Dear Hollywood: A film lover’s plea

After a long winter, the summer is finally coming, and as a movie fan, I am usually thrilled.

However, this year I am a bit concerned.

I watch quite a few movies, partially because I do film reviews for the Collegian, but largely because they are a passion of mine.

I hope to one day be able to make a living off of writing about movies, but you do not have to be a film buff like myself to notice the current trend going on in Hollywood.

Movie studios have forgotten what it means to be original. Everything is a sequel, reboot or remake, with few exceptions.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am not saying every non-original thing in Hollywood is bad. I am as excited for “Iron Man 3,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Man of Steel” as the next guy, and I have enjoyed many sequels, as well as a handful of remakes and reboots. However, that does not mean everything needs a sequel.

I feel like a movie that I saw recently — and hated — can illustrate this point rather clearly: “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

“G.I. Joe” is a prime example of Hollywood thinking everything needs a sequel simply because it made a few bucks.

There is also the fact that it is based on a Saturday morning cartoon and decades’ worth of action figures, so it is nothing new. Very few people liked the first film, “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.” Both critics and fans panned it.

It currently holds a 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, because it made a little bit of money, Paramount green lit a sequel.

Having recently sat through that sequel, it is equally as terrible. It has an even worse Rotten Tomatoes score of 28 percent and I gave it an F in my review, but none of those things matter because it made money.

Paramount is already talking about a third installment. Can someone tell me why a franchise with two failed movies needs a third one? You can’t because it doesn’t.

They had their chance and failed — twice. The “G.I. Joe” franchise needs to step aside and let new material through.

Looking down the list of movies scheduled for release between May and August, very few are original. There are sequels all over the place.

I mean, really, Hollywood,”Smurfs 2?” The “Fast and the Furious” franchise is on its sixth film. They are starting to approach “The Land Before Time” territory there have been 13 of those, by the way and a seventh installment is already planned. The sixth one has not even come out yet.

Then there is the third film from a franchise that symbolizes the death of story in Hollywood.

The reason I love film is because I love story. It is the reason I majored in journalism and minored in creative writing. I love telling and listening to good stories. When I saw “The Hangover Part II” two years ago, it became clear Hollywood no longer cared about story.

The first “Hangover” was brilliantly original, which for Hollywood meant exploit it for all its worth with unnecessary sequels. “Part II” was nothing more than the first film set in Thailand.

It appears the third film is changing up the story a bit, but it is still another sequel.

Movie studios have forgotten that it is their job to tell good stories — something I desperately hope they remember.

They place too much focus on the money and not enough on the story. Obviously, movie studios are businesses and they need to make money, but I submit that if they focus on good storytelling, then they will make their money.

It is possible to make money off a wholly original story that is not based on an already existing movie, television show, novel or comic book. It has been done countless times in the past and it can be done again.

There are a few hidden gems out there this summer that do have that fresh tone to them.

In May, there is “Now You See Me,” which seems to offer an interesting twist on the heist genre. That same weekend there is also “The Purge,” about a version of America where everything is perfect because one night a year all crime is legal.

In June, “This Is the End” hits theaters, starring just about everyone who has been in a comedy in the last six years, but it looks hilarious and different.

Those are just three, but there is also Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” Neill Blomkamp’s “Elysium” and Edgar Wright’s “The World’s End.”

There are original movies out there, but all the sequels, remakes and reboots crush them purely because there are more of them.

We need more films like “Inception,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Usual Suspects” and “Django Unchained,” and by that I do not mean sequels. I mean creativity. Movies like these that create their own world, stand on their own and make money from it.

This should be what movie studios strive to make. As a lover of both film and story, I beg of you, Hollywood, be more creative.

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