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Summer Movies Boldly Going Where We've Already Gone Before

by

Gordon Rowlinson



 Summer is approaching and moviegoers know what that means—summer blockbuster movies. Among the big name movies for this summer are: Iron Man 3; Fast & Furious 6; The Hangover 3; Star Trek Into Darkness; Man of Steel; The Lone Ranger; Wolverine. In case you didn't notice, all the big names movies mentioned in the above sentence are sequels or remakes. Not all of the big name movies this summer are sequels and remakes—just most of them as Hollywood is currently riding a trend of recycling old, familiar ideas.

This current explosion of franchise-mania in movies has destroyed a lot of the originality and creativity in Hollywood. As a Sci-fi fan, I'd like to see more fresh new ideas. I plan to see the new Star Trek movie. However I am looking forward more to Elysium, starring Matt Damon, and After Earth, starring Will Smith. There is nothing that dazzles more than a good Science Fiction movie with fresh new ideas and new characters. I will never forget the wonderment that hit me when I first saw the James Cameron film “Avatar.” It was nothing like I had ever seen before. I felt a similar feeling in the 70's, when I first saw the George Lucas film Star Wars.

One of the reasons for this sequel-franchise trend is that viewers keep going to the sequels and that means big money. Hollywood is only too eager to give us what sells. Second of all, in this world of mega-budget movies, investors want to be assured of a relatively safe return on investment before they gamble millions on a movie. Director Neill Blomkamp recently complained of the sequel-franchise trend: “From my perspective, the only reason that those kinds of decisions get made is really just a fiscal reason. How do we as a public held company get money? Well, let's make films we know are going to generate profits, because audiences like them and we can make sequel. That's not always the best place to start off if you want to make something newer or a little different. I want to see new stuff. I want to make new stuff.”

The sequel-franchise trend shows no sign of slowing down. A glance at the “new” moves scheduled to be made in the coming years ahead sounds like a journey into the past: Planet of the Apes; Jurassic Park 4; Transformers 4; Avengers 2; Star Wars Episode 7; The 24th James Bond movie (yes, there have been 24 Bond movies); Avatar 2 and 3; Mission Impossible 5; Prometheus 2 (please no); Blade Runner 2; and Independence Day 2 and 3. In short, any movie that was successful and made money, Hollywood has plans to regurgitate that idea and milk it for more money.

I truly hope the new and original movies “Elysium,” and “After Earth” live up to their promise and provide movie audiences with new thrills. The ironic thing is if any new and original movie is successful, it is destined to be the copied and made into sequels in the years ahead. There is more than a good chance that there will be an “Elysium 2” and an “After Earth 2.”


2013-06-03 09:32:34
micheledutcher - I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. It's like the actors were trying to imitate their predecessors - even Bones lifted his eyebrow at the 'right' moment. I like new Kirk and new Spock - but not if it's word for word. And what was that thing with old Spock talking to new Spock? And the Tribble trick? - I want to stand up and scream NO S*&T Sherlock!! Boo & Boo & Boo!!

2013-06-03 04:22:16
Ironspider - I'm looking forward to 'Elysium' as I was impressed by 'District 9'. I don't intend to see any of the prequels, sequels, re-writes, re-launches or re-boots. I did, albeit briefly, consider the 'Lone Ranger', but having seen the trailer, and Johnny Depp revisiting Captain Jack in a different costume, I've changed my mind! It's always worth keeping an eye on foreign sci-fi, which tends to miss the cinema and appear on DVD without much fanfare. Pleasant surprises were the French 'Chrysalis' (on Momentum Pictures) and the Korean 'Natural City' (available on Optimum Asia).

2013-06-03 03:54:19
I would like to note that movie critics are ripping apart After Earth and the film did not do as well in it's first weekend. It would appear that After Earth is not living up to it's promise of providing thrills. Gordon R

2013-06-01 05:28:32
I agree! At some point, there are just too many sequels, and they get too tired and old. Let the poor things retire. The drive for short-term profits rather than long-term thinking is a problem for lots of public companies, not just movie producers. I blame Wall Street.





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