I harp on this a lot. But it bears repeating: cinema is in a very dangerous loop with no end in sight. There’s a startling lack of originality going on, recycling of brand names, and general dumbing down of anything resembling intelligent in Hollywood. And, yes, to a certain extent that’s always been the case with populous art. And I don’t want to sound like the cranky old fart railing against a changing system. But this is different. The system isn’t changing. It’s dying.
How did we get here? Easy. Movies became more expensive to produce. Ticket prices rose. And the American public became more picky about what films they went to. And, by picky, I mean Americans would only plunker-down a couple of Lincolns if the movie was about something they were familiar with. Thus, Hollywood started making sequels. Hard. Those made money. So Hollywood made more sequels. Those also made money. So Hollywood started mining the well to see what other famous brands could be rebooted or sequeled. That’s how Robert Downey Jr got cast as a sexy, hip Sherlock Holmes. That’s how Spider-man got remade not five years after the last Spider-man ended.
And now we’re here. The well is running dry friends. Fast and Furious is getting a seventh film. Disney plans to put the last bullet into Star Wars’ already decaying body. And Ron Howard, not the greatest of directors but a sturdy one with enough clout, has trouble bank rolling new, non-sequel films like Rush.
Rush stars Thor and this Racer Dude. They both drive fast. Thor believes racing is a natural talent. You’re born with it or you’re not. Racer Dude believes races come down to science. So he studies cars a lot. The story is basically about their rivalry and how deeply one person can affect someone’s life.
It’s a fine film. A damn fine film. A film that doesn’t rely on aliens or cgi boogie men. It’s all about character. And, another point I always try to make on this fuck-filled blog, character is always paramount to a movie’s success.
Yet, flicks like this are becoming harder and harder to come by. Smart writing, writing that’s fun and original, is slowly moving to television. That’s where smart and discerning adults have been turning to. Which means they don’t spend money on smart character pieces like Rush. Which means He-Man and Ninja Barbie Go To Disney isn’t far from getting made.
So I write this as a plea. Please, please, please save the Endangered Original Film. Don’t wait until flicks like these come to Blu-Ray. Don’t sit at home and watch Breaking Bad for the millionth time. And, especially, think twice before giving your hard-earned money to anything with a number behind its name.
Because, by supporting the sequel, by saving our money for Avenger’s 3 and Star Wars 38, we create the perception that we like this shit. And we don’t. Believe me, I’ve scanned enough internet message boards to know that we’re tired of sequels. We want new ideas. We’re just blaming the wrong people. This isn’t Hollywood’s fault. Hollywood is a moneymaking venture that will happily make anything we’re willing to pay for. And right now we’re handing them money to create stupid sequels and boring reboots.
We can do better.