Author: Ian Morgan
Read Time: 5-6 minutes, 770 words
Archive: This author's other articles
Fuck Hollywood. Fuck their play it safe approach and their risk aversion. Their antiquated, backwards, archaic mentality. Their decision to never back, and indeed to actively quash, alternative, independent productions. Fuck their capitalist monopoly. It is difficult to feel sympathy for your eroding empire, Hollywood, when you are not even close to achieving the greatness that you could have and appeared to stopped even striving in the last 40 years.
It all only seems to be getting worse in Tinsel Town where the only films that are being churned out with any regularity, or to any fanfare, are multi, multi million pound blockbusters focussing on super heroes. Their "extended universes" ensuring that these can continue to be repeatedly shit out to an expecting audience indefinitely as long as the cash cow keeps producing even a dollar of profit on release. Alternatively, their other stalwart that they lean so heavily on; the multi million pound films starring The Rock, who seems to have become their only bankable asset, and a range of Chinese background actors (regardless of talent) in order to cash in on that lucrative market. As much as I like the former, and dislike the latter, it would be good if there was something else that reached the smaller provincial cinemas rather than just films sticking to these two rigid paradigms.
It is into this backdrop that we get the latest pile of slop that us proles are meant to lap up at the cinema and be thankful that we are still being fed at all. This being the latest phenomena of remaking previously successful films with female casts in the name of, 'diversity'. Or alternatively doing the same thing, but with people of colour. This is not, in any way diverse. This shows a complete lack of respect to any group other than white males that I am certain are behind these films in almost every aspect. They are a cash grab, a publicity stunt. It doesn't matter that the remake of 'Ghostbusters' was OK, or that the 'Ocean's 8' film is probably watchable. The fact is, these films should not be getting made. Of course we need more diversity in Hollywood films. I am frankly bored of watching white male leads. The same acting chops with a different haircut. The same story retold ad nauseam with a different chiselled white lead lens hogging for two hours. It is getting tedious. So yes, seeing people of colour or female leads is welcomed. But come on, surely they deserve their own films to do it in? Did 'Moonlight' and 'Get Out' not prove that black actors, writers and directors can make films that are far more interesting and entertaining than a 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' reboot, but with a black actor in the main role? Have Margot Robbie's and Jennifer Lawrence's performances in such films as 'I, Tonja' and 'Mother!' not show that women deserve originality. That they deserve their own platform.
I'm sure the doubters amongst you will point out that surely I have just weakened my own argument by highlighting these obvious examples of highly successful and critically acclaimed original pieces written by or starring female or minority professionals. To that, I'd counter that with the clear rebuttal of; for every one of these films there are hundreds of films written, directed and starring white men, where Black, Asian or Latino actors are resigned to a token caricature and female actors are there exclusively for titillation or in submissive background roles. Literally hundreds. The majority of which you will not hear about because they are so unimaginative, so poorly acted, so devoid of any artistic merit that they end up on a scrap heap, or on Sky's movie channels. Yet we should be thankful that Hollywood was "brave enough" to let 'Ghostbusters' be remade with women. Or that the Oscars was incredibly inclusive by giving 'Moonlight' an award.
Come on. Do better, win the public back or you will die. It will be a long slow and painful death. But a death none the less. If you do choose the latter route, to slowly slide off into Pacific Ocean and float away, I dare say you won't even be missed. Netflix has already proved they are willing to take more chances and I'd rather give them my money than you. My screen might be smaller, my surround sound not as loud, but at least I won't have some annoying asshole behind me getting a hard on because Megan Fox or some other vapid, talentless background character has her nipples poking through her top.
Ian Morgan is on Twitter: @IanMorganWords