GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

08 December, 2014

Has Hollywood finally run out of ideas?

Once in a while there will be a release of an original idea that is amazing, so amazing that Hollywood executives think that a simple idea can be exploited into a franchise. In recent years, there are so many new terms coined to describe this phenomenon, let me list them out:

Parody/ Compilation
Sure there are some original blockbusters here and there, but have you noticed that most blockbusters this years are categorized into one of these... As I mentioned in my previous post for Remakesploitation, the key is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Seriously, what happened to originality? It's the end of 2014 now, most of the blockbusters of the year are out by now, so here are my short reviews of them.

22 Jump Street (June 2014)
Sequel of the 2012 film adaptation of a 1987-1991 TV series 21 Jump Street. Not many people went in to the cinema to watch the 2012 movie expecting a masterpiece, so it was a pleasant surprise. When the sequel came along, those people who saw the first one would have high expectations and I would say that it does not disappoint.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 2014)
Second sequel to a 2012 film adaptation of a 2008 New York Times Best Seller The Hunger Games. I have mentioned this before and I will say it again, splitting a novel into two films is a very bad idea. Don't get me wrong, it is an awesome idea for film executives. Splitting a book into two movies doubles the opportunity for profit and increases the time for hype for film merchandising. But if as a movie goer, you would have to go through what I call the "Deathly Hallows syndrome". This is when the first part is the build-up portion that may be slightly boring and stretched, then we have to wait a year or more for the second part that actually shows the climax and ending of the book. It worked so well for Harry Potter and Twilight before it, why not The Hunger Games?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (February 2014)
Sequel to the 2012 reboot of a 2002-2007 film franchise adaptation of a Marvel comics superhero created in 1962. There were so many adaptations of Spiderman after 52 years since it was created and the most successful so far is still the 2002 film series. A lot of people might disagree with me but I still think that Tobey Maguire was perfect as Peter Parker. My question is "Why bother to make another film franchise after ending the previous one a mere 5 years prior?". The answer is simple... Money. Enough said.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 2014)
Sequel to the 2011 re-reboot of a 1968-1973 film franchise adaptation of a French novel published in 1963.  The 1968 masterpiece and it's sequels have always amazed me for their fantastic atmosphere and storytelling. The 2001 reboot was disappointing to say the least. But since the 2011 re-reboot, I had my reservations to this franchise. With the current state of CGI and jaw-dropping motion capture acting by Andy Serkis, Rise and Dawn were both very good movies. I'm looking forward to see where this goes. Thumbs up to Dawn.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 2014)
Third sequel of 2007 film adaptation of a 1984-1993 animated TV series based upon Hasbro's 1984 toyline. I watched this movie late at night, probably the worst time to watch such a long and boring movie. It's interesting how an action movie with transforming cars and tonnes of explosions can be boring but Michael Bay did the impossible. When I watched the first movie I was at awe with the extensive use of CGI and explosions but now that it has taken over the plot, taken over logic, I am convinced that explosions is Michael Bay's way of communicating with his audience. However I must admit, seeing Mark Wahlberg as the lead instead of Shia LeBeouf is a breath of fresh air.
Godzilla (May 2014)
Hollywood re-reboot of a 1954 Japanese film and subsequent franchise. Remember Hollywood's previous failed attempt to make a Godzilla film in 1998? I certainly didn't. Not that it was unmemorable, I just had the desire to erase it from my memory. Godzilla is the king of monsters and will always be a symbol of nuclear devastation made by the country that experienced it first hand. The new movie definitely brings back the nostalgia of seeing gigantic monsters fight while buildings collapse around them. Too bad there is hardly any in it, instead we are left seeing some pathetic human characters most of the time, making some silly decisions along the way. Sure, the effects were impressive and the atmosphere made the monsters menacing, but wouldn't it be better if we could see more Godzilla doing Godzilla things in a Godzilla movie?
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (March 2014)
Sequel to a 2011 film adaptation (the 3rd live action adaptation) of a Marvel comic superhero created in 1941 and part of an ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe started in 2008. First thing I must clarify, I prefer this movie to the first one. Being the last movie with SHIELD playing the huge part before the highly anticipated Avengers sequel, this movie needed to set-up the foundations with an entertaining plot. The Winter Soldier certainly delivers all of that. I shall not spoil the movie here, just get it on bluray and watch it!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (September 2014)
Re-reboot of a 1990-1993 live action film series adaptation of a 1987-1996 animated series adaptation of a Mirage comic book started in 1984. My oh my it is another Michael Bay production, but fortunately he is not at the helm directing the movie. This is a good example of current CGI movies making everything too clean and pleasing to look at but still failing to capture the fun vibe of the 1990 film and the animated series. There are times in the movie that I think to myself, what would the movie like if it was made independently with a low budget like the 1990 film. Would it look cheap and ugly or still as entertaining as it was back then?
The Expendables 3 (August 2014)
Second sequel of a 2010 film homage to blockbuster action films from 1980's and 1990s. Have anyone actually counted the number of characters in the poster? Don't bother, there are 16. Having an ensemble cast of classic action stars has always been the key in the first two movies, so why bring in a bunch of unknown kids into the gang of old man? At some point of the movie, it felt like watching one of those Youtube clips where some fan of old school action movies stitched a bunch of old clips into a film. Would be fun to count exactly how long each character actually appear on screen, poor Jet Li didn't get to do anything.
X-Men: Days of Future Part (May 2014)
Direct sequel to a 2011 reboot film and a 2013 character film, based upon a 1981 comic book storyline and the seventh sequel of a film franchise started in 2000 based upon a Marvel comic book franchise created in 1963. This is one movie that has that amazing cool factor to it. Bringing Bryan Singer back to the helm was the best thing about the movie because he knew the X-Men films too well. As most other critics say, in order to make this movie as good as it is, huge sacrifices had to be made. In this case, the plots and story of all other X-Men movies other than the 2011 reboot X-Men: First Class. Time travel is such an old cliche used in film to undo what other movies have done, but none as elegant as this. Never knew I would be excited for the next X-Men movie again as I was after the end credits of 2013's The Wolverine.

Well those are almost all the movies I've watched this year. Ten movies that are among the highest grossing of the year and all are either remakes, sequels or a mixture of both. Then again there are movies like Interstellar, Nightcrawler, Birdman and John Wick that are great movies that stand apart from the rest. Maybe there is still some creativity and innovation in Hollywood, just unfortunate that most of them don't sell as many tickets as those above.


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