Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Movie Industry: Try something original, won't you?

There was a time when going to the movies was the highlight of my week. There was always something I wanted to see; in fact, it seemed like I never had enough time to see everything before it vanished and was replaced with some other promising movie I wanted to see.

Nowadays? Yeah, I don't have that problem. And here's a small sampling of reasons why:

"Winona Confirms 'Heathers' Sequel"

"Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson in talks for 'A-Team'"

"Live Action Jetsons Movie Takes Flight Next Year"

Add to this list the likes of "Land of the Lost," "Transformers 2," "Iron Man 2," "Ghostbusters 3," "Predators," a remake of "Clash of the Titans,""Beverly Hills Cop 4" and the list goes on ad nauseum.

Excuse me a second while I settle into my front-porch rocking chair and yell at the kids to get off the lawn because yes, I'm going to get cranky and old for a few minutes here:

Dear Hollywood: Please make an original movie, you fucking idiots. And stop playing in the sprinklers -- that water's not free!

There, that feels better.

It's not like I don't want to see some of those movies -- "Iron Man 2" for instance will have me with my nose firmly pressed against the front doors of the theater, my "I Heart Robert Downey's Abs" t-shirt firmly in place. It's just that it would be really, really nice to see an original thought exhibited on screen every once in a while. (Okay, and I want to see "The A-Team" get made just to see how long it takes for Dirk Benedict to start calling Bradley Cooper a girl and whining over not getting to play his old part again. "Boo hoo -- George Peppard's cigar was always bigger than mine and Mr. T got the pretty jewelry and I got nothing!" )

Original ideas work, Hollywood, I swear! Just look at "Up!" See how Pixar comes up with original ideas and turns them into original movies that garner large audiences and critical acclaim. Kind of cool, isn't it? So stop digging through the comic book boxes, turn off TV Land, stop remaking "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" and start getting creative.

Imagine what the world would be like if the 1970s had been as creatively dead as the 2000s. "Star Wars" would have just been a remake of "Lost in Space" with stop-motion robots instead of a guy in a silver Tireman outfit. "The Godfather" would have just been a 17 hour version of "Public Enemy" but with Pacino chewing the scenery instead of James Cagney. And "Clash of the Titans?" Well, that still would have been shitty.

During the last Great Depression, Hollywood was nice enough to entertain us with quality. They gave us the screwball comedy. They gave us love stories and musicals. Their aim was to take America's minds off their empty bank accounts and growing breadlines. They earned every dime they took in by providing a quality product, one that inspired generations of filmmakers. Why can't the same thing happen today? If Hollywood's so good at copying the past, surely they can lift from those storied pages as well, right?


j.lee said...

Amen to that. Argh, I can't believe anyone even thought about bringing the Jetsons back in any way, shape or form.

Is there no end to the atrocity??

Liz said...

Exactly! New and more horrifying titles just keep popping up everyday. It's making me sad.

alicia said...

Same can be said for the music industry. If I hear one more sampled song I might boycott music all together.

T-Recs said...

I just graduated from NYU's film school and I can say that it's not for a lack of original material at Hollywood's disposal. I've read dozens of amazing scripts from unknown writers.

I think Hollywood would see their bottom line go up if they started taking more chances on new writers instead of having former writers rehash their once-amazing material. Maybe if they gave their jobs to talent instead of relatives... (OK, that's where the bittered, unemployed recent grad kicks in, so I'll stop here!)

Liz said...

T-Recs, I absolutely think you're right. I know there's good, creative stuff out there that's just waiting to be snatched up but these execs are too scared to be the one to break from the herd. It's incredibly dismaying.

Jen said...

and Hollywood, just because a movie is popular in another culture (the Ring, Let the right one in, etc.) others) doesn't mean you have to remake it.c

Michelle said...

From what I've seen of Clash of the Titans, they are just stealing the title. The rest looks like a totally different adventure of Perseus and Andromeda and I'm looking forward to it. I'm betting they just think modern audiences are stupid and won't recognize any other references to the myths as a title.

Liz said...

Michelle, if that's the case, then I'll be glad to watch it as I love me my Greek mythology! But yeah, you're right -- they probably think "Clash of the Titans" is a bigger title draw than "Perseus." Which is sad because people are just going to think stop-motion Medusas.

DropEdge said...

A Heathers sequel? Are they allowed to do that? Seems like there should be a rule or something.....

Rolo said...

That said, Pixar did give us Toy Story 2 and now Toy Story 3. Apparently they are working on Monsters Inc. 2 and Cars 2