“The constant warfare between vampires and werewolves is no stranger to cinema in the 21st century. “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” takes the concept one step further by throwing in angels, evil spirits, and demon hunters, along with budding teenagers overly reminiscent of the “Twilight” movies. By the time alchemic portals, cups of immortality, and promiscuous warlocks make an appearance, the plot has already borrowed and incorporated significant ideas from nearly every fantasy film made in the last thirty years. If there’s anything even remotely innovative in “The Mortal Instruments,” it’s countered by an absence of parameters. The meager few moments of calm before the protagonists are thrust into an alternate world teeming with unexplained phenomena simply doesn’t offer enough exposition. Anything can – and does – happen in this maelstrom of disorganized imagery. For a city full of bones, not a single one is original.”~Mike Massie, Phoenix Movie Examiner What can we learn from this?
1. Hollywood is milking mediocre concepts and turning them to crap
A movie producer once told me that you can’t lose money making vampire movies, so let’s make one. Then let’s make another one, and another one with a werewolf, and then add The Mummy and Michael Jackson, and add a teen love story, and then add Abraham Lincoln, and then add zombies,and then add angels, and then add Abbot and Costello, and cast Will Farrell to star in it! How 'bout "Rocky XXXIV," Boxing Dracula"? And at the height of the craze let’s make a remake of “The Three Stooges Meet Elvis.” Argh!
2. Hollywood is loves to play it safe and boring.
Let's give Adam Sandler millions to make more movies that sweep The Razzie Awards! And let’s make more mediocre Sci Fi movies and everyone will want to see them, even more than that they'll want to see the next mediocre Star Wars movie too! And let’s play it safe and change the Galatic time line so we can tweak the plots of other original 1960s episodes, and do them again and again! Yes! The The Brady Bunch lives! Oh, and don’t forget to add lots of explosions. Why just break Marsha's nose? Let's blow it off! It’s safe, it’s boring, and we’ll make money!
I once submitted a script for a TV show contest that offered anyone the chance to write a TV sitcom. I thought mine was pretty original but it didn't get picked. There were great ideas aplenty presented on the show, but the winners were a comedy called “Sperm Donor” and “Stephen’s Life.” Good titles, but the first show was about a sperm donor who wants to be a real father to fruit of his loins, and the other was about a genius kid. Both turned out so safe and boring that the pilots of the two shows killed the TV series that conceived them, and this show was never seen, and may never ever been seen again. I guess the idea for The Sitcom contest wasn’t safe enough, because it failed.
3. Hollywood will continue to lose money
The tabloids tell us that it’s a bad year for movie box offices. The cost of movies is up, ticket prices are up, and theater attendance is down. It’s so bad that some studios are actually bragging when a film goes to video right away. I am sequeled, zombied, vampired, and kick-ass teened out. I predict that unless more great new original films like “The Life of Pi” are produced Hollywood will become an also ran in the world-wide film industry, much like Vegas was a few years ago, until it righted its course.
4. Welcome in the Golden Age of Independent and Foreign Film
Hollywood’s greatest competition is going to come and is coming from creative films from independent producers and from other lands, especially the orient; like India and Japan. The English make better acting films, witness the treasure trove of Oscars British actors have won in the last 20 years. “Life of Pi” proves the Oriental director is on the rise.
5. Stop throwing crap at us, and blowing up crap, and then sequeling crap, and give us better plots and acting even if it means less action.
If you don’t we’ll just stay home and watch more boring TV shows.