Flavors of the new film year
The start of a new film season forces producers to take a deep breath and predict what viewers will prefer to watch—long before they themselves realize what it is they want!
Many millions of dollars and euros are riding on such educated guesswork, so the cinematic soothsayers had better get it right—or else!
Sniffing around the movie studios and their new offerings for the 2016-‘17 season, we figure that producers of superhero flicks, which dominated the box office last year, have come up with a new wrinkle to keep viewers keyed up:
This time around, the heroes aren’t perfect, but are imbued with some human and “accessible” ties or frailties.
For instance, their vocabulary may be laced with expletives, or they have an Achilles’ heel that makes them dangerously vulnerable in some fear-inducing instances.
At first glance, this new wrinkle may contradict the very essence and ethos of heroic flicks, but word has it that it’s being welcomed thus far by superflicks buffs, due to their surprise or accessibility-plus factors.
Of course, the danger is that subsequent exponents will get carried away and end up turning viewers off with too much rawness and imperfection. But, it’s too early for that to happen, so (raucously) enjoy the new development while it lasts!
Another current fave is the popularity of remakes of hit movies that have been given a gender twist or tweak.
For instance, “Ghostbusters” has been remade as an all-female romp! Instead of the original male comics, female exponents of screen comedy led by Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig do the fun-filled and sci-fi honors, with riotous results.
Aside from handily “freshening up” the tired, old format, the simple change takes full advantage of the current trend for “gender-free” entertainment.
Naturally, the success of pioneering gambits in this regard has made producers look for other hit formats to tweak and “liberate”—like an all-female “Ocean’s 11.”
In addition, the tweaking can be effected in different directions, including the direct opposite—female to male.
For instance, “Thelma and Louise” could and has been done with male protagonists on their own self-discovery road trip.
In retrospect, however, gender tweaks on the big screen are nothing new. Like, the role of Ripley in the first “Alien” script was made female, so it could be played, to great distinction, by Sigourney Weaver.
On the other hand, the role of Mr. Spock in “Star Trek” started out as a cold, logical and efficient woman, but was drastically revised and renamed for Leonard Nimoy to portray—and the big change boosted his stellar career in a major way!
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