Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Movies are Bad

"Cop Out"

I've only seen the commercials and I already know that this will be a terrible film. I feel as if directors think we (or at least I) are stupid and have the memory span of a jellyfish. The entire concept of 'white guy and black guy work together' has been done to death. Perhaps it wouldn't be so boring if they did not adhere to the same tired stereotypes, dialogue, and plotlines.

I think Bruce Willis is starring in it which just about clinches my prediction. I have the intense feeling of deja vu that Bruce is a staple of these films. Or maybe not. I have not the time to search his page on the internet movie database and determine all the 'white cop with black cop' movies he has starred in. And if I am wrong, then someone similar to him in attitude always takes the place of the white guy. The white guy who is always the straight man and the tough guy. We watch his trials as he attempts to deal with the wack antics of his black partner. Some would argue this constant set-up is mildly racist, but I think whichever race is cast in either role, the concept is bland.

It's bland and no one has yet radically changed the formula into anything new or exciting or thought provoking. It is just old. The day when this plot has been driven in a new direction, then I might venture a look. As it is, the commercial looks to drive into the same sequence.

There's sequels. Sequels almost never live up to the original. There are a few exceptions. But that's just it: Exceptions. Typically they're rancid and especially so if the resolution of the original was tight as to preclude any hint of another conflict. If the original story was most firmly resolved then it cannot be visited again. Disney produced a few sequels to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and and others. How is that possible? Cinderella was definitively closed. What more is there to say? The eventual wedding and role as princess? That isn't very interesting. I feel that is something better left to the imagination and minds.

If it's not sequels, it's remakes. A good remake is far more rare than a good sequel. I don't think this is a problem of quality. The true problem lies in nostalgia. Watching movies we grew up with get a modern refit or details added/removed and with different actors ruins the enjoyment for many. When I saw 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', aside from Johnny Depp's hideous performance as Wonka, there was a non-stop comparison to 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'. It isn't fair for remakes to be held to their elders but it's inevitable. It's part of our human nature.'Alice in Wonderland' is getting an update (part of the reason why my mind has drifted unto this topic) and fully in 3D. It looks to hold truer to the original novel than the Disney animation. But I would not be able to watch without thinking of the toned downed characters of that version.

I understand that almost all plots and stories were older than dirt during the times when Athens was founded by Zeus. But to ward off those who will likely email me or leave a comment saying I'm being unfair, there is a difference between rehashing an old plot and making an old plot entertaining. Too often sequels, remakes, and cliche hack plots are not entertaining. Thus, they fail.

And if you can't manage some basic tenets of good film making, then you cannot hope to be entertaining. Bad actors will more likely than not ruin a movie, even if you're attempting to make an homage to cheezy B movies. Terrible sound, terrible blocking, terrible anything, there's a reason it's called terrible. Stop doing it.

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