Monday, June 14, 2010

summer movie originality (?)

every day i feeli more and more like an old man. Hollywood only persists by placing another a nail in my coffin.

at first it was music. more than a few years ago i finally caught myself asking (in actual non-mockery) "what are kids are listening to these days?!?" that's ok though, bc the interwebs is causing our tastes in preferred/popular music to quickly splinter. granted, there is still mass-appeal stuff that appears on the radio, but the distribution and consumption of niche tastes is easier than ever (a forthcoming related post on that). 

the same concept (mass fragmentation) applies for TV - network VS cable. don't believe me? google "Frisky Dingo." so despite craptastic shows like "Two & a Half Men" (that one's for you DB) beating out works of art like "30 Rock" week-on-week, i'm OK with what's happend to modern mass television (sorry Aaron Sorkin, big love Bartlett style)

back to the point of this post ("raman is a becoming a crotchity old man"): as i was recently sitting thru a # of movie trailers, it occurred to me: the concept of originality is (nay, has been) fast escaping the film industry. not to harken on the "good ol days" (but i will), but remember when it felt like everything coming out was new + different, blowing our collective minds on what could be done on the silver screen? Star Wars, Alien(s), Wall Street, the Shawshank Redemption, the Matrix, almost anything by Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, etc

so now what are we left with? here's a short sampling of the upcoming summer movies i'm actually excited about (with links to trailers, since many of the idiot studios DISABLE embedding), and i'll let you do the math.

Toy Story 3: Pixar doesn't make bad movies. in fact, 99% of their films are original, well-thought out concepts. BUT this year's submission to the annals of inevitable Pixar greatness a sequel to their sequel. milking a long-standing franchise for all it's worth. i'm sure it'll be better than Cars though.

Scott Pilgrim VS the World: based on a popular indie comic book (of which by now you should know i have a long-standing obsession), and directed by a Edgar Wright - a guy who makes hilarious films such as Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. still, it's BASED on a comic book.

the Last Airbender: based on a good for kids and grown-ups cartoon called "Avatar" (sadly James Cameron got to the name first) that famed thriller/twister M.Night Shyamalan decided he had to make when he got way more into it than his kids. as excited as i am, i'm not sure if a live-action film can beat the delivery of the source material.

Inception: OK. this is a pretty original/intriguing one. and Chris Nolan doesn't make bad movies. and as much fun as i like to make of Leo, he's a good actor who tends to pick pretty solid projects. so i'll be there. hopefully it doesn't go over the audience's head.

so 3 out of 4 of the movies i'm excited about this summer are by definition, UNORIGINAL. throw in Iron Man 2, and the numbers look even worse. OK, so i'm a bit of a geek for some (all) of those i bear excitement for, so therefore i grant that the source material must be equally as geeky.

factor in some movies i was NOT as interested in - MacGruber, Sex & the City 2, the A-Team, and the Karate Kid (which takes place in China not Japan, so is it actually about Karate or Kung-Fu?) - and the numbers look even bleaker. sequels, remakes, books, comic books, genre-sketches, cartoons, TV shows. it's only getting worse. and to make matters worse, the lion's share of actual original concept movies hitting the silver screen don't help the math, because they look like movies developed by marketers and focus groups.

i'm getting too old for this.


  1. 1. I think their are a several well written comedies on network TV (How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Community) yet people keep saying there are no good comedies on network TV. I think the fragmentation of media makes people miss some of the best stuff.
    2. How are you not excited to see The A Team this summer? I was stoked to see Brigada A for 51 pesos (4.13 dollars) on opening weekend.

  2. I'm thinking about writing a post about how CBS's power comedy line up on Monday (How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) has 0 recurring black roles and 2 (both Indians playing characters from India) recurring minority roles.
    By contrast, NBC's power comedy line up on Thursday (Community, Parks & Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock) has 8 (at least, I'm only counting 1 guy in Tracy Jordan's posse) recurring black roles, at least 1 per show.
    I haven't written it, because 1. I haven't watch ABC's Wednesday enough (though I think the only recurring minority characters are the latino wife and son of Ed O'Neils character) and 2. I'm not sure if I can write stuff like that while the president is black.

  3. And sorry to highjack your post, but they should have totally called it The Kung Fu Kid. Calling it The Karate Kid is completely racist. (btw I'm on tilt on the whole race thing, don't know why).

    Also, with The Kung Fu Kid as the title it could have claimed some originality, even though it really is just a black Karate Kid.

  4. Wow! They are literally showing the same MMPR that they showed and I watch 20 years ago!
    Okay, did some research. That makes more sense. They stopped production and next season they are moving to Nickelodeon.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...