Hollywood Take 2: Dusted off just like New!

17 Mar

We frequently hear that innovation is the engine of a robust economy. Yet in the real world, when we need to perform in an expedient fashion we frequently just need to make do. That means we settle for the use of older yet efficient standbys (or stuff that happens to be around), regardless of the tug of our higher ideals.  Remarkably, we sometimes find that using that option is exactly what we needed to do in the first place.  We know we have chosen correctly because this is where we find our reward. This time our weekly Hollywood review accounts for the way Hollywood appears to be winning thanks to the use of some: newly ready and prepared veterans, the use of a now nearly standard method for producing Block Buster franchises, and one extremely tired and currently underused premise.  Will these options provide the return on investment we desire?  Though we will have to wait for verifications, in preliminary evaluations, the answer appears to be “yes.

Essential Stories:

  • New Tours From Old Favorites
  • Does Hollywood crave paradigm change?
  • Triumphant after reissue?

New Tours From Old Favorites

For any one who thought the South By Southwest (or SXSW) conference was solely about new technology, communications media and movies might be surprised to know how big a role music plays. In fact if not for the appearances of Lil Wayne [1], Snoop Dog [2], and Fiona Apple [3] it might have even appeared to be a classic rock and pop symposium. The Hollywood Reporter.com clarifies that 1980’s and ‘90’s landmarks like Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers [4] and even Bruce Springsteen [5] wowed audiences with a tribute to former band mate Clarence Clemons.

Surviving so many of his pop contemporaries, like Michael Jackson and Whitney Huston.  Maybe one should assume his appearance at the event was really an attempt to warm up audiences for his forthcoming release.  Writers Tim Appelo and Shirley Halperin claim this new album is his angriest yet. Other than naming Elvis Presley [6] in his opening address, see that for him honoring the past did not end there.  See the results of a duet Springsteen performed with another past music great Eric Burdon below.

Does Hollywood crave paradigm change?

Built on the results of previous film franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight, in most critics’ opinions the new “Hunger Games” film franchise is ready to rule. Assuming that the now verified formula has been applied and reactivated. We will have to wait for the financial benefits of a tried and true entertainment franchise. Yet in regard to step development, we still want some aspect of the formula to be new.  Here’s an evaluation of some of what might be used, borrowed or may be unique in the Hunger Games franchise development recipe. The same: by way of the literary world, a female novelist (in this case) Suzanne Collins creates an action/adventure novel that is ripe for book and film serialization.  An affable cast of teen and teen identified actors is assembled to tell the tale.  A challenging premise is engaged to keep audiences provoked in an imaginative manner. Renewed: a male film director for the series was sought from the very beginning.  To take advantage of obsessive teen female buying patterns, unlike the first expression of the formula, this cast’s male leads are dedicated to and infatuated with the female lead character.  Veteran actors [7] like Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson are used to enable the primary cast.  New: choosing an Oscar nominated actress, the female lead is far more proven than in past efforts. More likely to inspire rebelliousness [8] the sci-fi premise seems to be more critical than the past narratives. Possibly to create even greater identification with the female audience, many of the male characters seem to have female sounding names: “Cinna,” “Peeta Mellark,” “Gale Hawthorne,” “Seneca Crane,” etc.   Yet if we use the contemporary NFL as an example, this feminizing trend may exist outside of the series as well [9].

Though the series has yet to be seen on screen, accepting audiences have already begun their processes of evaluation.  Most early [reviews tend to celebrate the performances of 21 year old actress Jennifer Lawrence as character Katniss Everdeen [10][11][12].  Many are already predicting a future conflict between the future “Hunger Games” sequel and Lawrence’s previous employer Fox who hired her for “X-men: First Class” [13].  Many probably see this same conflict with Josh Hutcherson who agreed to return for the “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” sequel [14]. Of course now what we all must do is wait to see whether audience approval is as evident as the narrative’s potential.  Take look at the clip to see what the bait for tickets is:

Triumphant after reissue

21 Jump Street is the current box office king.  Even if you thought the month of March was Hollywood’s feature film loser circular file, you still might still think “The Lorax” was an inspired movie.  Yet what movie knocked it off of its three-week control of the international box office sales charts, that unexceptionally recycled television drama that used to star Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Peter DeLuise, and Holly Robinson Peete 21 Jump Street [15].

Is this a bad turn of events?  Maybe it’s not.  Baby directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller dodged the bullet in what is typically a very risky form of feature film product. And lets not act like Jonah Hill’s recent Oscar nomination didn’t make this outing nearly irresistible.  Channing Tatum’s recent success in Kim Carpenter’s inspired “the Vow” probably pulled in a lot of woman as well.  Other than that this teen’s “gone wild” narrative makes a lot better use of the teen mayhem that “Project X” manipulatively tried and failed to accomplish with their flick.  The clip below demonstrates exactly how to let audiences know what’s being sold:

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Article references:

[1] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/sxsw-2012-lil-wayne-mountain-dew-commercial-concert-301248

[2] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/sxsw-2012-snoop-dogg-concert-301151

[3] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/sxsw-2012-fiona-apple-concert-300714

[4] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/sxsw-lionel-richie-performance-kenny-rogers-300735

[5] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/sxsw-2012-bruce-springsteen-concert-301142

[6] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sxsw-2012-bruce-springsteen-keynote-address-obama-elvis-300759

[7] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392170/fullcredits

[8] http://www.helium.com/items/1925496-literary-themes-rebellion-in-the-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins

[9] http://www.asylum.com/2010/02/04/super-bowl-special-the-funniest-names-in-the-nfl/

[10] http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/mar/16/hunger-games-review

[11] http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117947254/

[12] http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/review-the-hunger-games-is-a-thoughtful-thrilling-popular-entertainment-that-genuinely-deserves-to-be-a-franchise

[13] http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=56442

[14] http://geekoverture.com/2012/03/08/journey-3-signs-up-johnson-hutcherson-our-hearts/

[15] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092312/

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2 Responses to “Hollywood Take 2: Dusted off just like New!”

  1. littlebells March 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

    Fantastic!

    I’m always so impressed with your writing skills.

  2. crelief March 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

    LB,

    Thanks. 🙂

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