Monday, October 08, 2007
It's funny, I put the post up the other day about "War" and I'm kind of amazed that I never really thought about the topic too much before. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm afraid I have to admit to a certain amount of mindlessness when it comes to my entertainment. I've always maintained that I am not a movie/book/whatever snob. And I'm not. But at some point we have to be a little more discerning don't we? Okay, maybe not. But I find that as I get a little older I don't have as much patience for crap as I used to. I look back at some of the movies I watched as a kid and think how did I sit through this tripe? As kids we can be forgiven our lack of taste, right? But what are the rules we're supposed to follow as adults? I know, there aren't any. But when I sit and look at my movie and book collections I'm kind of amazed at how similar so much of it is. I like fantasy, but all the time? How many quest novels can one realistically read? I'll probably never know since it's likely I'll read them 'til I die. Oh wait, what was I talking about? Confused? So am I. No, what I'm trying to get at is that it's amazing how many movies and books are simply recycled ideas. I did a review on a book called "Crystal Rain" recently and the main character suffered amnesia. The book itself was pretty good, and original in most respects. But it was impossible not to notice how common the amnesia storyline was, especially since I watched "The Bourne Ultimatum" the same week I read the book. Then I look at my movies and see "50 First Dates," "Memento," all the "Bourne" movies, "The Long Kiss Goodnight," "Paycheck," "The 6th Day" "Total Recall"-- and I could go on. Man! This is a popular movie topic isn't it? Then I start thinking of all the other movie/literary tropes: the heist, the dorky-guy-gets-the-girl, romantic misunderstandings, youthful rebellion, the underdog story, car chases that don't encounter traffic, if someone shows a picture of their wife or child in a move- the die. You know what I mean. Oh lord, are there any original ideas left? Probably not. And the truth is, there probably aren't any original ideas left; somebody sure as heck thought of it before. All we really have left are original adaptations of old ideas. Take the "Batman" franchise. It was a tired old thing until "Batman Begins" came along and then, Wham! It's good again. (I just watched it again and fell in love all over again) And I find that as I get older I crave better imaginings of old ideas. "Spiderman" had a good start, though the finish wasn't quite what we'd hoped. And what the heck happened with "Fantastic Four?" Are all my hopes being pinned on "Batman" now? Oh, say it isn't so. I still feel characters like "The Punisher" have life in them, if only someone would care enough to put it back together. And please, for the love of God, no more "Ghost Rider(s)." Ever. Well, at least with Nicholas Cage. Please.