Thursday, August 9, 2012

5 Things Hollywood Needs To Do

Thanks to our four devoted readers and spambots, RWB is 50,000 pageviews old!  Danish and I decided to commemorate this momentous event by putting together a handy checklist of things Hollywood urgently needs to do.  

Now Danish will tell you that he has had enough of the remakes and reboots, but let me assure you that one half of RWB is pragmatic about these things.  Let's face it, they wont stop making reboots because they know we'll watch every last one of them. I say, bring on The Dark Knight Rises Again starring Shiloh Jolie-Pitt.  But without further ado, here's our list of top five things Hollywood needs to do!

Danish Says:

5. That searing gay romantic drama with Ryan Gosling and Benedict Cumberbatch as the star crossed lovers.
Come now Hollywood, it's been a while since Brokeback, and while it was fun watching Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor cavorting in I Love You Phillip Morris, the time is ripe for a scorching romance with same-sex lovin'. And what better, vulnerable lovers than Gosling/Cumberbatch - the latter's had some experience in this regard with a passing gay subplot in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but damnit I need to see some action, stat.

Also, it's important that Michael Fassbender have a supporting role as a jealous former lover. The story could resolve itself by having the three of them agree to a menage a trois at the end.

4. Ceasefire on the reboots and remakes.
Okay I did kind of like The Amazing Spiderman. And it doesn't look like Total Recall blows completely. But really guys, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have more cinema where we weren't intimately familiar with the details of the climax? I'm not even saying they need to create original screenplays - there's a wealth of fantastic literary material out there  waiting to be adapted. Cloud Atlas is one of the unusual book-movie transitions coming out this year, and even if it turns out to be less than stellar, I hope it achieves atleast some amount of success, simply for the reason that big bucks were spent on such a dazzlingly ambitious - and difficult - idea. More of that, Hollywood.

3. More musicals.
Because the notable musicals of the last few years have been, well ... Burlesque. Rock of Ages. High School Musical 3. It's been a while since something on the calibre of Once came along, and more than a decade since we were razzle-dazzled by Chicago and Moulin Rouge.

Let's bust some moves Hollywood. 

(Note: this is NOT an appeal for more dance movies. At least not until they figure out that it's possible to have dance movies which feature a plot beyond a) bringing together motley crew to b) save some revered institution)

2.  A Community Movie
Give the creative team a reasonable budget, and let them create ultimate horror-romance-comedy-scifi-western-thriller. There will be no more need for cinema once Dan Harmon and team are done.

1. Ban Dev Patel
'Nuff said. 

Lekha Says:

5.  Appreciate Edward Norton. 
Seriously, this guy is superb.  Right from his first film, Primal Fear, he has been regularly blowing us away with his formidable acting prowess. Too much of a baby face, we accused him. BAM. He comes back with American History X. Okay, but enough with the serious roles,  loosen up and have some fun in a shitty movie we said. He gives us The Italian Job. Not cult enough we said? Fight Club.  Not commercial enough we said. The Incredible Hulk.  This man has given us everything we have ever asked for and yet, Hollywood regularly lets him down with crappy scripts or poor promotion for his films.  The lowest blow has to be his non-nomination for Leaves of Grass and to a slightly lesser extent, for The Painted Veil.  I thought he was wonderful as the responsible but naive scout leader in Moonrise Kingdom, so please give him an Oscar or two for jobs well done.

4. Stop Splitting The Last Book Of A Series Into 2 Movies.
I can only imagine studio executives' faces lighting up in joy and wonderment when Warner Bros announced that they would be splitting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two parts, as they looked at each other in wonderment, "We can do that?! CHA-CHING!" 

Now every trilogy/series being made into a movie is pulling a Harry Potter:  Twilight, The Hunger Games, and most recently, The Hobbit.  Cinema has become too much a part of our lives for us to stop watching them.  We WANT to be invested in your characters, Hollywood. We WANT to spend money on your overpriced popcorn and soak ourselves in your glossy dreams.  SO STOP TRYING TO ROB US BLIND BY UNNECESSARILY PADDING YOUR SCRIPT TO STRETCH IT OUT INTO TWO MOVIES. THIS IS NOT NECESSARY.

Yes Peter Jackson, I am talking to you.  You are officially removed from my Silmarillion TV Series Fantasy Crew because I don't want to spend my life savings on a 1000 part series.

3. Start Making Romantic Comedies Memorable Again.
With Nora Ephron gone, it truly is the end of an era.  Is the romantic comedy genre dead?  We had No Strings Attached/ Friends With Benefits which were eminently watchable for the most part. The Five Year Engagement was cute but formulaic. Bridesmaids and Easy A were standouts, but apart from the odd film or two, most lack that je ne sais quoi which defined romcoms from the 90s and early noughties.

We want genuinely funny, infinitely quotable movies with their heart in the right place and infused with just a hint of reality and wisdom. We don't want your shitty movies that reinforce stereotypes and pander to what Hollywood perceives as "female demographic".  We need those romantic comedies where there is just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. We need more lone reeds. 

Of course, we are willing to settle for Hugh Jackman in period costume.

2.  Give Us A Break From the Traditional Superhero Films.
With The Avengers' unprecedented success and even The Amazing Spiderman's modest takings, superhero films are now box office safety nets for studios.  Never before has this genre been taken this seriously nor has it generated this much money, so much so that that this is how our weekends are going to be for the coming years:  Captain America 2, Thor 2, Superman 2, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Avengers 2, Batman reboot, X-Men: 2 and these are the only ones that have been greenlit. 

Stop and think, Marvel/ DC. Don't overmilk this cash cow. Give us some time to recover from TDKR and The Avengers.  Bring out the Collectors' Edition DVDs, we'll buy them and rewatch them rabidly and we promise not to get all snooty about how much better the comic books are.  

But do make more movies like Chronicle and Kickass. Those were awesome.

1. Stop Scrimping on the 3D/ CGI Budget.
Really, in this day and age, there are no more excuses.  We've seen some shockingly good CGI techniques and we, The Movie Beasts demand nothing but the best.  After having seen some incredible visual spectacles in Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Hugo, The Adventures of Tintin and several other recent films, crappy CGI or afterthought 3D are unacceptable. And stop re-releasing old classics and Titanic in 3D, it simply does not add anything to the film and just reinforces our perception that Hollywood is run by a bunch of greedy cokeheads.

(Dis)Honourable Mention: Stop rewarding Adam Sandler and Michael Bay with movie scripts. 
Unless these two take a good hard look at their professional choices and totally revamp their styles, it is safe to say that they are both well past their sell-by dates. One could argue that Michael Bay is an aberration who never deserved a director's chair in the first place, but that's a story for another day.