5 Reasons Why Hollywood’s Summer Blockbuster Franchises are Failing!
So it’s no secret that the summer blockbusters of 2019 have been underperforming at the box office this year, unless you’re a Marvel movie there’s a good chance you just ain’t makin’ the boatloads of easy cash off of eager hungry consumers like you used to!! So far we’ve had some big flops and under performers in theaters this summer, Hellboy, X-men: Dark Phoenix, Men In Black International, Godzilla: King of The Monsters, Shaft and I’m sure a few more flops to come.
It almost seems that after the extravaganza of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ people just ain’t that impressed with what Hollywood’s a pushin’! So what the heck gives here? I’ve got 5 reasons why I think people just ain’t buyin’ what big ol’ Hollywood’s selling!
Bland, Soulless, Predictable & Safe Storytelling
One thing I’ve noticed over the recent years is that these big ass summer blockbusters don’t bring much new to the table, instead of setting trends they now play off of what’s trending on social media etc to try and ensure they make maximum profit. It’s clear to audiences that they’re being marketed to and a lot of the themes we see in current movies feel a bit forced into the narrative. The plot lines feel predictable & safe, being very careful not to push the boundaries. However, nobody likes to feel pandered to, especially just to make a quick buck. Today Hollywood blockbusters feel a bit too calculated, like a Mcdonald’s happy meal version of a movie. It tastes good for a moment but doesn’t provide much real nourishment. These huge movies need to set trends again and take more risks. Most of these stories being told on the big screen now follow a rigid formula, it’s time to shake things up a bit and develop some compelling content that will blow audiences minds & keep them thinking long after they leave the theater.
Cinematic Politics & Social Media Movie Battles
Sure social media can be a cool way to connect with friends all over the world but it’s also caused a major political rift in movie fans, especially online. Everyone has a damn platform and everyone’s ready to state their opinion for the whole world to hear. The landscape of politics (here in the USA at least) is a gigantic mess, people are more than ready to call each other names and insult each others political beliefs any chance they can and then some. If you’ve noticed now there’re Youtube channels whose main focus is to tear down movies that they feel promote left leaning agendas and vice versa. Now we’ve got boycotts & petitions galore that are raging against movies from angry fans who think they’re promoting a threatening political views. We’ve got Hollywood directors & industry people arguing with angry fans on twitter about their movies and political leanings. When a movie’s released people immediately jump in to examine what side of the political spectrum it falls upon & then get bent out of shape about it on their social media platforms. Most claim they want to go to the movies to escape from the worries of today’s society, but people are so divided (and making good profit off that anger on their platforms) these days and I’m not seeing this trend dying down any time soon. At least until we get a new damn President!
Poorly Planned Franchise Reboots & Sequels
There’s a lot of bad, uninspired franchise sequels and reboots out there these days making their way into theaters. Hollywood is trying their hardest to capitalize off of nostalgia these days. It seems they think that if they simply slap say ‘Star Wars’ brand on a movie that it’s gonna mean butts in seats at the cinema. Not the case, people are clearly smarter these days when it comes to their choice of entertainment. Lots of franchises attempting to reboot with younger “hip” stars and leaving the old actors in the dust. I mean what really is ‘Men in Black’ without Will Smith? How about Star Wars with crusty old grumpy Luke Skywalker that barely lifts a finger in the movie? Or the Ghostbusters without any of the original characters starring in it to properly pass the torch? Hollywood is a bit clueless when it comes to how to execute these sequels, fans want to see a respectful portrayal of classic older characters who’re set to pass the torch to younger generation. Some of these reboots/sequels actually seem downright disrespectful to the original characters, sweeping them under the rug as quickly as possible to usher in the new characters. There needs to be a class taught to all of these clueless Hollywood executives on how to successfully pass the torch in a franchise. If you take a crap on a beloved franchise the fans of it will roast your ass on social media. The fans today have more power than ever and it’s a new angle that’s got Hollywood baffled.
Spectacle over Story
It’s kinda crazy now, almost every blockbuster movie franchise has been trying to set up a cinematic universe because they think they can reap the same benefits as the MCU does. However what most of these franchises get wrong is that they simply haven’t spent the time worldbuilding building the way Marvel has over the the last 10 plus years. Most of these failing franchises spend their movie’s runtime trying to set up the next sequels rather than telling a compelling story with top notch character development. Instead they simply litter the movie with a bunch of shiny, glossy CGI & flashy explosions convinced that lone is enough to entice movie goers to get all amped up for their planned spinoffs. Well listen up Hollywood, going to the theaters is expensive and people just aren’t as dumb as you seem to think they are, yeah we got options these days with all the streaming content out there. Movies better step it with their storytelling otherwise we’re gonna stay home! So many of these franchise are dumbed down to a level that just won’t entice the masses like they used to. We want original stories, not rehashed plots from previous movies in the franchise. Sure the spectacle can be fun, but there’s a certain over saturation of mind numbing movies out there now and yours better be more than just fluff. Stop trying to predict what the masses are going to eat up and spend some time writing stories we haven’t already heard. Most of the movies feel like they’ve been looking at what’s trending on twitter and writing a story around that. I’ll say it again, Hollywood needs to set the trends again rather than blindly trying to follow them.
Star Power Ain’t What it Used to Be
Back in the 1980’s blockbusters were a just as big a deal but they usually had one thing going for them that’s missing today-star power. People would rush to the movies just to see Stallone or Schwarzennegar do their thing. It was an event. Not so much today, the days of larger than life celebs has somehow died, putting one of the stars of say the Avengers franchise in one doesn’t automatically equally box office gold. I’m not sure what changed over the years but people are far less starstruck than ever before. This means Hollywood has got try even harder to put something out that feels fresh and original, a good cast is still important but it’s clearly NOT a deal breaker anymore.
Honestly, That Godzilla Movie Wasn’t That Good….
I had to share this awesome “Honest Trailer” from the most recent American Godzilla flick. I’ve been thinking about it a little bit here and there and the more Ido the more I realize that the movie just kinda well…sucked! I don’t wanna be a hater on the Hollywood Blockbuster version of Godzilla, well, yeah I kinda do, I really could care less if they make a sequel. So instead of me ranting about it I figured I’d just post this amazing Honest Trailer that really hits the nail on the head in every way. check it out and admit to yourself the truth, that last Godzilla movie did indeed kinda suck…
Vintage Monster Toys: Gre-Gory The Vampire Bat – He’s FUN!
Toys back in the 1970’s were pretty fantastic, they had a particular look & feel to them that the toys of today just can’t match! I’m sure there are some pretty bad ass toys out these days, but back in the 70’s it was pretty random. A toy was created pretty much for the hell of it often times, as just something cool a kid might dig. Thus bringing us to today’s showcased toy- ‘Gre-Gory the Big Bad Vampire Bat”. He wasn’t part of a popular movie franchise, he wasn’t in a cartoon or a comic book-nope he was just a cool ass vampire bat made for the kids!
The cool thing about this bat that made it a must have for all the cool kids was that you could see it’s inner organs through a see through plastic chest piece, but that ain’t all-it had a button you pressed on it’s back that pumped blood through them!
1979-80 was a cool time to be a toy vampire bat-you could use gregory to terrorize your GI Joe’s or attack Ken & barbie on their honeymoon! Gre-Gory is a classic toy monster that should never be forgotten!!
Check out this rad video! Get the scoop on Gre-Gory!
Godzilla 2014: Less Boring Humans, More Monster Mayhem Please!
I saw Godzilla last night and my expectations were set quite low, because it’s a Hollywood Blockbuster reboot of yet another classic movie franchise and we all know how well this idea was executed back in 1998! So here we are, Hollywood is ready to take another stab on cashing in our nostalgia and this time I’m ready to bite the hook. So how well did the big lizard fare with Universal Dork?
I had a decent enough time with this one when it first kicked in, but around mid point my mind started wandering, thinking about other stuff like D&D the night before and that I was going to run out of licorice candy at any moment. Yeah the human plot line of this movie was pretty flat and boring. Which in a sense keeps in tradition with most classic Godzilla flicks. You have the boring human plot that somehow drives the movie and then you get a bunch of ass kicking monster battles. This time though I think Hollywood could have really improved on the boring human plot, a soldier trying to get back home to his perfect family while giant monsters awaken and threaten the planet. Yeah, it’s a touching hallmark-esque story that’s boring as fuck. So you really gotta appreciate it when some giant CGI monsters finally get on screen and break up this shitty monotony.
The only real problem was there wasn’t enough monster mayhem. In fact until maybe the last maybe 5-10 minutes, they tease you constantly and show you a beginning of a monster fight, like Godzilla getting ready to throw a punch and then switch to some shitty boring human drama. Seriously this gets old real quick and its actually quite irritating. The movie had some fairly decent special effects especially if you’re into giant CGI creatures smashing CG buildings into oblivion.
This is clearly much different than classic man in suit Godzilla and I’m not sure honestly that it’s that big of an improvement on the old movies effects wise. Don’t get me wrong the old Godzilla flicks have some crappy ass special effects, they however improved immensely over the years. It to me always felt a bit like monster WWF wrestling when I was a kid and I loved it. This however was real slick and much of the fun that the old movies had is almost entirely lost here in 2014. By this time I’m already feeling my attention span waning for glittery, bloated, CG infested, often heartless Hollywood Blockbusters and it’s really not even summer yet! Ughh!
I’d say if you really want the best CG monster battle movie skip Godzilla and just watch Pacific Rim. It’s a heck of a better time and about ten times more interesting. It’s looking like we’ll most definitely be getting a sequel here so perhaps next movie we’ll get some better monster battles? Maybe they can insert some human characters that aren’t quite so stale? Until then this has inspired me to check out some of newer Godzilla films I may have missed through the years. And for the record Gareth Edwards first flick “Monsters” was a far more superior movie…..let’s hope Godzilla 2014 doesn’t get the treatment that Zilla did in Final Wars!!
The Millenium Bug: Big Dumb Monster Fun!
The Millenium Bug boasts “No CGI” was used in the making of this monster movie. It’s really is quite clear upon viewing this one that indeed no CGI was anywhere near this one & perhaps that’s what gives this little indie monster film it’s charm. It’s clearly meant to be a throwback to the creature features of yesterday in pretty much every way imaginable. Be fore warned though, don’t take this one too seriously as you’re not likely to get any realism from the plot or the special effects.
It follows a family escaping the city during the Y2K hysteria who get abducted by a family of evil hillbillies. But wait folks, before you pass this off as another Texas Chainsaw rip I might add that a giant monster erupts from the earth and is hellbent on destroying everything in it’s path. This gargantuan monster bug looks like a missing nemesis from an old classic Godzilla flick! The entire movie was filmed on a tiny soundstage so it really has that old school movie vibe going for it. There’s something charming and sweet about movies filmed this way that’s largely missing from movies today. When the monster attacks it destroys tiny small scale model homes, trees and people. The effects are done nicely too, but as I said before this one lacks any grounding in the real world in look and plot. This movie knows exactly what it wants to be: big dumb loud fun by some people who hate modern cg drenched cinema…
Screw The Transformers and Check Out Karate Robo Zaborgar!
Who doesn’t love a transforming robot?! Have you ever met anyone who didn’t? I never have but I have met plenty of people who hate the Michael Bay Transformers movies! Leave it to Bay to screw up a simple lovable concept with the greatest of ease. So I am here to say fuck Michael Bay and his stupid Labeouf Transformers. Please people don’t try and defend the franchise because you heard Mark Wahlberg is going to star in the next one because guess what? It’s gonna SUCK big time regardless!
So instead, all of you people who like transforming robots and a helluva lot of fun, need to check out Karate Robo Zaborgar! It’s a super fun movie that won’t let you down the way Bay does. Instead fans of say The Shogun Warriors, Godzilla and those 1970’s and early 80’s Japanese robot cartoons will eat this one up! Director Noboru Iguchi who’s also responsible for films like Machine Girl and Robo Geisha brings the weird and wacky in this feature film about a man and his Transforming Robot “brother” which is basically split into two one hour episodes. The movies run time is really the only problem it had, it’s not at all boring but maybe just a tad long. For some reason it seems a lot of Asian cinema I’ve watched recently has a bit too long a run time. Maybe it’s just me though?
However the movie is jammed packed with ridiculous villains, monsters, ultra cute women (watch out for the dragon breasts!!!) kung fu fighting and one weird ass love story. I had a great time with this one, it brought to mind Jet Jaguar, Ultraman and The Power Rangers only with one weird ass situation after another. So if you are in the mood for a great unusual treat, grab some beers and your best buddies and behold this gem!
Giant Monsters Everywhere!!
Ok so last night I had a little too much to drink at my weekly epic LOST party! Can you blame me? It’s the last damn season of one of the most epic sci fi shows ever! Anyway often times consuming to much alcohol leads to me either being to brain dead to blog of just too damn tired. Well today however being partially brain dead and I will admit a bit on the tired side spent some time on good ol’ You Tube watching endless videos and one that I thought was a blast to share here was Cinemassacre’s 2008 Top Ten Giant Monsters list! Who doesn’t love a giant movie monster?! If you don’t love giant movie monsters you shouldn’t even be on Universal Dork! There’s literally nothing we like better here than a good giant “man in rubber suit” monster gracing the screen. So take a few moments of your time and check out this cool vid-you’ll never guess who takes the number one spot!
Godzilla’s legendary secret battle move!! the guy’s got talent…
Check out this absolutely amazing drop kick that Godzilla does in Godzilla Vs. Megalon! Wrestling experts all around the world are still trying to figure out exactly how he pulls this manuever off!! I tried all day today in my backyard to master this move and all I ended up with was a sore back!! Godzilla you are AMAZING!!
Best Horror music video ever?! Enter “the number of the beast”!!!
Ok not only is this one of the best songs EVER but Iron Maiden is probably the BEST Metal band of all time!! So check out this classic horror themed video for “The Number of the Beast”. Not only do they pay tribute to the Wolfman but also Godzilla, Nosferatu and the Crimson Ghost. They also have the awesome giant sized “Eddie” up on stage with them which is downright creepy! So check this one out and let it get your blood pumpin’ for a rockin’ friday night!!!