Editorial: Franchise Addiction, Movie Studio Dealers, Series Re-Visits, and Why We Need New (better) Drugs

There has been an awakening. It's a calling of sorts that is currently destroying some of the biggest and best franchise properties we've ever been privy to. And we're allowing it happen. We're addicts. All of us. 

The studios have decided to suck every ounce of blood from well respected horror stories, science fiction properties, and fantasy realms that painted our childhood daydreams with beautiful practical effects and wondrous theatrical scores. And when the well is dry, they continue to maniacally bleed our wallets with the promise that everything will be better now. It'll be okay. They promise.

They offer up a marketing narrative that we relish in. They program us through marketing and trailers. They sell us a false bill of goods. And we keep buying it. As paying customers, we allow them to keep telling us that the next one is going to take us back to the way it used to be. Like addicts, we believe what our pusher is selling us. We're crack fiends for failure. They keep promising us better drugs and we keep buying ten dollar sacks of creative hogwash that will never live up to the hype. 

This awakening has called numerous directors and creators back to projects that they've been away from for years. Is this a new thing? No. But it's something that is being perpetrated across many ongoing sagas and projects that should have died a long time ago. After fans rallied to see continuations of the Alien series, the Star Wars trilogies, and many other highly respected cinematic universes, we've found that maybe we weren't right in our hopes and dreams.

Let's sell Mom's TV for some better Alien. 

All we end up with are nightmares and the cold sweats. We may need to seek treatment. 

The things that we used do love have all been tainted by greed, too much explanation of back stories, and once respected directors that have outlived the pinnacle of their once glorious careers. The drugs are bad. 

Twenty years after the initial release of Star Wars, George Lucas decided to improve upon his classic trilogy. In an instant, he altered his beautiful creation into a series that most fans now abhor. Scenes were changed. Plot points that were crucial to the development of his characters became hampered and sucked the life out of A New Hope. The overuse of CGI mangled scenes that didn't need to be there reshaped the way that people viewed Lucas and his work. When he decided to produce a new prequel trilogy just years later, fandom revolted at the dregs of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Luckily, he made a strong comeback with Revenge of the Sith. Still though, the perception of Lucas was changed forever. Whether we're right or wrong, he should have strayed far away from touching the visionary gold of his first trilogy. Then, like the addicts we are, we're called back for a bigger dose of Star Wars that's spread out over a new three parter and a bunch of anthology films. 

In the strange case of Ridley Scott, the man needs to find a way to step back from his Alien universe. It was honestly never his toy in the first place. But with the advent of these prequels, he's explaining away too much. Some may take offense to this, but it needs to be said. Prometheus is not a great movie but it still has the DNA of Alien in many aspects. It was a nice change of pace that gave us something fresh and new to latch on to. Other than some extremely dumb choices on the part of the main characters, it's an above average science fiction spectacle with awesome sound design and picturesque landscapes. The CGI work is beautiful. Then comes Covenant, a movie which walks all over the entire legacy that's come before. If you love the movie, that's your choice and your opinion. I respect that and take solace knowing that someone finds a fair amount of entertainment value in the work Ridley did. However, it's a painstaking journey for most that trounces on the original films and gives us flute lessons with David. And now he wants to expand upon the Blade Runner universe even further? I say no. Give it to someone else. Hand it off. Move on. Alien is diseased now. 

Peter Jackson. What do we need to say here? The man gave us an absolutely epic three part series about Hobbits, Orcs, and one ring to rule them all. It was a divine directorial effort that has massive rewatch value, stunning vistas, great acting all around, and a concise delivery of three Tolkien novels. Then he turns The Hobbit (one book) into three more movies and nearly nine hours of mind numbing adventures with Bilbo Baggins. Point being, it was too much...an overdose of fantasy. 

Jabba, did you bring the drugs?

When does it stop? When do we as the paying public tell them we want new franchises? When do we stand up and say NO to Michael Bay Transformers films and The Fast and the Furious in space? Why can't the movie going public figure out that we're just as guilty as they are. We feed the Hollywood machine with our addictive behavior of continually going back to that street corner theater for another hit. 

It's time we make sure that movies like Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets gets noticed. It's high time we support the indie efforts that deserve to get noticed. It's nearly time directors like Edgar Wright and his Baby Driver have a chance to shine. We as the paying public need to demand better and we need to let them know we're fine with huge summer blockbuster franchises. But god damn it. Come up with something fresh. Change the recipe. Robots smashing robots is getting old. 

We need new drugs. Badly.