Rant: Hollywood Is Devoid of Intelligent Life

I’ve hinted here before and now I found this article: “Creativity Crisis: Has Remake-Obsessed Hollywood Run Out of New Ideas?”  All I could do is think, “Well butter my ass and call me a biscuit, someone finally noticed.”  I’ve noted a lot of traffic on this subject lately, so I think I’ll bandwagon and rant my ass off about it…  have a vowel movement, if you will.

I Salute You

Take a minute and poke that link to see what great ideas Hollywood is scraping out from underneath their fingernails now that they’ve picked their navels clean of lint and cheese.  Are we really going to do a sequel to a remake?  Wow.  I won’t say that remakes are bad, because I’ve seen some remakes of really old movies that were done quite well, and the retelling of the story in a current-day context was interesting.  But the problem here now is that we’re remaking stuff that was made within easy memory spans.  Come on: it’s one thing to retell a solid story from the black-and-white era, but simple retardation to remake a ten-year-old film.  Or a twenty-year-old film.

I wasn’t overly offended by ‘True Grit’ other than the implied insult to Mr. Wayne.  Just because you’re a male actor in a western doesn’t put you in the same league with John Wayne.  Sort of like being a president from Illinois doesn’t make you an equal of Lincoln.  Digression…  My hottest ire stems from the “artistic changes” directors feel they need to make in a re-do.  No, dammit, how about we leave things the way they are.  If you must insist on not exercising your studio writing staff’s creativity, then just don’t do it at all.

In addition to re-do’s the main product we seem to get from our big studios are comic books on film.  I have a vision of a studio planning their next round of filming, and pulling a script off the top of a very tall stack.  Of comic books.  And now television is bandwagoning on the resurrection of schlock probably best left alone.  All of this will now be interspersed among the decades-long formula shows of cop dramas, doctor dramas and family comedies.

The sad thing is it all comes down to greed on the part of the studios and an unwillingness to take risk that might come back as a loss at the box office.  We – the customers – should be offended by this because it essentially an act of putting their financial gain before your entertainment.  I’m a great capitalist and I’m all about making money, but we’ve obviously forgotten that the motion picture industry is supposed to entertain the audience first and foremost, not just make money.  That used to be the big gamble.  The excitement factor:  “Will this pic make money?  Hmm, not sure but I’m taking a risk on this compelling idea and gosh darn it, I love entertaining folks.  Please pass the mirror and  the blow.”

Times were, indie films used to be, well, fucking weird.  Now they’re actually pretty good, and very good quite often.  All the major studio directors and producers are grinding through the collected comic book works of America, so the Indie crowd can settle down to scripts and stories that are good. So far this is the only bright spot in Hollywierd I can see.

28 Responses to “Rant: Hollywood Is Devoid of Intelligent Life”

  1. 100%. I was desperate to find something watchable and picked out 50/50, charlie bartlett, and the lookout. All were off the radar pretty fast, and all were good. The lookout was one of the most moving, poignant and other such movie reviewer words movies I’ve seen in a long time.

  2. The truth is Hollywood always has and always will be about the bottom line. If the public is going eat up another Madea movie or a new retake on Spiderman (Really? Hasn’t it been like 6 months since the last one?) and it’s going to rake in a profit that’s what they’re going to make.

    There are a few exceptions out there who make interesting, original films for the major studios. People like Jason Reitman, Chris Nolan and Alexander Payne to name a few. And, of course, the “Indie” market, as comproimised as it has become, still pops out some stellar work.

    Hollywood plays to the lowest common demomintar. For people who have a modicum of discerning taste, it means the bad far outweighs the good. So when the good stumbles by every now and then it’s a good idea to spread the word and get as many people to the theater as possible. It won’t eliminate the Deuce Bigelows of the industry, but it may open the door just a little bit for the next script not cloned from what was originally a terrible idea.

  3. They actually have units dedicated to indies now, which probably goes back to greed. Sorry to burst that bubble you big biscuit.

  4. Movie industry has never understood “cheap imitation”…they seem to think we all approve of the “imitation is the greatest form of flattery.” Actually, it would be better if they remembered; “Better is the enemy of good.”

  5. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    I wasn’t overly offended by the remake of True Grit either…(but the Duke will always rock in my opinion) In your link they also mention remaking the movie, The Thing (the original had K. Russell) – now that was one scary ass movie to me when I was a kid…

  6. chandlerswainreviews Says:

    If one need to find the reasons for mindless remakes all one has to do is read the movie blogs on WordPress. Tens of thousands of voices all wetting their pants over a glimpse of a Spider-Man trailer or the rumor of a new “I Am Legend” film. (Wasn’t one punishment enough?)Sad. Pathetic. Annoying as hell, as these are the mindless masses the studios are counting on to line the theaters on opening weekends and fill the coffers. Thousands of voices here, and only a handful that will acknowledge films were actually in existence before a Scarlett Johansson or Taylor Lautner graced the screen. Films used to amuse, enlighten, surprise and entertain. It seems as if their goal now is to bore us to death two hours at a time.

    • Great point. I’m sure we’re part of our own sucky movie viewing experience.

    • Its insane. YouTube is full of brilliant directors and writers who just need a studio to run wild and create original, blockbuster movies. Why don’t studios grab them by the bushel to feed their machine?

      • chandlerswainreviews Says:

        Yes, but the problem partly stems from there being a “blockbuster” mentality in Hollywood to begin with. Historically, most of the biggest money makers in Hollywood (before the franchise phenomenon took over) were films that were either considered gambles by the studios or not fully supported at all prior to release. This awareness has completely eluded the corporate run subsidiaries we mistakenly identify as being the same as the Hollywood studios of yesteryear.

      • Because too much money follows movies. It corrupts all creativity.

  7. You’re telling me you didn’t like “Transformers: Dark of the Moon?” Man, I’m disappointed in you. The trouble is, the remake/reimagining cycle gets shorter and shorter with dumbass Americans’ attention spans. Pretty soon they’ll be raping and pillaging the Holy Grails like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Casablanca,” I’m sure. (Best sort-of indie movie I’ve seen in years? “District 9.”)

  8. Well, I must admit I wouldn’t mind seeing Jessica Biel in the outfit Sharon Stone wore playing virtual tennis in “Total Recall”. But other than pure eye candy (check out the movie “Stealth” for more Biel goodness), I’ll take a huge pass.
    And I just saw the new take on “Star Trek”. It took me 3 hours of medication … AND meditation … for me to stop wanting to kill the people behind it. And there’s talk of a sequel!
    Maybe I’ll make a pre-emptive strike, then join you in Afghanistan. A year away should let the heat die down from a mass-murder charge, right? 😉

  9. Reblogged this on Ralphie´s Portal and commented:
    The question should be: Who hasn’t noticed!

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