'Tenet' Proves We Have To Push Blockbusters Back Until 2021
Earlier this year I wrote about one film that had me so hyped that, for a little while, it felt like it was all I needed to weather this movie-less COVID hellscape that has become our world. That film was the mind-bending Christopher Nolan film Tenet and sadly, Warner Bros has removed it from the release calendar. So get used to this trailer because it's all you'll be seeing from this movie probably until next year.
It's a bummer on par with a hard punch in the shorts, but it's the right call, and in fact, I think the lesson is clear going forward: 2020 needs to be a mulligan for blockbusters. We'll see all those beat-em-up high budget, high-concept, explosion-fests when we've got some sort of vaccine going next year or a way to sterilize movie theaters so thoroughly that COVID can't ever survive. (Probably a concentrated spray of the butter they use on popcorn.)
There's no use getting our hopes up so we might as well not make these studios rush anything. You want to release Candyman straight to VOD? Sure, do that. It's a horror movie. You can get plenty scared alone in your living room or with the significant other who you decided not to break up with for the very purpose of having someone to watch scary movies with during quarantine in the first place. The fact that they pushed back Halloween Kills to next year seems kind of dumb when the VOD option probably wouldn't have really hurt it.
You want dramatic films? Fine, release those directly to stream too. It's just a series of people talking in a series of rooms. Again, you don't need to be in theaters to endlessly hear your significant-other rave about how Timothee Chalamet has awoken something inside of them while watching The French Dispatch. In fact, that's a fight you're better off keeping to yourselves at home. AMC isn't equipped to handle the blowup when you both realize that you were better off quarantining separately.
But we've gotta keep our blockbusters as blockbusters and that means watching them in theaters when at all possible. I tried going to a drive-in movie over the weekend. The line to get in was an hour and a half long. The plan was to see Palm Springs, but by the time I got to the front they were showing Gremlins and only Gremlins. The drive-ins aren't enough is what I'm saying. What we need to do is push all the blockbusters back to even give the drive-in theaters a chance.
Will it be tough? Of course, it will be. I'll be thinking about Tenet from now until they launch the COVID fighting robots into our bloodstream. But for now, it has to be this way. Also, an idea for the next blockbuster: COVID fighting robots that they launch into our bloodstreams.
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Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures