This documentary really had the potential to have been a lot more interesting and inclusive, but instead it ended up rather formulaic, shallow, easily-predictable, and forgettable. The premise is to examine just what makes a Hollywood blockbuster vs. what makes a major flop, and the often fine line between the two. I fully understand that with only about 75 minutes, there's not enough time to get into every single prime example of both of these types of movies, but the producers and writers really seemed to have left out some obvious examples of horrible failures, such as 'Gigli,' and 'Battlefield Earth,' movies that would have easily given the commentators ample material for dissection and mockery. On the whole it comes across as little more than some glorified clipshow with a bunch of talking heads, all of whom are spouting the usual clichéd lines like "There are no rules" and "There's a fine line between success and failure." Additionally, a lot of the facts mentioned are already common knowledge, such as all of the anecdotes about the making of 'Jaws.' There aren't a lot of new or groundbreaking information or insights contained in this shallow documentary, which also features a lot of big names instead of some lesser-known Hollywood players. Having some people who aren't big names would have given it a more balanced view and provided a bigger variety of insights. It's kind of ironic how Richard Dreyfuss is interviewed in his makeup for 'The Poseidon Adventure,' which ended up flopping big-time.
Based on the description of this documentary, I had also been expecting far more of a historical perspective, if not necessarily in linear format. That was probably far too much to hope for, given Hollywood and America's rampant cultural and historical amnesia. How many film clips did we even see from before the Sixties? It would have been more balanced had they started out talking about hits and flops from early movie history and then moving forward in time, instead of focusing just about entirely on the last 35 years or so. This kind of thing only further serves to reinforce the popular opinion that no one is interested in movies from that long ago anyway and that only ones from the last few decades even count.
This documentary is interesting to watch once, but overall it's nothing I'd recommend actually purchasing. It's just too devoid of substance and new or thought-provoking insights and information.