Say It Ain't So Sequels
Hollywood Is Suffering From A Glut Of Formulaic Garbage Hogging Movie Screens
Sandra Bullock. Images by djtomdog, nicolas benin and Philkon and used under the terms of Creative Commons licenses.
By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 14, 2011 — I have a problem. No, it is not earth shattering and it does not involve health or safety or anything of too much consequence. But it could affect the world’s sanity.
The problem is movies. More specifically, how much the majority of films suck these days. Filmmakers today excel in one area and one area only: producing a shit product.
I can't handle the glut of mediocrity Hollywood is throwing at me. Michael Bay continues to show no shame as he single-handedly destroys both quality script writing and all Seven Wonders of the World.
Adam Sandler is actually going to play a male-female set of twins. The Glee concert has a movie.
The $12 it cost to get into one of these clusterf***s should include a hollow tooth filled with cyanide.
Sadly, the madness doesn't look to be ending anytime soon. In fact, it could conceivably get worse. If it does, expect the future to look a lot like these four “films.”
The Blinder Side (2015)
After the success of 2009's The Blind Side, Hollywood execs are looking for the next sports-themed inspirational movie that will draw both men and women. In an apparent act of God, producers at one of the major motion picture companies uncover some blind kid who managed to achieve a modicum of success at some level of sports — it could be Little League, club soccer, chess club, rowing. Personally, I am pulling for either target shooting or NASCAR.
Sandra Bullock will play the titular character's mother or girlfriend or mentor or…hell, we all know she'll be involved. It seems like everything she touches turns into generic romantic nonsense (read: box office gold).
Transformers 12 (2020)
Shia LaBeuf is back as our hero, Sam, while director Bay is back as a seven-year-old with a matchbook and household chemicals. In order to keep the franchise going, Bay has found some third tier transformer villain that was created in 1989 as happy meal prize.
Sadly, this villain is a less than stellar antagonist. He simply drives from state to state — in the form of a 1978 Pacer — setting popular buildings and tourist destinations on fire for no apparent reason. Still, the Autobots come to the rescue, smash a few cities, blow up the Grand Canyon, and ultimately defeat random villain and his random minions. All the while, Sam manages to seriously endanger his eighth new girlfriend in the franchise, who happens to be an 18-year-old supermodel.
Untitled Ugly, Fat, Old Dude Gets With Extremely Hot Woman Comedy (2013)
If this were 2008, this film could have a chance at being decent because it might involve both Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow. However, Rogen is now thin, so Apatow no longer has a chubby muse to pair up with beautiful actresses (even Jonah Hill is looking slimmer).
So, the role will go to a fat and ugly Adam Sandler and the script will be both contrived and very much a retread. It will probably involve Sandler's character learning a life lesson with the hot woman — who was so not in to him at the beginning of the movie — being his cosmic reward. Costars include Sandler as his own father, Lindsay Lohan as an attractive bitch that tempts Sandler (if she is still alive), and like nine of Sandler's friends in random bit roles.
Eat Your Heart Out (2016)
Producers tap Arizona's own Stephanie Meyer to pen this script, which should further tap into the supernatural/romantic bullshit genre that made her famous. The story follows a young female as she attempts to cope with high school and the recent zombie apocalypse.
While everyone else hates the zombies, the young female has a keen insight that allows her to see past the drooling and rumors of cannibalism and murder into what they really are: people looking for someone to love. The young female takes an interest in a particularly grayish zombie with stupid hair and the two fall in love against all odds.
Everyone tells her it's a bad idea. He will eat you, they say. But the young rebel defies society in order to dry hump — thanks Meyer — the zombie's brains out.
In order to make this idiotic concept work with mainstream audiences, Meyer will completely bastardize the zombie as an archetype. In her script, the virus simply makes the victim's skin and bit saggy and they crave raw meat. And sometimes they drool. Luckily for all of us, young female can cope with all of this horrible nonsense in a completely dysfunctional way that will spawn a franchise.
Hollywood is not even close to exhausting the various genres of modern “film.” Sure, such films might attract a limitless audiences and a gaggle of talentless artists. From adolescent horror romance flicks to lots-of-stuff-went-boom action vehicles, the terrible idea canon seems to extend forever.
But what is a movie buff to do?
Well, I could stop watching movies altogether and hope that I inspire a solidarity amongst film aficionados that sparks mass upheaval and an ultimate change on the part of the film industry. But, no, that won't work.
This is America, after all.
A big portion of the audience might be appreciative, thoughtful movie fans but the silent majority are date nighters hoping that the explosions or blood sucking or teary-eyed romance will excite their partner enough to ensure a pleasant end to the evening.
At least they're getting something out of it.
I could ask Christopher Nolan to make every single movie from now on. The guy took a dead franchise — Batman — in a predictable genre — superhero — and turned it into a movie that is both action-packed and layered in creative storytelling and compelling characters.
He did the unthinkable and actually created a film that appeals to both critical film fans and the mass audience. Sadly, I don't have his phone number and his production time of around 3 years cannot appease the industry as a whole.
I could only attend art house theatres. I really like movies like Un Prophete and Assassination of a High School President so that might work, but I also like to be around people that do not smell of mothballs and/or body odor.
Unfortunately there is not a perfect solution with such a glut of formulaic garbage clogging movie screens.
I guess I will accept my fate and will continue to go to the theaters and see so-so movies with the hopes that a great film will slide past the studio execs a la Super 8 and sneak up on me (I am looking at you Our Idiot Brother).
Until then, I will tolerate the infuriating trailers for the next Fast and the Furious installment and the next dance movie and the next 3D horror flick on the hopes that my feature presentation will be up to snuff.
But in case it is not, I am still partial to the hollow tooth idea, too.
Wayne Schutsky lives in Phoenix and attends Arizona State University.