’s Season of the Witch and Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender should send up a warning flare faster than a dinghy in the path of a battleship. That said, perhaps it is possible that viewers were drawn to this movie because they assumed it would be “so bad it would be good,” almost like Jennifer’s Body, which, while awful, still beckons a few chuckles because Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried truly believe they’re in a movie that is trying to touch on some deep-rooted theme – I don’t know: teenage angst? Neediness? Physical beauty versus intellectualism? — as opposed to marketing their semi-sensual kissing scene and the potential glimpse at Fox’s naked body emerging from the lake before she eviscerates and devours someone else.

However, The Roommate doesn’t even look remotely bad enough to be good or funny.

That said, I implore all of you to consider three things. First, please make sure that you are saving enough money during the week so you don’t walk out of a theater flagellating yourself for wasting your hard earned dough. Invest it somewhere else like a 40oz. of King Cobra – at least this would help you forget the events of the previous evening as opposed to having The Roommate burned into your retinas. Secondly, if money is still tight, watch Single White Female. Same premise, better acting. Thirdly, if you see someone purchasing a ticket to The Roommate, warn them that bad movies come in threes. So, not only will they be bringing this film closer and closer to breaking even, but most likely, they will incur two other bad films. So, $7.95 will quickly grow to $23.85, and for those of you paying attention at home, every cent counts during a recession.

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02.09.11 at 12:15 am


1 the_capital_t 02.08.11 at 3:04 pm

Yes, Virginia, bad movies do come in threes.


Good piece.

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An investment in King cobra sounds about right, similar interest rate as chase savings account…0!

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