On New Year's Eve, Rachel and I finally got around to watching Inside Out. I LOVED the film. While it wasn't a kid's movie at all, I felt like I was back with the old Pixar, the people who kept coming up with new, original ideas, like Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. For a long time, I've been wondering if Lasseter's team had just run out of ideas. Why are there so many Cars spin offs? Finding Dory? Are you kidding? Pixar was the one house with all the new ideas, at least at first. I was thrilled to watch that movie, and felt a glimmer of hope.
Then, on New Year's Day, Rachel and I watched another Disney movie, the new Star Wars film. Not only was the movie almost completely the same story and structure as Episode Four, what really depressed me was all the previews. We sat through twenty (I kid you not) previews, and I only saw ONE trailer that looked interesting- and even that was for a new Star Trek film, hardly a new idea or concept.
The strangest thing was how every "new" movie we watched a trailer for is a spin off or remake of an old idea. Tarzan, The Jungle Book, Batman vs Superman (which looks like it might be the dumbest movie ever), and even a new Independence Day. I know making movies is an expensive business. Yet, it's sad to see when even the newest Star Wars film plays it safe. Phantom Menance proved that any Star Wars movie would've made a fortune, no matter what. However, Abrams played it safe by sticking to old ideas, old plotlines, and almost ridiculous moments of pandering to the fans. "Hey let's all pause and remember this moment. And now look, the holographic game's still there, and here's the band from Episode Four, let's remember that, etc..."
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, and just like every other sucker paid good money (even enjoying it in IMAX and 3D). Still, I'm dissapointed at how few original films I see coming out of Hollywood these days. Every other action movie now's a new superhero based on a comic book. How many films are either complete remakes, or only go into production after the books become wildly successful? Film is an art form in its own right, and I applaud the makers of Inside Out, and do hope to see more original films in the future.