Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

Where the beer is cold and the conversation loud...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hollywood Minute...

So Hollywood continues to prove my point. Last night I was sitting at home watching TV and two ads for "new" movies came on - She's the Man and Aquamarine. These movies were great...the first time they were made when the titles were Just One of the Guys and Splash, respectively. I think this is where things just start to irritate people. Are there no good ideas left out there for movies? If all we have are sequels and remakes, it's just plain sad. Sequels rarely live up to the hype of the original. How many sequels have even been NOMINATED for a Best Picture Oscar? One. Godfather II. That's it, that's the list. And, let's be fair, there have been some good sequels, but they're just few and far between. Each Bond movie is judged in its own right because of the drastically different story lines and there are certainly some that are better than others. Most sequels get worse. Let's look at Major League. 1 was fantastic, 2 was alright, 3 never happened (and I refuse to discuss it here). Even the Mission Impossible movies are harder to follow...course maybe that's because Tom Cruise is just a parody of himself at this point. Austin Powers is an exception, only if you're a Mike Myers fan, which I happen to be and I'll be first in line when they make #4.

Even worse are these remakes. Splash was classic. Just One of the Guys was only alright when it first came out. Why remake something that was good and something that was ok? In fact, there is no reason to try again with good, bad, or average movies. They were that way for a reason. Apparently, they want to expose younger generations to these movies. Well, fine, put them on TV or re-release the original. It's not even like the actors and actresses in these movies are names or ever will be names. If Amanda Bynes becomes the next Julia Roberts, then I'll eat my words. Don't think I have to worry about that any time soon. Let's add into this equation that certain actors are now playing the same character in every single movie. I'm looking at you, Harrison Ford. Have you changed demeanors since Patriot Games?

Movies are fast becoming overpriced and are not being attended with the same frequency. Certain ones will always succeed in theatres because of effects and the need to see certain imagery on larger screens. But with the advent of the home theatre, how long will this even last? Prices are ridiculous. When it costs a couple $20 for tickets, $5 for a soda, and $8 for a small popcorn, there's a reason more and more people are renting or just buying the film instead of heading to the theatre. Dinner and a movie is no longer a cheap date. Without original ideas and thoughts, this trend is only going to continue. Between movies and sitcoms, American media is nearing the bottom of a very, very deep hole with no real way out.

2 Comments:

Blogger RobertMc said...

OK not to nitpick here but you are wrong in your facts. Both the second and third parts of Lord of the rings were nominated (Return of the King actually won it and yes i know they were designed as a trilogy so it may not count as an actual sequel) and as i'm sure Mike could tell you the Godfather part 3 was also nominated. So your point isn't necessarily valid about sequels always sucking. They just usually do. And let's face it using the Oscars as a barometer of the quality of movies might not be the best call because neither Austin Powers nor Major League are going to get any recognition there.

How can you blame Hollywood for this though. Lets think about the process that goes on here:somebody thinks of a witty or original or at the very least successful idea. It's a runaway success, breaks records, they talk about it on best week ever, etc. No matter what they put out next as long as the call it part 2 scores of people are going to go see it. The studio the producer everyone involved stands to make a fortune from this. Why shouldn't they do this? You wouldn't if you were were in their shoes? And if you say no, then bullshit. It's not the studios fault that prebuscent teens are willing to spend mom and dad's hard earned money to go see a pile of shit. It's smart business.

Also where remakes are concerned i can't hang out with you and Mike without getting at least one Ocean's 11 (remake) quote. The italian Job was also a remake which (in my opinion) is really a pretty good movie. You've also got Dawn of the Dead, The Thing, and surprisingly Scarface. And all these movies were pretty good.

So while i definitely agree with you it's almost 100% of the time better to just stay at home and rent the dvd then go to the movies, I'm just saying they don't always blow big chunks. And back off of Harrison Ford. The man is a great actor and ten times the better actor then Tommy Lee Jones (one of your favorties for no obvious reason).

8:49 PM  
Blogger cwhager527 said...

Fair points. I actually intentionally left out LoTR because of how it was designed. Same reason I didn't discuss Back to the Future (the end of each movie says "To Be Continued..."). As you said, there are certain remakes that are good. Ocean's 11 is a good remake, but the original was even better if not only for Sinatra. Dawn of the Dead isn't something I'd hang my hat on and I didn't know that about Scarface (someone did some research). Splash and Just One of the Guys weren't stellar originally so remaking them seems like an even worse idea to me.

As far as whether or not I would do it, you're right. Maybe then we should look in the mirror as the movie-going public. If the demand for new ideas is there, then maybe we'd get some. But look at me, I'm saying this while working for a company that is specifically marketing cell phone programs to teenagers also looking to spend mom and dad's money on crap.

The Oscars as a barometer is mediocre at best. It was the best I could come up with at the time. I appreciate the actual research that got put into it here though. Oh and Tommy Lee Jones isn't one of my fav. actors. That's Samuel L. Jackson. Close though, nice effort.

10:35 PM  

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