The Ten Worst Hollywood Trends - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
20Aug/113

The Ten Worst Hollywood Trends

Hollywood can sometimes be called a black hole of creativity where imagination goes to die and the souls of ambitious artistic people wither into empty husks. Here are the ten worst examples of the trends that are making heading to the theater a dreadful experience:

1. Trilogies - Why must all movies be written and planned as a trilogy?  Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to be so confident that your movie will be so beloved that the fans will not only be clamoring for a sequel but also a third chapter in the series?  Isn’t that kind of like putting a deposit down for the wedding before your first date? Take Lord of the Rings out of the equation and you are left with a lot of non-starters trilogies like The Last Airbender, Terminator Salvation, Chronicles of Riddick and Green Lantern.

2. Sequels that morph into trilogies - Hey, Wachowskis, I love you guys and think you're awesome directors, but you will never convince me that The Matrix was always supposed to be a trilogy. You guys got lucky, captured lighting in a bottle and then execs just wanted more, more, more. It happened again with the Pirates films, which instead of making a sequel they instead made a big 2 part movie spread out over about 5 arduous hours.  Moviegoers know and expect sequels, but don’t overstay your welcome.

3 and 4. Reviving long dead franchises and reboots - Here is a simple mathematical formula that will work most of the time. If the last movie in a series is over 20 years old, there are probably not many people clamoring for a sequel.  If you movie is less than 30 years old, a reboot or remake is not needed. Learn from such films as The Rage: Carrie II, Pyscho II, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and The Odd Couple II that many franchises that have been dormant for a long time should stay that way.

Even worse are all the “reboots” (the cool kids slang for remakes) coming our way. Here is a list of in-development or already made reboots coming our way:

- Spider-man
- Superman
- Footloose
- Red Dawn
- Wargames
- Batman (yes, again)
- Dirty Dancing (because the sequel thing didn’t pan out)

5. Chick flicks with the same damn third act - Can we please write up a law that states that no film can have a misunderstanding that could be easily resolved but still drives apart the main characters until the final reel?  I think that plot device has been used more than the cop talking his partner out of shooting the villain in cold blood only to then kill them when they reach for a gun.

6. Raiding the toy chest for films - GI Joe, Transformers, Stretch Armstrong, Battleship and even Ouija Board: The movie.  All of these movies were made because they have name appeal.  Stop letting the marketing department decide what movies are going to be made and take a small chance.  If not, we are seriously a few years away from a film based on Go Fish and I am not talking about this film.

7. 3-D - I'm not one of those people that think 3-D is a waste and should be put down.  I believe that when used right can make a film an event. But I also know that studios have used the technology as a crutch to wring a few more dollars out of customers.  If I was elected president of the MPAA (which, sadly, has yet to occur) I would decree that each studio gets one 3-D movie per calendar year.  Instead of six 3-D movies a month, we would have six a year and the format could go to being something special again.

8. Prequels - I would have a much better leg to stand on if this summer didn’t release 2 critically acclaimed prequels for X-Men and Planet of the Apes.  Yet, even with those movies included, the success rate of prequels is downright awful.  Moviegoers have let the studios know that we really didn’t care about Hannibal’s early years, prefer Luke to Anakin (even if the movies made a fortune), didn’t want to see When Harry Met Lloyd, and felt like we already saw Wolverine’s origins when it was called X-2.

We are at an odd time in movies where the 8th movie in a franchise is breaking records and the 5th movie (Fast Five) in a series was its best.  We all know that a successful franchise means paying high dollars for the actors and directors to make a sequel, making it a lot cheaper to make a prequel or reboot with lesser known (and cheaper) talent, but the sad fact is that a lot of times, your movie will crash and burn. Just ask the creator of the The Excorcist.  The made a prequel so bad that they then had to make a prequel to the prequel just to save face.

9.  Darkness everywhere - Why do all movies have to be pitch black? Tone is a distinct necessity for each film, so just because a bleak tone did wonders for The Dark Knight doesn’t mean the new Superman has to be 'edgy'.  Optimus Prime used to be a decent, upstanding hero but by the “darker” third movie he turned into a crazed robot that had a fetish for executions and decapitations.   All action heroes are tortured now and not in the I have a drinking problem and a shrew of an ex-wife 80’s style.  Come on people, lighten up a bit, sometimes us movie goers just want to have a fun time at the films and don’t need pathos weighing us down.  Fast Five was one of the most enjoyable times at the theater this year and that is mainly because it was nothing but fun.  Take that as an example because I don’t want to see a sequel to Roger Rabbit in a few years where he is a heroin addict out to avenge Eddie’s death.

10. Fairy tale movies - I love a comic series called Fables about famous fairy tale characters living in our world.  It is very popular and beloved, but that doesn't mean I have anything but contempt for all the fairy tale films coming out.  In the next 12 months we don’t have one but two Snow White films coming out. We have a contemporary telling of Cinderella around the corner and a telling of Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent’s point of view has been kicked around.  The one that angers me the most is the movie called Snow White and the Huntsmen.  This is a movie that is apparently going to be:

  • The first part of a planned trilogy
  • Going to delve into their back stories (prequel alert)
  • Going to be darker
  • Based on beloved tales from our youth

It's everything above combined. And if they keep combining these, it's only going to get worse-- a reboot prequel? Wait, not that was Star Trek. A dark 3D remake? Uh, wait, that was Fright Night. My God. We're doomed.

Got any terrible trends you want to complain about? Leave a comment below!

Posted by Ryan

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I agree wholeheartedly with the first 8. But the last 2 don’t bother me, in fact dark fairy tales are one of my favorite genres.

  2. Summer movie list after removing everything from you list above plus removing comedies and horror movies which are almost always generic:

    Super 8
    Cowboys and Aliens
    The Help
    The Beaver
    Another Earth
    The Devil’s Double
    The Tree of Life
    One Day
    Sarah’s Key
    The Ledge

    And I can’t say for certain but a couple of them might still be chick flicks with the same 3rd act.

  3. I haven’t seen a lot of the comedies but I know you could add Crazy Stupid Love (even though it gets close to the 3rd act romantic comedy problem) and probably Midnight in Paris.


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