Movie premises we need a break from

Posted: 2010/04/26 in Film
Tags: , , , ,

“Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit…blah blah blah…”
One might assume that people who produce movies for a living would be around other movie people a lot, and read lots of scripts, and see lots of movies, and spend a lot of their time talking about movies, and thus get tired of seeing the same types of movies all the time. And yet, even the most cursory scan of the trades will prove that they don’t.

In fact, the movie business seems to function more like tattoos at a frat house. One guy gets a tribal armband; everyone else gets a tribal armband. One guy gets a sleeve; everyone else gets a sleeve. One guy gets a picture of his mom getting mounted by a Gargoyle; everyone else gets a picture of their mom getting mounted by a Gargoyle. You get the picture. Certain types of movies just keep getting made over and over until you feel like you’re listening to one of those P Diddy songs where all he does is say “Uh. Yeah. C’mon. Uh. Yeah. Yeah. C’mon.”

You want proof. Sure. This is paraphrased from the good folks at

Premise: The Boy from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Recently seen in: Avatar, I Remember You, Twilight, Dear John, Leap Year…
This one’s been around since Romeo and Juliet, and even that was a remake of something older. It’s basically the archetypal romantic comedy, and if any premise needs a complete overhaul, it’s the romantic comedy. Hey, ladies, we get it. You like the bad boys.

Premise: Zombies!!!
Recently Seen In: Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, Survival of the Dead, Crazies, Shaun of the Dead, Woke Up Dead, The Revenant, Dead Snow, Resident Evil, I Am Legend, Zombie Strippers…
The mother of all overused premises, a simple IMDB search pulls up no less than 591 movie titles with “zombie” as a plot keyword, dating back to White Zombie in 1932 . Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the occasional blood puke now and again, I do. I mean, I’m not a communist. I just don’t think there’s anything new we can bring to this genre. Zombie buddy comedy, zombie porno, zombie rom-com — whatever you think is so kitschy and cool, trust me, it’s been done.

Premise: Vampires!!!
Recently Seen In: Twilight, True Blood, 30 Days of Night, Blade, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Transylmania, Stan Helsing, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Underworld, Daybreakers…
It’s almost unfair to use a picture of Twilight to illustrate this one, since vampires had been done to death long before that. With 674 titles dating all the way back to 1916, it outdoes even zombies in sheer numbers. This premise was so dead we had to reinvent it in such a way that the vampires became the exact opposite of their sexpot, immortal-fountains-of-earthly-pleasure roots and turned into sensitive, abstinent, sparkly, monogamous, vegetarians!

Premise: The Post Apocalypse
Recently Seen In: I Am Legend, 28 Days Later, The Road, Book of Eli, 2012, Zombieland, Terminator Salvation, The Matrix trilogy…
Look, dude, just level with us: is it gonna be a Jesus parable? Yawn. The world is ending and we need to get in touch with our humanity or build gigantic futuristic arks.

Premise: Superhero Movies
Recently seen in: Kick-Ass, Watchmen, Spiderman, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Defendor, Superman Returns, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Wolverine, Captain America, The Avengers…
Maybe we should take the ones we have and just chill the fuck out for a while. We’re running out of actors here. Ryan Reynolds is playing the Green Lantern even though he was already Deadpool. Chris Evans is playing Captain America even though he was already Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four (*shudder*). They made so many Spider-man movies, they eventually had to just say fuck it and cast the whole thing over again.

Premise: The Action/Spy Couple
Recently Seen In: Date Night, Knight & Day, Killers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Get Smart, Duplicity…
I get it. It’s hilarious because the normal tedium of relationships is interspersed with fantastical action-movie plots that you would not normally associate with relationship comedy. I honestly think the main reason this has become so popular is that when you start with two attractive movie stars that you have to build a romantic comedy around, it’s much easier to write a 10-minute car chase scene than it is to write10 minutes of coherent plot and witty banter.

Premise: Black Folks strugglin with the Issues of the Day
Recently seen in: Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry Too, Madea Goes to Tyler Perry, and Tyler Perry: Based on the Novel Tyler Perry by Tyler Perry and Precious…
Tyler Perry has built an entertainment empire out of black films. Give him credit, he’s good at what he does. The white man likes to give him a pass because most us have never seen one of his movies, but it’s kind of a patronizing attitude to have not to make fun of his crappy movies just because he makes “black people stuff.” Perry is basically a black Nicholas Sparks. Predicatable plot lines, moralistic stories, a whole lot of “oh, no, you didn’t” and boom! Money!


* Biopics of dead musicians
* Holocaust stories
* Free-spirit teaches uptight guy to loosen up
* Incorrectly framed spy who must then use his training to solve who is framing him.
* Supernatural event teaches workaholic dad the importance of family
* Dreamworks movies where there is always a cute comedic sidekick.

The bottom line is some people in the movie business need to sign this card.


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