An open letter to Hollywood: You’re doing it wrong

I don’t go to the movies a lot anymore, but that’s not because I don’t like movies. I really do.

It’s just that it’s hardly worth a $20 gamble for Ben and I to see a movie that might end up being a two hour waste of time. And in my recent experience, that’s what most new movies end up being: a two hour waste of time.

However, I’m forgiving. Which is why I’ve written the following open letter to the movie industry about what’ll get me back into the theaters.

Dear Hollywood producers, bigwigs, and assorted people with gobs of money:

I don’t like your movies anymore. And judging by the fact that your box office revenues are falling, I have compatriots.

Sure, we’ll hit the movie theater occasionally. But you can no longer count on us to fill your pockets as willingly as we did before the recession. After all, we can see new releases via RedBox for a mere buck – about 1/20th the cost of two theater tickets.

I therefore have composed this list of Things you do that suck and Things you should be doing instead, based purely on a non-scientific yet highly reliable survey of my own brain.

I am comfortable that this accurately represents the opinion of the entire American public.

So read, change your ways, and rake in the dough.

You’ll thank me later, really.

Things you do that suck

1. Stop going nuts with the special effects.

I understand that they are really really wicked cool. Yes, it’s awesome that you can digitally create a twenty minute long Transformers chase scene with extra explosions on top. And that slow motion bullet thing that you copied in every action movie since “The Matrix” is very nice, too. Good job.

This doesn’t excuse you from telling AN ACTUAL STORY.

You must still write a screenplay with good characters and a PLOT.

Special effects are tools that can lend your story some realism. They shouldn’t be taking center stage in your movie.

So get over it and use them properly.

2. Enough with the 3D already. It’s expensive and it isn’t even new. I saw my first 3D movie in an IMAX when I was like, 9. And stuff jumping out at my face from the movie screen still doesn’t excuse you from telling AN ACTUAL STORY. Nice try.

3. The comic book movies are getting old. X-Men was excellent, but it came out in 2000. A decade is way too long to focus on one trend. Please move on.

4. Stop it with the remakes. “Footloose” was fine. “The Thing” was hysterically, gloriously bad, and I resent your trying to make it into a respectable, legitimate, horror flick. Leave the 80s alone.

5. Quit making needless sequels. “Pirates of the Carribean” was done after the first movie, and the rest of the series has just been a painful exercise in circuitous scriptwriting. The Terminator franchise should’ve ended after the second movie because that was where the story actually ended. And yet, there are FOUR movies.

6. Make your characters more like, um, actual people.

I feel like every movie I watch now stars characters who are:

a) emotionless and untouchable
b) endless founts of pithy and annoying catchphrases
c) ALL NINJAS who can execute perfect and amazing flip-kick-punch-stab-spinny-leg-flip-turns

I cannot personally identify with a), b), or c). Can you?

This is especially true when it comes to female characters in action movies. Your average action movie female is basically a man with boobs and no emotions who is also a ninja. Which is really stupid when you think about it.


By now you’re surely scratching your heads and wondering “Well, what do we do now? We’ve already greenlighted ‘Pirates of the Carribean 5: The Curse of the Black Pearl Remade on Even Stranger Tides with new special effects in 3D!!!!!!!11111 starring special guests Superman and Wolverine,’ and we’re all out of ideas!”

(Now that I’ve written the above sentence, I’m actually a little petrified that some movie producer is going to find my blog and go: “THAT’S A GREAT IDEA!” I apologize to the world in advance. Oh well, at least there’d be a pretty awesome finder’s fee.)

Never fear, my dear producers. Here are the Things you should be doing instead:

1. Write a screenplay with believable characters and an interesting plot.

2. Use your special effects only to support that stellar screenplay you wrote. By all means, include explosions and killer sweet action sequences, but don’t get so caught up in them that you forget to have, you know, a plot and characters and stuff.

3. Make the humans human. Take it easy on the emotionless-ninja-killer-flippy-spinny-leg-kick-punch-crap. You don’t have to eliminate it, but be sparing.

Just give us characters we can care about and identify with in some way. People who, even if they have superpowers, are human enough that we could sit down and have a cup of coffee with them. Please.

In conclusion, meet these demands, and I’ll happily go back to the movies.

Many thanks, and best wishes for all your future endeavors. Provided you do everything my way, of course.



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3 responses to “An open letter to Hollywood: You’re doing it wrong

  1. Tom

    So totally agree. As proof that there is still hope, watch “voltron: the end”. It’s a short that was made by some of the people whose podcasts I watch, and stars Timothy Omundson from Psych.

  2. Hey Tom, we watched this last night! Thought it was great – love Timothy Omundson. Any further stuff in the works from this particular director? And how did Omundson get involved? He’s awesome!

    • Tom

      Yeah, I have no idea how he got involved with the project, but as for the director, he’s someone that I’ve followed through podcasts since the old days of TechTV came to an end. Alex Albrecht is a cool and creative guy and I’ll keep an eye out to see what he does next. (Also, he is in an improve group in LA with Felicia Day, among other people!)

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