With the increasing number of remakes, adaptations, and re-imaginings; is the film industry deviating further away from original content? Themes in films are destined to be explored over and over again; but does that mean they have to be the same story time and time again? The number of original films, not based on previous work or a sequel, has been steadily decreasing, and I want to know what you guys and gals think.
I find movie remakes boring. One of my favorite movies "Clash of the Titans" I loved the original more. I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen all through out the new version and was deeply disappointed. They changed a lot of stuff but did not replace them with any thing meaningful. The original was better, I would never watch the remake again.
Plots and themes will always be repeated but I really don't think that remaking a great movie does it any justice at all.
My sentiments exactly! The original "Clash of the Titans" is good, pretty much a masterpiece compared to the remake; but the problem I have with the remake is the story. I'm not against remakes entirely; but if your going to do them, just put some effort behind it. I remember studying Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" and admiring how he didn't just adapt Shakespeare's "Macbeth," he made it his own. Even the Coen brothers "O Brother, Where art thou?" adaptation of Homer's "The Odyssey" is so different from the source material or any other adaptation. I don't know! I just think that if I'm going to spend $13.50 for a remake or adaptation, hopefully there is an interesting story to grasp me mentally and emotionally.
I can watch certain movies again and again, but they were mostly created in my teens and twenties. Now it is very rare a movie shakes me down to my core.
My sense is that many films are just putting elements of other films together and often not in a coherent story-telling way, it feels like a jumble of beautiful and interesting scenes with no depth.
There will always be a smaller number of good movies than bad movies, but it does feel like movies are becoming more lame. but it is also very possible that as you get older, the things that were unique when we were younger just cannot be duplicated the same way, and the younger we are, the more our experiences act as a mental foundation by which we judge the world.
However, I do not believe it is just age that affects our perception that movies are becoming repetitive, it is also the streamlining of special effects and the laziness of producers that are turning the film industry into a factory belt. I wish I had better access to independent and foreign films - although that part of the film industry is showing signs of the same disease that afflicts Hollywood.
To return briefly to the secondary point of that previous paragraph, I desperately want to see and probably buy the Irish movie, "Parked," which stars one of my favorite actors: Colm Meaney. I can't get it on Amazon (without paying an outrageous amount of money - guess I'm not completely desperate), online or at the bookstore. This proves to me that America has become completely profit oriented, catering to the masses for maximum profit and minimum effort and ignoring the less profitable "indie" segment of Americans.
Capitalism is not evil, but it is obvious that art and culture is suffering because of greed. A good film can uplift and teach and expand our minds. Instead we are mostly left with titles like, "Battleship," "That's My Boy," and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."
I think you hit several key factors on why the repetitiveness in Hollywood is at an all time high. Obviously the money issue is at the apex; after that
I also agree with you on the idea of special effects and the lackadaisical style of storytelling being shoved down the masses throat weekly, purported as something of quality and depth, but really is nothing more then shiny turds. You mention "Battleship" (and I'll admit I was never a fan of the game), but this film is literally a shining piece of...(you know the rest). Beautiful effects, decent cast, decent director, and a tired/tried story. They could have made something memorable, but they said "nope, f*ck story," (their words, not mine), and decided to go for the money. It's unfortunate because they could have made something out of that property but they failed to capitalize, and I'm happy it loss money, so they can see that if you make crap, it gets flushed. LOL
They actually said that? Wow. Well, at least that explains it! The problem is that too many crap movies actually do make money :-(
And Lisa, Oh God, please not musicals! he he he.
It's been said that when it comes to coming up with stories there are 32 plots (some have said 36) from which authors choose and then change the details, settings, etc. If you divide movies "kids and family"/grown-up" first; and then by "happy-ending/sad ending/not-much-of-an-ending", then divide all those by "adventure/romance/neutral-story", and then trim off anything that's either way too aimed at kids or way too aimed at adults - and then if you figure in all the years that movies have been around since they were first invented; it's pretty easy to see how, at this point in movie-going-writing history it could be pretty slim-pickin's when it comes to coming up with something original.
Soon movie makers are going to have to resort to only the kind of stories that are real, and about which people say, "You just can't make this kind of stuff up." Well, at least, maybe, until everyone is so sick of them that they'll drag out musicals again. (Of course, there's always bigger and better special effects that completely obscure all signs of plot anyway....)
I've heard something like this before in my Film Theory and Criticism class. My teacher also expressed something like every film being rooted with love as being the underlying motivation for all genre's of film (except documentary). We went through a lot of films and found out there is some basis for that theory; but I still doubt it somewhat. FYI I Like Musicals (not all of them)
Movies have a plot for each.
There are only so many plots.
So, repetitiveness is going to happen.
Cags, I think you know this as well, but the problem is, no one wants to break away from the formula and do something really outside the box. When the courage comes to do that, then there might be some excitement back at the box office.
I'm going to agree with Cagsil. I'll also mention a little something about screenplays. Most screenplays are done in 3 arc fashion with a single protagonist and usually up to 3 antagonists with one being a 'faux' antagonist. It's how they teach it and anytime you stray from this formula, getting your screenplay looked at becomes a problem. In the end, it creates a formulatic screenplay system for dramas, action, horror and comedy.
There are very few times when the studios stray from this formula. 1. They pick up an independent at a film festival that people went crazy for. 2. They pick up a foreign film. 3. A big name makes it happen (like Spielberg, Coppola et al).
Most of the time, studios will cover their limp formulatic screenplays with CGI and excessive action sequences. To get a story that feels 'new', the system needs to find a way to tell it in a new way. Sadly, the system is not set up in this manner.
Your absolutely right, the 3 arc structure does not allow for much variation; however, the story and character development in a film is not limited within that structure. I personally find that a lot of films use the structure as a barrier preventing them from developing great story elements and interesting characters, causing the film to be devoid of depth and emotion. Adding cool VFX to a weak story and soulless characters makes it worse, because if the characters and the story were there, they could have had something special.
Well, the story, character development and acting is what allows for the 3 act structure to be utilized over and over again with a seemingly endless amount of variations.
The problem lies with the fact that the 3 act structure is still a box. It's really hard for people to see outside of this box, so they shell out the same movie over and over again, only with a different location and ensemble of actors. You'll have screenplay writers, directors and actors that elevate the normal 3 act structure film beyond what it is and those are the ones that stand out.
Now, if only it can be standard to push back this structure. It is the default and the movie going experience would be better one's expectations included others.
We can talk about limited plots and abundant remakes, but what Hollywood fails to attempt (usually) is telling the same story from a different POV. The only movie I'm aware of that DOES change POV would be 'The Wizard of Oz' to 'The Wiz' - and it didn't go over too well. Maybe it was ahead of its time? I liked it, the whole idea and everything about it. But, I'm only one person....
Interesting point! Several films have utilized POV to tell unique stories, but remaking a film to see it entirely from another characters POV could and would be very different; however, it too would have to have an engaging character and a good story to even warrant the remake (wait...no it doesn't).
I think it's hard to write a screenplay that is full of new ideas. But the Hunger Games proves this can still be done in a way that provides action, drama, and entertainment. On the other hand, not all films need to be truly unique to be enjoyable.
Never read the book, but I will, cause I was thoroughly shocked at how good this film was and how disturbed it made me feel about kids being murdered for sport. I did hear some people whine about the inner monologue Katniss has with herself in the book being omitted from the film, but I haven't read it to know whether or not their boo-hooing holds any merit. Also, I agree, not all films need to be unique to be enjoyable; but, I don't like them to be lazy. "Wrath of the Titans" came out this year and the story and character were (IMO) terrible, but I enjoyed the time watching the film. I just wish I didn't pay $12.00 to see in theaters, but I wasn't outrageously upset about it.
This is why I rarely go to the cinema. I have been so disappointed in recent years, that I am reluctant to spend good money to see mediocrity. A good example of such dreck is War Horse, a Stephen Spielberg movie. I'm glad that I didn't pay full price to view this as a current release.
As one gets older, it just naturally happens that one gets more selective, discriminating, and analytical.
Hence, I'll wait for nearly all movies to make it to DVD, if I watch them at all.
I have very much enjoyed some of the movies made for Christian audiences in recent years, and I'm surprised I'm saying that, because I dislike Christian novels. With the right producer and director, perhaps the message is better conveyed in a scripted movie rather than a lengthy piece of fiction.
Fireproof (starring Kirk Cameron) is an excellent movie with a Christian theme that I thought was really well done, and even had one funny scene that got me laughing for several minutes. I saw it on cable TV. Courageous is also pretty good. These movies have pretty good action shots (main characters are fire fighters or police officers), but no special effects. The plot boils down to ordinary people facing huge life challenges.
It all depends on how you look upon it. For example Batman vs. Batman Begins. The original version with Michael Keaton was more "comic" movie, I found that evident in how they did the villains and plot lines. How he became Batman was not really explained. Now onto Batman Begins, this movie I enjoyed, not saying I did not love the first one, this version explains thing deeper and the movies does get darker which draws us into the character. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) took us through the steps on how took his fears of bats and turns the bat it into a symbol of its not going to rule me.
Sometimes movie producers and directors look to making the better so much better with the aid of new cinematography and special effects. This can hurt the movie mostly but in those rare instances it sometimes work, but again that is my opinion. Its up to you the movie viewer to watch what you love! That is the best to enjoy your movie night!
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