Has Hollywood run out of new Ideas? I am serious. When was the last time you went to see a good, original movie? When have you seen one that has not been a sequel, a remake or re-release of a classic or foreign film, or a movie that was so bad that the studios had to promote it to death to convince you to like it?
Recently the new craze for studios to create revenue without paying actors is to re-release movies in 3-D. Now they are conning people into spending $20 to see a 15-year-old movie like Titanic and the $20 doesn’t even include the popcorn. Titanic was a great movie when it was released the first time, but does anyone really need to see the big boat sink again just because it is in 3-D? I do not! When it first came out, it was promoted and exploited so much that people were sick of it and many comedies parodied it to death. So much so, DiCaprio and Winslet have distanced themselves from this release. I am sure that Celine Dion probably hates that song by now as well.
Remakes of old movies are also a new popular thing to do now. Admittedly, I have like some of them such as Rob Zombie’s interpretation of the Halloween horror flicks. Most film buffs would rather stick to the originals, but when you have no concepts of your own, that is one the way to go. Just hire new actors and update the settings and again you dupe people into watching something that has already been done and seen before. This is now being done with foreign films as well. If a foreign film is successful in it’s native land, Hollywood will just remake it here in english and they avoid the cost of having a pesky writer come up with anything new and original, case in point with The Girl with the Dragon tattoo. If it wasn’t for the gratuitous sex I probably would have fell asleep 20 minutes in. Judging by many films these days, they are out of thoughts anyways, unless it is one of those artsy independent films. Those are somewhat original but usually they bore you to sleep and the only reason you stay to watch the whole thing is because you just spent two hours worth of pay for the ticket.
Sequels have always been a popular way to go as well. Can’t come up with an original thought? Just wring every ounce of revenue out of the same tired idea you did in the last movie, they can usually get a good two or three movies without having to use a brain cell and boring the audience to tears. Even after getting a “Razzie” ( worst movie of the year) for their sequel, the Transformers movies still got funding to become a trilogy. Let us not forget the re-releases of the “Director’s Cut.” Wouldn’t all versions of a film be a Directors cut considering he or she is the one that cuts all versions? That tactic kind of reminds me of the college professor that rearranges chapters of the textbook he wrote in order to make people buy a new version every couple of semesters.
Also, if you are going to make a movie with a bunch of special effects, please spend the extra money and make it look real and keep the CGI out until you can make it look at least passibly realistic. When watching a CGI explosion doesn’t it seem odd to anyone else that films made in the 70s and 80s look much more real than today’s crap. The technology hasn’t quite caught up so keep working at it and put it in when it is perfected.
I recently saw the film Hunger Games. To my surprise I really liked it. It was an entertaining movie with a good plot and original ideas…or was it. Although I enjoyed this movie more than most movies that I have seen in recent years, I felt as though this movie was more of a collage of other movies and literature that already exists. The futuristic, post-apocalyptic society is a slightly altered version of Orwell’s 1984. The main characters enter the city and get their make-overs, which is remarkably like Dorothy’s entrance and reception to Oz in The Wizard of Oz. The games themselves often take on the feel of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies . Lastly, the closing scenes were almost a happy-ending version of the dismal finale of Romeo and Juliet. It is still a recommendable movie (I haven’t read the books, admittedly) and I would pay to see the sequel when it undoubtably will come. Did I mention all of those links are books that were made into movies and a few have been remade? Well, Maybe it will put a nail in the coffin of those horrible Twilight movies.
There is also way too much hype and promotion going on for movies. This is necessary to get you out and spending hard earned money. I understand that is what has to be done. After all, the movie business is a business. The problem is that studios base the success of a movie not on its actual merits but by how much revenue it makes. How many times have you watched preview after preview for a movie that flashes quotes by critics and have been told that it is the greatest movie ever, and when you left the theatre you realize you were duped? It makes no difference to the studio, they will keep making bad films if we keep showing up to see them. I liken it to ugly cars, Ford would not make a car as ugly as a Fiesta if people would just quit buying them.
I am not saying that there are not any good movies coming out these days, just that there are many really bad, unoriginal ones. I would just like to sit down one day and not see the same movie over and over again. I want to be entertained and be made to think, to really get into a movie. That is hard to do when almost everything put out there has been done. So have an original Idea now and then, Hollywood.