There’s a movie coming out this Friday called Need For Speed. It stars Aaron Paul as a street racer. I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t a movie about street racing just come out last week? And the week before that? And the week before that? And every other week in the history of movie-making? It really feels like it, doesn’t it?
Of course, racing isn’t the only thing Hollywood is obsessed with making movies about. There are plenty of other topics filmmakers just can’t quit. You know what I’m talking about. You’re watching TV and suddenly you see a trailer for a movie that looks identical to one you saw a few months ago, yet there are different actors and it has a different title this time. But we keep seeing them, so Hollywood figures we just really like cars. Or planes. Or Madea. Or any of the other things I’m about to list. Anyone else going through serious originality withdrawal?
Examples: Fast and the Furious (all of them), Need For Speed, Drive, Cars, Talladega Nights, Herbie: Fully Loaded
There’s only so much driving you can watch before you can’t stand to look at a steering wheel anymore. On top of that, even the movies that aren’t directly about cars usually have at least one car chase. I’ve lost count of how many movie characters should have their licenses taken away.
Examples: Non-Stop, Flightplan, Snakes on a Plane, Red Eye, Flight
If movie characters aren’t driving cars erratically, odds are they’re on a plane that’s been hijacked or almost crashing or infested with reptiles. Containing an action movie on an airplane obviously sets up a lot of obstacles that can make for an interesting story, but it’s only a matter of time before we start crossing over into other genres and making romantic comedies… entirely on a plane. Or family Christmas movies… entirely on a plane.
3. Liam Neeson Being a Badass
Examples: Taken, Taken 2, The Grey, Unknown, Non-Stop
Speaking of plane movies, Liam Neeson just starred in one called Non-Stop. Speaking of non-stop things, why can’t Liam Neeson stop making movies that involve him talking menacingly into a phone or chasing someone with a gun? I’m not saying he should only play widowed fathers giving their sons love advice, but how about some variety?
4. Attacks on the White House
Examples: Independence Day, Deep Impact, White House Down, Olympus Has Fallen
Jeez, why does Hollywood hate the White House so much? If it’s not getting blown up by aliens or hit by a meteor, it’s getting taken over by terrorists. Terrorists who must be fought by Channing Tatum in a tank top, damnit!
5. Creepy Horror Movie Girls
Example: The Ring, The Grudge, An American Haunting, Orphan
Girls with long stringy hair covering their faces and ghostly pale faces are no longer scary to me. It’s just become parody. Yet I feel like every other day there’s a new horror movie trailer featuring just that type of image. Can we not think of scarier things?
6. Time-Bending Romances With Rachel McAdams
Examples: The Time Traveler’s Wife, About Time, The Vow
We already have a lot of time-related romances that don’t star Rachel McAdams (The Lake House, P.S. I Love You), so it’s insane to me that she stars in more than one. She’s really cornered the market on the “girlfriend of a time-traveler” character type. Add in the “I can’t remember you, make me fall in love with you again” story (which is kind of similar), and she’s really typecast herself.
7. Extreme Actor Weight Loss
Examples: Les Miserables, Dallas Buyers Club, The Machinist, Things Fall Apart
Actors have to get that Oscar somehow. Anne Hathaway did it, Matthew McConaughey did it. I’m afraid it’s setting a precedent, as Jake Gyllenhaal is doing it now too. But it’s also been happening for years before this. If I had a dollar for every time I looked at an actor and wanted to feed them all the sandwiches, I’d be very wealthy.
Examples: The Illusionist, The Prestige, Now You See Me, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Every few years it seems we get two movies about magicians in a short span of time. In 2006 the movies were quality period pieces. In 2013 they were awful contemporary comedies. There are only so many card tricks and sawing-in-half stunts I can watch.
Examples: Do I need to list them?
You gotta give Tyler Perry credit. He’s always working. Often that involves donning a dress and glasses and saying “Hallelujer.” It’s okay to go a few months without a Madea movie, Mr. Perry. We’ll be able to live.
10. Ancient Rome and/or Greece
Examples: Gladiator, Troy, 300, 300: Rise of an Empire, Clash of the Titans, Pompeii
As soon as we got into the 21st century Hollywood was like, “SANDALS AND SLOW MOTION SWORD FIGHTS, NOW!”
11. Talking Animals
Examples: Every computer-animated movie
Look, I like a lot of talking animal movies. Finding Nemo was adorable and Happy Feet was great, and there are plenty of other good ones. But once we start getting movies like Free Birds and The Nut Job, things have gotten a little out of hand. It’s okay to make animated movies about people every once in a while too.
Examples: Just close your eyes and point to the movie listings
I’m biased here because I could not care less about superheroes, whether Marvel or DC or anything else, but how many of these do we need? I can’t keep track. There are so many sequels and spin-offs and now a TV show too?! Make it stop.