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Tired of Sequels? Blame the Actors
by Tim Josephs

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What a movie executive must look like when presented with a good script.

What a movie executive must look like when presented with a good script.
We all know how conservative and cowardly the major movie studios are. The big-wigs are forever willing to green-light a super hero or video game movie but scared for their lives (or more accurately, their high-paying careers) to OK something that doesn't already have name recognition or a chance at several sequels. I recently read an article by Roger Ebert in which he said that the studios make good movies for two reasons: 1) For Oscar season and 2) By accident. Sad but true. And, I'm sure I've lamented about this before, but WTF with the "reboot"? Look at SUPERMAN. They "rebooted" it in 2006. It didn't do well, ergo it sucked and everyone hated it and there was zero
Imagine a world where there was only one Pirates...

Imagine a world where there was only one Pirates...
chance for sequels, so now they're doing it again with another one. They are - wait for it - rebooting the reboot. And if the new one fails, or even if it does make money and produces sequels, when the franchise eventually does end, they'll just wait a few years and then do it all again, pretty much what's happening with X-Men now. Can we please find the person or persons responsible for this and tar and feather them?

But I digress. 2011 will feature over twenty sequels, many of which are the third or fourth (or even fifth installments). Sure it's easy to blame the studios for this lack of originality and creativity, but a large part of the responsibility has to
...and one Hangover...

...and one Hangover...
go to the actors. Think about it, if Johnny Depp decides not to do any more PIRATES movies, do they get made? If Neve Campbell doesn't want to do SCREAM 4, is there a SCREAM 4? Do they make THE HANGOVER PART II if Zach Galifianakis and those other guys aren't a part of it? I guess it's possible they'd just get other actors to replace them, but in certain circumstances - like Depp or THE HANGOVER guys - actors are so associated with a movie/role, it would be almost impossible.

And I suppose these actors get a boat-load of money to reprise the same role and I'm sure it's probably hard to turn down. But if they care at all about their movies or about the
...and one Rocky. It's easy if you try.

...and one Rocky. It's easy if you try.
quality of movies in general, maybe they should think for a minute before deciding to play the same character in the same movie for the xth time.

Think about all the dreck we wouldn't have been subjected to if only the central actors had said "Thanks, but no thanks." No mulitple RAMBO's and ROCKY's. No sequels to LETHAL WEAPON or THE MATRIX or JURASSIC PARK. We would just have that first, great movie and wouldn't have that bad taste in our mouths from all the horrible ones that followed. And wouldn't the world be a better place as a result?

But then again, even if those actors decided not to partake, the studios would probably just end up rebooting the movies anyway.

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Mike Thomas
Jun 7, 2011 10:24 PM
[X] delete
Blame the actors, for sure, but BLAME US! We as the audience like comfort, anything new, controversial, or groundbreaking languishes in the art theaters. If, say WAITING for SUPERMAN got the blockbuster, commercial promotion, 3,000 screen treatment, even then, you would hear crickets in the theater. Have Jack-O get excrement dumped on him (literally), and we can't get enough of it! MTV AWARDED him for what essentially taking crap from others!

And more JACKASSES are on the way.

We want the easy laugh, the easy scare, the familiar faces and situations. How else can you explain 13 FRIDAY the 13th's?

Expecting Hollywood to be innovative and creative would be be like the Coca-Cola Corporation introducing New Coke.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Because you know what'll happen"
Jun 8, 2011 11:56 AM
[X] delete
Yes, the ones who keep paying for these movies should certainly also be blamed, but movie attendance seems to keep going down so maybe that's something.

And what about a film like Inception? It was new and different and made a ton of money. I think a lot of the time people would choose to see something they haven't seen a million times, it's just they often don't get that choice.

Jun 11, 2011 10:45 PM
[X] delete
Ultimately, Hollywood is going to pay to produce what they think people want. The studios are all about pandering.

Two of the most talked about movies it seemed last year were Kick Ass and Scott Pilgrim. These weren't sequels, and audiences seemed to love them so much. Poor box office showings hurt possiblities of similar films in the future.

As for actors, I never blame them. For one thing, they can love the crap out of a project and it's still the money the studios think they can make that will matter, in fact, many times actors cut deals - "I'll do this if you greenlight that." - to get smaller 'indie' type films that they really love made.

And sometimes the films they love are crappy too. I once heard Stallone go on about how much he loved playing the Rocky character because Rocky was so honest and open with his feelings, the way he always wished he could be. I'm not gonna fault the guy for that.

At the end of the day the key is to support the films we love and stay away from types of films that we hate. Use reviewers and trailers to our advantage and develop our crappy flick detectors. Won't always be right, but money is the only thing Hollywood consistently listens to.

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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.

Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns

Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.

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