Pro-Con, Entertainment, take two

Bernie Rejon

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Pro

“Say hello to my little friend,” as Al Pacino said in the classic film “Scarface.” This quote has been very popular among movie fans for more than 31 years since its release in 1983.
The film, which turned out to be an instant classic, was written and directed very well. There have been many other classic films, such as “Jaws,” “E.T.,” “Goodfellas,” and “Pulp Fiction,” just to name a few.
Whatever the genre preference is, most classic films seem to come from an older generation and passed down to the current generation, correct? Well, that is not necessarily the case.
Even some of the newer films that have been generated, for instance the Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire have been remade after being out for only 12 years.
Hollywood has done an amazing job in remaking the series “The Amazing Spider-Man,” starring not only a new cast, but adding new story lines too.
Unlike the Tobey Maguire series, Hollywood decided to go into more detailed direction with the film by screening a younger Peter Parker and going into more detail about him growing up as a kid, which turns out to be a very well-written film.
It’s not just the great film writing that Hollywood has kept going, it is also the wonderful picture and sound quality. All the new and high-speed technology coming out has made it easy for Hollywood to put together high-quality films. Sure, some of these films are pricey to put together, but it is well worth it.
War scenes, for instance, look more realistic. Super heroes are no longer running around in cheap costumes doing cheesy stunts, and the fiction cities they are defending don’t look as phony as some of us are accustomed to seeing. These same super heroes are now in sleek costumes doing cool stunts, that look real, and the cities look more bona fide.
“The Dark Knight” is a good example as to why Hollywood hasn’t lost its touch in producing great movies. The special effects are astonishing, but it’s the characters that are really mind-boggling. The way the joker was portrayed in the film was genius and gave life to the film, setting the bar high for former and future movie villains.
The romantics can still enjoy some good films, too. For those that loved “Pretty Woman,” now you have “Titanic.” Maybe not the same scenario, but wealthy Rose Bukater falls in love with her poverty-stricken Jack Dawson in a love story for the ages.
For those who enjoy comedy, you have your Superbads, Anchormans, and Hangovers. Hollywood has had a good sense of humor lately and thankfully has shared it with movie watchers everywhere.
No matter how many times some have said that Hollywood has lost its touch, or that movies aren’t the same anymore, Hollywood responds with a couple of classics.
Sean Penn said it best in “Gangster Squad,” saying, “Here comes Santa Claus,” in which Hollywood has been Santa Claus and it has been Christmas Day year-round, with us moviegoers being the joyous kids waiting to open gifts every time a movie gem is delivered.

Con

First of all, I must say that I am an avid film fanatic. However, I have not been very pleased with most of the choices that Hollywood has made when it comes to movies. With the exception of a few, the majority of the films that have been released have been either a remake of an older movie, or an adaption of a book or novel.
Whatever happened to original storylines? It seems that lately, all of the screenwriters have run out of ideas. From “Transformers,” to “RoboCop,” to “The Lego Movie,” all Hollywood has been doing is regurgitating ideas from decades ago.
Also, they have been releasing remakes of hit movies from years ago and have tried, in their opinion, to make them “better.”
Take the movie “Hairspray,” for example.
“Hairspray,” the film responsible for Ricki Lake’s stardom, was released in 1988 and was successful among audiences. Then in 2002, “Hairspray” was turned into a Broadway musical, winning several Tony awards and successfully expanding the original story’s audience. Following the success of the Broadway production, Hollywood decided to combine the best of both worlds and make a film based on the musical based on the original 1988 movie.
In an attempt to recreate their success, the casting director chose Nikki Blonsky, a newcomer, just like Ricki Lake was in the original film. Another perfect example of Hollywood trying to recreate past successes was the remake of the popular film “Footloose,” which revolved around a town where dancing and music were banned, and a high school boy trying to change those laws.
“Footloose” was another hit back in the ’80s, and recently, a remake was released. Some of the original scenes from the original movie were deleted, and Kenny Wormald, a professional dancer, was cast to play the lead role to make it “better.” Although I enjoyed both Blonsky’s and Wormald’s performances, I would have loved to see these two new actors star in an original film, instead of seeing them trying to imitate the actors who played their characters before them.
In addition to taking ideas from old concepts, Hollywood has been filled with book and novel adaptations. The worst part of this concept is, because of the full details that are given in the book, the films usually fall short on these details, resulting in a flop.
Every time the trailer of a romance movie catches my attention, I become disappointed when I realize that it is an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
When film studios do try to give us “original ideas,” it almost always results in stereotypical storylines, where the ending is predictable and completely unoriginal. Although the cinematography has greatly improved and is fairly good, scenarists need to start finding inspiration to come up with fresh, new ideas in order to release films that are enjoyable to everybody.

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