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Posts Tagged ‘Movie industry’

Hollywood Thoughts

In Movies, Uncategorized on September 9, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Hollywood Thoughts

As anyone who knows me can attest, I love movies. Watching movies, writing movies, reading about them…I think that movies are a great way to express ourselves in a visual medium, much the same way that blogs are great to express ourselves in the written form, too. However, just because I love something, doesn’t mean it is spared from the chopping block, as it where. Just the opposite, in fact. I love something so I am goinng to speak up about it, hopefully it will reach someone in Hollywood, and change the industry, but I doubt it

What Made Movies Work

I remember when the film “Miami Vice” came out, starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, my dad said “TV shows back then worked because the cast had to spend time with each other, and built a chemistry over years. These movies are made in less than six months, and everyone has to be kept separate from everyone else, there is no chemistry, and he was right. Think about it for a second. The TV show Miami Vice did great, and was a ratings juggernaut. The aforementioned film? Sucked, and I do not recall it making much of a dent in the landscape.

Does that mean that is was a bad idea? Yeah. Yeah it does…See the reason that the movie failed, is because it failed to capture the magic of the TV show. Don’t get me wrong, both Foxx, and Farrell are top-notch stars, and their work speaks more volumes than this blog can about their talent. The problem is, at least the way I see it, that Hollywood has run out of ideas, and they feel that rebooting a series they can capture that lightning in a bottle, and it doesn’t work. Ever.

Remakes, Reboots, and Re-imagining, Oh My!

Guys, what is the last original idea that Hollywood had? I honestly cannot think of one movie that came out this year that was original, and not a film adaptation of something else, or a remake, or reboot of something from 30 years ago. Not even Marvel is technically safe from this, as their movies are legitimate adaptations of their comics. Even though the MCU takes a different path than the comics, it’s still technically adapted from a comic book. Disney, with all that money, is STILL producing live action remakes of the films we used to watch as kids. The Lion King, Aladdin, and now Lady and the Tramp? Hasn’t Disney seen that live action remakes are not what the kids what? The reason that remakes and reboots exist is to bring the story to a new audience, one that can be bilked into buying the merch, and begging mommy and daddy to take them to see the sequels…

It’s simple, and understandable, too. Hollywood is afraid to try something new because the studios aren’t going to plunk down millions upon millions of dollars for nothing. I certainly don’t blame them, but that is how the industry goes stale. Think about it like this. In the 50’s we had rock’n’roll that vaporized the music scene, and then most music became stale, sound alikes. Enter Nirvana, and the Grunge era, and the industry is changed forever. Movies can be like that, too. All it takes is a willing soul; of course people are fickle, and that is another reason that the studio execs are timid. Movies that have a built-inn fan base are golden to Hollywood. Things like cartoons, comics, and video games all have their dedicated fan-bases, and those fans are going to see the movie, no matter what. Hollywood then banks on this fan base, and their money to set them up for another movie, and so on, and so on. Hollywood takes these ideas and makes movies and tv shows out of them because of that fan base. Would anyone care about The Witcher if it weren’t popular? No. Lord of the Rings? Nope.

Hollywood knows this, and they bank on you, the loyal fan to go see this because you can finally see your heroes on the big screen, living out their adventures…problem is, Hollywood ruins the things they touch.

Hollywood Garbage

The reason that remakes are such shit in the first place is because Hollywood takes the older movies and has to update them for the modern audience. Take “The Mummy” with Boris Karloff, for instance. Was it an action-adventure movie, with high stakes action, and gun battles, and giant sand…faces? Nope. Why not? Didn’t need to be. It worked back then because it was simpler. Nowadays we have to have over the top set pieces and action scenes because that is what people want to see. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the Brendan Frasier version, but not as a part of the “Mummy” franchise. Take the Mummy out, and it’s a bog standard action flick set in Egypt. To me, what made the original work was the writing, and the cast. It didn’t need to be a big over the top production. It was a somber film by comparison.

As I mentioned before the reasons for this are many, and do include things like renewing the copyrights to a film, like what Disney is doing with the Lion King, and the rest. Sometimes Hollywood has to release a movie because the studio is contractually obligated to make it, and that’s fine, too. Sometimes they films aren’t remade, but “remastered” and that can cause problems, too. (George Lucas, and the Star Wars DVDs, anyone?)

Remasters of the Old Style

Now don’t go hating me for this, just yet; hear me out. I love Star Wars, and sadly I fought that love when my father was alive, and now I can’t get that time again. I can’ however lose any memory I have of watching Episodes 4-6, as they are completely different than they where originally, thanks to George Lucas. Somethings, like adding more Stormtroopers to the scene where Han runs some down, only to see an entire garrison of them as he rounds a corner, that makes sense. Adding a CGI Trooper riding a Dewback? In the words of the late John Belushi: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! That wasn’t needed, neither was making more aliens appear in Jabba’s Whorehouse (or hideout). I can see the reasoning behind somethings, like changing the guns in the officer’s hands in E.T. With all that is happening concerning gun violence, I can see why he wouldn’t want the last image of the film to be someone pointing a gun a child.

Digital remasters are fine, and a different subject entirely as far as I’m concerned. Hell, with out digital remasters, we wouldn’t have Casablanca, or anything else starring Humphrey DeForest Bogart (go ask your grandparents, or Google it)! “Cleaning” a film, for lack of a better word, and bringing the original film to another audience is fine, too; that’s the original, and not, as my dad said “a version someone saw and said ‘I can do better’.” Sadly, he was right. All movies now follow one rule above all else: Make money. No longer does Hollywood put out a movie because it is a good story, or a good film, but rather they produce what will produce money. Focus groups, marketing, test groups, all add up to make sure that a film is going to make money. I know that there are films out there that absolutely bombed at the box office, but they where still made with the same formula, and with the same intentions.

Well, that’s the blog. Or is it?

SEQUELS, PREQUELS, and ORIGIN STORIES!

Another trend that needs to die in Hollywood is the “EVERYONE GETS A FRANCHISE!” rule that seems to be in play now. Does every movie, nay, every story, need a part two? Alien needed a part two? Halloween needed a part two? No, James Cameron said he did that one only because other directors where casting Jamie Lee Curtis in the same role, and he had to, too. At least he was honest about it! Some movies, if they are written as a franchise from the beginning, need a sequel. Movies that must be told in multiple parts, like Lord of the Rings, as there is just too much too leave out to make one movie. Star Wars is one that you could argue that it deserves a sequel.

Does every movie need an origin story? Know what I said when Rob Zombie remade Halloween? “Sweet, this movie is going to kick ass!” Rob needs his ass kicked for deciding that Michael needed a fucking origin story, and to talk! At least he was honest with his sequel, too. “I figured who better to ruin my movie, than me?” He said. I’ve never seen a horror movie wherein I thought “Hmm…I sure do like this Leatherface fellow, but I want to know why he does what he does…”, and I don’t know of anyone who thought that the Sawyer family needed an origin story, or an origin story to the remake, or a sequel to the remake, but it takes place at the…yeah, you see this… Not every fucking movie needs to tell the story of every fucking one in the land, this isn’t Vice Russo ca. 1999, ok? Not everyone on the card needed something to do, just like not everyone in a movie needs their lives fleshed out.

See, another problem this creates is forced prequels, like The Hobbit. See, the original books, Hobbit, and the LotR series weren’t supposed to be connected, and only got that way years later, but Tolkien did that himself in the books. Hollywood came calling, and made a floppity-gillion dollars from that franchise, and naturally, had to make more. Guess what? The Hobbit was nowhere near as successful as the Lord of the Rings series was. Why? Forced prequel. The movie crammed so many call backs, and Easter eggs to the Fellowship, and the others that I felt like Peter Jackson was saying “Remember the other movies? This is how all that happened!” I never cared for the Hobbit as a book, as it is a fairy tale, and taken on its own, its a good children’s read. Hollywood, or Jackson, depending on whom you ask, decided to make The Hobbit in to three separate movies, which meant us LOTR fan boys are going to go see three more movies! Nope. Saw the first one, and didn’t care for it (the review can be found on Taco’s Movie Reviews).

Beating a Dead Horse

Far too often, Hollywood does beat a franchise into the ground, killing every conceivable dime that they can from it, only to let it die a quick death. For a few years, and then they reboot it, and try again! Spider-Man, Godzilla, Batman, Superman, Marvel characters; all of them milked until that cash cow dies, and then put away for a few years. That is unless money stops them, and they have to reboot the character because of a rights dispute…(Spider-Man in 2019). Far too often we see this happen with franchises like the Marvel movies, wherein they had to give everyone an origin story before, or after a big team up movie, and I have to ask why. Why do I need to know how Black Widow came into being? I was entertained by her in the Avengers movie, and I don’t need an origin/prequel movie to flesh out her backstory. I didn’t really need Captain America, either for that matter. They where created for one purpose: money. Literally, Marvel was almost bankrupt when the Toby McGuire Spider-Man movie first hit theaters. That was it for them, they sold the rights to Sony (I think) and made enough money to stay in business.  I especially hate when they make a sequel to a movie years, or decades after the original came out. Why? Because it becomes a sequel/reboot because it’s older, and newer too! Didn’t need to see The Force Awakens; that was just A New Hope with Linda Skywalker. That’s another thing I hate about movies nowadays, the Feminist Movement

The Feminist Movement in Movies

Not every superhero needs to be a female. Read that again. I’m not being sexist, honestly. I believe that a woman can do anything a man can do, if not better, I just don’t need to  see that 24/7. Take Captain Marvel, for instance. She was created during the “bra burning days” of the Woman’s Rights campaign as Marvel saw the female market as untapped, and decided to create a character that would relate to the times. Thus, Captain Marvel was born! The movie goes overboard with that sentiment, and turns me off. In the movies, Captain Marvel, and End Game, Brie Larson comes off as an unlikable bitch, and I was happy when Thanos punched her clean out of the movie! Not because I condone male-female violence, but because I can’t stand to have “A WOMAN CAN DO IT, TOO!” shoved down my throat. I don’t care who the heroes are, or the villains, I just want to see a good movie! Star Wars is doing this, or at least has, by remaking A New Hope with a female version of Luke, and making all the men in movies dumber than shit. I don’t care that the crew of Gen. Holden’s ship is all female, unless there is a reason for it in the plot. She comes from an all female planet? She not trust men in power because her husband died? Something other than “women can do it too, look!” I am glad that women are finally getting more spotlight (nowhere near “equal” time with a man, however), but can we dial it back? Not all women want to see women in superhero movies, and believe it or not, some women LIKE topless muscle guys in a movie, If you need proof, just Google The Rock. Some, I will admit, some girls do see these females and get inspired, and they no longer feel like they are weak because of their gender, and that is fantastic! But I want a good, original story, and not one the PC crowd will not object to.

Remakes That Work?

Can there be such a thing? Yes, actually. Battlestar Galactica was a remake, and I love that. It’s a TV show, but we are lumping them together here, so deal with it. That show took a good premise, and changed it from a “monster of the week” type of show, like Star Trek: The Original Series was, and made it focus more on the human aspect, the humans trying to survive, and find Earth, all the while trying to hide from the Cylons… sadly, however, that is where the show died for me. After the final episode, the SyFy channel did as any business would with a metaphorical license to print money, and made a prequel. Wanna know how the Cylons came to be? Yes, actually, I did want to know, but then they went farther with BSG: Blood and Chrome. Do we need a third BSG series? Really? Or does SyFy need that geek dollar?

Sadly, however, BSG is the only remake I can think of that I actually liked. I wish that Hollywood would make more shows and movies in the same idea of BSG: tell a good story. Too bad they wont hear me.

End of Rant

Those are just a few of the things that I can’t stand about the movie and TV industry. If you like this, then leave a like, and a comment in the boxes, and let me know your thoughts on the industry, too!

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