There is no better time of year than now to observe the decline of original creative thought. Just plop down $11 bucks at your local movie theater and watch yet another retelling of an old story, adaptation of a fashionable book, or the 9th sequel and in already dull storyline. Yes the art of writing has died in Hollywood hasn’t it?
This past week Terminator Genisys opened up to awful reviews and even worse box office draw. I think this is actually great news. I mean how else can we give Hollywood the not-so-subtle hint that we are fed up with the same recycled crap every year? Hey as hokey as the 80’s were, it was also the last decade to feature a deluge of original screen plays. The 90’s started the recycling trend and by the 2000’s, the imaginative force that fueled the rising success stories in Hollywood died. Now in the 2010’s the summer releases have become the punchline to a really old joke. Another Terminator film where Arnold Sure-is-older’s robot has aged? Are you serious? Okay I’ll try to get past that silly concept, but now your storyline essentially erases the storyline of the previous films? Then what was it all for? The motivation was surely not an artistic one; more like a spineless let’s-play-it-safe-and-recoup-our-investment one.
Ghostbusters – what a great film. Then they made Ghostbusters 2 and said, “Uh well, we made a lot of money, but it looks like we ran out of ideas with this storyline so let’s just put this horse out to pasture. ” For 25 years the Ghostbusters Universe sat in neutral. Then came that inevitable day where the studios basically said, “Well let’s reopen that empty can and see if it refilled itself.” Well it didn’t and it never does. Do studios think they can make summer blockbusters based on people’s nostalgia? That idea will only take you so far. Yes people in their 30’s and 40’s do enjoy occasional updates to some of their favorite films of the 70’s and 80’s, but if you jam up the release schedule with recycled film after recycled film, then eventually people say, “Why am I paying $11 to see a film that I basically saw for $4 back in 1984?” That is simply bad financial planning.
From the artist standpoint this really sucks. I imagine there are 100 screenplays for every dung ball of a sequel made. I don’t want to see another Spiderman film. Actually, I really don’t want to see so many comic book based films anymore. They are essentially the same plot line with different names and different costumes. I feel sorry for the writers who are trying to get their original ideas out there, but because of the studios mixture of cowardice and greed, are blocked at every attempt to do so. We need the original thinkers. We don’t need another teenager in a cape who can save the world by popping his super charged zits.
Enough Terminator films, don’t make Ghostbusters again, wrap up the capes of these tired comic book films, and please go back to making more ‘R’ rated movies. This ‘PG-13’ crap is dulling the minds of the movie goer in America. With ‘R’ we got Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 2. With ‘PG-13’ we got Beverly Hills Cop 3. Thank goodness artists of the canvas don’t try to redo their old work and pass it off as original. Well they could, but who wants to really try to sell something that screams “has-been” or “sell out?”
Let’s go Hollywood. Bring the original art back to the big screen.