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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Something rotten in the state of Georgia?

Its called Show Business for a reason

In its 2012 "Year in Review," the Georgia Department of Economic Development reports that "FY12 saw record investment in the state by the entertainment industry, with more than $879.8 million in direct spending. The total economic impact of the 333 feature films, TV movies, TV series, commercials, and music videos that filmed in Georgia was $3.1 Billion, a 29 percent increase from FY11."

The report lists an index of all the registered tax-incentive qualifying projects. While many of the FY12 films will be hitting the screen next year, a handful have already opened.

With news that Tyler Perry's Single Mom's Club is now shooting, and as Billy Crystal shamelessly pimps the forthcoming release of Georgia-lensed Parental Guidance, even going so far as to engage in Goyish traditions like lighting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, it occurred to me that despite all the pomp and circumstance, there's something a little bit off.

While the productions create jobs and generate significant economic impact, the films themselves leave something to be desired.

In fact, with a few notable exceptions, the movies being produced in Georgia are not especially good. They are not exactly something we can all be proud of.

There, I said it.

While we celebrate their economic impact, do films like Three Stooges and What to Expect When You're Expecting make an overall negative cultural impact?

To test the theory, I took the GDEcD's list of films shot in Georgia from FY12 and FY11, and cross- referenced those that opened with the critical responses on Rotten Tomatoes.

Of the 14 qualifying films, only 3 scored in the "Fresh" range, with Steven Soderbergh's Contagion leading the pack at 84%, and Shia Labeouf's Lawless getting by with a 68%.

What follows is the index, followed by the score:

Madea's Witness Protection 21%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/madeas_witness_protection/

Trouble with the Curve 53%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/trouble_with_the_curve/

*Flight 77%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/flight_2012/

Joyful Noise 34%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/joyful_noise_2011/

The Watch 17%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_watch_2012/

Three Stooges 52%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1205530-three_stooges/

*Contagion 84%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/contagion_2011/

Odd Life of Timothy Green 39%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_odd_life_of_timothy_green/

American Reunion 43%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/american_reunion_2012/

Goats 20%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/goats/

The Collection 44%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_collection_2012/

What to Expect When You're Expecting 22%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/what_to_expect_when_youre_expecting/

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds 32%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/tyler_perrys_good_deeds/

*Lawless 68%
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/lawless_2012/

The average "Tomatometer" score for all 14 features is 43%, placing Georgia productions deep in the rotten camp. (606/14)

Given the extent to which it appears our productions are "polluting" the cultural landscape, I can't help but wonder if - even on the karmic level - there isn't some sort of cultural carbon offset credit?

If so, how many Blind Side's or Contagion's does it take to offset Tyler Perry's oeuvre?

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