Oringer: Enough With the Movie Sequels

Pretend you've just been invited to a celebrity wedding and you only have a few hours to find something to wear, get your hair done and find a date.

You rush to the local mall, but for some inexplicable reason every store is selling the same item … a black sleeveless T-shirt.

It's the same shirt you've seen a million times. This year's cut is just a hair different.

You're desperate. What now?

Do you buy the T-shirt and dress it up with some fancy jewelry and a pair of silk evening slacks? Do you wear something old that screams out, "This is the best I can do!"

What if everyone else wears the new black tee, making you feel like an outcast?

These are the type questions I am burdened with this summer when going to the movie theater. You end up choosing between a bunch of movies that are exactly the same, if not a remake or a sequel of something old.

I could choose to skip some movies. However, if people start talking about them, I'll be clueless.

Do I again spend 10 bucks on celluloid fodder again? Do I skip a movie and, when it comes up in conversation, make interesting small talk about Forrest Gump?

Unwanted Multiplex Leftovers

Basically, we're all in a pickle any way you look at it.

Here's why: This summer we've had another Charlie's Angels, another Legally Blonde, another Bad Boys, another Tomb Raider, as well as third helpings of The Terminator, Spy Kids and American Pie, and not one but two installments of The Matrix. (Well, OK, the third comes out this fall. But still.)

On top of this, Hollywoods giving us big screen verisions of comic books with The Hulk and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and a cinematic interpretation of the Disney amusement park ride Pirates of the Caribbean.

To throw in another dose of the familiar, there's one movie based on the sequel-friendly monsters from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. They didn't know whether to call it A Nightmare on Elm Street 8 or A Nightmare on Friday the 13th. They settled on Freddy vs. Jason.

Of course, if that's not a winning combination, you might try Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in Gigli. Is that a movie based on a relationship or a relationship based on a movie? Who knows?

Basically the box office is in a mental and financial slump this summer, dropping both in ticket sales and IQ points from this time last year. Blame it on the tough economy, you say? I say no. Blame it on the lack of interesting flicks. There are few original screenplays, few fresh ideas.

As a matter of fact, this summer, when people in the industry refer to "the buzz on the streets," it's not about a movie, but the mosquito problem in the Hamptons. Remember Drama? So far, none of the films previously mentioned has garnered any pronounced critical acclaim as far as potential for the Big O — and in Hollywood, that's an Oscar.

Yes, there are candidates for costume and special effect nominations. However, acting, writing and overall cinematic greatness have yet to be mentioned in discussions of any of the films released thus far this summer, maybe even this year.

At this point, I'm on pins and needles over the release of Seabiscuit. The early reviews have been great and quite honestly, even if it stinks, it'll be better than what's out already. At least it's based on a great book, and it's a drama, albeit one with a happy ending.

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