I enjoy movies as much as the next geek. I like watching them, researching upcoming ones, and generally having an opinion on what’s new at the box office. This is why I’ve noticed some disturbing tends that make me fret over what’s to come. These tendencies are making it harder for me to enjoy movies these days and I think that for the good of the industry they must stop. I know already that quite a few of these things are going to make me unpopular, but frankly I see it as necessary to point them out.
1. Using Too Many Special Effects
There is a reason that these things are called “special” effects; because they are supposed to be “special” as in rare. Perhaps I’m jaded but I can tell a computer generated character or effect a mile away and as cool as they can be I don’t want them in every scene. I’m speaking heavily to you George Lucas. To the credit of Lucas Arts, they are damn fine at what they do, but when a movie too heavily relies on it’s special effects to drive the story and the interest then what’s the point of having characters at all? It’s no wonder actors these days are not as convincing, they have to interact with a green screen half the time. Heck I’m even going to call out Lord of the Rings. Gollum was an incredible acting job, but I couldn’t get into the character because he looked fake. Movies, especially the big blockbusters, need to take a step back from the computer and allow actors to drive the story again.
2. Pretty People With Problems
This sounds really superficial but I think it needs to be said. I don’t care about supermodels playing characters. I want characters I can relate to. When they look so pretty they’re inhuman I’ve lost interest. I’m not really blaming the actors par se; I’m speaking of the makeup artists who cake on so much of the stuff that I feel like I’m looking at a whole other dimension where no one is “real” looking anymore. What happened to casting people who can actually play a character as opposed to someone who has the “look?” Please start finding actors who can act and stay away from the runway for a little while.
3. Boom, Boom, Die
I love a cool explosion so don’t get me wrong, however, there is a point when a movie stops relying on story and characters and starts relying on it’s explosions and stunts. To you movie executives out there, you do know that you can have both right? What makes Die Hard a better movie than, say, Terminator 3? Freaking John McClane! A character! A character that is both awesome and relatable. He does awesome stunts and causes lots of cool explosions, but those things become part of the story because his reaction to surviving those things is the same reaction anyone else would have, “Holy Sh**!, that was stupid! Why am I still alive!?” Explosions for the sake of explosions takes away from their impact and makes them not as breathtaking. Dial down the stupid, bring in some smart.
4. Remakes / Reboots
I really don’t need to say much more than in the past few years at least one third of the horror movies that have been released have been remakes. Are they worth it? No. No matter how awesome Rob Zombie is, just…no.
5. Hack Directors
This might just get me in very hot water, but the three most overrated hack directors of the past ten years are Uwe Boll, McG, and Michael Bay. These three men have no place behind a major motion picture and should only be relegated to directing children’s musicals at their local schools. Their movies break all of the rules I’ve stated so far, yet they are paid enormous amounts of cash to churn out awful flicks that the major studios force down our throats and convince us will be worth our $7.50 (or $15.00 if it’s an IMAX). Do yourself and everyone you know a favor and don’t see a motion picture that has any of these three folk’s names attached to it.
Ultimately this list asks the question, “When did mediocrity become acceptable in Hollywood?” I love film, and I want to see it flourish. Every year there are a handful of films that make it to the big screen that I truly enjoy and give me hope that there is a bright future for cinema. Let’s hope that these are five fads that will die out soon so that the adults can start running the show again. We the people can make that happen by voting with our wallets. Until next time…