Friday, July 14, 2006

Why, Philip K. Dick? Why?

Was it not bad enough that in recent years we've seen science fiction author Philip K. Dick's short stories and novels turned into such horrendous movies as Minority Report and Paycheck? Apparently not, because the next movie slated for release based off of one of his works is "Next" (originally known in short story form as The Golden Man). It would appear that in order to make a science fiction movie these days, you just need to take a good story from a deceased sci-fi writer (a la Dick or Isaac Asimov), add a big name actor (Ben Affleck in Paycheck, Tom Cruise in Minority Report, Will Smith in Asimov's I, Robot), and slip an explosion and a chase scene in there and you're done. In fact, you know what? Thanks to "original" movies like Michael Bay's The Island, I think it's pretty clear that Hollywood has basically gotten the formula down for making these sci-fi thrillers without having to admit to taking the ideas from anyone, so why can't they stop affiliating them with good writers who can't defend themselves, much less their work? Next is slated to star Nicolas Cage, and better yet, is directed by Lee Tamahori. For those of you who don't know who he is, his two latest directorial triumphs were xXx: State of the Union and James Bond: Die Another Day. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see this piece of shit.

On a side note, A Scanner Darkly, while still following suit by gathering big name players in what could very well be an amped up version of a classic story, has peaked my interest due to the use of roto-scoping technology in it's production. However, despite the fact that it's release has "widened" in it's second week, it's still not playing anywhere near me. Hence, I'll most likely have to wait for video. Proof that if a movie breaks the mold, nobody will trust it enough to gain the attention of audiences who apparently just want to see the same damn thing over and over again. For shame. This is why the Alien, Predator, and Terminator series' have turned into absolute shit over the past several years. We've stopped demanding quality and started expecting mediocrity.

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