If Aspies Ran Hollywood


"I think 'Zardoz' deserves a remake, boobie..."

This seems a bit of a contradiction for me to be writing. Some of you who know me know that I love movies; can quote many of them verbatim with the proper accents and stage directions. On the other hand, I feel the film industry has gone seriously downhill in recent years. How is Hollywood even making money? Aren’t we in the middle of a colossal recession? Who spends $10.00 of their hard-earned money on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? And whatever happened to Hollywood Video and Blockbuster? I’ll attempt to answer some of those questions as I write today. I thought I’d expound upon some of the ideas humble me, as a normal gal with Asperger Syndrom (AS), has for the movie industry. So hang onto your fokkin’ tentacles, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

In no particular order:

#1. Make going to movies not just affordable, but worthwhile.

I fondly remember the days when going to a movie cost $3. Tops. I also remember when you could get a bag of popcorn for a buck (or better yet, smuggle in contraband treats without being full body-scanned.) I also remember when unicorns still roamed the earth and there was such a thing as an honest politician.

Understood that the prices need to go up to meet rising costs, to offset the Chinese DVD pirates, and those eeeevil people who make smuggling runs on Milk Duds. But, let’s just suppose I have a family of four. When all’s said and done, if I’m being honest about it, I’ll likely drop $60-70 at the movies. And that’s not counting dinner. This for a movie I might be able to grab at Redbox maybe 3 months later, or sooner if I know a guy who knows a guy whose brother pirates movies.

The movie theatres today bear little resemblance to the old-timey place I grew up with. They’re more like shopping malls or entertainment complexes. They’re also terrifying to a person on the autism spectrum.

I’m noticing that a few theatres are starting to host “autism family nights” for people on the spectrum, featuring softer sounds that don’t cause earthquakes in neighboring counties. That’s a start.

#2 No more sequels, remakes, reboots, or re-imaginings…with few exceptions.

The Prawns are back in town!

Again, I have to make an exception to my own rule. Some of my favorite films have been sequels. The Empire Strikes Back immediately leaps to mind, as does Toy Story 2. And I’ll be the first in line for the aforementioned District 10.

That being said…you know how you can tell Hollywood is running out of ideas? When the time cycle keeps shrinking between remake times. When I was a kid, if a filmmaker remade a movie at all, it may have been a movie made 40-50 years ago. Now, to go along with the epidemic of ADD that is American consciousness at large, movies made 15-20 years ago get the green light for a remake. And I won’t even bother to mention all the film versions of TV shows that weren’t that great to begin with. *shudder*

#3 Don’t fok with the classics.

I know it might happen, and I just hope it never does. Certain films are iconic and will stand for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. You know the ones. Casablanca. The Wizard of Oz. Singin’ in the Rain. Dr. Strangelove. They cannot ever be “remade” or “reimagined” and maintain their glory. So why even try?

Note to Ted Turner: Stop it already with these “colorized” versions of classic films. I was permanently traumatized seeing the “colorized” version of It’s a Wonderful Life.

#4 Don’t use the phrases “So-and-So Presents” or “A So-and-So Film.”

Melmac is exactly one parsec from Pandora

OK, we *get* that M. Night Shyamalan or Jerry Bruckheimer or James Cameron did the movie. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I don’t go to a movie theatre with that in mind. It just strikes me as tremendously narcissistic. But who said Hollywood film directors and producers were anything other than narcissists?

# 5 Make movies, or at least actors, reflect real life.

This one is tricky, because nobody is really “authentic” in Hollywood. Even if you’re watching a film set during the 13th century, the leads all have Botoxed foreheads and whitened teeth. But if you’re indulging in the rom-com of the week, same thing. Do you really know anybody who looks like that, has a closet full of designer clothes, a sports car, a really cool job, and some wisecrack-tossing best friends? I don’t. Then again, don’t we go to movies to escape the dreary “real world?” Again, let me think some more on this one.

#6 If Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, and/or Drew Barrymore are in your movie, there better be a damn good reason.

Do you know any Army officers who look like this?

 

If these three weren’t “pretty faces” and/or didn’t come from a long line of Hollywood royalty, they’d probably be waiting tables at Waffle House. Because the three of them collectively couldn’t act like they were on fire in the middle of an inferno. I really had to suck it up and go see The A-Team despite Ms. Biel’s presence. Anytime she was on screen, I just imagined Tom Servo and Crow tossing witty bon mots at the movie.

#7 The real world is a diverse place. Reflect this in your movies.

It would be easy for an intergalactic visitor to assume, based on a random sampling of American movies, that the vast majority of humanity were tall, extremely goodlooking, Caucasian, and athletic. Seriously…is this the 21st century, or the Third Reich?

I will say this trend has gotten better over the years. Hollywood still needs to figure out that there are people out there of different ethnicities, heights, clothing styles, (dis)abilities. Not only that, many of those people are damn good actors and can exist in more than “character” or ridiculously stereotyped sidekick roles.

This coming from someone who is functionally face-blind. Ironic.

#8 No one but Pixar should ever make a CGI animated film.

 

Admittedly, this is like saying no one but Rolls-Royce should make automobiles. But it’s true. 100 years from now, will anyone remember Shark Tale, Shrek the Third, Astro Boy, Alpha and Omega? I’d guess not. With the possible exception of Cars, and everyone is allowed a mulligan, it’s safe to say Pixar’s string of gems will remain for posterity. I still can’t watch Up or WALL-E without openly weeping…which is saying a lot for any Aspie.

I may do a sequel to this post, breaking my own rule! In the meantime, drop me a line at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on September 19, 2010.

One Response to “If Aspies Ran Hollywood”

  1. I must be an anomoly. I actually will choose to see a movie based on who the director/producer is. Jerry Bruckheimer… yes! Ridley Scott… YES! Peter Jackson… Yes, yes, YES!
    Well, I won’t see just anything based on that, but it *will* make or break my decision to fork over a fistful of cash. A family of five can easily expect to drop 100 bucks at the cineplex. After the ticket purchase I usually give my daughters the choice… dinner at Chili’s (or some similiar restaurant) or popcorn and drinks at the theater. The bill is about the same. And don’t get me started on the onslaught of 3-D films! Great way to tack an extra couple of bucks on to each ticket, but more often than not, it’s not really a worthwhile investment.

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