Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There's no there there.

Is it just me or is Hollywood misfiring on all cylanders? I cannot remember such a barren year in the history of movie making. I have never had such a short list of favorite movies in any year I can remember. In the year 2010, I can only give qualified endorsements to the following movies:
  1. Splice
  2. Shutter Island
  3. How to Train Your Dragon
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. The Wolfman
That list gets weaker as we go down the list. I have not seen Unstoppable yet, and I have high hopes for that one. Perhaps Unstoppable will become the 6th movie on my list for 2010.

Folks, it is December. That is the 12th month of the year. We have roughly 24 days left to go. Hollywood doesn't have much time to convince me of anything. There is a very high probability that I am going to finish 2010 with just 5 or 6 movies on my qualified endorsement list. That is less than 1 qualified endorsement deal every two (2) months.

As Vince Lombardi would say "What the hell's going on out there?!?!?!"

I'll tell you what's going on... Left to their own devices, this present generation of artists of Hollywood would make endless freak shows about their drug addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality, and mental health problems. They would characterize these freak shows as stories about characters and emotion.

Snared in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and unwilling to lose money on an endless parade of Broke Back Mountain clones, the B-School boys at the top of the studio high command are ordering one remake after another. Suddenly everything is a remake. Almost nothing is even slightly original.

Consider Faster. Faster is an incredibly basic revenge plot. I have seen 100 like it, and that is an understatement. I can't name the movie, but I am pretty sure that I saw this exact script before, and I am sure it was done with Steve McQueen.

Faster isn't the only one. By now, you should know that Hollywood has re-made True Grit and The Mechanic! Everything is a fucking remake. They make no bones about it. It's explicit in the titles. There isn't even a pretense of originality.

Even in a case where they are pretending to be original, they are not. Consider The Town. The Town got considerable good press when it came out. It has one of the highest ratings of the year according to RottenTomatoes.com. Dude! This one of the least original plots I have ever seen.

The Town is an incredibly basic story about a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in with his childhood buddies as they launch a criminal enterprise. He lives on the wrong side of the law until his bad profession brings him into contact with little miss wonderful. She's perfect. She is full of all the goodness and middle-class virtue we hope for in a wife/mother/mate. The rest of the story is a drama about the guy trying to break free from his past and move forward into a clean future with his lady love. He is redeemed by love.

How many times have you seen this story before? I have personally seen 20 movies like this. You many have seen more. There is not even the slightest shred of originality in this plot line. Some of the style and content may be a bit different, but as much as things change, they stay the same. It's a tale as old as time.

Even th Wolfman, which I liked in it's theatrical form, is an explicit remake.

Folks, as far as I am concerned Splice is the best picture of 2010. It is the only movie original I have seen this year, with the possible exception of Inception, which I was not crazy about.