There is no evident love of movies in this lineup, or even just joy in creative risk. Only a dread of losing. ... Optimists usually say lighten up, because, after all, good movies always find a way to get through. But here’s the thing: They don’t. The evidence that good movies survive is the fact that every year brings good movies, which is a bit like saying that climate change is a hoax because it’s nice out today. Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort.
The truly cynical part of me thinks of this as one of the consequences of a culture that doesn't know what it wants, and so will settle for whatever it's given. We don't know what we want, so we leave it to people who are far more ambitious, searching, and driven than we are to provide it for us. Whether or not it's better that way is something I have to leave for another essay, but my point is that there are consequences to not knowing what we really want.