Rob Cohen gives props to action films

'XXX' director tells NAB the genre deserves more 'respect'

LAS VEGAS -- Director Rob Cohen defended the action film during a session Tuesday at the NAB Show and also shared his views on marketing and theatrical exhibition.

"Why don't action films get the respect they deserve? They have their own language and aesthetic makeup, and they contributed enormously to the development of the motion picture," said Cohen, who has helmed such films as "XXX," "The Fast and the Furious" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor."

He noted that many of the biggest boxoffice successes have been action films and that the genre helped to make film a cultural force and largely has been responsible technological innovation.

"Computer-generated imagery has almost totally come out of action/fantasy, and it has totally changed the way we think about what we do," Cohen said.

Looking to continued innovation, he added that "3-D is going to be another dimension to explore ... if they figure out who is going to pay for the glasses."

He also chided the modern trailer, saying: "In contemporary marketing, there is no mystery built around a movie because it has to succeed on its opening weekend. They cut a trailer so that you don't need to go to the movie because you feel like you've seen it. And they do it with comedies as well, and it is more deadly with comedies than with action."

On exhibition, Cohen said he sees many theaters where the audio and visual exhibition technology is not maintained.

"I think that is one of our biggest problems in theatrical exhibition," he said. "I spend so much time on the visual and audio presentation of a movie. ... It's maddening. You look at a Blu-ray Disc on the average home system with 5.1 sound, and you think it's better to wait and see it at home."
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