I would love to go back in time and sit in a boardroom meeting for a bad movie that hasn’t happened yet. I am very interested to see how all of the little details that people loathe about Stallone’s ‘Judge Dredd’ movie came about. Who made the decision to reboot ‘Nightmare on Elm’s Street’? There seems to be a divide between the people that make films and the people who watch them. There shouldn’t be, as they should be one and the same. These people are making movies for us, but they seem to misunderstand what we actually want. Well, from a movie fan to a producer, stop these three things right now. Now. Drop the pen and walk away.
3 – TEEN HORRORS
Line of thought of a producer: When it comes to horrors, it seems like teenagers are our biggest demographic. They love the stuff. Surely it makes sense for our horror movie to be about teenagers, so the audience will find it easier to relate to. Done. Get Justin Bieber on the phone, as soon as he has done playing Robin.
Bieber aside, I can actually see where they are coming from. Teenagers do watch horror movies more than middle-aged adults do, so it’s a logical decision to make. However, the problem with teenagers is that morally, they are useless. Back when you are a teenager, your priorities are all backwards. You want to skip work to see a girl. You don’t want to help the guy being bullied to stay in with the cool kids. Those people are really hard to relate to, even if you are that person. I am pretty sure every ex-teen has a decision they are ashamed of, in retrospect.
Also, teenagers don’t tend to admit they are like this. When I was a teenager, I was convinced that if a horror movie scenario suddenly happened, I would be the one that stayed strong and rallied everyone together in a fight for survival. In all honesty, I would have broken down crying and been the annoying snivelly one of the group that walks right into a death trap. So, if you want to make a teen movie that we can ‘relate’ to, it would have to be mainly decisive, muscular teenagers. Like a spotty Predator cast. In all honesty, most people only watch teen horrors for the slight possibility, there will be an early naked scene.
The truth is that we have been doing fine, relating to non-teen figures. Most of the best horror movies have been about fathers looking after their wife and kids. Everyone can relate to that feeling of looking out for your family. It is an universal trick to make us empathise with a character and something we can’t get with a teen horror, as they are all too young to be parents (unless it is set in Croydon). It is a little offensive that film-makers don’t trust us to make that mental leap into the perspective of someone that isn’t on drugs.
2 – SERIOUS ACTORS DOING COMEDIES
Line of thought of a producer: We need an actor to play this idiot in the latest Will Ferrell comedy. Hey? You know what would be funny. What if we got De Niro to do it? There would be this stupid character making a fool of himself and we would all find it funny, because that person would be Robert De Niro. What could go wrong with that idea?
OK, I understand that it is up to the actor if they want to do a comedy or not. Maybe they are sick of doing massive, serious epics and just want to do a low-budget comedy. I respect trying to tone down your style and remind yourself how fun acting can actually be. Also, the right comedy can give an actor a totally unique character. However, what I have found with the veteran actors taking up comedies is that rather than portraying this unique, interesting character, they always play parodies of themselves. Christopher Walken and James Caan are the worst for it. They end up destroying all of their previous roles, by satirising themselves in ‘Elf’.
The biggest slap in the face here though is the fact that we don’t get to see these actors much anymore. When was the last time we properly saw Robert De Niro push himself? We go to these comedies, because this is the only movie that De Niro is making right now and we want to stay up to date with the actor. However, these comedies often just frustrate us, because it is a shadow of that actor’s former self. This trend I don’t really want to get rid of totally, but I think that they need to dial down a lot more. I want to see my favourite actors ‘act’ once again.
1 – GETTING OUR FAVOURITE ACTRESSES NAKED
Line of thought of a producer: People like that new Emma Stone girl. She’s the hottest thing in Hollywood right now. Well, why don’t we give the fans what they want and give her a movie where she has to get her funbags out? We’ll just sit back and rake the money in.
In my books, there is nothing worse than a talented actress struggling to break through into a successful Hollywood career, but being forced to take seedy, voyeuristic roles to manage this. When new talent emerges on the scene, they have to make do with little, unable to choose between scripts like the veterans can. I am passionate about women getting stronger roles in cinema, which is why I have a personal hate of my favourite actresses being dumped with the typical damsel in distress role or the eye candy with little power of the plot. I wouldn’t mind so much, but it happens so often that I am almost embarrassed at the state of the film industry.
My main example is Odette Yustman. She is an up and coming actress in America, most commonly known for starring in the last season of House. She hasn’t done much in the way of movies other than the dreadful ‘The Unborn’ and a small role in ‘Cloverfield’. She’s in plenty more stuff but her character is wasted on the fact that no director can seem able to get over her looks. I have seen a handful of movies with her in now where you can see she is on the verge of a good performance. No, that’s not fair: she gives a damn good performance. But then her character is asked to perform a lap dance for reasons that don’t entirely make sense and you lose respect for the entire film for not understanding the talent they had on their hands.
There are exceptions to the rule. I understand that you get your Disney stars trying to break out of their holier than thou princess image. Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and, in a way, Miley Cyrus, are all accepting these roles willingly, as it is the polar opposite of the characters they are stuck playing. That is totally different, as those actresses are choosing these roles. I am sure in a year or two they will start playing characters that don’t need to be characterised by their looks. Or then again, if cinema doesn’t mature soon, that could be a desperate wish rather than a logical upgrade.