The accusation has been made that DVD has led to an increase in the number of mindless action movies coming out of Hollywood. The reasoning goes something like this: The studios now make a significant portion of their money on DVD sales. Since mindless action movies tend to sell better on DVD, more of the movies put out by Hollywood fall into that category. I suppose first we have to accept the assumption that a higher ratio of movies coming out of Hollywood now fall into the action movie category. I have no figures to support that, but if it's not true then we don't have much of a discussion, do we? I actually think this accusation is partially true, but it ignores other market forces that also promote mindless action movies. I think it's partly true because I myself have been watching a lot more mindless action movies ever since getting into DVD. After all, I want movies that really show off what the 5.1 surround can do. Before I got a DVD player, I did watch action movies but not anywhere near as often as I do now. In fact as a teenager, I held action movies with a certain amount of contempt. Of course, I don't think this is the whole reason action movies are more common these days. It seems to me that movie studios take in more and more money from the international market. I'm no expert, but I have to imagine that mindless action movies can surmount cultural barriers more easily than other film formats which can involve a lot of subtleties and culture-specific elements. Comedy for instance can be made "universal" enough that it seems funny to a large percentage of cultures, but there's always going to be cultures to which a given joke doesn't translate. Besides, broadening the cultural appeal of comedy often requires dumbing it down to mere physical slapstick (Jackie Chan, for example... I love the guy, but you can't deny his Buster Keaton influences). Dramas involve even more culture-specific nuances that might fail to impress across cultural divides. But action movies? Hey, nearly everyone understands violence, and more importantly understands it in the same way. Don't get me wrong, I like the occasional mindless action movie as much as the next guy, but the more I think about it, the more I would rather they made up a smaller percentage of Hollywood's output. There's a lot to be said for a well-made medium budget (or even low budget) movie.