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Genres that are due for a Reconstruction:
We all have at least one supposedly "dead" genre that we love (whether because of taste or nostalgia) that we wish would make a comeback, but that no one seems to be able to take seriously any more. Anybody out there have one (or a few) in particular? Any ideas about how Hollywood could pull it off if they took a chance with it? (Remember, a lot of people felt that way about superhero movies right before they exploded about 12 years ago. You never know, your prayers might be answered.)
My Soul, Your Beats!Where did the parody movie genre go wrong? Once upon a time, we had films like Airplane! and Blazing Saddles. But in the last few years, there have been some weak, weak, weak parodies. Think about Superhero Movie and Vampires Suck, and ask yourself what should be deconstructed and/or reconstructed. Think about how would you make a movie to respond to these movies.
edited 8th Sep '12 5:51:27 AM by dorkatlarge
Cool, coolcoolcoolTo be fair Superhero Movie isn't that bad. As its own page and my opinion says. Parodies need to be well thought out, the obvious problem with Seltzer and Friedberg's films is that they use a lot of crude humour and are very shallow parodies (ahem "I am Kung Fu Panda"). Not to mention the fact they don't even watch half the films they parody. Plus the Zucker and Mel Brook's comedies were largely light hearted and affectionate. There's my two cents anyway.
edited 8th Sep '12 6:10:15 AM by JRPictures
4 days until Supanova and Nirdy :D
I would say you hit it on the head. Satire can be brutal and cruel, but parody only works well if its at least somewhat affectionate.
The first two movies in the Blood and Cornettos trilogy (Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz) did awesome things with the parody genre. Mostly because they were done by guys who loved the movies they were parodying, and they actually had decent acting, writing, and plots that gave the audience something to enjoy other than cheap laughs about movie cliches. They could probably count as a reconstruction of movie parodies.
edited 9th Sep '12 9:43:38 PM by TheMightyHeptagon
I'm enlightened, professor.
Just zis guyIn regards to parodies, I too miss when they were actually entertaining, and crafted by people who actually cared about what they were parodying. Has there been anything along those lines since Galaxy Quest? As much as GQ poked fun at SF movie conventions, it was obvious that the creators were actual fans of the genre, and not just out to make a quick/cheap buck with lazy writing that was effectively just stringing together random pop culture jokes (often of dubious humor value, at best).
edited 8th Sep '12 10:44:28 AM by Nohbody
War ALWAYS changes. Man does not.Hmm, how can I put this without being too controversial? Nope, no idea. The genre I think is long overdue for a reboot is the Western. I mean, come off it, the last decent one was Blazing Saddles and that was decades ago. All the modern westerns, especially Unforgiven and the Quick and the Dead are not any fun to watch. The Kurt Russell version of the Wyatt Earp tale was fairly entertaining, but all the other ones, whether they be big or low budget are as po-faced as fuck. I paid good money to see the Cohen Brothers re-boot of True Grit when it was at my local multiplex cinema on its first release run, and I have problems with it. As a film, it is a technical masterpiece, the script is functional and the acting is uniformly excellent. It just isn't any fun to watch. Whereas the John Wayne version is lots of fun, and crackles with wit and humor. (Even though that version of the female vengeance seeker isn't on a par with the one in the Cohen Brothers film. And John Wayne, I am sorry to say, makes a much better Rooster Cogburn than Jeff Bridges.
The Final ECW ChampionI'd like to see a Western starring Samuel L. Jackson... or at least featuring him. He may be a little old now. Would a Buffalo Soldier movie count as western or does it need cowboys? Does Zorro count as a Western?
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
I'm enlightened, professor.I want more movies like Unforgiven. It is probably a deconstruction, though.
Yeah, Westerns were never really allowed to be more than a deconstruction after Unforgiven made it mainstream. Anyone who would try to go back would just be decried as holding up the myth of the West that even earlier films like The Searchers or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance revealed to be a sham. Also, I do want to point out that the Coen brothers were adamant that their version of True Grit wasn't a remake of the John Wayne movie but a different, more faithful adaptation of the Cole Portis book.
All the Ewoks will look up and shout, "Save us from the Klingons!" And I'll whisper, "Why so serious?"
No, a Western doesn't need to be about cowboys. Speaking as a Western fan, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people refer to Westerns as "cowboy movies", as if there's only one kind of story that they can tell. And some of the best Westerns of all time haven't even had any cowboys (i.e. people who herd cattle for a living) in them at all. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly didn't have any cowboys, and neither did the other two movies in the Dollars Trilogy. And The Man with No Name was a bounty hunter, not a cowboy. And John Grady Cole in All the Pretty Horses was a horse rancher, not a cowboy. And you could stay just as true to the spirit of the classic Western by making a movie about a miner going west for the Gold Rush or a Civil War veteran moving west and trying to find some peace in his life. Really, any story about people living their lives in an untamed frontier environment can be called a Western to some extent, and it doesn't even have to take place in the Old West. Hell, a lot of the tropes that we associate with the 19th century American West could be just as easily observed in Australia around the same time period.
The Final ECW ChampionI don't really think see anything wrong with a movie about cowhands/ranchers though. Confirming that some of the ones people hold up don't feature them at sounds like enough reason for some cattle herders. Oh, I forgot outlaws and bandits. Shang Hai Noon?
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
Raven WilderWhat I'd like to see are more unapologetically unrealistic Westerns. A Western isn't just a kind of historical fiction; it's acquired its own catalog of quasi-mythic tropes, and storytellers shouldn't avoid using them anymore than they should avoid putting dragons in Medieval Europe or superhuman martial artists in Imperial China.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
Mad Scientist WannabeJonah Hex?
Of course, don't you know anything about ALCHEMY?!- Twin clones of Ivan the Great
As random as this might sound, I would really love to see the Sword and Planet subgenre make a comeback. I loved John Carter to death, but its lackluster box-office performance makes it unlikely that it'll get any sequels. It would be great to see another Edgar Rice Burroughs-esque swashbuckling adventure with a sci-fi background, but I think the formula would have to be tweaked a little bit for the 21st century. Like, if someone could give us a story like John Carter of Mars, but with a more nuanced plot, more moral ambiguity, less Marty Stu characters, and a fresh setting that could make the premise seem at least somewhat scientifically plausible (though I have no idea how that would work), I'd be happy. In the same way that Space Westerns like Firefly have become popular today to make up for Westerns falling out of favor, I think Sword and Planet stories are a good way to recapture the awe and action of classic Sword And Sandal epics from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
edited 9th Sep '12 11:50:19 AM by TheMightyHeptagon
The first two movies in the Blood and Cornettos trilogy (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) did awesome things with the parody genre. Mostly because they were done by guys who loved the movies they were parodying, and they actually had decent acting, writing, and plots that gave the audience something to enjoy other than cheap laughs about movie cliches. They could probably count as a reconstruction of movie parodies.They're not parodies, per se. Shaun is simply a romantic comedy merged with the zombie apocalypse, rather than a parody of the zombie genre. Likewise, Hot Fuzz is the American buddy cop movie filtered through a British lens, although you could probably get away with calling it a parody. But parodies tend to be funny for the sake of being funny, rather than possessing a coherent narrative.
Not necessarily. Airplane! had a pretty coherent narrative, and its plot easily could have been played straight (if not for the dozens of Mad Magazine-style sight gags) but it's considered the Ur Example of movie parodies. All in all, it was a well-done comedy that turned the traditional disaster movie plot on its head by using it as a backdrop for funny hijinks, not just a spoof devoted to pointing out the inherent ridiculousness of disaster movies. I look at the Blood and Cornettos trilogy the same way. Those movies worked as parodies because they had plots and characters good enough to stand on their own, but they still managed to make you laugh at things that are normally Played for Drama. For me, that's what makes a good movie parody.
edited 9th Sep '12 9:43:13 PM by TheMightyHeptagon
dressed for actionAirplane! had a coherent narrative because they took the script of the 1957 film Zero Hour and added a bunch of jokes.
Well, yeah. But the point still stands. A movie parody doesn't have to be a plotless jumble of random snarky jokes.
Aggressively ApatheticJust look at most of Mel Brooks' movies. They are very funny parodies with coherent plots.
Pray tell, what school of trangression is this?
Paragade InterruptI suppose my point was that Airplane! only used its plot as a vehicle for jokes, whereas Shaun and Hot Fuzz had proper plots and characters with no immersion-breaking jokes.
Might one of the reasons we don't have anymore westerns played straight be because of the growing Values Dissonance in regards to the era? I mean even True Grit had the brief, but sadly accurate moment showing the racism directed at the Native American criminal at his execution. And Django Unchained looks to be dealing with a lot of the harsher realities of the period (the script is supposed to be loaded with casual uses of the N word by the white characters). It seems to me that it's at least part of the reason why most Westerns now tend to be parodies or deconstructions rather than "Damn, things were awesome back in the old west!" flicks.
Thing is, there are plenty of other eras that are romanticized, ignoring their realistic flaws. I think the problem with the Western is not that people are too aware of the bad parts of the era, so much as that no one has yet found a way to move onward from the real to the legendary. The Knight in Shining Armor is no more realistic than the White Hat Cowboy, but it is an archetype that speaks to the soul; the White Hat Cowboy still does likewise, but seemingly only within milieus other than the Western.
True. I'm just saying it always seemed to me that it was part of the reason why non-deconstructed Westerns are no longer around. Like I also seriously doubt we'd ever get something as patently "Golly, the 50's were such a perfect time to be alive!" as Happy Days in a post Mad Men entertainment landscape.
Total posts: 41
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