Hollywood's creativity problem and a (ranty) stroll through endless remakes...

Ryujin

Legend
Now see there is nothing wrong with a "Frame of Reference" if some one needs that : the problem is people getting stuck there. But it seems people don't have the ability to let go.

Star Wars was a great movie...but everyone does not need to copy off it forever. Tolkien wrote a good couple of books, but we don't need to copy them forever.

All Fantasy has to be Tolkien, all Space Adventure must be Star Wars, all heist stories must be "oceans" and so on.

That's the problem: Someone writes a cop plot, and without a thought just adds the same things over and over as they are stuck in there head. Plus everyone above that says "oh you have to add a new rookie cop and a old cop and" so on that is in EVERY other cop content.

It's a big Rut.
The presentation by streaming services doesn't really help with that, either. I was looking for something to watch, earlier today, and really wanted to watch something of a sort I wouldn't normally gravitate to. I quickly tired of all of the listings for movies that simply listed them as "X Meets Y." Dozens of them, in fact.
 

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Genres tend to get stale over time and need to be revitalized or shelved for a bit before someone has a new approach. I think the best ones build on what came before while having a kind of conversation with the prior material. An example that always leaps to mind for me is Dirty Harry (which didn't exist in a vacuum and was breaking new ground when it came out) and Lethal Weapon (which owes a tremendous amount to Dirty Harry, even has a scene that is clearly an homage to it, but also added to the conversation within the genre).
The problem I see is that people can't let go. It's fine to make a tribute or homage.....but when it's everything it's a bit much.

It's fine to make a cop movie and think "oh all them other cop movies were nice" and then just LEAVE all of that alone and make something new.

It's already bad enough when they know and say "We are coping x". It's a million times worse when they copy X subconsciously without knowing it as it's stuck in their brain.
 

Hussar

Legend
All art is copying though. Nothing has been truly original in thousands of years. Good grief, the ancient Greeks complained about this thousands of years ago.

It’s not like this is a new issue.

With movies and other mass media, there’s the additional issue of how easy it is to consume vast amounts of genre fiction.

In the 70’s, there was a very hard limit to how many fantasy movies you could see in a given year. No vcr’s, only a few channels on the tv and movie theatres. That was it.

Now, every single movie/tv show is immediately viewable repeatedly world wide. It’s so over saturated.

It makes formulaic plots really visible.

It’s also why we’re seeing a real push towards non-English language movies. Korean dramas, Bollywood, that sort of stuff.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Now see there is nothing wrong with a "Frame of Reference" if some one needs that : the problem is people getting stuck there. But it seems people don't have the ability to let go.

And other people get kind of cherry-picky...

All Fantasy has to be Tolkien, all Space Adventure must be Star Wars, all heist stories must be "oceans" and so on.

Conan, Star Trek, Inception...
Maybe not all fantasy is Tolkien, not all Space Adventure is Star Wars, and not all Heist stories are Oceans.

Plus everyone above that says "oh you have to add a new rookie cop and a old cop and" so on that is in EVERY other cop content.

Have you considered that form has purpose and utility?

Having that pairing makes exposition to the TV audience a lot easier. An experienced cop can spend time explaining things to the inexperiencd one, so the audience understands. Between two experienced officers, that same discussion would be, "Joe, what, do you think I was born yesterday, that you need to explain it to me?"

Also, the mentor/apprentice dynamic a pretty natural one in human experience. And that pairing allows easier introduction of different generational points of view.

And so on. It is used a lot not just because it was done before - but because it also works. That's a thing about cliches - they are what they are because there is actually something to them.
 

All art is copying though. Nothing has been truly original in thousands of years. Good grief, the ancient Greeks complained about this thousands of years ago.

It’s not like this is a new issue.
But you can be aware of the ton of media AND then choose not to copy it. You don't HAVE to say "wow, my space war will be just like Star Wars!" You don't have to make a horror movie with 12 targets and one gets killed every 10 minutes with a jump scare. And so on.


With movies and other mass media, there’s the additional issue of how easy it is to consume vast amounts of genre fiction.

In the 70’s, there was a very hard limit to how many fantasy movies you could see in a given year. No vcr’s, only a few channels on the tv and movie theatres. That was it.

Now, every single movie/tv show is immediately viewable repeatedly world wide. It’s so over saturated.

It makes formulaic plots really visible.

It’s also why we’re seeing a real push towards non-English language movies. Korean dramas, Bollywood, that sort of stuff.
I was there. Before 2000 getting a hold of lots of media was at least a chore...and a lot was near impossible. Today, it's all too easy.

But still, just as you have seen all the media, does not mean you have to use it like a zombie.
 

The problem I see is that people can't let go. It's fine to make a tribute or homage.....but when it's everything it's a bit much.

It's fine to make a cop movie and think "oh all them other cop movies were nice" and then just LEAVE all of that alone and make something new.

It's already bad enough when they know and say "We are coping x". It's a million times worse when they copy X subconsciously without knowing it as it's stuck in their brain.

I do think there is a tendency to repeat what has been successful before and that can be a problem (even if the successful thing was good). But my feelings here are a bit mixed and I am going to think aloud to try to get to some kind of point.

I personally don't have an issue with genre. Buddy cop movies are a genre. Like all genres the tropes can get stale (at least for a while). You need fresh eyes to revitalize genres, but you also need the genre elements that make them what they are. It is a very tricky balance. Also something can be tropey and cliche but still be well written and acted, so if the quality is there it can still be very entertaining. I watch a lot of kung fu and wuxia movies and you see that pattern frequently of revitalization of the genre because of a new idea or approach, followed by that becoming the way its done, then becoming old hat, and finally being replaced by a fresher take. I think to do that though you need a healthy media landscape. Also some genres don't last forever. When I was a kid westerns were pretty much going out and while there have been westerns since, they are no where near their heyday in terms of cultural impact and prevalence. Maybe buddy cop movies have a shorter shelf life. Also I do think while genres are fun and entertaining, the ideal situation is people aren't just redoing old genres but things are varied enough that new genres are emerging or wildly different approaches to existing genres can emerge.

But I think for me a bigger issue is just the constant redoing of existing IP. What keeps me away from theaters these days is that I don't really connect with the style of film making or genres like supers, but most of all its the retreading of old franchises. I wouldn't mind more science fiction movies. I love science fiction, but I don't need to see more star wars films or shows. I'd be open to more space opera, but to your point I also would really like to see science fiction films that surprise me. Ex Machina genuinely surprised me when I saw it. I liked Star Trek, I liked the Next Generation, and I love Babylon 5. But I did not need 18 versions of star trek (Next Generation and original series were more than enough for me).
 

Hussar

Legend
I’ll see your Star Trek and raise you an Expanse.

Again we’re not really comparing apples to apples here. At the time when TNG and Bab 5 were being broadcast, there might have been three other SF shows on tv. Maybe.

Now? There’s probably a couple of dozen new sf series starting just this year.

Fantasy? What fantasy was there in tv in the 80’s? A handful of fantasy movies and that’s about it. Maybe one per year unless you include Disney. And most of the 80’s fantasy movies were spectacularly bad.

Richard Moll in Dungeonmaster is one of my guilty favourites. I do love me crap movies.
 


Again we’re not really comparing apples to apples here. At the time when TNG and Bab 5 were being broadcast, there might have been three other SF shows on tv. Maybe.

I'm sure streaming changes the volume a lot. But I would be interested in the tally on this as some shows from the 90s might have been forgotten. Depending on how you define sci-fi, I remember there being shows like quantum leap, alien nation, the x-files, sliders, sea quest, farscape, deep space nine, voyager, etc. Plus you had shows like Highlander, Xena, etc (not science fiction but genres gamers often enjoy). And googling 'forgotten 90s sci-fi' brings up this list.
 

Hussar

Legend
But now you’ve switched decades. Bab 5 and TNG are 80’s.

In any case do you really think there were equal numbers of genre shows on in the 90’s compared to now? Seriously?
 

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