New theme in movies: The less originality the better

If you’re looking for an original movie to see this week, you may want to search for a DVD.

Of the major motion pictures opening this week nationwide, none of them are original. There’s a cartoon re-released in 3D, a chick-flick based on a book and a remake of a 1971 movie. Of course, some movies are worth bringing back but when all the new releases for the week are just remakes of someone else’s creativity, it makes you wonder what’s happening in Hollywood.

Perhaps it’s just a money–making decision which seems to be the case with most movies released in 3D when there is no ascertainable reason for it. The “Lion King” released again this week in 3D earned $29.3 million in its opening weekend due in part to the higher prices charged for the privilege of watching a movie in 3D.

Maybe producers are afraid to take risks and won’t make something that doesn’t already have a following. So many movies, many more than you probably even realize, were books before they were movies. Such is the case with the newly released “I Don’t Know How She Does It” starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Before it came to the theaters, it was a best-selling novel by Allison Pearson who developed a following from that novel and her other novel “I Think I Love You.” The movie is guaranteed to have a few Pearson fans coming to see it whether it’s as good as the book or not.

Or maybe Hollywood just doesn’t reward creativity anymore. Throw a few car chases in a script and you’ve got a hit like “Drive.” We’ve never seen driving like that, have we? Only if we missed the last five “Fast and Furious” movies. So why spend money on “Drive” when you can just rent “Drive Angry” on DVD.

And when in doubt just rewrite an old script, hire new actors and make a movie that’s already been done before and then tell everyone in the trailer how many of the characters are going to die. Thanks, producers of “Straw Dogs.” I won’t spoil it for you, in case you’re still planning to see it and have managed to avoid that preview. I never saw the original but I know exactly what’s going to happen and I know they couldn’t have done any of it without the original movie.

That doesn’t mean these re-dos can’t be entertaining. People still want to see movies and they want to give a 3D version the benefit of the doubt that it will be worth it. Just don’t go out expecting to see the next great idea shining on the big screen.

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