There’s probably a better joke to be had making fun of either Saw III or Babel. But frankly, I couldn’t muster the creative juices because I couldn’t bring myself to care about either film.

Saw III comes out this weekend and it’s more of the same Rube Goldberg torture devices, excessive gore and puppetry. It’s astonishing to me that they’ve made a new Saw film every year since the first one came out in 2004. At first, the success of Saw indicated that you could have a huge hit filmed for very little money and I was impressed by it’s efficiency.  But now, Hollywood knows a deal when they see one and it’s become part of the machine, so to speak. They can keep churning out Saw films for next to no money and keep raking in huge box office. It’s difficult not to be jaded about the whole thing.

Although I am not a fan of horror, Saw should have been right up my alley. I appreciate the complexity of the death traps and can realate more with a killer who views his victims to be as stupid and selfish as the audience does. This, as oppose to the usual slasher flick where the killer is pretty much killing because that’s what the script demands. At least here they are miming some kind of psychological profile.

But at the same time, I view horror as one of the most disposable of genres. For every original movie Pyscho, Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th movie (and yes, even Saw), it’s only a matter of time before it’s dilluted into celluloid mush. Studios can crank out dozens of films at no cost because they can hire no-name actors for victims. You see what happens when they cast famous people. Since we’ve already identified with them as an audience for their exploits, the never get offed. There’s nothing at stake and no thrills. So studios have learned to keep it cheap, keep it low to the ground and keep raking in the big bucks.

It’s a little insulting to you as a viewer, if you think about it. Essentially it says, "You’re not worth creating something that was more thought out."

Babel, on the other hand, seems to be death by introspection. While the concept of communication, the barriers to achieve it or the complete lack thereof is interesting conceptually, I have no interest in watching Brad Pitt and his stubble sweat it out in Morocco for two hours while Kate Blanchett cashes another check for depicting a woman bleeding out in a hut. It looks ponderously slow and IMPORTANT (!) and boring as all hell.

I’m fine with movies that make you think, but at the risk of sounding ignorant, I’m not a big fan of films set in the Third World. I don’t know if it’s because of the poverty they represent or just the phyical locations. But something about them just makes me uncomfortable. They never look like a place you would want to visit for 20 minutes let alone 2 hours. That dry, parched sensation. The grime. It’s unsettling. That’s probably the point, but if you’re going to try and teach me about the difference between the haves and have-nots… well, there’s no way for me to get out of this statement without sounding like a complete fool.

The more I think about it, I think it’s just the desert locations. The barren nothingness. Truthfully, the scenes on Tatooine in the Star Wars movies are some of my least favorite for the same reason. Maybe I’m just turned off by hot temperatures?

At any rate, that’s all I have for today. Don’t forget that copies of "Theater Hopper: Year Two" arrived early and are in my hot little hands as we speak. Cami and I are doing our best to fill out envelopes and send off all the pre-orders before we go to Wizard World Texas on November 9. So if you’d like a copy for yourself, don’t hesitate to order!

Have a great weekend!