I suppose I need to clarify a few of things first. For one, hate is a very strong word and one I try to avoid using at work, at home, and on blog. Not trying to be PC, just a personal quirk. And two, by Hollywood, I mean the movie-making biz in general. Don’t care if I’m being PC here or not. And lastly, I’m generalizing when I shouldn’t be throughout the piece, I know, but . . . ah heck, I’m tired of explaining myself here, so I’m just going to blog a bit.
(Not that I’m trying to PC my way around anything, mind you.)
What happened to originality in Hollywood? Where are those films the just made you heart leap up and beat your brain silly with excitement? I will never forget some of the movies I saw when I was young(er), not only for the thrilling stories, wondrous effects, and marvelous, bigger-than-life characters, but also for the sheer joy they brought me. I’m talking Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Road Warrior. (And from a not-necessarily-nerdish point of view, how about The Shootist, Jaws, or Rocky.) Seems like now, I mostly see remakes or reboots or sequels or, CRINGE, the dreaded prequel. Okay, I admit that every now and then a very good film comes out. Sometimes, we even see a truly great film. For, however, 72.8% of the stuff I see coming out is pure, unadulterated, unoriginal bantha pudu.
Sometimes, sequels can be a very good thing, when they are used to continue a story or develop character. Who doesn’t think that The Road Warrior is better than Mad Max? The Empire Strikes Back anyone? Do I need to say The Godfather II? Good stuff. But when we get Hollywood wanting to suck the hard earned money out of the pockets of the people who support it willingly anyway, what do we get? Jaws II-IV. Rambo II-IV. Rocky II-whatever. Halloween gave us one of the creepiest villains ever. So, what does Hollywood do? Parts II through whatever plus a reboot with a sequel? Doesn’t make sense. And, pardon me while I shudder, instead they give us some crappy prequels. Stars Wars I-III is about as good example of wasted time and money as I can think of. We had an enjoyable experience with the original. If there’s no reasonable excuse to continue the story, before or after the fact, why waste our money. Invest all that money you have on another, fine piece of film-making.
Lots of adaptations, too. This one is tricky. Done correctly, with passion and a love for the source material, it can be a wonderful experience. The Lord of the Rings comes to mind. Jackson loved the books and it showed. What about changes, you ask. Some have to be accommodated. If The Fellowship of the Ring had been film verbatim, it would have taken three, three hour movies itself. Changes were made to make it right for the medium of film. I have only minor complaints with the results. The Watchmen also comes to mind. After watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, one can easily understand Alan Moore’s attitude toward Hollywood. However, The Watchmen, I felt, was true to the comic. Yes, no giant squid. But Zack made changes appropriate for the medium. He didn’t have 12 issues to delve into it. The ending was different but true to the source material.
Reboots? Why? Did you think we forgot about everything so soon? They’ve rebooted Star Trek. They’re rebooting Freddy from the Nightmare movies (another great film ruined by sequels, btw). Can’t wait for Spider-Man IV? Sorry. Reboot. Think of something new for crying out loud.
Speaking of which, the reason this particular blog came into existence was mainly because I saw someone had remade Clash of the Titans. Why? Harryhausen made an enjoyable film. No, there’s not spectacular CGI, but it’s a prime example of the evolution of FX. Let it stand. What’s the reason? To expose the story to a new audience? Let ‘em watch the original. Let them see storytelling, not CGI. Then there were the rumors – I can barely even think of this one without puking my guts up . . .
Pardon me a moment . . .
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Okay, I think I can continue . . .
An Escape from New York remake? Why? Yeah, I know the rumor's old, but how could anyone even consider it? And with Gerard “tonight we dine in hell” Butler as Snake Plissken? I’m sorry but some actors own certain roles. Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones. Mel Gibson is Max. And Kurt Russell is and will always be Snake Plissken! If you want a Plissken film, give John Carpenter and Kurt Russell the money to make the much-rumored Escape from Earth. Your fans want to see that story, not something that’s already been done. Sure, you might make it look better, but it will never, ever be better than the way Carpenter and Russell did it.
Wow, that last paragraph depressed me to the point where I don’t think I can say anything else . . .
Anyway, that’s why I strongly dislike Hollywood 83.8% of the time.