Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weekly link run-down, part 3

Life's been hectic lately, so I took my sweet time getting this written. Sadly, it's mostly remake/reboot news, so my comments/snark will be light.

The bad news first: Hulu may start charging for any videos older than the "5 current episodes" fronted by most networks. The plan is to increase ad duration and charge $10/month for all the old stuff Hulu has. I advise you to read the article, mourn a little, and maybe email the company a complaint - explain how stupid this idea is.

Please also realize that this idea is guaranteed to explode in Hulu's owners' faces. And it should, because Hulu is one of the few stand-up things that the entertainment industry has ever done for the American public.

The standard approach to the public by the entertainment industry is simply predatory. Here's the condensed version of the info in that LA times article.

Pixar got the Disney bug a bit hard, I guess. The Champions of Storytelling and their owner have announced their upcoming works through 2012 and it's sequel-heavy to say the least. Pixar is making 3 sequels and 2 new films. It's especially surprising since one sequel is "Cars 2," a follow-up to their most critically-panned picture yet.
On Disney's side of the whipping post, they are re-booting Winnie the Pooh; it's a little sad because it's such a wonderful story and I don't want to see them ruin it. Still, one of your two childhood icons will likely be destroyed in the coming years: Disney's also doing a new Muppets movie.

In case you forgot, the Muppets are one of the greatest things ever invented. They were purchased from Henson's when Disney execs realized they had completely lost the ability to make anything genuinely nice, touching, funny, and appropriate for all kids big and small. Outsourcing quality makes sense, but the Mouse should be able to develop this sort of thing themselves..

A Ring Sequel, in 3-D. I think they should call it "The Ring:a Bathtub Also Has One:3-D."

A 7th awful Saw film, also in 3-D. I think they shouldn't call it anything, because they shouldn't make it. These movies haven't had a point since the first one, right? It's a simple rule: you make a story and then design set pieces for it, not the other way around.

Final Destination plunges into 5th film, in 3-D as well. The first film was fun, novel, and seemed to have a purpose. Everything since has been tedious and uninspired. There simply was no story to tell after the original; if there is, it hasn't been filmed yet. These movies are like the popular Saturday Night Live sketches (from any era) that are redone so often that they're no longer funny.

You see, not every nifty idea has to be done until it's no longer remotely interesting. Not every potential angle for revenue has to be explored. Not...

Sweet Vishnu, Multiple Alien Prequels! ALSO IN 3D!?!?!?! Ridley Scott recently started blabbing about these plans; it's amazing because he sounds more like Don King than an artist. For me, the highlight is Mr. Scott saying that he wants to explore the large, seated, creature from "Alien" - the one sitting in the derelict, egg-filled, ship that Ripley's crew comes across.

It's funny, because if an effort had been made to answer that question in the 31 years since the original, I wouldn't be doing what I am now: assuming it's a fairly grubby effort to make a quick buck.

Yeah, when you develop an emotional attachment and artistic respect for certain films, this is one of the lousiest ways to see them progress.

But Mr. Scott may be on a long slide here. He talks about his other big project: The Monopoly Movie. Yes, Monopoly:The Game:The Movie. It's something that's actually being created. Money that could keep homeless or starving people from dying is being used to make a board game film that isn't "Clue."

I have no doubt this project comes from a true artistic need to tell a controversial story that audiences must be exposed to for their own edification. It will also certainly spawn Monopoly:The Game:The DVD, Monopoly:The Game:The BluRay Disc, Monopoly:The Game:The Soundtrack, Monopoly:The Game:The Movie:The Video Game, and Monopoly:The Game:The Ride at Six Flags.

In closing, I would like to say that if aliens come to Earth and kidnap people for experiments, they shouldn't grab normal, decent people. They should start with folks that don't mind selling shoddy merchandise. Won't you? Thank you.

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