Two posts in a single day? OMG! But, I was going through my e-mails, hoping to the gods that one of the thousands of resume's I've sent out is getting a nibble, and I saw my weekly e-mail from Fandango.com. Going through, looking at the latest movies and movie blogs, I noticed one thing that made me a bit uneasy...a prequel to X-Men called X-Men: First Class. Oy veh.
I have nothing against sequel movies. I enjoyed Iron Man 2, I enjoyed Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I was even down with Alien Resurrection...I'm fine with sequels. It's when Hollywood goes mad with the prequel is where I get annoyed.
We could actually pin this whole prequel madness on George Lucas. Now him and his Star Wars prequels, well, that was just absolutely wonderful, and he showed that prequels can work, but really, do we need them for every...single...story out there? Not really.
I went through Wikipedia's entry for "Prequel"...go look for yourself, it's filled with literature, films and so forth and they describe the prequel as a method to fill in the backstory of characters we've seen before. But, here's my argument for why Hollywood really shouldn't bother...
Let's go with the #1 on my hotties list, Hugh Jackman and his ATM machine called Wolverine. All he has to do is put on the claws and push the button, money comes out every time. Fine, I'm great with that, I would be the last person to say, "No Hugh, put the claws away." But, why did we need his backstory? Why couldn't he have an all new story of his own? Marvel only has been publishing Wolverine since 1974...ok, let's put it this way, Wolverine is only 3 years younger than me...that's 35 years of stories he's had published. His backstory, well, I guess we all want to see more Wolverine and a great way to do that is to go into who and why he is, but really, we all know that Col. Striker put the Adamantium in his body...why go through all that again when he could be doing something far more different and expanding our knowledge of the character, not just rehashing what we already know. Don't get me wrong, I loved X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I've got a copy in my DVD library, but in today's prequel mad Hollywood, it just seems like it tried to jump in with the rest of the George Lucas inspired madness and make a buck off the fact that they could tell the story in a way that wouldn't look cheesy.
Another bit of Prequel madness was Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. If you've not read my review, go back a few posts, you'll find it and oh gods did I think it stank. Between Batman Begins and Robin Hood, well, those are known as a "Reboot", but my question is, why oh why are you trying to resuscitate a dead horse? It's dead! Leave it alone! Let it be!
Batman Begins...ok, I'll go Christopher Nolan and his reinvention of Batman. Christian Bale I could go without, he definitely makes the top 10 list of broody boneheads that do not inspire me to watch a movie. However, Nolan's vision for a new Batman, well, it leaves me indifferent. I won't go out of my way to watch the Batman films, but if they're playing on HBO, I might be tempted to leave them on for background noise. I'll never belittle the work of Morgan Freeman, he's cool, but really, outside of new gadgets and neat designs, why did we need to see Batman all over again? The best Batman to me will always be the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton version. Jack Nicholson as the Joker, how can you beat that? Now, I shan't sit and belittle Heath Ledger's Joker. He was sinister in ways that will give you night sweats, but good gods, look what happened to the man who played him. If someone has to go that deep into character, guys, we need to leave that alone and not force an individual to those lengths and ultimately his death just to win an Oscar.
What happened to telling new stories, inventing new characters for us to be enthralled with? Was there an Indiana Jones before Indiana Jones? No. Not really, just the notion of the 1940's serials. Well, there's a unique thought and look at how huge it is now. Can you really look at a Fedora and NOT think Indy?
You know, the world is filled with unique characters, unique thoughts and interesting angles that we've not considered. We don't need to recycle characters just to entertain us. I'm tired of prequels, sequels and all kinds of re-tells, reboots and re-whatevers.
Whereas I will sit in a theater and drool over Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man again or sit for hours on end just to watch Ewan or Hugh don their iconic roles...those are great and all, I enjoy their instant gratification kind of quality, but when I sat down and watched "Deception" starring Hugh AND Ewan...(omg, nearly about had cardiac arrest from the eyegasm I was having) it was a seedy story, it was fresh, new and the movie has been out a while, it was playing on HBO for Chrissakes! But there are my two favorite leading men in a film that wasn't a reboot, a prequel or some other type of horse manure. It was a unique story and one that I didn't know the characters, I didn't know the story, it was all brand new...and I walked away satisfied that I saw a unique view of the world through a different set of eyes that wasn't contrived or recycled.
Prequels, well, I can only say...Hollywood, get a life and get us some new stories. When our pocket books are gasping from the financial squeeze that is on them, we need to be inspired to go to the theater, and it's not by recycling what we've already seen. Movies are the land of imagination...so why are you not being more imaginative and bringing us something new?
Don't give us backstory, give us new story.