Hollywood UnDEAD: Dissecting the principals of new era film-making
As I look onto the computer screen and nearly cry seeing Rotten Tomatoes rating the new Divergent Series installment at 10%, I understand that my worst fears have come true. The real Hollywood is gone.
But please, don’t get me wrong! If I watch young adult adaptations, it doesn’t mean I have not seen The Godfather, or can’t truly appreciate the substance of American Beauty, but it does mean that I can spot the difference between the quality made larger-than-life onscreen version of a good book and an over-the-top absurd CGI-packed abomination.
With that said, it’s pretty obvious that Hollywood has entered its final “destruction” stage of its own epic action movie era legacy.
You might want to argue my statement because we have obviously come a long way since the mid-80s (when the first Terminator, Lethal Weapon and Robocop movies ruled), but that’s not the question. The question is what have we come to?
When you drool through half of the action scenes in the movie theater or hysterically laugh at the acting attempts of the new generation action heroes, it’s definitely a sign of Hollywood taking us, the fans, for fools. And fools we are… for we are patiently expecting a miracle and with every new installment announcement of an X-Men or Iron Man franchise, we think the studios will change the direction and deliver some true action… And we shall wait for eternity!
I find myself more often doing old action movies marathons now. My mind was blown into pieces after watching Die Hard, Alien, The Matrix or Desperado. So much fun those movies were. I’m not even going to start on Pulp Fiction, True Romance, or Top Gun.
Now, I hear sometimes friends telling me that those are so cheesy, but wasn’t that light cheesiness, endless charisma and superb acting a great formula for making a blockbuster that withstood the test of time? Today, the cockiness that used to work for Bruce Willis in Die Hard is taken out of the context. The recipe is being used in every movie labeled as “action”, but the result is not going to be the same because the ingredients are rotten.
Problem 1. As the times and the ingredients change, the formula needs to be modified.
Problem 2. The use of CGI needs to be seriously rethought. When I went to see the second part of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, I had a CGI allergy for a week. I could not understand what was going on screen whenever the action sequence took place. Surely, the colors were very pretty, but how about a human factor? This, once more, made me appreciate the beauty of probably last sincere super-hero film from Marvel – Spider-Man directed by Sam Raimi.
Problem 3. Hollywood needs to stop making sequels, prequels, and so on. Please don’t butcher the characters in our favorite movies. One Iron Man, one Incredible Hulk (thank you Edward Norton for not agreeing to participate in The Avengers), one Captain America are good enough as stand-along films. It’s obvious that those franchises are cash cows, but hey, Hollywood, if you want to get your credibility back, please fix your mistakes, and make the continuations right.
Problem 4. Hollywood’s desire to make best-seller adaptations with the last book split in two movies. Why? Why, Hollywood, why? I already forgot what happened at the beginning of the third Hunger Games book. Why do I have to wait two years to see the end of it on screen?
I can probably go on and on… but I’m sure you got the general idea of what I am trying to say. Of course, I don’t think that there are no decent movies made these days. For once, there were few that really made my heart thump, including the first film in the Divergent Series (unfortunately the first one only), X-Men: First Class, The Dark Knight, Looper; but my love for the action movies… I owe it to Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott, James Cameron, and Michael Mann.
I have included some of my favorite action movie scenes ever… in no particular order. Watch at your own risk!