Looking back at the films released this year, I can in all honesty say that â€“ well, besides â€œStar Trekâ€ â€“ the most successful of the bunch werenâ€™t necessarily the most entertaining.
In fact, many â€“ like the dreadful â€œTransformers : Revenge of the Fallenâ€, the mind-numbing â€œG.I Joeâ€, and “Saw VI” â€“ went off like a wet firecracker.
Problem is, the studioâ€™s have come to the realization that itâ€™s much easier to not only make, but make a buck out of something that offers name recognition â€“ like the abovementioned robot-humps-Megan-Foxâ€™s-leg-movie, one of thoseâ€ now 100% kiddie-friendlyâ€ horror remakes, or something based on a video game that was in a bargain bin a month after it shelves – so theyâ€™re less and less interested in original material. Heck, a couple of studios will laugh at you, crumble your script up and use it as a spit-ball, and offer up their best Bill Mechanic-impersonation if you even try to pitch them something original.
For my money, the best films of the past twelve months include such titles as â€œAdventurelandâ€, â€œThe Brotherâ€™s Bloomâ€, â€œFanboysâ€, â€œThe Boat That Rockedâ€ and â€œâ€ but chances are, only a small portion of you out there have seen those flicks â€“ why? For the simple fuck-fact that you never had the opportunity. When sure-things like â€œTransformersâ€ and â€œSaw 6â€ are hogging most of the screens at the multiplex, thereâ€™s just no room for the smaller (but arguably better) film, like say, Greg Mottolaâ€™s â€œAdventurelandâ€ which disappeared from theatres quicker than a restroom streaker.
A number of filmmakers, producers and studio execs themselves have told me this year that the majority of films getting up at the moment are sequels and remakes â€“ and pretty soon, thatâ€™s about all theyâ€™ll be making. â€œYa see, they â€“ the flicks with brand recognition – make money; the â€˜good stuffâ€™ doesnâ€™t (thereâ€™s probably another argument here to make â€“ something along the lines of â€˜if the studios pushed the smaller, better film more â€“ as Sony did with â€œDistrict 9â€ and Paramount did with â€œParanormal Activityâ€ â€“ mightnâ€™t that turn things around?), thus itâ€™s franchise, franchise, franchise and rehash, rehash, rehash all the wayâ€, says one filmmaker.
And what youâ€™ll find over the next couple of years is that youâ€™ll be seeing more and more â€˜nameâ€™ brands getting the movie treatment â€“ heck, even Hasbro board games like â€œMonopolyâ€ and â€œRiskâ€ are getting the movie treatment (even sadder that big name directors like Ridley Scott are bringing them to the screen, but I guess if nobodyâ€™s prepared to make their original material â€“ they gotta get their meal ticket somewhere else). â€˜The suits donâ€™t care where the name originates fromâ€¦ so long as you can build a movie around it. In-and-Out-Burger : The Movie canâ€™t be too far awayâ€, says a writer who, despite a few good credits on his IMDB, canâ€™t sell his latest piece â€“ because itâ€™s â€œtoo differentâ€.
Despite most of them sucking worse than a clogged hoover, there will be dozens more horror remakes (â€œA Nightmare on Elm Streetâ€, â€œPoltergeistâ€, â€œThe Birdsâ€, â€œMotherâ€™s Dayâ€, â€œI Spit On Your Graveâ€); hordes of sequels (Rambo will be back, Indiana Jones, Michael Myers, even Shrek!); a bunch of films based on musicals (â€œNineâ€, â€œRock of Agesâ€, â€œWickedâ€),a slew of direct-to-DVD sequels (Universal Soldier 3 got you excited? What about Death Race 2?), a trunk full of video-game flicks (â€œPrince of Persiaâ€, â€œTekkenâ€), remakes of films that shouldnâ€™t be (â€œButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidâ€, â€œLess than Zeroâ€, â€œDeath Wishâ€, â€œTotal Recallâ€, â€œFright Nightâ€, â€œThe Clash of the Titansâ€), and, of course, oodles and oodles of films based on comic-book properties â€“ â€œThe Flashâ€, â€œThorâ€, â€œCaptain Americaâ€ – heck, even the inked offerings that have already spawned films, like â€œFantastic Fourâ€ and â€œDaredevilâ€, are being rebooted. Soderbergh couldnâ€™t get â€œMoneyballâ€ up, Duncan Jones is struggling to find the finance for his â€œMoonâ€ follow-up â€œMuteâ€, and that all-star sequel to â€œThe Last Detailâ€ doesnâ€™t look like itâ€™ll ever happen find a backer, and yet thereâ€™s script-less junk being greenlit based on the name value embossed on the A4 top sheet. Sadder than a dickless man in the playboy mansion, hey?
So if thatâ€™s how itâ€™s going to be, thatâ€™s how itâ€™s going to beâ€¦. My fellow producers, filmmakers, writersâ€¦ hereâ€™s a few ideas that might get you through the front door. Throw that brilliantly-written, original piece to the side, and write a treatment for something thatâ€™ll sell toys, look pretty on placemats, and catch the young oneâ€™s eye when it hits the newspaper!
Fancy a remake?
â€œMannequinâ€ â€“ hey, remember that little beautie? Didnâ€™t make a dime at the box office first-time around (The theme song did better), but who caresâ€¦ the story is there for the taking. Robert Pattinson would make a terrific Jonathan Switcher, and Kristen Stewart would make a really cutie Mannequin! The kids would camp out for weeks to see it! And when it comes to â€˜Hollywoodâ€™, it ainâ€™t gonna get any better than big-time â€˜celebrityâ€™ Perez Hilton! Sign the boy up now!
â€œWeekend at Berniesâ€ â€“ Was a surprise hit when it was released at the tail-end of the 80s. Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman were fun, sure, but imagine how great this could be if it were The Jones Brothers dragging around a corpse! And Renee Zellweger is so expressionless these days she could probably play â€˜Bernieâ€™ â€“ the late female executive who invited the two to her beach house for fun and frolicking only to sniff a little too much skunk off the mirror! Brilliant!
â€œCrossroadsâ€ â€“ Since heâ€™s already remaking â€œThe Karate Kidâ€, and thatâ€™s bound to be a smash, it probably wonâ€™t take much to entice young Jaden Smith into redoing another Ralph Macchio â€˜classicâ€™. Instead of the bluesâ€¦ maybe he could be a talented pre-teen rapper?!
â€œTango & Cashâ€ â€“ The Rock and Seann William Scott are bunking together these days, right? Theyâ€™d probably be happy to work together again – – and tell me theyâ€™re not going to have a hoot wearing womenâ€™s clothing and mocking their larger-than-life personas? (â€œWrestlers are pussies!â€, says Johnson as he fires a round into the guts of the oil rig).
Hell, and just to please The Rock â€“ and his diaper-wearing fans â€“ they could switch the central location from a jail to a juvenile detention centreâ€¦. Where Tango & Cash are forced to go because the jails are full! The kids will love it!
â€œThe Running Manâ€ â€“ With Adrien Brody set to go fist-to-glove with the â€˜Predatorâ€™ next year, in turn somewhat taking the place of the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger, itâ€™s evident the boyâ€™s about to become a bonafide action star. And what better a vehicle for Brody to follow â€œPredatorsâ€ up with then another Schwarzenegger classic, â€œThe Running Manâ€?! Attach him now thoughâ€¦. Before they get him from that long-gestating â€œEscape from New Yorkâ€ remake!
Fancy bringing a TV hit to the big screen?
â€œBookerâ€ â€“ Make sure Richard Grieco doesnâ€™t hear about it, otherwise your phone will never stop ringing, but if you can entice Cannell to produce a feature-film version of the popular â€˜â€™21 Jump Streetâ€™â€™ spin-off you could be yachting in the Bahamas before the 71-page-script is even in coloured pages form. And since theyâ€™re making a â€œ21 Jump Streetâ€ film, you could have â€˜Bookerâ€™ cameo in it, thus setting up the vehicle thatâ€™ll be released the following Summer. Vince Vaughnâ€™s name should be atop of your wish list to play Booker.
â€œDifferent Strokesâ€ â€“ Now this is something Wil Smith is bound to want to get involved with! â€“ Fuck, itâ€™s the perfect opportunity for him and young Jaden to work together again! See where Iâ€™m going with this!? Yep, Will as Willis, Jaden as Arnold. And how cool would the theme song be if Will laid down his vocals on it!!? Bring a hairdryer with you to the pitch meeting, because youâ€™re gonna need to dry some execsâ€™ trousers!
â€œFawlty Towersâ€ â€“ When it comes to classic British comedy, you know thereâ€™s only one man that can possibly do a film version justiceâ€¦. Yep, Steve Carell! I can see the TV spots already! â€˜Manuel!!!!â€™
â€œCharles in Chargeâ€ â€“ Imagine this : Taylor Lautner, one of the hottest new stars in the world, is suddenly forced to accept a job as a live-in nanny to bunch of screaming vampire-movie loving girls! Let the bids begin!
â€œFang-Faceâ€ â€“ The classic Saturday morning cartoon finally gets the big-screen treatment! Bill Murray was Garfield, Dan Aykroydâ€™s set to play Yogi Bearâ€¦ surely Jack Nicholson wants in on the fun!? Heck, if Nicholson plays hardball just tell him youâ€™ve got a letter of intent from Adam Sandler to play his sidekick Fangpussy! Fuck, Iâ€™d buy shares in this bitch now!
â€¦. End of Part One.
To Be Continued.
- Jeremy London, Ethan Suplee returning for Mallrats 2 - March 28, 2015
- Dorff gets a badge for Texas Chainsaw prequel - March 28, 2015
- Another ’90s TV Hit returning! - March 28, 2015
- Super Troopers 2 director answers those lingering questions! - March 28, 2015
- Blade Runner actress nixed from sequel? - March 28, 2015
- Transformers sequels, spin offs in the works - March 28, 2015
- Seinfeld fave in talks for Force Majeure remake - March 28, 2015
- Beauty and the Beast finds it’s Garderobe - March 28, 2015
- First look at Patrick Stewart in Blunt Talk - March 28, 2015
- Cast announced for School of Rock TV series - March 28, 2015
Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.