The entertainment industry reinvents itself over and over again… mostly by recycling the same crap over and over again. They do this to make money and they get away with it because people will put up with anything as long as it helps them avoid talking to each other.
- 1 Unnecessary Film
- 1.1 The Prequel
- 1.2 The Postquel
- 1.3 The Remake
- 1.4 Movies Based on Old TV shows
- 1.5 Cliche
- 1.5.1 Buddy Cop Movie
- 1.5.2 Mentor Movie
- 1.5.3 Dumb Teen Movie
- 1.5.4 Bad Religion
- 1.5.5 Historical Drama
- 2 Unnecessary Television
- 3 Good Movies
Good examples of particularly egregious sequels are those of Police Academy. Each film in the series is like a photocopy of the one before; the same, but not as good. "Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow", currently the last in the series, is saved only by an Oscar-worthy performance by Ron Perlman and the fact that, literally, no one saw it (IMDB shows it as having pulled in $126,000, most of that coming from people who wanted to go to a dark place with sticky floors).
Also, we didn't need Matrix 2 or 3, Basic Instinct 2, Revenge of the Nerds 2, etc. Frankly, if Hollywood needs the money that badly, they should give up trying to entertain and take up newspaper delivery instead.
The Second Sequel
The generally forgettable second sequel (or the third film, whichever comes first) is typically the "twist" movie, where Superman splits in two, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles travel back in time, or Joel Shumacher makes Batman campy (and crappy) again.
The world didn't need another "The Shaggy Dog", or "The Italian Job", or "Mr. Deeds" and, frankly, would have been better off without them. Don't even start with "Cheaper by the Dozen", a remake that spawned a sequel...
The Reimagining; The Remakes Modern Cousin
Planet of the Apes, not on my watch.
Worst of all the reimaginings is when hollywood takes a character from a good (or moderately good) movie, like say Catwoman from Batman Returns, and makes a quasi-sequel that eliminates everything that made the character interesting.
Picture for a moment a hollywood pitch meeting:
Pitcher - "Okay, we want to do another Batman."
Hollywood Mogul - "So does Robin. Meh heh, heh."
Pitcher - "Yes...good one. But we've got a twist."
Hollywood Mogul - "A twist?"
Pitcher - "Yes, it's not set in Gotham and it doesn't have Batman in it."
Hollywood Mogul - "I'm interested, continue..."
Pitcher - "Instead it's just got Catwoman. But it's not that Catwoman. She's also Selina Kyle...but not that Selina Kyle...did I mention that it's not in Gotham...and she fights some broad over makeup."
Hollywood Mogul - "There's no way that can fail! Here's eighty-five million dollars, go make Catwoman
Movies Based on Old TV shows
Somewhat competent films like "The Addams Family" and "Charlie's Angels" don't make up for crap like "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Car 54, Where Are You?", "The Honeymooners", "Dukes of Hazzard", "Miami Vice" and "Bewitched".
Buddy Cop Movie
You know the type. "A" is a lone-wolf loose cannon who writes the rules as he goes along, "B" is by-the-book and close to retirement. One lost a partner recently. They don't get along until they get into a fight at a bar.
Examples include "To Live and Die in L.A." and the "Lethal Weapon" series which sins twice; it is both a buddy cop movie and a sequel...and a sequel...and a sequel.
Standard Mentor Movie
Essentially every movie where a motivated, moral person opens up a new world for a bunch of malcontents whom society has abandoned is unnecessary and redundant. The location and the losers change (though youths in the inner city or people that aren't good at sports remain popular cliches), but the plot remains the same.
Examples include "Lean on Me", "Renaissance Man", "Dangerous Minds", "Coach Carter" et al.
A common variant on the mentor movie theme is the sports comedy, where a bunch of losers, each unique in his own way, manage to defeat a cocky team of jocks (where both cocky and jocks = evil) in a sport at which the jocks are good and the losers are not...or at least weren't until the last ten minutes of the film.
Examples include "Dodgeball", "The Replacements", and "A Bridge Too Far".
Dumb Teen Movie
Teen Sex Comedy
Teens (played by twenty-somethings), or college kids (played by thirty-somethings) have to get laid...hilarity ensues.
Examples include "Road Trip", "Porkies", "Young Guns" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being".
Teen Horror Movie
Dumb, horny kids get butchered by baddies. The black guy dies first and the most famous actress in the movie is the only survivor. A simple, cheap formula, requiring only blood, screaming and tits.
Examples include "Friday the 13th", "House of Wax" and about a hundred other movies about which everyone has forgotten, remembering little even as they're walking out of the theatre and nothing at all about the film by the time they get home.
Typically, though not necessarily, secular humanist overcomes ignorant, paranoid religious people. Also it is not always the center of the plot, sometimes it's just an aside.
Variants include -
Bad Religion: Christian
Bad religious person is typically a drunk lecher, a pedophile, or someone mad with/for power.
Examples include "1492: Conquest of Paradise", "King Arthur" and "Ladyhawke". "Contact" is an exception as it includes both zealots and an open minded, tolerant religious character.
Bad Religion: Muslim
Bad Muslim is a terrorist, either of the "with a bomb", "with hostages" or "take this plane to Libya" type.
Examples include almost every film with swarthy skinned people made since the late 1970's. Typically, as with "True Lies", with the protagonist as a one-note caucasian male goody, and the antagonist as an one-note Muslim/Arab/Terrorist male baddy.
Bad Religion: Other
"Bad Religion: Other" is a euphemism for a Jew. These characters are hardly ever referred to as being Jewish, but by using Jewish stereotypes, myths about Jews and continuing to repeat the same lies about them, the audience is meant to infer they they are, in fact, bad.
Rarely are these characters front-center in the film, generally they appear in stereotypical Jewish jobs; banker, agent, lawyer, professional athlete or porn star.
Examples of "Bad Religion: Other" movies include "Yentl", "The Passion of the Christ" and "Kurtlar vadisi - Irak", all of which had at least one evil Jew. Oddly, only one had Jesus, who was not only a good Jew, but a good Christian too.
British Historical Drama
Emotionally restrained, stiff upper lipped, upper class men and women with pseudo-brit accents sit around restraining their emotions with their stiff upper lips. If it is a love story the actors can't show it, because they're pretending to be Brits.
Warning signs of this genre/cliche include -
- titles typically are in the X&Y format (eg. "Sense & Sensibility", "Pride & Prejudice", "Dumb & Dumber, "Batman & Robin" etc)
- actors are generally Americans pretending to be British, with one elder British actor mixed in for street cred
- script is probably based on a book by a dead white person
- trailer for the film includes lots of people standing around in parlors, looking longingly at one another
American Historical Drama
American historical drama is called "the western". Not "western" as in "the way it was back in the wild west", but "western" as in "the way it was back in the wild west, but without the syphilis or the Indian killing".
Examples of this cliche include every film that has men in chaps shootings off guns, exempting of course gay porn.
This means, in essence, all westerns are gay porn, less the man-on-man action. "Unforgiven" is just a step away from "Gay Cowboy Movie".
I'm writing to ask you to never, ever let M. Night Shyamalan write another screenplay. Seriously. Although people apparently still drop ten bucks to see his films, I think that it's probably just because it gives them a chance for a dry hump away from the accusing eyes of their parents.
Thank you for your time,
John Q. Public
P.S. stop Ewe Boll and Paul W.S. Anderson too
Reality Television Show
This formula is remarkably simple, put a bunch of people in a mildly stressful situation with a bunch of cameras, and edit the hell out it to make it appear more dramatic.
This genre is successful primarily because it's so cheap to make that it doesn't matter if no one actually watches it.
Is neither. Stop making shows about the "inside" of the oh so shallow world of Hollywood. "Entertainment Tonight", "The Insider", "Inside the Actor's Studio", "Inside Entertainment Tonight's Actors Studio" et al end up displacing good shows like "Test Pattern", "Static" and "Emergency Broadcast System".
People don't need to know about Angelina's new third world baby or the breakup of "Lead Actor: Male" and "Flavor of the Month: Girl".
The people who watch these shows really, really need to volunteer at a soup kitchen, so that they can see actual people coping with actual life. Unfortunately that won't happen any time soon as real people are ugly and real life is not glamourous at all.
While it is an incredible coincidence that the main characters of every series that start a band happen to play complementary instruments, it's also odd that they never mentioned their musical abilities before and it's odd that the lead guitarist always just strums, even during the guitar solo.
This is a TV sitcom formula that is loosely based on "The Honeymooners", where, in each episode, the man (who is both fat and dumb) makes a mistake and lies to cover it up. The wife (who is both hot and smart) figures it out and teaches the man (who, again, is dumb) a lesson which is forgotten by the next episode. Examples of "Fat Man, Hot Wife" include "According to Jim" (which is THE SINGLE WORST THING TO EVER EXIST IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD - YEARS GO BY AND YET THE US GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO PUT A STOP TO THIS PIECE OF VISUAL/AURAL TERRORISM. WILL SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?) and "King of Queens".
It is the modern equivalent of "Smart Man, Dumb Blonde", where the man was witty and droll, and the wife was both naive and dumb. Example of this genre/cliche include "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" and almost everything else made before 1980.
There are variations on this theme including, but not exclusive to-
Thin Man, MILF
See "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Home Improvement", where the man is not fat and the wife is hot only if you have unresolved mommy issues.
Fat Man, Fat Wife
"The King of Queens" again, but only those episodes where "hot wife" got big, really big. "Two and a half men" is a variant on the theme, apparently (despite it being a hit show, no one can remember anything about it).
Also [Roseanne]], and the less that we say about that show the better. Except, of course, for the episodes after the whiny blonde left and was replaced by Sarah Chalke. She's a hottie.
Home videos, porn tubes, Local Access, Milo & Otis