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A Letter To My Friend Hollywood
Dickens Letter.jpgDearest Hollywood,

Hey buddy. It's me, Johnny Wright. How are you? I'm good, thanks for asking.

Enough pleasantries. We need to talk. Don't freak out, there's just a few items that I feel we need to discuss. I'm writing this because I care.

The hope of this letter is that you will listen to my concerns and make some changes. If not, we may have to gather at Joel Coen's house and have a full scale Scott-Weiland-style intervention.

Your house is not in order. In fact, it's a mess. The following is a list of issues I believe you need to stand up to, take responsibility for, and make your best effort to correct. This is for all of our goods. Your as much as ours.

Trust me, this is as hard on me as it is on you.

Are you sitting down? Okay, let's begin.

Just because a film is profitable, does not necessarily dictate a need for a sequel. Or four. Nobody left the theater after seeing "Legally Blonde" thinking "Man, I cannot wait for the next installment! Will she still love pink? What happens to that little dog?" This didn't happen after "Miss Congeniality" or "Big Momma's House" either. Sometimes a film is a one-shot deal. This is okay when it happens. A sequel should be either a continuation of one long narrative, or a completely different chapter featuring a beloved character. Not every borderline hit needs a sequel. Write that down.

There is a huge difference between "We have a great concept, let's make a movie," and "We need a movie, let's make a concept." A huge difference. That thinking is what gives us "The Mummy Returns" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Empire." And never, I repeat never, start filming without a completed script.

Casting Abigail Breslin is lazy.

Please stop giving untalented people money to make films. Brett Ratner, McG, Uwe Boll, etc, these are bad filmmakers. We hate them. It really is acceptable to say "We gave you a chance, your films are rubbish," shake their hands and send them on their way. Hollywood should not be a lifetime membership once you break in. Show some guts and give some young and talented people a shot.

CGI is a tool, not a crutch. I am at a loss for how the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" in 1993 look better than most of the computer generated creations of today. How is this possible? Old school effects such as miniatures and mat paintings should still be utilized. If we wanted to watch a video game, we'd turn on the X-Box and play one.

It is perfectly acceptable to cast Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers and Martin Lawrence as one character only. We don't mind. There are actors who are actually fat or Jewish that could play the parts. The novelty of the practice wore off after Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers.

You're making too many films. Honestly, you need to chop the output in half. What has happened is very similar to the effects of expansion in Major League Baseball. The pitching is watered down and as a result, much worse. There were more roster spots to fill, and guys who would have struggled in AAA ten years ago, get to be middle relief in the bigs. Same principle with what happens now in movie making. The obscene amount of films produced has watered down the product to the point of disgust and embarrassment.

You should cap all budgets at $150 million. Nobody should spend more than that and expect to make a profit.

Along these same lines...

No performer is worth $30 million. Nobody. Stand up to the snake-oil-salesman agents and say no. How many agents will be able to hold out for more than $20 million if you stop paying it? Eventually, the top stars will see that $10 million is much more than $0 million. It's approximately ten million more. Consider instituting a salary cap.

Please stop encouraging Cameron Diaz. I'm begging you.

Please don't let Carlos Mencia transition to films. I'm begging you.

You should consider going back to the "Studio System." The focus was on the finished product, not the horse manure surrounding it. This limits the hack's hands from meddling. The films were much better with fewer cooks in the kitchen.

Once performers become tabloid fixtures, they should be cut from the studio roster. The more "famous for being famous" someone becomes, the less we want to see them in a film. Nobody wants to see a Lindsay Lohan or a Mischa Barton movie. Also, once the C-listers do a "reality" show, they should be banned from further film work. Put out to pasture to think about what they have done.

Luke Wilson is the Joey Harrington of Hollywood. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but come on. Like Harrington, you can start him at quarterback and he may give you a handful of touchdowns, but in the long run, he isn't going to help you win football games.

The film-going public is not as dumb as you treat them. They're really not. Yes, we as a country are getting more stupid by the day, heading to intellectual hell in a handcart, but not as much as you seem to believe. There are many who are insulted by the parody films like "Meet the Spartans" and "Scary Movie 9." I know you don't care about the quality of the product as long as it's profitable, but you could fake it a little, no? Mr. and Mrs. Lowest Common Denominator have more films made for them than the educated. That doesn't add up on my abacus.

I know you really want it to, but a female superhero film is probably not going to work. Should we run down the list of failures? I don't think we need to. I'm tired. The female superhero movie is a lost cause. Nobody wants to see Wonder Woman. Why, you ask? She has an Invisible Jet, indestructible bracelets and a lasso of truth. That is the worst superhero ever.

And finally,

You need to start learning from your mistakes. Really, it's about time. At this point, can't you see a bad script when it's put on your desk? Did you really think that "Witless Protection" was a good idea? You don't actually think that Jessica Simpson can put butts in the seats do you? She was in "Dukes of Hazzard" and had a bad southern accent. She's southern. Shouldn't that DQ her from further film involvement? Clive Owen doesn't need to fake a British accent, he has one. I just saw the trailer for "Meet Dave." Nobody stepped in to nip that sucker in the bud? I know there is always going to some gamble to the process, but it's time you tightened the parameters of what films slip through development to "green light." You should have seen the probable failures of "Battlefield Earth," "The Postman," and "Gigli" as they stumbled down Sunset Boulevard. All we're asking for a little growth. A little discernment.

Thank you for listening. I want the best for you. I really do. You've been a good friend over the years and I am trying to return the favor. I'm writing you because I care.

Have a good summer. Tell television I say hello. We don't talk anymore because she's a lost cause.

I love you,

Johnny Wright



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85 Comments

"Please stop encouraging Cameron Diaz." Say what?

Something About Mary was one of the best movies ever.

said E on June 18, 2008 11:43 AM.

I'm in agreeance with the Mencia point though.

said E on June 18, 2008 11:52 AM.

Johnny you are right on so many points... points that will not be addressed. but i am with you on basically everything specially Brett Ratner, McG, Uwe Boll and Mencia.

though i liked Ratner's Red Dragon (but with such a good cast and script things get to be easier)

said etantao on June 18, 2008 12:13 PM.

Seriously, does anyone know anyone who thinks Mencia is funny? One person? I have no idea who watches it.

Thanks for reading.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 18, 2008 12:19 PM.

I did meet someone a few weeks ago who blurted out Mencia's trademark "DUR-du-duuuu" (or however you spell it)...when pressed, said person did admit it was from Carlos Mencia, BUT failed to actually say the words, "Carlos Mencia is funny." Hmm...

said Jeem on June 18, 2008 12:45 PM.

Mencia is a joke. Once Comedy Central lost Chapelle, they had to scramble to find someone to do the same schtick. He's like a crackhead's Paul Rodriguez.

said Bigus Dickus on June 18, 2008 1:15 PM.

I don't even know this Mencia cat. Must be a TV guy. I don't watch much TV because its just so fucking awful, with the exception of a few shows here and there. Hollywood is just recyclying TV's tired old stuff or making unwanted sequels, as you mentioned. Another Rocky? Starsky and Hutch? Charlie's Angels? We could do better folks.

said curlyelk on June 18, 2008 1:23 PM.

In that case, Curly, ignorance is bliss. Trust us. You don't want to know who he is.

said Johnny Wright on June 18, 2008 1:29 PM.

I remember seeing Carlos Mencia at the Capitol City Comedy Club in Austin. He has a good stage act, but it did not transition well to the small screen. The one redeeming skit he did involved the California road signs depicting a Mexican family running across the road. It is vile and offensive, but very funny. Especially the suit he interviewed for the skit.

Having said that, I don't think he should do movies and I really can't watch his show for more than 2 minutes before seeing what is on the History channel.

said Trailwaze on June 18, 2008 1:34 PM.

Yeah, bring back the studio system. And also I think Hollywood should ban any more films from being made that treat the Hollywood blacklist period as the most significant libertarian issue in American history. They are akin to GM making a movie about UAW contract negotiations.

Snahooze.

said Don't Swayze Bro on June 18, 2008 4:45 PM.

I like Brett Ratner Love Lindsay Lohan
Cameron Diaz is too old
who is Joey Harrington
and yeah Postman is my guilty pleasure

said Johnc on June 18, 2008 6:19 PM.

Heaven help you, John. Good luck.

said Johnny Wright on June 18, 2008 6:52 PM.

Do you like pre or post Paris Lindsay? (Wholesome or Strung out party girl?)

said Trailwaze on June 18, 2008 8:11 PM.

Hollywood,

Make a good horror film. Please, with a cherry on top. Gore films are fun, but it has been a while since you gave me nightmares. I want to feel the need to sleep with the lights on again.

Your friend,

Trailwaze

said Trailwaze on June 18, 2008 8:13 PM.

Well done, Trailwaze.

An official P.S. to the letter.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 18, 2008 8:19 PM.

Thank you, thank you (bows). I'll be here all week.

said Trailwaze on June 18, 2008 8:23 PM.

I could use a good horror movie too. Ima jump on dat bandwagon right dere.

said E on June 18, 2008 8:35 PM.

And please fire the national lampoon team. They haven't been funny since Chevy Chase left.

said Trailwaze on June 18, 2008 8:55 PM.

these are great points, johnny, except the too-many movies one, i think maybe a different analogy might have convinced me better, but i like the current stream of movies...
no mention of m night shamamamalan? i really think he needs to take one of those desert-walkabout thingy to find his true path in moviemakin', i thought signs was pretty good...

said notjohndoe2 on June 18, 2008 9:21 PM.

Sometimes these baseball analogies are hit and miss.

Dammit, did it again.

said Johnny Wright on June 18, 2008 9:29 PM.

Bad analogies might cause people to go on strike.

Hmmm...Maybe I don't have the swing of it....

said Trailwaze on June 18, 2008 9:43 PM.

Trailwaze I tell you Chevy Chase burned me once too many times. Interesting point though - movies sucked back in the good old days too. Maybe they're a little more espensive and all now.

said E on June 18, 2008 11:27 PM.

Yeah, he burned a few people; hence he doesn't make the films now. In his day he was very funny, when cheep sex comedies were all the rage.

For every really good flick, there are hundreds of thousands that suck, blow and are made out of monkey feces.

said Trailwaze on June 19, 2008 8:57 AM.

Looking for a good horror flik? See "The Orphanage". Oh, the nightmares! Although I guess it's not from Hollywood, it was made in Spain. Hollywood, take some cues from oh, I don't know films with a PLOT!

said annierie on June 19, 2008 11:13 AM.

I'll have to see if Netflix has it....

said Trailwaze on June 19, 2008 11:45 AM.

'Luke Wilson is the Joey Harrington of Hollywood'

Ok. He may not be the main guy but he's a good character guy, excellent straight man. Think of Old School. It's not a Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell thing. You need his steadyness to keep the right balance.

Don't think football think soup. You want a mellow flavor with accents, you don't want a bunch of peppers and stuff without that core stock. Think cooking metaphors and he's your base.

said E on June 20, 2008 2:27 AM.

BTW Johnnie, good to see you writing out long hand in the main pic there. Kind of a lost art. I can totally see you writing sonnets when you have the time. Bring up a little Henry James in the comments and we'll have food for thought!

said E on June 20, 2008 3:53 AM.

A Henry James reference, that's what I like to see. Nice, E.

Can anyone name the gentleman in the photo at the top of the column? You've all heard of him.

A gold star on the homework of whoever can.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 4:59 AM.

Edgar Allen Poe in the pic.

Mencia is terrible.

Wonder Woman, however, is great but just has to be taken care of by a good writer.

said Dirk on June 20, 2008 5:30 AM.

I personally like gory horror films. It's a visceral kind of fun because, well, it's an extreme. It may not be legal for me to do unspeakably horrible, grotesque things to a human being, nor do I have it in me to do them. But it's fun to see it happen. After all, part of seeing a film is to indulge in fantasy.

But, again personally, I like to see the end of adaptations and re-makes. I don't need to see a horror movie based on the original Japanese movie (it usually works fine the first time around). I don't need to see a TV show adapted to a movie: they're two separate mediums and I like to keep it that way. I don't need to see a video game adaptation because, well, the stories they use are merely backdrops to controller-operated action. I don't need a bunch of sequels, as Mr. Wright has stated.

And finally, I'm tired of almost every movie being about relationships. I hate seeing trailers for relationship movies featuring incredibly beautiful people with whom I can't possibly relate behaving like they're retarded. Also, I hate seeing a relationship in a movie that doesn't even appeal to women. This goes as far back as--I dunn0--Die Hard? Likewise, did Bruce Wayne really need a love interest in "Batman Begins"? Speaking of, am I the only one who thought that movie had the worst fight scenes? They shouldn't induce epileptic seizures, in my opinion.

said Michael on June 20, 2008 5:31 AM.

The photo is not Edgar Allen Poe.

A good try however.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 6:19 AM.

It is the best of pics; it is the worst of pics. Please, Johnny, could we have some more? ;)

said dan on June 20, 2008 6:37 AM.

Charles Dickens.

My first time here.

Cool letter, Johnny Wright.

said oh on June 20, 2008 8:03 AM.

I agree with every point. Right on.

said bob on June 20, 2008 8:34 AM.

Well done.

It is Charles Dickens.

Thanks.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 9:22 AM.

And Dan, you cheeky bugger, the cryptic answer gets and gold star and a check-plus.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 9:24 AM.

I'm going to have to disagree with you about the 'no one wants to see a female superhero' movie. I think that Joss Whedon has proved, quite successfully, that female superheroes can indeed be profitable (and develop cult followings). The problem, I believe, is that no one in Hollywood can write believable and relatable scripts for them.

And, perhaps I'm reading a little too much into it, but the statement that 'no one wants to see them' seems to read like 'guys don't want to see it and since Hollywood action films can only be created for guys, then don't bother making it.'

Personally, I'd love to see a good female superhero movie. And really, fanboys helped move the comic book movie aestetic to the geeky and boyish (see: Spiderman), so why not represent the broader audience that enjoys these kinds of films with a little kick-ass female inclusion.

said ipens on June 20, 2008 9:47 AM.

Joss Whedon is incredibly overrated.

Thanks for reading.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 11:30 AM.

Besides your last comment on Whedon and guilty pleasures such as Postman and Battlefield Earth - being a sci-fi freak and all - I fully agree with your statements.

A refreshing, inspiring article, way to go ;)

said Crusader of Melnibone on June 20, 2008 12:21 PM.

Thank you Crusader. I won't tell anyone about Battlefield Earth, our little secret.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 12:40 PM.

Just sign the name of every film fan ever and send it to all of the studio heads and producers.

said Blackpanther on June 20, 2008 12:45 PM.

Will do. It will be in Monday's mail.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 12:47 PM.

Hi Johnny, my first time posting here. I would like to add that the movie trailers these days are ridiculous. Who has to see the movie anymore when they give away the best parts in the trailer? Why is nothing left to the imagination anymore? It's a shame.

said Katherine the Great on June 20, 2008 2:27 PM.

A good point Katherine. Well done.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 2:34 PM.

Fake and funny trailers like this one for "Machete"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64_F4AkM0Nk
from the Grindhouse Movies are awesome. I wish more creative thinking went into what hollywood turns out.

said Trailwaze on June 20, 2008 2:50 PM.

Great letter, JW. I'd sign it as a petition! Also, as a geeky, female comic/movie fan, I'd like to say that I'm not too interested in a Wonder Woman movie either. She's lame. However, Joss Whedon does write great female characters, and I'd pay to see more. Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn't write good female characters very often. There are some exceptions of course, (Ellen Ripley comes to mind, a great character that was originally written to be a man, and Sarah Connor, the movie character, NOT the boring tv character)
Maybe if they wrote female characters as people, (as they did with Ripley) not as plot points like "the love interest" they'd be better?
First time reader, I'll be back, thanks.

said Rookrow on June 20, 2008 2:55 PM.

Rookrow,

Thank you for your kind words. You're right, besides Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor and Beatrix Kiddo, I'm hard pressed to come up with other great female action characters.

Good to have you.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 3:01 PM.

I agree with the Joss Whedon point. Buffy was a nifty show.

said E on June 20, 2008 3:03 PM.

Hey Johnny, I really enjoyed the read. Great points! But do you have to cut down one of the very few Hispanics on English-spoken television? Just because you don't find Mencia funny doesn't mean that a lot of other people don't.

said T-Man on June 20, 2008 3:27 PM.

I understand your point T, Hispanics are underrepresented on television. This is true. But I cannot handle Mencia. He's a joke thief.

I am only expressing MY views and hoping to get you to think a little and laugh a little. Believe me my friend, I would shake your hand and respectfully agree to disagree.

Thank you for reading.

said Johnny Wright on June 20, 2008 3:37 PM.

A lot of truth right there...

especially with the actor's salaries...this above the line stuff has gotten so far out of hand it isnt even funny.

I mean, really, when you have 10 million (!!) dollars, so you REALLY NEED to debate and argue until you get 30 million?

I have great respect for actors like Denzel, and we all know he's pretty highly paid, but Denzel can get "butts in seats" as they say...

Is there a reason to keep paying Tom Cruise 30 million a film?

I think that Hollywood will need to start letting some young and talented (or even old and talented) people a chance to work with a studio budget...

In the meantime, there's YouTube.

said JKapp on June 20, 2008 5:12 PM.

Great letter. It should be sent to every studio and respected as a ten commandments of film making (Tho I think there was more than 10 points, anyhoo....)
My two cents on the salary cap concept: Chris Tucker getting 20 mill for Rush Hour 3? Who has he got the dirt on? Look at his recent Resume - Three films in the last 10 years all with the prefixes Rush and Hour! And did the world really need a rush hour 3?
And lastly I think that the point about sequels should consider that if you can´t get the original film´s principle actors involved, really, move on. I mean even Eddie Murphy refused Dr. Dolittle 3.
And enough CGI already, I wanna see real shit blowed up!

said Perspa Cassidy on June 20, 2008 7:26 PM.

i don't know man, the film-going public is pretty stupid. this is why "the love guru" and "zohan" exist and made more money than they actually should. even if they "bomb", one of them will still get a sequel. this is scary.

said deadasdisco on June 20, 2008 8:36 PM.

The author of this post knows nothing about what he writes. There is an extreme amount of factual error stemming from a basic lack of knowledge. Uwe Boll is not given jobs by studios; he is an independent financier. The studios that released Gigli and Battlefield Earth probably didn't know those films were going to be such a disaster. How could they?

Who is this man and why does he post his lack of understanding on the Internet for those to read?

said Charles Darwin on June 21, 2008 11:59 AM.

You bet Chuck.

I'm sure that Gigli and Battlefield Earth looked like bonafide hits in development. How could you know that "turkey time, gobble gobble" is bad writing? Very hard to tell.

How could they see that Battlefield Earth was a bloated, nutty vanity project attempting to propagandize Scientology? How that one slipped past the goalie, we'll never know. How could they know? You're right, impossible.

Bloody hell...

said Johnny Wright on June 21, 2008 12:10 PM.

I strongly believe Katherine's comment about trailers should be added as an official PS to the letter as well. I'm voluntarily working on the movie media business myself for the past few years and I skip the trailers. Makes my job harder as a critic but easier and more vulnerable to the element of surprise as a viewer. We should never forget being fans besides pro's. If we do that, then the 'academy' has won. Art needs to seek for its pure origins.

said Crusader of Melnibone on June 21, 2008 12:45 PM.

Okay, you got it.

The trailer giving away too much of the movie is now included in the Post Script of the letter.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

said Johnny Wright on June 21, 2008 12:56 PM.

I agree with all your comments completely. I reckon you should put Tarantino in there though. He started out making interesting films then he regressed into a teenager who now only makes geeky and boring homages full of insipid dialogue. Deathproof was just one long converasation between a load of unbearable bitches.

said Danny on June 21, 2008 5:29 PM.

Mr. Johnny Wright, You are correct on every level. I agree with you 100% and anyone that disagrees is obviously crazy. Legally Blonde 2 was terrible, $30 million/movie is disgusting, and i miss pre-coke Lindsay. This letter is much needed. Please keep it up

said Dave on June 21, 2008 7:30 PM.

Thank you Dave and Danny.

Cheers.

Thanks for being able to read.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 21, 2008 7:43 PM.

Hey Johnny-
Great letter. I completely agree with everything you said, especially the "Once performers become tabloid fixtures, they should be cut from the studio roster" section. It makes me sick that people like Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, etc. get movie roles and call themselves "actresses." Can't they just be honest and get real and become models or socialites or whatever? I think more importance needs to be placed on class and talent rather than flat abs and toned arms. People should look to actresses like Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Helena Bonham Carter, etc. for examples of real talent.

Thanks for having some sense!

said Samantha on June 21, 2008 8:51 PM.

Thank you Samantha.

Add Naomi Watts to your list and you have the all star actresses that are actually actresses.

said Johnny Wright on June 21, 2008 8:57 PM.

Interesting,
Your all star actresses that are actually actresses is two Australians and two Brits. So why are we so Hollywood centric?

said Perspa Cassidy on June 22, 2008 8:25 AM.

I don't know Cassidy, I don't know.

said Johnny Wright on June 22, 2008 8:37 AM.

Wow,
you make me sick. Of course a MAN wouldn't want to see a female superhero, you get to see your gender on the big screen doing kick ass things every week, why would you care about a marginalized group? Men get all the big screen sci-fi glory, while women have to look to secondary small screen characters like Firefly's Zoe or Battlestar's Starbuck for their viewing pleasure. The rest of your article was thoughtful and sometimes full of valid suggestions. But when it comes to female superheros, your opinion is just to keep women silent and let Hollywood continue to make formulaic movies with (usually white) male leads. You are not longer part of the solution you are part of the problem.

said Ashley on June 22, 2008 5:27 PM.

You bet Ashley. I'm probably wrong about the female superheroes.

I'm going to re-watch Catwoman, Aeon Flux, Supergirl, Tomb Raider and Electra so I can properly reevaluate my stand.

I don't know what I was thinking.

said Johnny Wright on June 22, 2008 5:58 PM.

While you are at it please re-watch Spiderman 2 and 3, X-men 3, Superman Returns, Constantine, Jumper ect...

said Ashley on June 22, 2008 6:50 PM.

I don't know... Someone has to be a really terrible person to be subjected to X-Men 3... Actually, the only movies I've seen where the femme fatale was actually done well were the Kill Bill movies. In those movies, I didn't see a woman who had a superiority complex towards men and regarded them as inferior. I saw a woman who was a well-trained assassin and wanted to rid herself of that life to become a mother...only being wounded by her former colleagues and thus taking revenge against them.

Oh yeah, as an aside, I fully agree with anyone who criticizes Joss Whedon. I think he's done tremendous damage to the writing medium. He does it because he's successful. Put simply, he's a mediocre writer who makes up stories full of superficial and generic teen-angst dialogue and turns it into a tremendous success. This is bad because it legitimizes bad writing and makes it seem okay.

said Michael on June 22, 2008 7:17 PM.

I tried to watch Serenity but tuned out when I heard the line "Goin' on a year now I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!"

"Twixt my nethers..." I was done after that.

I'm with you Michael.

said Johnny Wright on June 22, 2008 7:36 PM.

Dear Internet,

What we need are more websites telling us what is wrong with the movies of today! Why, just yesterday I was sitting atop my glorious kingdom wondering "whosoever shall speak unto me the truths?" Surely there is one person out there with the correct opinion - I just don't know how to fix myself!

If only there were someone truly ballsy enough to make a Uwe Boll joke, or to anonymously put McG and Bret Ratner in their places... Sigh.

It's like Thomas Edison once said - "The world belongs to the haters now." Or was that Heidi Montag?
-Mr. Hollywood, esq.

said Mr. Hollywood on June 22, 2008 8:24 PM.

The letter was written anonymously?

Anyone who uses the word "hater" is dismissed out of hand. It's not a real word. Or concept.

Good try. Rubbish

said Johnny Wright on June 22, 2008 8:30 PM.

I'm right with you on a fair few of your points but for what it's worth we both know that apart from being featured on imdb this is an exercise in futility. It's good to see you taking the effort though. Cheers.

P.S. Studio excutives are well aware of what the public thinks of them and that anybody with an ounce of self respect wouldn't go to see The Mummy & the Tomb of Dragon thingy but they don't make their money of people with an ounce of self respect.

They make their money of people who genuinely believe that a third Mummy movie is a good idea. I believe these people are called "The Majority". Life's a bit strange at times but, hey, thems the breaks.

said David Langham on June 22, 2008 10:45 PM.

Just found you and I think I'm going to like it here.
1. Female superheroes/action stars: Here's an idea, why doesn't someone, say a writer, create an interesting and original female character that happens to have a job that requires lots of action and martial arts/gunslinging skills? Then, that character's story could be turned into a movie. This formula worked for every other action movie, why is it so hard when it comes to women?

Which leads to...

2. Joss Whedon: Oh wait, he DID write an original female character who was required to kick lots of butt! In several tv shows and a few movies!

I understand the 'betwixt my nethers..." line was not his strongest, but Buffy, Firefly and Angel all had interesting characters that felt real, no matter how far out the setting was, and he wrote well for both women and men.

It would be great if more writers/directors etc... just wrote good stories and never mind the focus groups. Good stories beget good characters, male or female.
And BTW, I would go see an action movie with a female superhero if she were well written, i.e. Smart, funny, able to take care of herself, you know, like Spiderman with boobs. :)

said Moviegirl on June 23, 2008 2:02 AM.

Bless you, I hate Cameron Diaz, too. Tell me again why she still has a career?

said Moviegirl on June 23, 2008 2:03 AM.

Moviegirl,

Good to have you. I wish I could explain Cameron Diaz, I haven't a clue what the appeal is.

"Spiderman with boobs." That made me laugh.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 23, 2008 3:37 AM.

You are missing one major criticism of current Hollywood films.

It is something that bothers me to the very core. You know, when you hear about the pre-production of a movie that sounds too good to be true, and eagerly await the first teaser trailor only to be horrified by what you see. . . The ridiculous looking background with moving parts, the flatness of the actors in front of it, and the horribly animated character that doesn't fit in with the world around it.. Yes that's right.. I'm talking about the overuse of CGI.

Don't get me wrong, green screen has come a long way in its time. And Peter Jacksons gollum was absoluetly amazing. But if I have to see one more completely green-screened movie I think I may rip my own eyes out. Nothing about it looks real... Or believable. If i wanted to watch a video game for 2 hours, I would do just that.

Does anyone remember why yoda was so awesome in Empire? Cuz he was a puppet.. and Mark Hammil actually acted with something more than a tennis ball at the end of a rod. Did anyone actually SEE the travisty that was the newer Star Wars?? By the third or fourth summersault in the air Yoda had lost all coolness for me.

said Katie on June 23, 2008 10:59 AM.

A very astute point Katie. Your Yoda criticism is right on the nose.

JW

said Johnny Wright on June 23, 2008 11:07 AM.

'Good to have you. I wish I could explain Cameron Diaz, I haven't a clue what the appeal is.'

She's hot and she's cool with a little hair gel. What's not to love?

said E on June 23, 2008 11:26 AM.

Well, I know I'm a little late but I have to disagree with Ashley. I was actually surprised that you, Johnny, a man, would stand up against a female superhero movie. I would have assumed that every man would vote for a movie starring some big-busted starlet in a tight, impractical costume. I think that, if done correctly, a female superhero movie could be awesome, but the chances of it being done right are slim, because the target audience of 13-year-old-boys is willing to pay money to see cleavage strapped in leather.

In short, if someone has the guts to do it right, go ahead, make a female superhero. But if it's going to be just another Catwoman, Aeon Flux, etc., I think we could all live without it.

said Samantha on June 29, 2008 9:45 AM.

Holy shit!

72 responses and not one directed at the veritable cluster fuck that Hollywood makes out of any book, ever, that they have made into a movie?

My head hurts.

Really though, I defy you all to come up with a good adaptation from book to movie.

said Jeni Gump on July 1, 2008 6:49 PM.

Fight Club.

said Scaramouch on July 1, 2008 9:22 PM.

Jaws, Lord of the Rings, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffany's, No Country For Old Men, The Shining, Catch 22, Doctor Zhivago, Fight Club, The Godfather, Goodfellas, The Maltese Falcon, The Jungle Book, LA Confidential, Ben Hur, War of the World's (1953), Alice in Wonderland, The Thin Man, A Clockwork Orange, Murder on the Orient Express, The Hound of the Baskervilles ...

said Johnny Wright on July 1, 2008 9:27 PM.

She only asked for one, show-off.

said Scaramouch on July 1, 2008 9:29 PM.

Sorry, I am a show off, know-it-all.

But I do it with a great deal of charm.

said Johnny Wright on July 1, 2008 9:44 PM.

Down boys...

Good point about Fight Club and Breakfast at Tiffany's. I don't know about the others though, maybe I'll try to reread/watch all of them this summer.

said Jeni Gump on July 2, 2008 10:48 AM.
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