Um, excuse me, Hollywood?
I know you didn’t ask for a memo. You probably have enough memos passing from executive to executive. And I don’t mean to whine.
After all, getting paid to watch movies isn’t exactly a job for which a person should try to elicit sympathy.
But still. When you go to 150 or more movies a year, certain annoying trends pop up. At first, you notice them in passing. But at some point, after a steady diet, you start to chew on them.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re repeating yourself a lot.
For example, it would be nice if, just once, you’d let go of that sequel habit before you hit rock bottom, overdosed. Before you run a franchise so far into the ground that you know you can’t sucker people back into the theaters one more time because the last one was such a stinker.
I wonder if doing a Bourne movie without Bourne was such a good idea. Yeah, I know you’re gonna make money, good director, excellent cast, but still.
And, really, how many times can you reboot Superman without it looking like you’re just milking the cow?
Oh, and remakes. Can we look at remakes, please? Yes, I liked the new “True Grit” and last week’s “Total Recall.” But they’re the exception, not the rule. I really didn’t want to see a remake of “Dirty Dancing.” Or “Psycho.” Or “The Pink Panther.” Or “The Women.” Or “Cheaper by the Dozen” Or “Arthur.”
You get the idea, I hope. Thanks for trying (more like trying to cash in), but the originals were good enough. And some were a product of their time and don’t take well to update attempts.
While we’re at it, could we possibly avoid turning classic television series into movies? For every “Mission: Impossible” or “The Fugitive,” there are about a dozen “Bewitched,” “Leave It to Beaver,” “Brady Bunch,” “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Honeymooners,” “Lost in Space,” “Wild Wild West,” “Saturday Night Live” skit and “Smurfs” turkeys that semi-spoil any good feelings we once had for these shows.
Besides, some concepts that work in short form (pick any SNL skit) just aren’t meant to be feature length.
And speaking of Smurfs, can we take a second look at combining live action with cartoon characters? Yes, I know “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was terribly clever, and I liked “Enchanted” well enough. And those shots of Gene Kelly dancing with Tom and Jerry? Timeless, no doubt. Each of these was drenched in originality.
But more recently, Yogi Bear, the Easter Bunny, Garfield and those little blue people have made their live counterparts look mighty foolish. Please use this combo sparingly. The “(500) Days of Summer” scene was fun, but I’d be happy if I never saw another chipmunk movie again.
I’m really, really hoping those found-footage horror movies have run their course, too. Sure, “Blair Witch Project” felt innovative at the time. But innovation has left the building where this concept is concerned.
All that’s left is the annoying device of the jumpy, hand-held camera, which young directors are so fond of telling us adds a sense of you-are-there immediacy to the picture.
It also adds a sense of motion sickness in many a viewer. We’d rather be able to tell what the heck is going on. I can show you the emails.
It probably does no good at all to talk about the hackneyed way horror movies try to scare us. But it’s sad when a movie is more annoying than scary because the bag of tricks is so old. I’m really tired of something jumping into the frame from a dark corner. And sudden loud noises. And those screaming violins? So 1960.
I wonder, too, if you might give Adam Sandler and Nicholas Sparks a rest. They seem awfully tired. Too tired to find a new formula that works. They’ve truly earned some time off.
Sparks puts me in the mind of soapy romantic dramas, which always makes me think of scenes shot in the rain. I sometimes wonder if any down-in-the-dumps moment or romantic turning point in movie people’s lives happens when it’s not raining. And nobody ever has an umbrella. They stand out in that downpour and they talk and talk.
Well, at least we don’t have to wonder why they’re crying without tears. No-tear crying happens a lot in movies, but not in the rain.
Before we get off the subject of rain, can you explain to me, please, why night scenes always seem to be shot when the street is wet? Yeah, reflected light in water is pretty. But I keep wondering, when the weather has been fair, why is that street wet?
I could go on about the fake 555 phone numbers, the obviously empty cups people drink from and obviously empty suitcases they carry, the makeout scenes in the morning when everyone’s breath is nasty and the way nobody ever gets bed hair.
But, really, that would just be petty, wouldn’t it?
Thanks for listening. And you’re welcome. I’ll bite my tongue on 3D re-releases. For now.