It has gotten to the point where walking through a mainstream movie theatre entrance mimics more a museum than a house of contemporary pop culture.
That’s not necessarily true, I suppose. I’ll explain my frustration.
I’m talking about the placards that adorn the walkways leading into movie theatres at present/over the past few years. It seems big-budget movie producers and writers aren’t even trying to mask their attempts to separate you from your hard-earned with semi-original ideas, they’ll happily re-package the same old stinking pile of shit and sell it back to you – not in the guise of something greater, but often as simply a stinking pile of shit – with Johnny Depp or that guy who was nuts in Tropic Thunder whose name escapes me, attached.
Recently, I ventured to the pictures to see a film – I can’t remember which, honestly I cannot remember the last half decent film that I’ve seen at a mainstream theatre. Walking towards our cinema, I observed the following flashbacks of movies:
Prometheus (this may’ve actually been the movie I saw)
Men in Black 3
Snow White and the Huntsman
Ice Age 73
The Dark Knight Rises
Step Up Revolution
The Bourne Legacy
There were flashbacks further into the future also:
Silent Hill: Revelations
Paranormal Activity 4
The Twilight Saga: Does anyone really care anymore?
I don’t even think this was all of them – and that’s not even considering the recent barrage of history thrown my way:
Ghost Rider 2 (seriously?)
Wrath of the Titans (you’re about to get a punch in the head)
American Pie Reunion
Mission Impossible (Scientology Revenge)
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Sherlock Holmes 2
It’s beyond a joke. Not only are some of these remakes or sequels rubbish – many of them are sequels of movies that were rubbish to begin with.
A lack of creative flair underscores many of them, but that’s not even what bothers me particularly. What bothers me is the mass-produced, mass-marketed, mass-advertised aura that each repackaged, digitally remastered terror brings with it that is inflicted on audiences seemingly indifferent or unintelligent. They’re clearly not even trying anymore. Some of these ideas are sequels, prequels or remakes of an idea that didn’t even begin within the movie industry.
I’m not against sequels. Shit, I loved Aliens, but surely there comes a time when the consumer gives these guys the middle finger and decides to spend some seminal time in front of the big screen. Be that in the midst of a thought-provoking film or a relevant insight into modern life – whatever it may be, original ideas will spark a reaction. Mediocre films and bland pop films have their place within the industry, sure, but they should not take up such a large percentage of the gross takings and offerings.
I’d think it logical to put a cap on the amount of re-hashed garbage that is thrown at peoples’ faces each year and a minimum on the amount of unique, original ideas penned by many brilliant screenwriters to appear in mainstream theatres.
Film is a powerful medium, but I feel it is handicapped by the public’s reliance on the need to feel comfortable at all times. This need for comfort encourages these movie producers to play the percentages – it is safer monetarily to offer up a film version of Desperate Housewives than it is to back the writings of an independent writer.
My suggestion: head down to a local movie theatre that shows independent films once in a while. Whilst not all of the offerings will be of a high standard, I have usually found that I walk away from such movies with an opinion, interesting conversation to begin with a friend, a spark, something!