Has Hollywood become too Dependent On Blockbuster films?

WaylanderToo

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What annoys me about Hollywood is that they keep doing sequels and reboots, despite the enormous number of potentially brilliant movies that could be made from various SF and fantasy novels. Just off the top of my head:

Footfall
Lucifer's Hammer
The Fountains of Paradise
Ringworld!!
Saberhagen's Berserker series
The Bolo books
Riftwar series
Dragonlance trilogy
Ringo's Posleen stuff
The Dahak books
Neuromancer
And most of Ben Bova's near-future SF.

I don't think Orion's Arm, the Culture books by Ian M Banks, or any other far-future stuff would make very good movies. Too much explanation required, and too far outside anyone's experience.

Wasn't there a Lucifer's Hammer film in the 70's? As for anything D&D - I suspect that we can 'thank' Marlon Wayans for shooting that franchise to pieces with his execrably poor Dungeons and Dragons films
 

BAYLOR

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Wasn't there a Lucifer's Hammer film in the 70's? As for anything D&D - I suspect that we can 'thank' Marlon Wayans for shooting that franchise to pieces with his execrably poor Dungeons and Dragons films
Meteor 1979 staring Sean Connery , Natalie Wood, Brain Kielth Karl Malden , Martin Landau . A Samuel Z Arkoff film and wretchedly bad.
 

KGeo777

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The thing with the remakes and sequels is the absurd out of proportion advertising. So they do a new Halloween movie with the lead returning, but they already did that 20 years ago, so they bring back the 70 year old guy behind the mask. That is not enough of an interesting marketing angle. Bringing back one of the kids from the 1978 movie is also not enough of an interesting marketing angle. There's something anemic about it. Like trying to wring water out of a worn-out rag. If they released the films with old fashioned standard marketing then ok-but instead they give it The Force Awakens treatment and completely bombard you with it--way beyond anyone's actual interest in it. ..the thing about Meteor is that in the same month that came out, there would have been probably a dozen other sci-fi or genre films that might be interesting. The Medusa Touch, the Boys From Brazil, Capricorn One, the Fury, off the top of my head...whoops we mean 1979--well there was a lot that year too. Dracula 79, Time After Time etc..
 

BAYLOR

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The thing with the remakes and sequels is the absurd out of proportion advertising. So they do a new Halloween movie with the lead returning, but they already did that 20 years ago, so they bring back the 70 year old guy behind the mask. That is not enough of an interesting marketing angle. Bringing back one of the kids from the 1978 movie is also not enough of an interesting marketing angle. There's something anemic about it. Like trying to wring water out of a worn-out rag. If they released the films with old fashioned standard marketing then ok-but instead they give it The Force Awakens treatment and completely bombard you with it--way beyond anyone's actual interest in it. ..the thing about Meteor is that in the same month that came out, there would have been probably a dozen other sci-fi or genre films that might be interesting. The Medusa Touch, the Boys From Brazil, Capricorn One, the Fury, off the top of my head...whoops we mean 1979--well there was a lot that year too. Dracula 79, Time After Time etc..
The Medusa Touch. Richard Burton's last film. Ive seen it , very entertaining stuff. . Capricorn One A Terrific conspiracy film with a magnificent musical score by the late great Jerry Goldsmith . Its not a well remembered film at all. Boys from Brazil had Gregory Peck and Lawrence Olivier, another gem from the past. Yes Dracula 79 with Frank Langella in the title role, with Lawerence Olivier as Dr Von Helsing , Kate Nelligan and Donald Pleasance. This film is a joy to watch ! :cool:(y)
 

Overread

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I've long said that we've lost a lot of directors who know how to pace a film out to work. Granted even some of the greats like Sergio Leone had great trouble getting their films to fit even into 3hours. That said you can't disagree that we've a lot more films (some of the marvel cross over films really show this well) where the film is more showing isolated scenes that don't often blend well together and where the overall plot feels very rushed. Everything is going at top speed without a pause.

The result is a film that you can tell has a good underlaying story, but never has the time to develop characters or scenes properly to have that powerful impact on the audience.

TV certainly wins out there, esp with the current attitude where more investors and channels are happy for non-episodic TV programs. Where you don't have to do the same thing you did last time and wrap up the whole episode as an isolated story within a story
 

Foxbat

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The Medusa Touch. Richard Burton's last film. Ive seen it , very entertaining stuff
I like it too, but wasn't 1984 Burton's last film?

I see that both Scorcese and Ford Coppola have come out and criticised the glut of superhero movies (and you can't get any more blockbuster than them so I'm on topic). I love the movies of both those directors but I'm not sure why they have spoken out. Perhaps they feel threatened or they're struggling to get funding because of them. But they should just concentrate on their own work. Werner Herzog keeps on putting out quality stuff on a shoestring despite being sometimes unfashionable so it's still possible.

Simple truth is there will always be fads and there will always be movies that some people don't like - in fact - I don't particularly like the Avengers movies either but I've found a solution to that - I just don't watch them anymore:)
 

KGeo777

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I have seen people saying the superhero film is the new western but there are so many differences. The western is tied to US history, the characters do not usually wear masks, the actors in the roles are often a huge selling point for the stories--and you have a variety of dramatic situations--the shoot-out, the bar scene, the characters going to a poker game or a ranch etc. And for the people who hated westerns in the 40s or 50s, they could see a pirate movie or a crime movie or a mystery etc. There was a lot of equal-budgeted choices (since westerns were cheap to make).
These days, what are the alternatives? A Marvel movie occupies 10 screens in a cineplex. And the sequel is coming out in a few months or the next year. Or the prequel, or the spin-off. And instead of doing a straight adventure, they might make Thor fat, or Captain Marvel has the mind of a child, or the character says he urinates in his armor in front of a room full of people. This is a reason why i can't get behind the claims that the superhero is promoting hypermascunility or fascism like John McTiernan said. lol
I think Scorsese and Coppola have a little sour grapes because the studios that used to patron them no longer do, but the basic criticism of shrinking genre cinema variety they allude to is valid--and directors like James Mangold and David Fincher have focused on the lack of individual artistic footprint in Marvel films which I agree with. MCU movies have a cookie-cutter feeling.
 

Vince W

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I've stopped watch superhero films in the cinema. They have all been relegated to streaming service only. The last few I watched left me feeling like I'd wasted my time.
 

BAYLOR

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I've stopped watch superhero films in the cinema. They have all been relegated to streaming service only. The last few I watched left me feeling like I'd wasted my time.
The last superhero film I saw at theater was Captain America The Winter Solder . Ive seen most of the rest on television.
 

Toby Frost

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The problem I have with superhero films - at least, most that I've seen within the last 15 years - is that the least interesting element to me is the "super" bit. I thought that the first Captain America film was a fun adventure and an interesting story about propaganda, and the second one was a promising take on a 1970s conspiracy thriller. But however they're dressed up, all such films have to ultimately default back to the same thing - magic dudes hitting each other, basically - which to me is hard to warm to.

For some reason, probably because I didn't really grow up with superhero comics etc, I find the concept much harder to buy into than, say, space opera or high fantasy. Oddly, I'm fine with films that are about people with super-powers - vampires like Blade (who was a superhero, sort of), the Jedi, or even stories like Indiana Jones where the hero has absurd adventures. It seems to be the whole tights and crimefighting bit where my brain says "no".
 

CupofJoe

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For me it is the powers arms race in Superhero movies that wears me out.
There used to be Superman that was all but all powerful and that was it.
Now there are half a dozen, maybe more, characters that are in the same league [okay not in the same universe].
There is no thrill and jeopardy if you know that X is stronger, faster, tougher etc...
I kind of liked Infinity Wars because people lost and died. Thano was too powerful for them.
I kind of didn't like Endgame because they found a loophole and most of them came back...
The film that supposedly started the Summer Blockbuster Jaws is full of people that might die [and some do]. There are consequence to actions that the characters have to live with. You don't know who is going to win [okay it was never going to be the shark] but you also didn't know who was going to lose.
 

Venusian Broon

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For some reason, probably because I didn't really grow up with superhero comics etc, I find the concept much harder to buy into than, say, space opera or high fantasy. Oddly, I'm fine with films that are about people with super-powers - vampires like Blade (who was a superhero, sort of), the Jedi, or even stories like Indiana Jones where the hero has absurd adventures. It seems to be the whole tights and crimefighting bit where my brain says "no".
I totally agree with the above.

Talk about comics and I get recollections of The Beano, The Dandy, Battle Action and The Eagle (the relaunched version in the 80s). Oh and Oor Wullie and The Broons. But they were more torture rather than Entertainment, along with the rest of the Sunday Post. And Viz of course. But that's a UK upbringing. Anyone into US superheroes in the 1970s was either seen as weird or fabulously exotic, trust me. :)

Today there is something about these Marvel and DC movies that feel as if it is some sort of corporate attempt to violently ram some particular other persons childhood squaring into the heads of the rest of the world. Via movies, plastic toys, computer games and anything else that will make a profit.

However, having been a bit negative, I have to say most superhero films I've found reasonably entertaining. Not great, but entertaining. A bit of fluff to pass a wet Sunday afternoon. Loads of other films have gripped me far more, so I can see where Scorsese is coming from.

And then I thought: Actually this superhero stuff is actually a very ancient genre. Just think of Hercules or Perseus, demigods with powers or fancy gadgets from the gods. Essentially magic buff dudes hitting each other or monsters, getting the princess. Then cheating on her. Goes all the way back to the great Granddaddy of them all, Gilgamesh. Mind you none of there stories really ended well; old-time audiences liked the tragic ends it seems. (Possibly Odyessus got a good ending, but he wasn't a superhero, just a man with a lot of bad luck and a terrible Sat-Nav, and it was a close run thing at the end.)
 

Toby Frost

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This may seem like heresy, but I find old superhero comics exotic, but not very interesting. As you say, VB, it is like seeing someone else's childhood. So perhaps I just lack the right background. For what it's worth, I feel much the same about Halloween. It never featured greatly in my childhood, and it means little to me now, although it's meant to be "my thing" by default.

Scorsese probably has a point, but then Casino and Goodfellas are very similar to my eyes, and while they're well made, I'm not sure that either has much to say. It might be that a lot of superhero films feel as if they're written by the same person (usually channeling Joss Whedon) and have that same quality of feeling a bit insincere that happens with uninspired attempts at that style. But at the end of the day it's something about my own preferences. I don't know why I can buy into the troubles of a policeman who gets turned into a cyborg, but can't get the troubles of a man with a magic hammer.
 

Rodders

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I must confess that I am entertained by Superhero movies and there is a place for them. They are competently made films, after all. My problem is that there is no risk. You know they're going to come up against an overwhelming foe and be beaten, but ultimately overcome their adversary. The franchise has taken over and the stand alone movie is gone.

I'd love to see more 2000AD comic strips. Not many superheroes, but Law, Soldiers, psychopathic teenage aliens and Hitmen going about their business.
 

Vince W

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It may take a few more years, but Rebellion is working on several projects to bring 2000AD to the screen, big and small.
 

Foxbat

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Oh and Oor Wullie and The Broons. But they were more torture rather than Entertainment, along with the rest of the Sunday Post
How many times did the bairn tell the family what granpa Broon was up to, only for them to march down there and for it to be revealed that she'd misheard it (again)? Time somebody cleaned that bairn's lugs oot! :)

Scorsese probably has a point, but then Casino and Goodfellas are very similar to my eyes,
I always referred to Casino as The Goodfellas Go to Las Vegas:)
 

Venusian Broon

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How many times did the bairn tell the family what granpa Broon was up to, only for them to march down there and for it to be revealed that she'd misheard it (again)? Time somebody cleaned that bairn's lugs oot! :)
Wait...there was another sort of story? Jings!
 

Dave

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This may seem like heresy, but I find old superhero comics exotic, but not very interesting. As you say, VB, it is like seeing someone else's childhood. So perhaps I just lack the right background. For what it's worth, I feel much the same about Halloween. It never featured greatly in my childhood, and it means little to me now.
I also agree with this, so I think it might be more of a UK thing. One single guy at my school had Marvel comics, and he wasn't particularly exotic or cool, though he was the youngest of several brothers. I never saw a Mad Magazine until I was a teenager. In the USA, Marvel and Mad Magazine seem to be, like Halloween and Baseball, part of everyone's childhood. It is different today. Kids have access to, and therefore are influenced by, all kinds of world-wide culture such as Pokémon, Animé, Manga, but also weird European stuff like Moomins, Barbar the elephant, and Pingu. The only cartoons I can remember were Tom and Jerry, Hanna Barbera and the Pink Panther. Beano and Dandy comics seemed old fashioned even when I was a child.

I don't know why I can buy into the troubles of a policeman who gets turned into a cyborg, but can't get the troubles of a man with a magic hammer.
I also agree with you, however this may be a bad example to use. Robocop was set in the future, but Superheroes have supposedly lived amongst us (in their tights and wearing underpants on the outside) for >80 years (and no one has filmed them yet.)

Actually this superhero stuff is actually a very ancient genre. Just think of Hercules or Perseus, demigods with powers or fancy gadgets from the gods. Essentially magic buff dudes hitting each other or monsters, getting the princess. Then cheating on her. Goes all the way back to the great Granddaddy of them all, Gilgamesh. Mind you none of there stories really ended well; old-time audiences liked the tragic ends it seems.
This is exactly what it is and it is therefore Fantasy rather than Science Fiction, or else an alternative reality in which magic and Gods exist.
 

KGeo777

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I perceive 4 types of hero characters in literature, generally speaking.

One is the Beowulf--the strong brave warrior who takes on the challenge to deal with a problem. Gilgamesh is an oriental equivalent but the moral of the story in his case is about the dangers of excessive passion. I don't think Beowulf is meant to be a moral warning or critical character.

Odysseus is another--he is the strong but not exceptionally strong mortal who uses his brains and invention to overcome problems. Batman is something of an Odysseus type. While Achilles the greatest Greek warrior, he was excessive in passion so not as exemplary a character as Odysseus.

Then there's David--the youth or physically weak character who triumphs through technology and magic (the favor of God).

Aladdin is a related type-the youth who uses technology-magic to achieve success.

There are an awful lot of Davids and Aladdins in current genre movies, and very few Beowulf or Odysseus types. More often than not, the Beowulf is equated with Goliath as dumb or a bad guy or turned into parody (Fat Thor). If it is a character with physical strength like Captain America, it is through technology, not natural ability that he gets his power. He started out scrawny (the David/Aladdin). Same with Spider-man, the Hulk...

I suspect Hollywood is stuck with superheroes for the time being. I don't think they can lose enough money at the box office to make a change because they are so ideologically influenced. Bob Iger's reported response to Scorsese and Coppola indicates this-accusing them of racism. He could have talked about box office or alleged popularity or tried to be polite, but he chose social political confrontation. It explains a lot of Disney decisions but also suggests they are not worried about money or audience apathy.
 

IAmTR

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I think marvel mostly makes great films. I'm also a comics fan though. It was said above but I think it's brilliant they vary the type of film so much. Like winter soldier being a spy/espionage film, Guardians being a comedy/space opera, Thor being a tale or growing up, Ant-Man a heist movie, etc. Yes they're super hero movies but at their core they are much more. If it was just super hero action movies then they wouldn't last this long.
 
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