There is no more iconic piece of modern American culture than the movie. Ever since the early 1900s when Hollywood and the moving pictures were emerging as the new form of entertainment in America, we have been blessed with masterpieces nearly every decade. For the longest time, full-length pictures were an art. My entire life has been filled with classic cinema from Casablanca and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to The Godfather, Pulp Fiction and all the great movies of my childhood like Major League, Mrs. Doubtfire, Kindergarten Cop, and so many others. The movies used to be so great.
However, it just seems like over the past decade Hollywood, generally, has gone to crap. When you go to a movie these days, what are the previews? Superhero, superhero, remake, superhero, remake, CGI kids movie, superhero remake, Star Wars, and the occasional good movie. Previous decades were completely saturated with great movies, but now it seems most of the quality writing has gone to television. Epic television series seem to be where the money is, which I totally understand in today’s streaming entertainment market, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood needs to sell out the movie business to boilerplate, assembly-line superhero movies. Maybe, just maybe, quality movies will make movie theaters great again.
The only quality movies there have been over the past decade were either from the Star Wars franchise, CGI kids movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, Taken, The Wolf of Wall Street, or James Bond movies. There may have been a few good ones in between, and the newest Fast & Furious movie was appropriately cheesy, but the last 10 years of American cinema have been pretty barren when you compare them to previous decades.
Some content providers will claim no one goes to the movies anymore, yet box office records are constantly broken when a good movie finally comes out. Of course, these are the same content providers who say Game of Thrones should have 20-minute episodes optimized for mobile, and to them I say “go screw yourself.”
I still think there are plenty of original stories to be told; we can’t possibly think that this is it. Don’t make a female Ghostbusters remake. It’s not really The Mummy if it’s not Brendan Fraser. We don’t need twenty Spider-Man movies. How great would it be for someone to create a completely new hero? A new Richard Kimble? A new Truman Show? Was Inception supposed to be the new Matrix? Meh. Where’s the new Lt. Vince Hanna? As for heroines, what about a new Mathilda from The Professional? There are legitimate options here. There are thousands of new heroes and heroines you can write, and in the tumultuous times in which we live you can tell a million relatable stories.You know how I know?
They’re doing it.
So while I love that we’re keeping these fantastic shows available on streaming and premium channels, there’s no reason to sacrifice quality movies for cheap, churned-out crap. We can do better than looking to our old comic book collections for movie ideas or remaking movies from decades ago because of, as South Park put it, “Member Berries.”
Come on, Hollywood. Do better..
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