Friday, September 7, 2012

Enough Reboots!

  Hollywood is in a crisis.  For some odd reason, movie reboots are coming out in droves.  Now I know the current "generation" of ADHD drone-bot phone-wielding nimrods are happy that the new versions of movies fit their attention-span-lack nicely, with just the right amount of empty dialogue, 1-dimensional characterization that reflects their empty relationships and lives they mimic like mannequins from the real-deal, and explosions.  Oh yes, we have to have impossible explosions ala The Marine (2006) where the "hero" jumps from a shack apparently filled with more pyrotechnics than Colorado Springs' own Fort Carson's arsenal.

The Marine film 2006 running from an impossible explosion

  Spiderman and Batman have had reboots with varying success, and Superman is next.  I'm not a fan of re-visioning something about 3 minutes old.  Japan was notorious with this re-telling origin business back with Godzilla, sometimes he loved Japan as a savior/defender, sometimes destroyed it, sometimes he was born from a nuclear accident on an island, sometimes an egg in a volcano near Kyoto Prefecture.  Shrug.  Who knows?

Godzilla vs. King Ghidora (aka Monster X)

  I find a lot of the younger crowd, seemingly afflicted with Aspergers' or worse due to food-engineering of this decade during developmental phases and faulty MMR vaccine batches have never heard of earlier incantations.  Why, there were Spiderman films back in the '70s, and Batman had a serial back in the mid-'40s and mid-'60s (sorry, Adam West!)  Thing is, however, these younglings (Star Wars pun intended)  shrug-off earlier incantations, completely dismissing it with the oddly happy phrase, "Oh, that was before I was born."  Yeah?  And?  So you can't enjoy a previous release?  I also find they seem to have a hard time choking-down the special-effects.  "It's so cheesy!" they exclaim.  Cheesy?  So.. impossible physics via CGI is.. not cheesy?  We must agree to disagree.  Their suspension of belief is less so than my own.  Some guy walking away from a huge explosion will be permanently deaf and flattened, friends.  Back in the '70s, they used real ass explosions.  Car chases were legit, and people often died from them.  The position of "Stuntman" was an incredible feat, and little was faked.  The '80s employed a few ramps for cars to jump but now it's blase.  Kids these days (yeah, I said it) expect a CGI adventure of fakeness.

Dork using a green-screen masking technique to create effects

  It took me a long time to fathom why they weren't impressed with older effects.  I realize now that most kids don't take the time to actually learn a skill or stunt, so they're unimpressed with the requirement to be able to get to be that good at something.  Look at the rather sad Guitar Hero and spinoffs a few years back.  Big draw, that.  SouthPark parodied it and nailed it right on the head when Randy Marsh could play Wayward Son by Kansas to no one's interest despite its first song on said Guitar Hero.  No one appreciates skill, they just want to mash a few buttons Tetris style and feel like they're actually doing something.  Instant gratification with minimal trying.  Guitar Hero always reminded me of the old arcade game, Klax.  (If you consider 1989 old.)  This ties-in with the infamous Participation Award a lot of schools give-out for kids so they feel like they did something.  The empty award.  It's bad because it belittles the achievers and brings-up the losers.  Why coddle to failures?  To ease the blow?  This is the wrong method in my book.  Show them how they can improve not how to be happy with failure.  Pathetic.

Bullit (1968)with Steve McQueen driving iconic Mustang.  One of the most famous real car chases in cinematic history.

  All movies with supernatural events, from space-ship battles to UFOs to superheroes and ninjas and other mythelogical events require a suspension of disbelief.  Personally, I find that if it looks cheesy as perhaps one might think so with Ray Harryhausen's famous skeleton battle in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) but it works.  Ray's vision at the time was pretty bad-ass.  Kids need to realize the technological limitations of the time and be freakin' amazed at some of the skill involved that someday they might be able to achieve with work and perseverance, not mashing an iPhone screen!
  When I demo'ed a cover for Rush's Tom Sawyer, the best I got was a "Meh." for a response on YouTube.  Really?  Then YOU do it, the bass, guitar, vocals, drums.  All by yourself like I did, and some of the keyboards too.  Let me be the judge of your work as well!  HA!

            The Great Escape circa 1963.  Steve McQueen actually jumps the fence impromptu successfully with real Constantine wire.   

   I think America has lost some of that skill.  Mechanics rely on computer screens to tell them what the engine is doing without really understanding ECU mapping.  The shade-tree mechanic with true skills testing cylinder temperature by feel is nearly all gone in this country.  America is dissolving.  Skill is shifting to copy-pasting programs with a few changes in color or shape to make it their own with minimal effort like a Sistine Chapel painting.  Is CGI entertaining?  Often, sure, but there's no value in it.  It's blah.  A real explosion versus CGI?  Give me a real, honest-to-goodness KABOOM over your fake fire any day.  Give me a REAL car chase where lives are in jeopardy!
  Jackie Chan said it best a few years back.  He wondered why people went to see Jet Li who faked most of the martial-arts moves versus Jackie who learned the actual Kung Fu required for each film and performed all the stunts real-world versus CGI trickery.  Jackie, I understand, and I weep for the World with you.
  My only hope is a World Renaissance to go back to true skill instead of polygon rendering and copy-pasting other works.  Maybe.. it's not too late.


1 comment:

  1. I won't say that you cracked me up with this one... but you did make me smile. You sound so angry and fist-to-the-sky/"Get off my lawn!" about it, matter of factly. Ha ha!

    You sound like you've been working with a few people that I know too.

    Anyway. It made me smile. So thanks.

    What are you doing watching crappy WWE movies like The Marine anyway? You know better, Mike. Not you SHOULD know better. You know better. That's a glutton for punishment where I come from.

    Oh well. "You tell me do things, I do 'dem." Right? ;)

    Cheer up, man.

    It can't suck all the time.