Sign in to follow this  
NickAndNora34

Hollywood Running Out of Ideas?

89 posts in this topic

18 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

People really don't like to hear it but, the people who like to watch dramas, suspense, great script writing etc.. don't go to theaters anymore. They don't have to. 

We live in the world of the home theater. With  surround sound, big flat screen, no waiting, no concession stand, drink or smoke what you want ... there no longer is a need to go out of the home to watch a film. Most films go to DVD fairly soon. And older people tend to be quite patient.

Hollywood has to produce what will bring people out of their homes, to the theaters. Big CGI blockbusters are making that happen. One thing time has taught us, The movies will adjust to whatever will sell tickets.

 

 

True & True

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I don't like 1941Temple of Doom is often silly but it's enjoyable. Lost World was pretty bad. A.I. was very good, and one of the best films of its year. 

I rank The Terminal and Hook as Spielberg's worst. And The BFG.

The BFG was not likable in the least, for me. I wasn't using hyperbole. It's okay that you liked it. Different people can like different things.

I hated Hook and 1941 was just a mess. Temple of Doom is watchable (though I can hardly stomach the monkey brain bit myself).

I expected The Terminal to be a bit better than it actually was.

Haven't seen Lost World or A.I. as of yet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I hated Hook and 1941 was just a mess. Temple of Doom is watchable (though I can hardly stomach the monkey brain bit myself).

I expected The Terminal to be a bit better than it actually was.

Haven't seen Lost World or A.I. as of yet.

Hook seemed like a paycheck assignment. Completely uninspired and at times dreadfully stupid and obnoxious.

The Terminal irritated me so much mainly due to the people involved, and expectations of something more substantial than what was filmed, which seemed like a pilot for a bad TV sitcom.

Lost World: Jurassic Park was also uninspired. It was an inevitability that it would be made, but more time spent on the script would have been appreciated. And the interesting cast (including returning Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, and a young Vince Vaughn) is largely wasted with little chemistry between them.

Many people dislike A.I., and I understand why. Spielberg's style and that of Stanley Kubrick aren't the most natural mix. Spielberg was a friend and admirer of Kubrick, and when he died suddenly, Spielberg decided to step in and film A.I. which Kubrick had been cultivating for the previous 20+ years. The result is an uneven blend of sentimentality and cold dread, a look at a decadent human society on its way out. The plotline is very simple, but the detail of the production design and the implications of several of the film's elements reward repeat viewing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2017 at 10:18 AM, LawrenceA said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitman:_Agent_47

To name a few just from the last 3 years, and 2 coming next year. None have been good, and the two upcoming ones don't look good, either. 

 

19 hours ago, EricJ said:

Go back and watch 1941, A.I., Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, and Lost World: Jurassic Park, and then come back and write us a three-page essay on the subject, "Hyperbole".  -_-

I enjoyed the original Hitman. And I never played the video game. Typical action film. Some interesting locations and side plots. I have watched it a few times actually.

I also enjoyed A.I. I never really understood the criticism of it. I figure everyone has their own tastes, which is fine. 

When I go to a movie, I have no expectations at all. I just munch on my popcorn and whatever shows up on the screen will be good or not. Its that simple for me. I can analyze later.

 

 

18 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

The only part of Temple of Doom that I didn't like was the monkey brain part. 

I can deal with the original Indiana Jones trilogy.

'Crystal Skull' however... ugh.

Many times a character can be so fleshed out and developed, you wonder how they would do in another adventure. In those cases I can see making sequels. But, there seems to be a point where the whole thing seems forced. Like everyone is in it for the money. Those are the sequels I try to avoid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, hamradio said:

The movie was reflecting Steven Hawking's objections / fears to us sending out signals in hoping to contact alien life or answering if THEY try to make contact.

The movie was reflecting Hasbro's wish to turn board games into Paramount movies from "the producer of the Transformers" (which is why the aliens all had blue whizzing gears), and failed so badly, they had to sell off their Ouija, Jem, Rock-em Sock-em Robots and Candyland projects, and the non-Tim Curry reboot of Clue had to be shelved.  Fortunately, looks like Adam Sandler's probably not going to do that Candyland movie after all, unless for Netflix.

52 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

I enjoyed the original Hitman. And I never played the video game. Typical action film. Some interesting locations and side plots. I have watched it a few times actually.

And I have the '94 Van Damme "Street Fighter" on Blu-ray, and dang, it's a fun movie :lol: , but it helps to have actually played the game.  It also helps to have a director who's actually played it in his life, too.

But then, most of the good videogame movies, like Doom or Prince of Persia, come from a little mainstream cultural exposure where most audiences know what to expect, and not from the software companies licensing their own projects, thinking everyone already HAS heard of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vincent Price should always play a villain

Price wasn't a villain in Laura or The Whales of August.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

and 1941 was just a mess.

I like 1941. I don't call it a guilty pleasure because I don't feel any guilt when I watch it. It is messy, the young leads are bland, and there is a lot of screaming. There's also the amazing air raid scene in Los Angeles, great cinematography, a rolling Ferris wheel, and some over-the-top and funny performances from Warren Oates, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lionel Stander, Slim Pickens, and Murray Hamilton.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

 The Great Mouse Detective came out a little bit before Disney's renaissance period.  I think many consider the 1970s-1980s (until The Little Mermaid comes along in '89) to be the low point in Disney animation--though I do enjoy many of them.  My favorites being Robin Hood, The Rescuers, The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company.  The Black Cauldron (1985) I believe is considered Disney's worst film.  However, I think in recent years, the film has developed somewhat of a cult following.  I personally haven't seen it, but my best friend (who is also a Disney fanatic) loves The Black Cauldron

 

I remember watching Robin Hood, The Rescuers (in my top 10!), and Oliver and Company when I was very young. I enjoyed all of them. 

I don't think I will ever quite understand The Black Cauldron. I watched about half of it, and then had to turn it off. I just didn't like it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EricJ said:

The movie was reflecting Hasbro's wish to turn board games into Paramount movies from "the producer of the Transformers" (which is why the aliens all had blue whizzing gears), and failed so badly, they had to sell off their Ouija, Jem, Rock-em Sock-em Robots and Candyland projects, and the non-Tim Curry reboot of Clue had to be shelved.  Fortunately, looks like Adam Sandler's probably not going to do that Candyland movie after all, unless for Netflix.

Jem and the Holograms was also a cartoon in the 80s.  It was one of "my shows" when I was little.  While reading about Jem on Wikipedia to see where Hasbro came into play, it looks like 'Jem' was one of those shows where a line of merchandise and associated cartoon were made simultaneously--presumably the real intent was to sell toys, not to create some groundbreaking cartoon.  Most of the 80s kids cartoons that I remember all had a line of merchandise behind them.  The cartoons were not that great (but great for a preschool/kindergartner), but the toys were fun: Jem, GI Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, just to name a few.  There were also Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears that were based off of Hallmark and American Greetings greeting card lines. I also remember the 80s had cartoons that were the kid version of the cartoons that 80s kids' parents watched in the 60s.  The Flintstone Kids and A Pup Named Scooby Doo are two cartoons of that vein that immediately come to mind.

Cartoons based on toys, toys based on cartoons, cartoons based on greeting cards, all of this is not anything new, but I don't know, now it just seems more lame.  Maybe because many of these remakes/adaptations/whatever you want to call them, just don't seem clever or interesting or lack the charm of the original?

The only movie based on a board game that I can think of right now that I really like is Clue.  I love that movie. 

I'm really surprised that they haven't tried re-making Glengarry Glen Ross but with a Monopoly theme. Or made some fantasy movie based on Candy Land.  A movie on the bully epidemic called Sorry!. A medical movie featuring a life saving Operation.  A buddy comedy remake of one of the "Road" movies about Life. A modern Shakespeare adaptation about racism called Othello.  Then there's my personal favorite, the inspiring story of a man, Uncle Wiggly, wanting to improve his life and through all the steps forward and backward, he finally finds the happiness that eludes him. 

The ridiculous possibilities are endless, really. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2017 at 12:07 PM, speedracer5 said:

   I'm just waiting for new versions of the other cartoons from the Disney Afternoon block: Chip N Dale's Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop and Gargoyles. 

It is quite possible that Disney is planning on making a Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers movie. It had better not be live action, or I will walk out of the theatre. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No kidding, I see that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is going to star next summer in Rampage, which is based on an '80s arcade game (you see, kids, while we could play video games at home on our Ataris, the graphics were really terrible, so if you wanted to play anything that looked cool, you went to a store in the mall and spent a quarter per play ...). It was a game I really wanted to like, based on the concept alone, where you could play one of three mutated giant animals whose purpose was to wreck property and eat people (!) before the army shot you down, very King Kong-ish. But it was really, really hard, and you never got to enjoy all the wanton destruction for very long, because almost immediately into the game, you would be in danger of dying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For sure it is withering. Since the only thing that studios can get bank on, are movies which play off current pop  fads--never anything from 'the past'; only things which are 'now'--can be portrayed. But contemporary America has almost no culture; so what is there to do?

And this is all on top of the financial mismanagement called out a few years ago by both Lucas and Spielberg. They predict an enormous crash on the way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously though, more and more now you are finding the mature material on Cable TV, while Movies are occupying what used to be realm of Saturday Morning Broadcast TV.

I seriously think that a lot of Premium Cable TV original films (from 1983 on) and original programs should be given equal status with Hollywood Films. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has any film historian actually done a research project on this topic?   E.g take Hollywood produced films from two different 5 year periods,  40 or more years apart and tally those based on 'new' material (original screenplay,  newly released books, plays that have never been filmed) and 'old' material.

One could also then tally the box office take between 'new' and 'old' material to get insight into what movie goers were most interested in paying to see.      

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Seriously though, more and more now you are finding the mature material on Cable TV, while Movies are occupying what used to be realm of Saturday Morning Broadcast TV.

I seriously think that a lot of Premium Cable TV original films (from 1983 on) and original programs should be given equal status with Hollywood Films. 

Or, as the we-only-wish-it-was-a-joke observation put it, TV and Cable are knocking their brains butting their heads together trying to make their binge-series "cinematic", with epic budgets, dramatic! acting, and ponderous humorless CGI-laden storylines designed to make us feel as if we're supposed to be watching "one" epic cinematic story all season...And movies, desperate to only sell the audience titles they already know, want their franchise-based movie series to be identifiably released on the same date every year, so we know we to expect a sequel every December the way we expect a favorite Tuesday-night sitcom:

We have TV wanting to be overproduced Oscar-bait movies, and movies wanting to be comfort-food TV series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What it does seen like, moreso now than before, is that the audience has become exceedingly fractured for movies, and that as a result  it does not feel that Hollywood can produce a film that will please most people anymore. Many of the blockbusters are very FX-heavy and they are like the equivalent of fast food in that they will give their intended audience a high, but not for long. Independent films are a good alternative with real, honest-to-goodness plots, characters, and acting .... but in the past few years even things there sometimes feel heavy-handed. And, despite some financial successes this year like Book Club, Crazy Rich Asians, and the umpteenth version of A Star is Born, the midbudget Hollywood film, the bread and butter of Hollywood filmmaking from the 20s through the 90s, is an endangered species.So, essentially what is left is two polarized audiences with very little in common, both of which are usually unimpressed by what the other audience likes. That's a major problem.

And the whole cinematic TV shows and movies issue provides another problem. There is no denying they feel like full-fledged films now, with their well-known full-fledged movie stars in leading roles. That's pefectly fine, but it has lead to certain theatrical films, good solid films, being slammed as being TV-esque, something that is profoundly irritating. 

These problems have been brewing for some time, probably ever since the late 90s, but it feels as though everything sped up after the stock market crash of 2007/2008 shuttered a few independent studios and the majors cut their slates. I do think though, like Spielberg and Lucas, that the blockbusters cannot sustain themselves much longer. Comic book films bring in huge numbers, but there will probably come a day when the steam runs out. And if or when that day happens, it will be a meltdown for Hollywood that won't be pretty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(No, I don't know why the new guy necroposted this from last December either, but hey, while we're on the point: )

42 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

And the whole cinematic TV shows and movies issue provides another problem. There is no denying they feel like full-fledged films now, with their well-known full-fledged movie stars in leading roles. That's pefectly fine, but it has lead to certain theatrical films, good solid films, being slammed as being TV-esque, something that is profoundly irritating. 

The big penny was dropped one year when ABC needed an Oscar-themed ad for the ceremony, and used the big expensive spot to show off their CGI-effects budget for "Once Upon a Time":

Yes, even the addicts themselves admit it:  We watch binge-era cable/streaming TV, and call it the, quote, "new Golden Age" ( 😓 ), because it's just like the MOVIES!!

Well, there's a problem with that:  We've already got movies on our TV's.  Used to be, either nobody watched the old movies on local stations, or it was a big deal when a recent movie showed up on ABC Sunday night.  Something still TV-shot but professionally production-mounted on the scale of "Roots" or "The Day After" could be an event, but they were still TV.

Then, in the 80's, we had cable, HBO, VCR, DVD, and now we're not only pretty much slopping over with recent theatrical movies on our TV's, but we're getting our movies and TV shows from the exact same trough.   HBO and Showtime in the 90's tried making "cinematic" hot-button series that networks wouldn't show, networks got jealous of their Emmys, tried to make them too, and they've been trying to one-up each other ever since.

Even sitcoms have gone so far in trying to find the Next Level of Bold, Challenging Television, we literally don't even know what's fun TV anymore.  Unless it's summer, and the networks try reviving an old classic game show from the 70's...Usually with a black comic/rapper host, since they're the ones that still remember what universal common-denominator free-TV looked like in the 70's and 80's.

42 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Comic book films bring in huge numbers, but there will probably come a day when the steam runs out. And if or when that day happens, it will be a meltdown for Hollywood that won't be pretty.

Warner's a recent example:  Ever since studios shut the door on spec scriptwriters, Warner--who lucked out back in '01 with seven years of Harry Potter and three years of LOTR that had already been pre-written for them--tried to lead a new industry that only makes "franchise" movies the audience has already heard of...That's why they can only put a logo and a date on teaser movie posters, and audience expectation does the rest.

They thought they were set for life with their "Holy trinity" of DC Comics, Harry Potter and Tolkien, and then the cupboard went bare:  The Hobbit trilogy ended on a sour note, DC Comics has had only one successful film in three years and is watching its "Universe" implode, and all early indications of "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grundewald" are that Johnny Depp will go down in history as the Man Who Killed Harry Potter.  Warner just lost a bundle on a very big hat-trick.

So what do they do?...They're WARNER, dammit!  They're now in the process of digging up their "Wave 2" of Warner House Icon Franchises, and trying to see what new audience cult-loyalty can be mined on stage, screen, merchandise, and TV over the next three to five years out of The Matrix, Beetlejuice, Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey version), Elf, and Willy Wonka (Depp and Wilder versions.)

And when they burn those out the same way they burned out Batman and Frodo?....Um, well, Casablanca, I guess?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2018 at 1:35 AM, CinemaInternational said:

Many of the blockbusters are very FX-heavy and they are like the equivalent of fast food in that they will give their intended audience a high, but not for long. Independent films are a good alternative with real, honest-to-goodness plots, characters, and acting .... but in the past few years even things there sometimes feel heavy-handed. (snipped)

And the whole cinematic TV shows and movies issue provides another problem. There is no denying they feel like full-fledged films now, with their well-known full-fledged movie stars in leading roles. That's pefectly fine, but it has lead to certain theatrical films, good solid films, being slammed as being TV-esque, something that is profoundly irritating. 

As someone who really prefers seeing a movie in a theater, even I am staying home.

I'll go to classic film festivals for the rarities, but I just can't get excited about going to first or even second run theaters-people talking through a movie, the bright light of their phones, etc. I almost always walk out unsatisfied with the story, possibly from lack of concentration? Oh wait, there typically isn't a satisfying story.

I'm interested in the new STAR IS BORN, only to find out about Gaga, whom I'm totally unfamiliar. But like most Hollywood movies, I'm content to wait until it comes to the library and watch it at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Has any film historian actually done a research project on this topic? 

As far as studies and analysis done on movie trends, one site to look for these is Academia.edu. I mean, I'm sure there are many such studies --but to readily find them online, conveniently, with good search tools? That's another matter.

Anyway, I recall one abstract there, wherein researchers were interested in ASL (average shot length) over several decades of filmmaking. They wanted to confirm whether movies are 'getting faster' these days as compared to the 'slower feel' of movies in other eras.

I'm terrible with numbers so the report was mostly gibberish to my eyes; (it's probably a tough read for anyone as it was very technical with statistics) but someone better than I could possibly make more sense out of it. In the end, I believe they concluded that yes, (on average) editing is more hurried.

Other than that all I can provide is various industry articles which discuss what's selling. For instance its a fact that certain events conspired to alter studio's investment choices over time. After "Heaven's Gate" for example, the industry as a whole turned away from the entire idea of making 'art house movies' ever again. In terms of sinking any 'big money' in them. They've been marginalized ever since; only a smattering of Oscar-Bait pics per year are like that any more.

As for comparing 'box office take' to find answers: notoriously difficult to draw valid comparisons between the Golden Age and now. The ticketing and fiscal models were completely different.

Oh well. I will review what reports I've bookmarked on Academia.edu and see if anything turns up. At one point I went through a keyword search on "Hollywood" and saved everything I found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not that they ran out of ideas. It's that they stopped making films for adults who care about human stories. They pander to the kiddies who live in fantasy worlds and can only relate to superheroes, monsters, cartoons, and more fantasy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

As someone who really prefers seeing a movie in a theater, even I am staying home.

I'll go to classic film festivals for the rarities, but I just can't get excited about going to first or even second run theaters-people talking through a movie, the bright light of their phones, etc. I almost always walk out unsatisfied with the story, possibly from lack of concentration? Oh wait, there typically isn't a satisfying story.

I'm interested in the new STAR IS BORN, only to find out about Gaga, whom I'm totally unfamiliar. But like most Hollywood movies, I'm content to wait until it comes to the library and watch it at home.

Lady Gaga has certainly come a long way, I think. She started out with all those gimmicky outfits, but as of recent years, I have been impressed with her vocal prowess. She did a Duets album with Tony Bennett, of all people, she plays the piano, and I was also doubly impressed with her version of "Your Song" on the recent 'Revamp' album (covers of Elton John's songs by a multitude of popular modern artists). I was skeptical about this recent remake at first, but I think I'll go see it as I am a new fan of Gaga's. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stated in another thread that I was very impressed with the scenes they show in the trailers, all of which feature only what I presume, given the historical storyline, are early scenes in the movie, where she's clearly been through some hard knocks, but also expresses a gushing innocence as she's overwhelmed by this major star taking an interest in her both personally and professionally. Remains for me to be seen how she handles the heavier scenes that must come if this follows a similar path to previous versions. I think she has a career ahead of her as an actress if she chooses to pursue that.

Musically, it would be a stretch to say I'm any kind of fan, though it is hard to get "Poker Face" out of your head if you've heard it at least once. I saw sort of a doc with her where she expressed her love for Bruce Springsteen and other classic rockers, especially the song "Thunder Road", which she says made her want to be a musician. I have some appreciation for the modern stars who have least bothered to learn a little about what has gone before. And she hired Clarence Clemmons to play sax on a couple of her songs, which I believe were the last studio recordings in which he ever participated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, drednm said:

It's not that they ran out of ideas. It's that they stopped making films for adults who care about human stories. They pander to the kiddies who live in fantasy worlds and can only relate to superheroes, monsters, cartoons, and more fantasy.

I agree with that. I also think teens interest in apocalypse/zombie/afterlife fantasy movies is because the way the planet is going, they don't see a future for themselves (rightly so)

I'm reminded of the opening classroom scenes in PLEASANTVILLE (1998)

When I used to get tickets for pre-release "audience reaction" movies in the 90's, I saw a lot of smaller romantic comedies. I'd leave the theater with a good feeling, having enjoyed a cute modern version of all those old B&W screwball romance comedies with Joan Blondell, Claudette Colbert & the like. You know, those old movies WE like with thin storylines but fun writing & acting.

Those "cute" movies rarely became hits, and quickly disappeared. I remember people leaving the theater saying, "Well that was dumb". Either audiences are "too sophisticated" or the writing isn't particularly snappy. One of the biggest laughs came when Mr Wrong was at the door and an audience member shouted out, "NO! Don't answer it!" (at least someone got into it)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

I agree with that. I also think teens interest in apocalypse/zombie/afterlife fantasy movies is because the way the planet is going, they don't see a future for themselves (rightly so)

I'm reminded of the opening classroom scenes in PLEASANTVILLE (1998)

When I used to get tickets for pre-release "audience reaction" movies in the 90's, I saw a lot of smaller romantic comedies. I'd leave the theater with a good feeling, having enjoyed a cute modern version of all those old B&W screwball romance comedies with Joan Blondell, Claudette Colbert & the like. You know, those old movies WE like with thin storylines but fun writing & acting.

Those "cute" movies rarely became hits, and quickly disappeared. I remember people leaving the theater saying, "Well that was dumb". Either audiences are "too sophisticated" or the writing isn't particularly snappy. One of the biggest laughs came when Mr Wrong was at the door and an audience member shouted out, "NO! Don't answer it!" (at least someone got into it)

Plus I think we're losing actors who can carry traditional drama and comedy. As the old-time directors like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and even Spielberg, the Cohens, and Eastwood, directors who like to tell stories about people, start to dwindle and slow down, we're losing films about reality. The younger directors seem to have grown up on comic books and endless fantasy foolishness. Other than indie films, there's not a lot of real stories coming out of Hollywood. For every THREE BILLBOARDS or BOOK CLUB, there are dozens of CGI fantasy crap movies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us