Friday, 17 June 2016

Is Modern Cinema Losing Its Imagination?

by Joe Brennan

We are nearing the middle of 2016 and so far, we have seen a great deal of new content in the world of cinema.

Or have we?

With the noticeable growth in the number of sequels, reboots, films based on video games and remakes that are released every year, it makes me wonder- is Hollywood diluting the flow of creativity that used to be the main source of cinematic brilliance?

The short answer is no, not yet at least. Despite the growth in the number of lazy adaptations and mediocre reboots, there is still a large amount of original and creative content getting produced.
My worry is that this kind of content is no longer as popular or easy to get made as it once was.

With the highest-grossing movies this year being sequels, comic book adaptations and reboots of old classics, it is hard to think of a major film this year that was released as a stand-alone movie and not as part of an existing franchise.

While I have nothing against the concept of reboots/remakes of a lot of the old favourites (as long as they're done well- I'M LOOKING AT YOU KENNETH BRANAGH), I feel they are unnecessary and the talent should be used to make brand new original content.

A prime example of this is John Faverau's The Jungle Book, a "live action" remake of the 1967 Disney animated musical. While this film is probably one of the best-directed films of the year and definitely had the best cast I've seen in a long time, I get the feeling that new material should be given a chance to be developed by Faverau's directing talents and Disney's CGI budget but no such material seems to arise. Instead we are getting  a live action Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid and rumours of a live-action Winnie the Pooh!

The best film of the last year or so that has not been a sequel or remake is Pixar's "Inside Out" a movie which had no recognisable title to slap on the poster and no major stars to get attention. It is companies like Pixar that give me hope for the future of cinema

But Pixar's next offering to us is a sequel to an already existing franchise in the form of "Finding Dory" and Pixar's history of sequels (Cars 2, Monsters University) makes me rather cautious about this upcoming one. We've seen their talent for original stories and characters so it frustrates me that they feel the need to expand already great universes instead of building entirely new ones.

Probably the most famous and controversial upcoming remake is the new all female Ghostbusters- a film set up with the perfect defence to criticism- "You're just sexist, you don't like this film because it has women!" The trailer currently stands at 873, 000 dislikes on YouTube and probably won't go down in cinema history for any of the right reasons. The jokes seem to fall flat, the cast don't seem to live up to the comedic timing or delivery of the Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray led cast of the original. So it raises the question- why make a film that already lived up to all of its potential (and is loved by millions) when you could be doing this same kind of thing in a completely different and separate movie?

Saying all of this, remakes are hardly the main problem and I'd much sooner go and watch a mediocre remake than I would torture myself by going to watch one of the most prominent cinematic atrocities of the last few decades: Video game films! I recently attempted to watch the recent film adaptation of Warcraft (Borecraft) and found myself leaving the cinema half way through! The whole structure of 90% of video game story relies so heavily on interactivity and gameplay that you don't notice that, taking away those things and you're left with a pretty generic story and fairly flat characters. I love video games. I love films. But when Hollywood tries to combine the two worlds and not let each art form stay as what they are, the results are never successful! This all started with the Super Mario Bros movie in the 90s and there hasn't been a good one made since (Angry Birds Movie, Ratchet and Clank-to name a few that have come out in 2016 alone!) but the subject of video game films is one I'm passionate about and not able to talk about in enough detail without making this article too long, so I think I'll save it for another one. 

I certainly don't think sequels and reboots are a problem as long as they are done well and do something original with the source material but as we've seen with Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this is not always the case! I still think remakes and reboots have a place in the world of cinema but there definitely needs to be just as many (if not more) movies with brand new original content, characters and storylines as there are remakes.

Or we will one day reach the point where there will be nothing left to make without rebooting the reboots of the remake of a sequel to a reboot!

Coming Soon- Joe Hates Unoriginal Films 2: Reborn (Remastered Version) (Special Edition) (Based on the bestselling game from Bethesda) (Remade v2)

1 comment:

  1. Don't generalise video game movies. Ratchet and Clank happens to be one of the greatest ever movies and was based off of a video game but other than that, the other points were well made and understandable.


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