Dear Hollywood – try something new

Bourne Legacy
Starring: Albert Finney, Edward Norton, Jeremy Renner, Joan Allen, Rachel Weisz

Another of those movies that look good in the trailer, but the trailer has all the “good” parts.

Given the star power in this film, it’s a sad waste of talent.

This is just an attempt to do another Bourne movie, but without Matt Damon. Pretty flat, to me.

And the movie allegedly stars Albert Finney & Joan Allen – the former is in a YouTube video in the movie; Allen has literally 2/3 lines (questioned by reporters as she gets in car). I’m guessing these were outtakes from “The Bourne Ultimatum” just cut into the film.

Weakest Bourne movie of the (to date) four, by far.

All movies

Last weekend, we watched two movies that were basically an attempt to cash in on the earlier (somewhat successful) movie “franchises.”

One was sorta good (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), the other was – in spite of a great cast – meh (Bourne Legacy).

Hollywood – got anything new? It’s all sequels/franchises (Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight, Harry Potter and so on) or prequels (what’s reviewed here) or something else pretty much unoriginal.

Iron Man 27?

Spider-man 1,234?

We’re looking at the THIRD installment of StarWars movies.


Sometimes returning to old material works – I really enjoyed all three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises)), even though Batman movies as a whole have been done to death. Also note that this was a trilogy of sorts, but none of the films felt like it was done just to cash in on the concept – each movie was good alone.

But do we really need another Pirates of the Caribbean movie? (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, due in 2017….).

Another Paul Blart: Mall Cop? (Second film in theaters 4/17/2015!)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Costner, Peter Andersson

Let’s call this a “prequel” to the Tom Clancy novels-to-movies franchise – Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games – and so on.

It shows how Jack Ryan got into the CIA; OK, that works.

It shows how Jack Ryan met and eventually wedded his doctor wife. Nah, doesn’t work. Anne Archer works as his doctor wife in the later (chronologically) movies; I just can’t see Keira Knightley as a doctor in this flick.

Oddly, Kevin Kostner works in this movie – he’s kind of the James Earl Jones character (Navy/CIA).

NOT as good as any other Tom Clancy-based movies, but not bad. Watchable. Not repeat watchable.

All movies

Look at some of the work David Fincher has done recently: Gone Girl, The Social Network, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. All really strong movies, and all that really have nothing to do with each other. Each stands – strongly – on its own.

Today, we really do seem to have a lot of sequels, prequels, movies based on action heros (comics) and remakes that really didn’t need to be remade (RoboCop, Annie … ).

When something original comes out, it can often just blow our socks off: The Fault in Our Stars, Obvious Child, Her. The latter, especially, doesn’t even fall into any genre bucket (the first two can be considered, in a way, rom-coms).

So, come on Hollywood: Dazzle us again. Less Pirates of the Caribbean and more American Hustle, Julie & Julia, even lighter fare such as Raising Arizona or The Lego Movie. Bring us more of the films that you go into expecting one thing but turn out quite a bit different: Young Adult, Up In the Air.

Just something that’ll – at the very least – keep us entertained (even if in an uncomfortable way – We Need to Talk About Kevin), and not have us know the ending before it begins (I called the whole plot of 27 Dresses before we even saw it [to be fair, in spite of the predictability, it was an entertaining flick. One I’ll never watch again, but…] ).

And take some chances – Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, all of The Station Agent and Million Dollar Baby (except for Morgan Freeman – he’s played that role a million times). Try quirky – sometimes it’ll pay off (Chicken Run, Memento, Juno), and – yeah – sometimes it’ll fall flat (The Way Way Back – trailer looked good; pretty lame). But get out of the formulaic rut.

Is that too much to ask?