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These are the genres that need to improve before they can even hold a candle to what's been achieved in the past. The few theatrical releases that claim to fall under these categories are so horrendous that it's disrespectful to even compare them. At one point, each of these had their heyday and, in some cases, their heydecade but have since been watered down to the point that they're unrecognizable. What's a horror movie without scares or a comedy without laughs? I miss all of these genres and we need to let Hollywood know that we're no longer settling for mediocre movies.
The Lucky One / Casablanca
This genre can be summed up today with one name, Nicholas Sparks. Girly romance dominates the market and there's no room for a real love story that both men and women can enjoy. Anyone recall Casablanca? No more emotional leading "men" that cry at the drop of a hat (try an old fashioned fedora on for size) and cut out the teen romance novel adaptations written by lonely pathetic housewives that are living vicariously through their poorly written characters. Enough with all the mushy, fantasy, "read my mind and know what I want without me telling" crap. Love is about sacrifice and putting someone else above yourself, not receiving everything you always dreamed of without doing anything for it.
Fast Five / First Blood
Of course we have The Expendables and the surprise second wind of Liam Neeson with Taken and The Grey, but what else? Fast Five? That's not action. Action is Chuck Norris taking on the Viet Cong by himself, Sylvester Stallone implementing guerilla war tactics on U.S. soil, or Arnold Schwarzenegger tearing through the jungles with an alien predator hot on his heels. The problem is, in the 1980's, we had action heroes that were bad dudes first and actors second. Today we get pretty boys that happen to have a little muscle trying to fill the shoes of real men from the glory days of VHS, non-CGI explosions, and endless rounds of ammunition.
Silent House / The Haunting
Too bad studios try to replicate the success of low-budget horror movies by ignoring what made them good and copying only the gimmicky aspects. Found footage has become it's own sub-genre of horror (and now even superhero) movies and the twist or surprise ending has been heavily relied on many times in recent years. Nowadays in scary movies (Silent House), nothing happens for long periods of time unless it's a fake fright here or there and the atmosphere, the truly terrifying element, is ignored. Take a look at The Haunting for an experience that will stick with you and creep into your secret fears when no one's around. It proves you don't need gore, masks, or nudity to master the art of terror.
The Smurfs / E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial
All children's movies have gone the way of CGI. It's like there's no other option for the genre and they immediately belong to Pixar, Dreamworks, or more recently any generic studio that can pump out this garbage. The only thing keeping family movies alive is the occasional great Pixar movie. But for every great one (Toy Story 3 / Monsters Inc.), there's at least one soulless movie that doesn't follow through with the signature charm (Up / Cars 2). Political correctness has kept kids from seeing real emotion like in E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial or Old Yeller and the bigwigs have instead gone the route of merchandising and profitability. America needs movies for the whole family again.
The Three Stooges / ¡Three Amigos!
Sure, it may be difficult for adult screenwriters to write kid's movies or to scare an audience that's been detached from violence, but it shouldn't be hard to realize your comedy isn't funny. Most "comedy" trailers don't even make attempts at delivering jokes. Someone (Will Ferrell or Jonah Hill) will scream and make faces and that's supposed to be the punchline? I'm not saying comedy has to be in the form of a stand-up joke; the exact opposite is true. The best of the best were those that could make you laugh for several minutes straight without uttering a single line. What happened to ¡Three Amigos! or Kung Fu Hustle or Don Knotts or Bob Newhart styles of comedy?
Don't hesitate to tell Christian what you think of his column and suggest a topic by e-mailing him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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