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The Cynical Optimist : The Problem with Hollywood…

Countless sequels, remakes and torturous exercises in 3D technology are destroying original filmmaking and the art of cinema as a whole. As much as I’d like to point the finger at greedy, out-of-touch studio executives for doing their jobs, ultimately, audiences who attend such terrible films as “Zookeeper,” “The Smurfs” and “Jack and Jill” are to blame.

If the mindless masses would stop handing over their hard-earned cash for mediocre entertainment (and Adam Sandler films), Hollywood would stop forcing it down our throats. Sadly, with upcoming atrocities like “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ and “Three Stooges,” there’s no end in sight to our misery.

While we’re on the subject, Adam Sandler’s next cinematic travesty, “Donny’s Boy,” will hit theaters before the impending apocalypse can save us. On the bright side, at least that will be the last Happy Madison Productions release we ever have to see. [fingers crossed!]

If you’re reading this column, you’ve probably heard the news that Kristin Wiig isn’t interested in “Bridesmaids 2.” Melissa McCarthy, Judd Apatow and director Paul Feig have shared a similar disinterest, which is the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, “Bridesmaids” was the best comedy of 2011 – but it’s a standalone film. It’s not a pilot for an episodic series.

This isn’t “The Hangover.” You can’t put these characters in pink dresses and throw a Bangkok wedding with Mike Tyson and Wilson Phillips. Then again, “The Hangover Part II” made $581 million worldwide at the box office, despite it being the exact same film in a different location.

Imagine if Hollywood decided to green-light sequels for other successful standalone 2011 movies. First up it’s “50/50 Part II: Double or Nothing.” While on vacation in Hawaii with his family, Adam’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) cancer comes back with a vengeance, and it’s up to Seth Rogen and Michael Fassbender (seriously, that guy’s in everything!) to stop the cancer from spreading to Adam’s heart.

Or what about “The Artist 2: Look Who’s Talking Now.” Everyone’s favorite silent, black-and-white film of 2011 will get its inevitable sequel, where George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) fall out of love in the age of talking pictures only to be reunited in beautiful technicolor!

While I’m only kidding, it’s easy to see where such ridiculous farces could become reality. The fact that we’re remaking “Judge Dredd,” “Red Dawn” and “Dirty Dancing” is proof that Hollywood is just fucking with us at this point. Not to mention “Annie” starring Willow Smith or spirited remakes of “Child’s Play” and “Point Break,” which let’s be honest… WE’VE ALL BEEN BEGGING FOR!

Speaking of things people were begging for, “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D” will stumble into cinemas soon. Just what I always wanted, Jar Jar Binks and Jake Lloyd in three dimensions. I think I’d rather have the direct-to-dvd “Hostel: Part III” beamed directly into my cerebral cortex.

While on the topic of terrible films, I had the displeasure of watching “Red Tails” a couple weeks ago. While I understand Anthony Hemingway is technically the director of this film, it’s my opinion that George Lucas hired a black point-and-shoot director to give his World War II action movie a certain amount of credibility.

Seriously, how could anyone take “Red Tails” seriously if it were directed by a rich white man? Kind of like “Malcolm X” if it was written by Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis. Lucas made a good call in bringing Hemingway into his esteemed circle of yes men — too bad he couldn’t make a good film.

“Red Tails” is a horrible, melodramatic disaster on the scale of “Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” I was just waiting for Hayden Christensen to show up as a white fighter pilot who talks about the coarse sand of Tattooine and how it gets everywhere.

It’s hard to get a movie made nowadays if you’re not selling a toy, which is why George Lucas had to pay for “Red Tails” out of his own extremely deep pockets. Don’t worry guys, he’s still a billionaire – and his empire will only grow with these soulless 3D releases. Again, ultimately audiences are to blame for this shit.

Final Thoughts: One of my all-time favorite films is Jack Arnold’s 1954, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Following the success of “The Mummy” and “The Wolfman,” Universal Pictures began developing a remake in hopes the Gill-Man would find a new audience.

Since then the project has gone around on the creative carousel from Hell, as first time director Carl Erik Rinsch was lined up after “The Crazies” director Breck Eisner passed. Screenwriter Gary Ross penned the updated script and is the son of original “Creature From the Black Lagoon” writer Arthur Ross.

Ross is currently in the process of directing “The Hunger Games,” while Rinsch is finishing up “47 Ronin” with Keanu Reeves. Eisner, however, appears to be available – and rumor has it Channing Tatum is circling the project, which gives me great concern.

Channing Tatum is without a doubt, the worst leading man in Hollywood. I’ll gladly eat those words if “Magic Mike” isn’t a “Boogie Nights” knockoff, but I have a feeling he’ll be just as unconvincing in a film loosely based off his own life as he was in “G.I. Joe,” “Dear John” and “Step Up 2: The Streets.”

To think I’ll have to watch him in scuba gear hunting down the Gill-Man in the Amazon makes me want to cry and vomit simultaneously…

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