Sunday, June 1, 2008

Are there any new ideas left?

After this week's announcement of a new Beverly Hills Cop Movie and news of Michael Bay putting his treatment on the Ouija board game it's got me thinking...are there any new ideas left in Hollywood?

I've heard a lot of people ask this question. It usually annoys me. I always say, of course there's new ideas in Hollywood. There are a thousand or more screenwriters or hopefuls making fabulous (foreign or independent) films and writing scripts that will never be made. My argument is getting soggy and flimsy like day old toast. Juno was a great film, but is Juno going to save Hollywood? I'm sure Diablo Cody in all her awesomeness would be too modest to say yes, but she sure would want to. However, one little movie that verges on the edge of independence isn't going to do it.

After the horrifying disappointment that was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the (tin foil wrapped in glad wrap) Crystal Skull and the numerous tv/video game/comic book to film movies, great stories like Juno are drowning and not in crystal clear water but something more like what I'd imagine the Hudson River in New York to be like, murky and full of crap.

Let's face it, original stories are hard to come by. Sometimes adaptations are great such as Iron Man, Spider-Man or even do-overs like Batman Begins. Yet most fall into the category of "WHY DEAR LORD AMONGST THE HEAVENS WHY"? Even atheists are joining in the heavenly cry. Yet how long before we all lose our religion?

Cinemas and film studios are really suffering thanks to what I'm using right now to communicate to you, the internet. Illegal downloading is taking a huge bite out of profits so those slimy Hollywood suit-and-tie types are doing just about anything to make their dollars back, to get a hit. The question they must be asking is, "What's doing well on DVD"? Unfortunately for us, Indiana Jones, Beverly Hills Cop and countless others are among the answers. How long before we see a remake of Nosferatu or Metropolis?

I know it's important to make money, but film is art and without taking the fun out of movies, Hollywood has to find a way to squeeze the minds of other talents like the ex-stripper turned blogger turned author turned screenwriter turned Academy Award winner, Diablo Cody (phew). I know as sure as I'll die one day, that there are original ideas in the world or fresh takes on old ones. I know that product placement, action figures and a video game aren't all we can hope for from a film. I know that wonder and imagination can still rule, if only they could break through the bottom line.

While I really enjoy films like the ones I mentioned above, I still cringe every time I read a news item relating to a remake, adaptation or rejuvenation of a franchise. I can't help but wonder, will it turn out like Indy IV (a tragedy) or like Iron Man (a rip-roaring success)? I suppose all I can hope is that it works, and one day I'll see something new. Until then, I'll be lining up to see The Dark Knight and probably the MacGuyver Movie. Hell, I'll even admit I'm somewhat excited about the new Beverly Hills Cop. Like Indy, it's one of my favorite series with one of my favorite characters ever.

Until then, I guess I'll just keep hope alive.

This article is in syndication at Turkey or Not, Mile Hive and I Heart Movies.

No comments: