Feel My Wrath: Hollywood

You know what Hollywood needs to stop doing immediately? Ruining everything.

Seriously. When was the last time Hollywood actually produced anything worthwhile? The only consistent exclusion I can think of is Pixar. Pretty much all the other major studios need to go back to their drawing boards. The past ten years or so have seen mostly remakes that are not as good as the original and/or terrible adaptations of books/cartoons/anime/video games. Now, I’m not saying I don’t occasionally enjoy a brainless action movie with lots of explosions, or a gory horror movie with no real point or plot except to kill as many people as possible in two hours. But I am getting sick of those slowly becoming my only options. Or seeing a terrible remake of an old movie I love. No thanks, I’ll take a fucking pass on that.

Hollywood recently crossed a line with me by remaking The Karate Kid. Pretty much every movie made in the ’80s is perfect already for various reasons. Could you imagine some asshole trying to remake The Breakfast Club? Or Sixteen Candles? Neverending Story? So what gives them the right to remake The Karate Kid? Now, I’m not saying the original didn’t have flaws (as awesome as it is and despite my love for it, I think we can all agree that Miyagi is a stereotype. But what movie from the ’80s doesn’t have some wince-worthy flaw like this (not that that is an excuse)?), but I can tell from the trailer for the “new” Karate Kid that they missed the point. And why the fuck didn’t they just call it the Kung-Fu Kid and be done with it? I’m sure the new one has its own merits (for one, the main character is African-American, which is a plus), but I won’t go see it because it’s a remake of a movie that DIDN’T NEED TO BE REMADE. If they had called it the Kung-Fu Kid, I would be 100% less disappointed in it, because then they could say it’s based on the Karate Kid instead of it being a remake.

But that’s just one example. Mostly, Hollywood seems to think they can improve on all sorts of older movies now that we have crazy CGI or 3D abilities. Breaking news: Those older movies are great because they don’t have any of that shit. They’re great because they have a good story and a message. Half the movies in the ’80s were about being yourself and triumphing over the odds not by conforming but by standing out (Grease is a notable exception, since Sandy becomes essentially a Pink Lady at the end of that film, but that’s technically from the late ’70s). Modern films, remakes or not, have completely ditched that message. All girls have to be stick thin and all guys must have rippling muscles. You triumph now by beating your opponents into submission, not by being smarter or a better person.

Hollywood can take this new message and shove it up its ass, because it’s bullshit. I can’t remember the last time I saw a character I could identify with in a mainstream modern film. Not even in the remakes of old movies. They take all those characters and pare them down, empty them out and buff them up. How exactly does that improve on the original movie? It doesn’t. So stop fucking trying. Nobody wants your reinterpretation of The Karate Kid or Conan the Barbarian. They might not be pillars of movie achievement, but people love them because of their flaws. When you take all the flaws out of a character or a movie, there is nothing for people to relate to. YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT BY TRYING TO MAKE EVERYTHING PERFECT AND SHINY.

And Hollywood fucks things up further by constantly failing to cast parts properly, by which I mean they favor white actors/actresses over equally capable actors/actresses of color. The most recent and public debacle involves The Last Airbender. I’ve never watched much of the show, but I know people who love it and I know enough about it to know that the characters are NOT WHITE. And yet all the main characters in the movie ARE WHITE. SEE THE FUCKING PROBLEM HERE?!

A quick Google search will bring up all of the issues with this, but because I am so kind and generous, I will also break it down for you: THEY TOOK NON-WHITE CHARACTERS AND CAST WHITE ACTORS TO PORTRAY THEM. What the fuck year is this, 1940? Breaking news: The world is diverse and movies (and other media) should reflect this. But it is particularly heinous to take obviously non-white characters and MAKE THEM WHITE. I want to puke all over everyone involved in casting The Last Airbender just thinking about how fucking wrong that is. WHOA THERE BLATANT RACISM. And yes, it is racism, because they’re essentially saying that MOVIE GOERS ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN MOVIES ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE. I think it’s safe to say that is fucking false.

And it can’t be about making money, because the TV show already has a bazillion fans, a lot of whom enjoy not only the story but the fact that the characters are people of color. SO WAY TO ALIENATE YOUR BUILT-IN FAN BASE. There is not a phrase on the Internet to describe how much of a fail THAT is.

Now, these are only two examples of the general ways in which Hollywood tends to ruin everything all the time. I’m not saying there haven’t been some great movies in the past decade. I love superheros, so I’m thrilled with the surge of actually good superhero movies (although some of them teeter on the edge of “mindless action movie”). But if I sat down and made a list of all the bad vs. okay (not even good or great!) movies Hollywood has put out recently, I know which list would be longer by pages.

So, Hollywood, for all the epic failure you have been delivering lately, feel my wrath. You should shut your doors for a few years and rethink your strategy. Unless you want me to do it for you. But I can tell you right now my method is going to involve a lot more pain and cursing than you would probably enjoy.

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