Has Hollywood Lost Its Way?

One day Hollywood will get the message right? Photo Courtesy: ToastyKen
One day Hollywood will get the message right? Photo Courtesy: ToastyKen

By Ethan Harmon

Simple answer: yes. Yes, it has. Hollywood is taking a turn for the worse over the past few years, cranking out reboots and sequels, most of which do not work and never live up to the hype. So, why do they keep doing it? What’s the point of creating these movies that are almost immediately doomed to fail? Honestly, I have no idea, but I know it’s not going to get any better.

Remember when Total Recall came out? You know, the one that is the remake of that sub-par 80s action movie? Who was excited to see that? I don’t ever remember hearing anyone come up to me and say, “Dude, we need to go see Total Recall! It looks awesome!” Almost everyone said the same thing, which is, “Eh.” So, why even make it? What’s the point of bringing that movie back to the spotlight? Hell, why remake any 80s action movie (looking at you Robocop)? It seems like a waste of time. Sure, they generate a decent sum of money and some people will watch it, but why not invest in new material?

And who else is tired of sequels for movies that no one cared to watch in the first place? Insidious, The Expendables, and more have all had sequels. But who cares? Does anyone want to see the next chapter of a movie that impressed absolutely no one? I understand the sequels to superhero films. They are well-written and have great actors (well, most of them are that way). But even some of those don’t live up to the hype, i.e. The Wolverine.

I don’t know about you, but I want to experience something new. I remember watching movies like Inception, The Raid and Take Shelter and being blown away. These are solid movies, for their own reasons. But they never get the attention they deserve, with the exception of Inception. Independent films are now the only hope for originality, or even freshness, when it comes to films. Writers, directors, actors, etc. pour their everything into these low-budget films, and most of them are outstanding. Again, not all, but most.

Not to mention that Hollywood is being beat out by On-Demand and movie streaming services. Yes, they are not as popular at the moment, but people are beginning to flock to these mediums to see the films they want to watch. Don’t want to drive to the theater? Yeah, you can pay to see it from home. Not sure if it will be a good movie? Stream it or torrent it and you can turn it off without wasting a trip to the theater or blown money on a worthless ticket.

So, what the hell is Hollywood thinking? Why are movie studios constantly investing in lame movies that no one wants to see instead of pushing resources into something fresh, new or unique? Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t have an answer. What I do know is this: if Hollywood wants to boost its numbers and keep people in theater seats, it needs to offer something special. Going to a movie should be a fun event. Friends and family gather in seats, eat popcorn, and immerse themselves in new worlds and interesting characters. It should be an entertaining experience and not a chore. With the plethora of reboots, remakes and laughable sequels, no one is going to line up at the ticket booth for a while. Not until something worth watching finally makes its debut.