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


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In any case do you really think there were equal numbers of genre shows on in the 90’s compared to now? Seriously?
I didn’t say that. I just don’t know it’s the case for sure that there are more sci fi series now than the 90s. I said I would be interested in doing a tally to know the numbers for sure. If you look at the list of forgotten 90s science fiction, it is pretty striking how many there are no one talks about anymore. If you go to IMDB or the 90s science fiction series Wikipedia page, there are quite a few. If we are going to talk about numbers, actually getting some data would be useful. You may well be correct but there is no harm in verifying the assumption
 


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.

I don't have much of a problem with there being tons of star wars inspired media. Genres are going to exist. But I think what troubles me is it feels like our menu options are more limited when it comes to big releases. I love genre movies so I can't complain if a genre gets some traction (I do think there are better and worse ways to handle genre but some of what makes a genre a genre is repeating the elements that work).

On horror movies I am probably in a similar place to you. I have to admit current horror often doesn't do it for me lately. I don't think it is necessarily an issue with the movies themselves, but I just grew up on slower building of pace, of being afraid of different things, etc. I don't mind jumpscares (Exorcist III has a great jump scare that stands out and stands the test of time IMO). But some of the techniques in current horror movies don't have as much of an effect on me. I just enjoy older horror movies more.

I was following a conversation a couple of years ago about how a lot of people don't find the exorcist scary anymore, because newer movies are thought to be more immersive and edgy. But watching it again recently and re-reading the book recently my view is what made the movie scary was that was shot very matter of fact, so that you felt like you were in the waiting room at the doctor's when Regan was getting all those tests done, and by the time the supernatural elements kick in, you fully accept the reality of it because you have already accepted the reality of the medical tests (and the medical tests themselves are part of what make the movie so unnerving). Incidentally if you are bored with current horror movies and need viewing recommendations, I highly suggest doing the "Faith Trilogy", where you treat the Exorcist, The Ninth Configuration and the Exorcist III as a trilogy (just know that The Ninth Configuration is truly strange).

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.

It was harder for sure. In some ways the ease of viewing media today and the way shows are made for binge watching does sometimes make you feel like you've eaten too much chocolate cake. Whereas when you had to go to blockbuster, sun coast, or some obscure place that sold niche movies back in the day then bring home the video tape or DVD (sometimes even other formats), there was a physical difference in how the media was viewed (also I know I tended to form more of a mental memory with music and movies where I had a physical copy versus a digital one). I also remember rewatching movies more. Whereas now can be easy to blaze through them and barely remember.

All that said though, the streaming landscape has changed a lot. It is much harder now for me to find the movies I want to watch on a streaming service than it was eight years ago.

I have a pretty big DVD collection though and I will say that can start to have the same effect as streaming a bunch of stuff (I find though I have my favorites that I go back to regularly).
 

MGibster

Legend
antasy? 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.
Aside from cartoons, the only one that pops into my head immediately is the sitcom The Charmings, but a quick search also shows one called Wizards and Warriors from 1983. So obviously you are incorrect and there were plenty of....okay, I'm being told by my wife that I'm just being a pedantic #%$, if anything, I'm simply making your argument for you. You're right, there wasn't a lot in the way of fantasy television shows, but there were plenty of fantasy movies even if an awful lot of them went straight to video. I will fully admit that not all of the movies came to mind immediately, but I saw them all. I also tried to narrowly define fantasy, for exampel I didn't add The Ewok Adventure which is on some lists. The 1980s were a great time for fantasy movies, but the 1990s was a good time for fantasy television. At least in syndication with shows like Hercules and Xena.

Willow
Excaliber
Legend
Dragonslayer
The Dark Crystal
Time Bandits
Ladyhawke
Krull
Clash of the Titans
Red Sonja
Conan
Baron Munchausen
Beastmaster
The Black Cauldren
The Little Mermaid
The Neverending Story
Labyrinth
The Last Unicorn
Hercules
 

Aside from cartoons, the only one that pops into my head immediately is the sitcom The Charmings, but a quick search also shows one called Wizards and Warriors from 1983. So obviously you are incorrect and there were plenty of....okay, I'm being told by my wife that I'm just being a pedantic #%$, if anything, I'm simply making your argument for you. You're right, there wasn't a lot in the way of fantasy television shows, but there were plenty of fantasy movies even if an awful lot of them went straight to video. I will fully admit that not all of the movies came to mind immediately, but I saw them all. I also tried to narrowly define fantasy, for exampel I didn't add The Ewok Adventure which is on some lists. The 1980s were a great time for fantasy movies, but the 1990s was a good time for fantasy television. At least in syndication with shows like Hercules and Xena.

Willow
Excaliber
Legend
Dragonslayer
The Dark Crystal
Time Bandits
Ladyhawke
Krull
Clash of the Titans
Red Sonja
Conan
Baron Munchausen
Beastmaster
The Black Cauldren
The Little Mermaid
The Neverending Story
Labyrinth
The Last Unicorn
Hercules

Conan the Barbarian and the Destroyer as well (unfortunately also Red Sonja). Also Yor, Clash of the Titans, Deathstalker (terrible movies but there were a bunch of them), Fire and Ice, Princess Bride, etc.

I have to say my favorites from that period were Excalibur (watched this so many times), Conan the Barbarian (definitely my number one pick), and Dragonslayer.

This list is a little odd as it includes things like Ghostbusters (so clearly a very broad definition of fantasy but it is probably could as a place to start to see just how much fantasy we actually had in the 80s). I remember quite a number of straight to video: List of fantasy films of the 1980s - Wikipedia
 

Genres are going to exist.
The real problem is too many creators narrow a whole genre down to only a couple things.

When someone goes to write a movie about any topic, genre, setting or whatever you only get three basic choices:
1.Do real research and then use that real knowledge as a base to write your movie
2.Watch the other "popular" movies that fit, and use that as your base to write from.
3.Just 100% make things up from scratch.

Now, each has good and bad parts: none are the "perfect" way to make a "perfect" movie. Though doing research and making stuff up are both hard....and both can often still be hard for people that are already good at research and making things up. Both can be next to impossible for even "good" writers. And impossible for any others. A "good" writer can take real facts, real fiction, and stuff they make up to create unique content. Though it takes time and effort...and it's all too easy to let things slide. And the copying of other movies makes things easy.

Of course the not so good writer is already only doing "research" by watching the couple of popular movies and then just copying from them.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
90's was reasonably good for sci Fi peak TNG, DS9 was good, Babylon 5, Stargate SG1 and Farscape that's just the food ones. Hell better than last decade there's been about 2-3 good shows (Expanse, Continuum maybe Orphan Black counts?). Sy Finchannelvwas actual sci fi.

80's had a comparative abundance of fantasy movies.
 


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