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TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Summer movie selection lacks originality, full of sequels

There you are, sitting in your favorite theater with a group of friends. As the previews begin to grace the screen, you get a feeling that you’ve seen these movies before. D‚j… vu? Nope.

You really have seen all of these movies once, maybe even twice. As previews for this summer’s anticipated blockbusters begin rolling into theaters, one has to ask, “Where has all of the originality gone?”

Over the weekend, I went to see “Blades of Glory.” I don’t know what was more surprising, the fact that I actually liked a figure skating movie or that five of the six movies previewed before the film were the final episodes of a trilogy. That’s right: “Spiderman 3,” “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “Shrek the Third” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

In fact, the only original movie trailer that I saw was for “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” an Adam Sandler/Kevin James film where the two star as heterosexual firefighters posing as a gay couple to qualify for the NYPD’s domestic partner benefits.

Oh, wow, a movie full of gay jokes? Slightly homophobic men caught in homosexually suggestive situations? I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere before. Oh yeah, for reference, see every comedy made in the last 25 years.

How could we ever live with just one installment of that brilliantly crafted series? Not to worry. If the movie succeeds, I’m sure that the studio will follow the original with two inspired sequels: “Chuck and Larry: My Big Fat Gay Wedding” and “Chuck and Larry go to San Francisco.”

Sequels are the bane of any moviegoer’s existence. All that these follow-up movies do is capitalize on the success of a previous film, sans the good writing and inspired acting.

Seriously, how many original movies do you think have pre-written sequels these days? Hmmm, I’d guess about zero. It’s all about the cash. If someone made a movie about a bunch of crack-addicted orangutans running an ice cream shop in Queens, do you think that they would bother penning a sequel? Probably not. But, if said film made a killing at the box office despite its utterly idiotic premise, you can bet that those chimps would return to the big screen for another wacky misadventure. Maybe something involving snowboarding and an evil genius hell-bent on destroying the Sun?

Even today’s “original” movies often consist of quasi-stolen plots or similar styles. For example, consider “Surf’s Up,” another in a long line of animated animal movies. The movie, slated for June release, chronicles a surfing contest featuring a bunch of computer generated penguins and chickens. Do you think this movie would have ever been made without the success of “Finding Nemo” or “Madagascar”?

Seriously, “Surf’s Up” seems to be the end result of “Happy Feet” (that penguin movie) and “Chicken Run” having a baby, except “Chicken Run” had been popping pills for the length of the pregnancy. Do you think this movie was made to be an original experience? No, it was made to draw in the wallets of “Default Animal Movie” fans.

While this summer’s movie slate seems to be nothing more than a slew of sequels and stolen concepts, take heart. There will be an utterly original and awe-inspiring nugget of cinema in there somewhere. Better enjoy it while it lasts because, as soon as the opening weekend’s box office returns come in, someone’s going to start penning a sequel.

David Hall is a freshman news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood. His column appears Wednesdays.

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