Ecclesiastes 1:9 Holy Bible NIV
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
Hey Hollywood, It’s me Fully, I’m not your most devoted consumer (Internet and Beer Companies, I am TOTALLY your bitch, call me?). Still I will buy a lot of movie tickets this year and I, while pretentious, am not so pretentious that I only watch Fellini retrospectives while wearing a beret…so maybe there are more people like me.
Start at the beginning, I remember waiting for 4 hours at the age of 8, on a pedestrian bridge over a freeway as part of a line to see Star Wars at a theater on the other side. I guess at this point even someone who named their first born Luke and second child Chewbacca is aware that George Lucas is not always a master craftsman. He did however give us something we had never seen before and it was epic and amazing. Not the story so much, that was recycled (but hell Shakespeare never wrote an original plot in his life) but the style and the grandeur, these were brand spanking new.
Now, I have a grade school understanding of economics, I know no one wants to make 4 million when they can make 40, or 40 when they can make 400, so I get the trying to make WOW movies with cool shit blowing up and lasers, suns going supernova, super heroes fighting super villains with super powers wreaking havoc. Hell, for a while it worked. I wow’ed for Raiders, I wow’ed for Superman (that scene when he carried the American flag….the whole audience cheered), I wow’ed, cried, then wow’ed some more for E.T.; I loved a good summer blockbuster. At 19 I was pumped up for the trailer of Michael Keaton’s Batman….the movie itself not so much. By Independence Day the special effects were bigger and better and I discovered my WOW was broken.
Was I old and jaded? Maybe. If you can be old and jaded at 26 (and certainly if anyone could pull it off, it’s me), but I somehow think Hollywood was missing something. Quick, what was the name of Will Smith’s character in Independence Day? No? How about what was he like, I think I vaguely remember him loving his wife. Bill Pullman’s fighter pilot President? He was, er….heroic.
I think Hollywood is forgetting the one thing that really makes the screen explode, good characters inhabited by good actors with some kind of chemistry working together and a story that gives them something, ANYTHING the slightest bit original to do.
Maybe I am out in the dark alone here, certainly my being an amateur actor/playwright makes me a little biased. I like movies based on dialog rather than explosions and I like stories that are from the heart instead of the formula.
The deal is Hollywood wants stuff that has been successful before. They are pretty blatant about it, when they pitch a movie its “Die Hard on a Bus!”
If I don’t like it, I guess I could go to another kind of movie…and I do. But it’s there too, I am pretty sure I have seen the same romcom/chickflick with Julia Roberts then Reese Witherspoon, then what the hell, Rachel McAdams. That buddy cop film? Seen it! A dozen times. Judd Apatow comedy? Seen it. Don’t get me started on the 100000 descendants of Airplane that hurl 6000 jokes at you in 80 minutes with only 3 of them hitting home (Scary Date Epic Vampire Movie I am talking to you.) I don’t tend to watch, black men in a fatsuit playing elderly black women movies, but presumably someone does, because they have made 45 of them.
I am not asking for the moon and the stars here people. Bogie and Bacall are dead. Star Wars just gave me Han Solo, with the teensiest bit of the Byronic hero in him, Luke Skywalker who was kind of a watered down “questing hero” archetype, and Leia who was, well….spunky. Not amazing stuff, but when you add a badass villain you have a movie you can hang yer CGI special effects on and people will care about the exploding stuff…because they care about the characters.
I saw Avatar, and it DID wow me. The special effects were brand spanking new, and I did care about the characters, at least enough to keep me involved in the spectacle. Hollywood will spend 500 million to mimic the special effects part of Avatar, of that I am sure, question is will they spend the time on the story and talent to make me care.
Just something to think about Hollywood, when you make your next half billion dollar blockbuster, meanwhile if you need a fat, bald friend to the hero, or bootlicking lackey for your villain, I work cheap.