Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Movie rant

If you look at the movies that will be released this year (and next year), you will see that several of them are the "film-version" of this book or this old cartoon. I'm getting a little tired of these kinds of movies. It is the new trend that has taken the comic book/superhero movie to the next level. If you look at many of the books on the bestseller list or reminisce about the golden age of cartoons, you will discover that many of them have movies in the works.

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the film industry for making movies based upon books. This often sparks debates and discussions about the book and the film. However, I'm starting to think that people are losing their imaginations. There are many well-executed "fresh" films that don't rely on a previous author's or artist's creation. I think that newer ideas often challenge the actors more as well. They have to bring a character to life and don't get compared to a descriptive character in a book or even worse, a cartoon!

Yet it seems that whenever a book or cartoon is really good, it will inevitably become a movie. This leads to mistakes like The Last Airbender that disappoint avid followers of the original show because the movie pales in comparison. It ruins some films if they do not choose to follow the book in certain places (like the stark difference in the ending of My Sister's Keeper, which makes the film fizzle where the book riled you up into discussion). Childhood favorites like Scooby-Doo that already had multiple TV movies become live-action films that pit the lovable (but annoying) Scrappy-Doo as the villain. Now the Smurfs and Yogi Bear might be next to join the list of box-office duds.

Like I said before, many film-versions of previous works are very successful. There are some genres (like fairy tales) that are ripe for visual interpretation—Cinderella, is one that I think of that has been remade into very different films (like Disney's Cinderella versus Ever After). Other classics like 1984 and The Giver benefit from the film versions because they allow people to interpret very great works all over again.

I suppose that the point of my rant is that while film-versions of existing works are often visually rich and allow you another media to enjoy a favorite book/show, there is something wonderful about a movie that is perhaps inspired by something, but essentially a fresh idea. People will say that "there is nothing new under the sun," but when you take the time to create something of your own, no matter how much it might resemble something else, it is yours. I hope that filmmakers consider that as they go to the drawing board and start brainstorming their newest masterpieces.

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