Morpheus on… Prequels

There are a number of types of movie this film-fan will travel miles to avoid.

The movie written by its director (or directed by its writer). The media of the moving image and the written word are QUITE different and require separate people for each if the result is to be intelligible.

The no-brainer actioner. Now I enjoy a good action movie as much as the next guy, but watching people just shooting guns at each other and driving cars very fast gets old LONG before the usual ninety minutes is up.

The effects movie. Again, this writer has no objections to CGI, when it moves the STORY along. But when it BECOMES the story… bor-ing.

The spin-off. Of course, ALL films derived from BOOKS could be classed as spin-offs, but then avoiding movies sourced from novels would mean missing half the movies ever MADE. No, I’m talking of films that come from video-games, TV shows and gawdelpus – theme park rides (okay, “Pirates Of The Caribbean” notwithstanding).

Then we have the dreaded REMAKE. Either of classic films or non-English language products. These will NEVER recapture the spirit of the originals.

Finally, we have the sequel. As with remakes, whatever originality the original had, MUST be lost when a re-run is attempted – and anyway, today’s audiences are ON to that con. So enter – the PREQUEL.

You can see where Hollywood’s collective heads were at. When a franchise starts creaking, you can revive it by switching the ageing – not to mention by now EXPENSIVE – stars for younger models. This will appeal to the core audience – YOUNG people. Not old farts like me.

Thus Hollywood decided prequels were the way forward – which is ironic if you think about it.

Mind you, there’s nothing NEW in this. Prequels have been around for thirty years – remember “Butch And Sundance – The Early Days”? But only since the success of no less than THREE prequels to the “Star Wars” trilogy of the same period, have they really caught on. And now EVERYBODY’S doing it.

This historian only has – or HAD – two franchises that for him (only every TWO YEARS) were unmissable. Bond and The Trek. And now BOTH have been infected, nay, EVISCERATED by prequelitis (which, naturally, the SpellChecker rejects – although tragically, it ACCEPTS prequel).

First Bond got re-started – but with the same actress playing “M” – which makes NO damn sense. And now even “Star Trek” has fallen prey to the disease. The latest offering has been directed by a kid – stars kids – and is made FOR kids.

Of course, it’s my fault. The people who buy the tickets are still young – but I got OLD.


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