July 24, 2015 by T. Gregory Argall
Normally I don’t like to tackle the same general topic two weeks in a row. I like to say my piece and move on, but since last Friday’s blog posting, news has come out of Hollywood that I feel needs to be pointed at and mocked.
Much like Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, the Hollywood decision-making process gives us reasons to scratch our heads in confusion almost hourly.
For years I, along with half of the internet, have been making jokes about the lack of original ideas in film, with a continuous wave of sequels and prequels, remakes and reboots, adaptations and blatant rip-offs. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have now reached a watershed moment.
Earlier this week, Sony Pictures – the same studio that entered into a shared rights agreement with Marvel Studios because they didn’t know what to do for their sixth “Spider-Man” movie – proudly announced that they had secured the rights to make a movie based on…
(I am not making this up)
Yes, indeed. Smiley-face. Frowny-face. Pizza slice. Cartoon martini.
Those damned things.
They are going to make a movie “starring” the emotional shorthand used in text messages.
The movie is the… well, I want to say “brainchild,” because that would be polite, but I think “thought-poop” is more accurate… The movie is the thought-poop of Anthony Leondis, whose film resume consists almost entirely of work on animated sequels to bigger animated films. He wandered around Los Angeles pitching the idea to anyone who would listen, a tactic that, surprisingly, resulted in a three way bidding war between Sony, Warner Bros, and Paramount.
We can assume that the pitch meetings took place at outdoor cafes, because there is no way that Mr. Leondis would have fit through a meeting room door with balls that size. He must wear a kilt with a built-in trolley.
We really shouldn’t be surprised by an Emoji movie. The LEGO Movie received an Oscar nomination for best original song for an Orwellian doublespeak mantra, simply because it was fun to say.
On the surface it seems that Hollywood has simply lost all respect for their audience, assuming that there is not enough intelligence left among North American movie-goers to support anything that they haven’t already seen. But that is just a Pavlovian response to the conditioning that we, the audience, have given them. The reason movie producers think they can get away with a dumbed-down lack of original ideas is because we let them get away with a dumbed-down lack of original ideas.
Like trendy lemmings, we embrace the simple and familiar, as long as it doesn’t require too much thought.
Five years from now, all new movies will just be called “Ooh, Something Shiny” and will just be big-screen presentations of cat videos and arguments on Twitter.
Coming this summer, from the writer/director of “Cat Punches Guy In Nuts” and the studio that brought you “Grammar Jammer Gets Flamed,” don’t miss the movie that’s been called the love story of the century. You want to see this movie.
When this one guys makes a comment this other guy says he’s wrong and this girl sort of agrees but spells stuff bad. You want to see this movie.
Starring Zac Ephron as @gummybare99, Seth Rogan as @yourmomliksme, and Miley Cyrus as @mathishard. You want to see this movie.
With a special appearance by a picture of Matthew McConaughey taking off his shirt. You really want to see this movie.
This summer don’t miss “Ooh, Something Shiny, Part Eight Hundred and screw it we stopped caring long ago.”
IN 3D IMAX SHAKE-O-RAMA SLAP-O-VISION!
Enjoy the movie.
I’ll be over here, sitting in the corner, weeping for humanity.
Try to be nice to each other.