Thursday, May 30, 2013

5 Awesome Types Of Movies (That Can Never Be Made Again)

I hope all nine bucks of my movie ticket went directly to that stuntman.

One of the most important things movies offer each of us is an entertaining dose of escapism. For 90-120 minutes, we leave everything in the real world outside of the dark theater and just enjoy the excitement of a different reality for a little while. They turn the lights out for the same reason they make the screen massive and the volume loud enough to shake your seat; it's so you feel immersed in the world being presented to you. So it's no wonder you sometimes leave a theater a bit disappointed that it's all over, finding yourself back in the real world where car-crashes can actually kill you.

And where women don't generally look like Gal Gadot.

We enjoy certain films so much, however, that we unknowingly give certain movie franchises a monopoly over a certain genre. Whether these films are untouchable because they're considered "classics", or they're more recent and just shouldn't be done again because they couldn't possibly get any better, here are five kinds of movies that just can't be made again:

#1. Underground Racing Movies That Aren't "Fast and the Furious"

For those of you who are non-believers in the "Fast" franchise, here's a quick summary: everybody in this world drives a $100,000 car, has no real job, and apparently has like five asian girlfriends judging by the gratuitous "party on top of the cars" scene that appears at least twice in every installment of the series. Cops never arrest anyone because our heroes display superb manual shifting. People can pretty much break the law all they want and still not be considered the "bad guy", unless they happen to be foreign (villains in these movies are Asian, Argentinian, Japanese, Mexican, Brazilian, and European, in that order). If you're a foreign criminal in these movies you're toast. For everybody else, car crashes are almost never fatal and your life is like a live action Need For Speed Underground, every single day.

Holy crap, it's been ten years.

If you've watched the movies from the very beginning, you know that the protagonists who started as some neighborhood thugs stealing DVD players have now become the world's leading anti-vehicular terrorism unit. We're not discussing continuity problems or movie mistakes here, so we'll just go along assuming that's a thing. Make fun of the "Fast and Furious" movies all you want, there's still no denying the success this series has graduated to through an increased budget and an effort to create some semblance of a storyline.

Also, a tank.

The most admirable aspect of the series is how it started with some underground street-racing and an undercover cop, and has since evolved into action movies with fast, colorful cars pulling off awesome bank heists and putting a stop to international terror. For the fans of the series, they can pretty much keep releasing a "Fast" movie every summer as long as it's equal to Fast 4, 5, and 6 in its dosage of face-punching, close-up-of-intense-shifting awesomeness.

What this means for the rest of the movie-making people of the world is that if you want to make a movie about street-racing and fast cars, too bad; it's already been made. The "Fast" franchise has covered all the bases, summarized for your convenience as the following:

1) "The Fast and The Furious", dingy thugs race illegal cars for respect and stuff. Paul Walker's a cop.

2) "2Fast, 2Furious", slightly less dingy thugs do the same thing but in Miami, Paul Walker no longer a cop but is working with the cops.

3) "Tokyo Drift", takes place after Fast 6 in Tokyo, where the asian guy Han is spending all his cash he made in Fast 5. Nobody's a cop.

4) "Fast and Furious", Mexican drug lord needs drivers to drive his drugs into America. This makes as much sense in the movie as it does in writing. Paul Walker is now a super cop. Letty dies.

5) "Fast 5", Every cool character from the previous four movies gets together to steal a metric crap-ton of money from a Brazilian drug guy (except Letty, who is dead). They succeed by dragging a bank vault behind two cars through half of Rio for thirty straight minutes, then they all fly to separate beaches (except Han, who drives off with Gal Gadot). Paul Walker is not a cop. The Rock is a cop. This is awesome.

6) "Fast 6" (No spoilers), The Rock (who is a cop) gets the team together to bring down some Europeans who are basically evil twin versions of themselves. This is directly addressed in the movie. Letty isn't dead. Things explode on the longest runway ever constructed by man. Nobody knows who the cops are anymore.

As you can see, these movies have stepped up there complexity and appeal with each installment in the franchise, and will continue to do so at least through next summer. Any fast car movies not starring Vin Diesel and his gang of awesome racer bros just aren't going to measure up.

#2. Any Pirate Movie Without Jonny Depp In It

This isn't the last "How I Met Your Mother" reference we'll be making today.

What's not to like about a pirate movie? Pirate movies are one of the most inherently adventurous types of action films around. Secret treasure, sword fighting, hidden isles of the sea, all that stuff. Too bad that without Captain Jack, nobody will care about any sort of pirate movie ever again, unless the Muppets sign on for a "Muppet Treasure Island" Sequel.

You may remember a movie released several years ago at the height of the pirates craze titled "Master and Commander". By all accounts, it was a great movie. It was an attempt at a more realistic depiction of how great a sea-battle movie can be, and it was a success and really very good. And nobody watches it anymore because freaking pirate zombies.

"Pirates of the Caribbean" nailed it- lots of cool fight scenes, Geoffrey Rush as the bad guy pirate, creepy ghost ship (complete with even creepier skeleton monkey), and Jack Sparrow, a character that would quickly become a staple in pop culture and pirate movie lore, and also make up for Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley being in the movie.

Every movie this woman is in, Natalie Portman would've been a better choice. Every one.

The "Pirates" franchise has claimed Davy Jones, The Flying Dutchman, Blackbeard, Mermaids, the dreaded Isla de Muerta, Penelope Cruz, and basically every other major element you'd want to include in a pirate movie, making it impossible for anyone else to go near a pirate themed movie for the next twenty years, at which point technology will advance to the point where we're literally in the movie. And even when that happens, they'll probably just re-release the "Pirates" movies in the year 2033's 4-Dimensional theaters.

#3. The Lord of The Rings Trilogy Can't Be Bested

For so many reasons...No, all of them, all of the reasons.

#4. Any Classic From The '80s

Classics are classics for a reason; there's a certain nostalgia you enjoy while watching "The Goonies", something that can't be recreated through a cheap Hollywood remake. There seems to be three major avenues of thought explored when the powers-that-be get together and think up new films to fund:

1. What movies haven't had a sequel yet?
2. What movies are old enough to reboot?
3. ...Anyone read any good books lately?

The problem with rebooting anything from the 1980's is it just can't be done. The Michael Jackson and Hair-Metal era should be remembered, not necessarily relived. So in 2011 when "Footloose" received its own stale remake, it was received with a general "meh". Nobody who saw it said it was an awful movie, it just wasn't worth seeing because anybody who wanted to see Footloose already freaking owned it (though probably on VHS).

After Footloose's failure to ignite an '80s trend, the "excitement" behind a new Back to the Future movie and Top Gun 2 thankfully lost all momentum and seem to be dead for the moment. Hollywood is content to take a page out of Disney's money-making book and just re-release classic movies in theaters every twenty years instead, which is smart, but also totally cheating.

#5. Iron Man And Batman Movies

As evidenced by the Batman, Superman, and James Bond movies of old, some characters are so great that each generation gets its own version. But the cash-crazy people who watched "The Avengers" make all the money last year are hungry for a justice league movie before the comic book craze dies, and it's going to be a travesty. They're working on a new Batman right now, apparently pretending that it's possible to make batman movies better than Christopher Nolan can.

"Wrong"- Nolan

The Justice League movie will either consist of characters who can't carry their own movie in a rushed and underdeveloped script with a Batman that isn't Bat-Bale, or won't happen at all because the comic book movie craze only has about two good years left in it.

We're in a special time when casting directors are doing a pretty incredible job....well, doing their job. For example, the original Iron Man film paved the way for The Avengers and all the films connected to it, but before Robert Downey Jr. donned the CGI suit, most people either weren't aware of who Iron Man was, or didn't give a crap about the dorky looking summer blockbuster soon to hit theaters. What followed was a shot in the arm of Robert's career, and an avalanche of great superhero movies becoming a reality.

Bet you read right past that "shot in the arm" joke.

Iron Man is now everyone's favorite avenger (if he isn't, it better be the Hulk), all because Robert Downey Jr. absolutely owned the role like nobody else could. We make a big deal about the performance Heath Ledger delivered as The Joker (and rightfully so), a role that played a part in ending his life. Iron Man practically saved Robert's life--and with it, his career--and it's because he was so good at being Tony Stark (because he essentially is Tony Stark). Such a believable performance makes the character more than just memorable, it makes the character impossible to replicate. You know who's going to take up the role of Iron Man, or Wolverine, or Jack Sparrow, or Joker next? Freaking nobody. 

For at least a generation, all the movies on this list should be untouchable, if movie-makers know what's good for them. There's just no sense in rebooting a batman franchise still fresh off its DVD sales, no point in making pirate movies without Depp starring in them, and no way anyone is taking car racing movies seriously without Vin Diesel. 

It's tough enough taking them seriously with Vin Diesel.


1 comment:

  1. Awesome 80's movies not mentioned ( probably because they are mostly chick flicks)

    1. Breakfast Club
    2. Pretty in Pink
    3. Sixteen Candles
    4. E.T.
    5. Princess Bride

    6. Who framed Rodger Rabbit!