Sad State of Motion Pictures.

We Have Ourselves To Blame.

The only satisfaction I got when seeing the Fast Five trailer was the knowledge that it was probably going to bomb in the theaters.  With any luck it would be a spectacular failure and we could finally put the long tortured franchise to bed. We’re talking about a series of movies so devoid of creativity they just renamed the 4th installment the same as the first, because at that point no one had the vision to see “Fast Four.”  Oh, the lost marketing possibilities.  There’s no way this movie could work, right?  Right?  Wrong.  Fast Five is a runaway box-office hit.  It set the all-time record for an April opening.  It obliterated every other movie that has opened this year.  It put up in one weekend what it was taking other films a couple of weeks to earn.  Welcome to my nightmare.

Eventually we won’t be making any good movies.  Or if there is a good, original film it will be made on a shoe-string and secreted around the back rooms like the stag films of yore.  Hey want to see a movie that wasn’t already a movie, a book, or a TV show?  Want to see the 1st installment of something?  Meet at this abandoned barn at midnight and turn off your headlights when you leave the main road.  The password is: Prequel.

This Summer We’ll Get the Following Sequels, or Sequels to Sequels to Sequels, or Prequels:

  1. Hoodwinked Too
  2. Hangover 2
  3. Kung Fu Panda 2
  4. X Men Something
  5. Cars 2
  6. Transformers (non-Megan Fox Edition)
  7. Harry Potter Part A Billion
  8. Final Destination 5
  9. Spy Kids 4
  10. Paranormal Activity 3 (This Fall)

Is there anything there you are beating down the door to see?  The Hangover?  Aren’t we a little worried about how they are going to make that work a second time?  I’m sure the kids will like Cars 2 (and plenty of parents), but animation doesn’t really count.  Did anyone know that there was a Hoodwinked One?  I don’t want to be too anti-sequel, because there are certainly some good ones.  And I suppose, if you are doing the Harry Potter thing you need all eight movies, or whatever the grand total is.  But, with sequels, remakes, adaptations and comic book fan boy porn making up such a large portion of what’s being put out there, I think it’s becoming harder and harder to find a decent flick.

You want a fun, mindless romantic comedy, some low-brow d*ck jokes, a lot of explosions?  All that’s covered, but what if you occasionally want something more?  There’s a lot of horse bleep to sift through.  So, I arbitrarily started clicking through movies that are coming out this summer and came up with some that aren’t your standard, pushed through the assembly line fare.  Not necessarily recco’s, because obviously I haven’t seen them, just standard FYI.

May 27th:  The Tree of Life (Brad Pitt, Sean Penn).  This doesn’t really look like my kind of film, but it’s an ORIGINAL screenplay, and made by Fox Searchlight (Juno, Savages, Crazy Heart) which is usually responsible for less mainstream (but very good) stuff.  Trailer.

June 24th:  A Little Help (Jenna Fischer, Chris O’Donnell).  A widow (Fischer) reconnects with an old-boyfriend who happens to be married to her sister.  Trailer.

July 22nd: The Myth of the American Sleepover.  Teen comedy, sex and angst with a little less polish?  Trailer.

August 12th:  The Help (Emma Stone).  Young woman in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi who becomes interested in and documents the life of African-American domestic servants.  This is based on a massive best-seller and is a major release, but you might miss it amongst all the Cowboys vs. Aliens trailers.  And, it looks pretty good.  Trailer.

August 12th:  Seven Days in Utopia (Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Melissa Leo).  A golf Movie!  Had to list it.  A promising young pro implodes, retreats to a Texas ranch for the standard what does it all mean question.  Trailer.  I’m just messing with you on this one, it looks awful. Doc Hollywood meets Bagger Vance or some such abortion.

All right, that’s it, I think.  Enjoy the movies, enjoy your sequels, and if anyone out there has seen Fast Five and wants to bring me over to the dark side, let me know.  I did love Paul Walker in The Skulls.

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11 thoughts on “Sad State of Motion Pictures.

  1. Sean Penn has completely gone the way of Woody Allen for me. There are certain actors who i can’t watch anymore b/c my loathing of their personal life/politics have so permeated my being that I literally cannot stomach them in movies. It’s debilitating. People on this list (or dangerously close and tip toeing the line):

    1) Tim Robbins/Susan Sarandon-the forefathers of this list, they practically wrote the rules on alienating BK.
    2) Woody Allen-aforementioned
    3) George Clooney-He’s reeaaalllyy getting close
    4) Sean Penn-between almost killing himself “rescuing” people after Katrina and his political ramblings, he’s done.
    5) Tom Cruise- he’s actually off the list, but he was on it for a bit. Made a HUGE comeback for me though, gotta respect that.
    6) Kanye West- “GWB hates black people…” well, i just hate you kanye.

    There are probably more i can’t think of right now, but i know em when i see em.

    • I’m trying to think of what the last Tom Cruise movie I liked was.

      Collateral?

      A good post would be listing the last good movie that all these huge stars have made. see how long they’ve been riding the gravy train while pumping out swill.

      • Angelina maybe, Brad keeps his mouth shut pretty good i think. There are some musicians that probably belong on there that i’m missing though. Bono, I’m looking at you kid.

  2. That’s a really interesting list.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever banned anyone for their off screen actions, but I could see that having an impact.

    I guess I’m good at separating.

    I mean, Tim Robbins should have been banned for his throwing motion alone in Bull Durham, but then again I do love Shawshank Redemption.

    George Clooney annoys me now, because his movies are either so out there, like oh my god I have to do this arty think piece because I’ve got integrity…or else it feels like he’s playing himself. Hey, I’m george clooney. Witty banter, smirk, look at the camera, witty banter.

  3. I just hate actors who think that they’re on the forefront of thinkers and their ideas on politics, et al are revolutionary and world altering. You know who got dangerously close? Alec Baldwin. Him and Leo flirted with crossing over, thankfully they backed off a little.

  4. I know what you mean. The egos get out of control, they have some time on their hands and suddenly they are experts on everything.

    Alec Baldwin is just a wild card. He’s got an unlimited free pass in my book.

  5. I might be camping out for Cars 2. My son loves that shit. Not so sure I’m buying the Mater/McQueen as international spies bit, but we’ll see. Maybe they’re just setting themeselves up for Fast Six cameos.

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