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Are We Suffering Origin Story Fatigue?

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  • by Bloodwine77 (913355) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:13AM (#35868334)
    I like to fill in the blanks with my imagination. I hate overzealous exposition. I am not saying that I dislike story development or lore, but I do not need or want everything spoonfed to me.
    • Isn't that basically what it boils down to? A franchise has an established fan base, a successful film means that the formula works, the director / cast combination works etc. etc. Couple that with a PG13 rating and you've got a money maker. Sadly we're in the minority regarding spoon feeding, people like that - they like (at its most basic) being told what to do, to have a leader figure no matter how abstract that figure is. I find that there are few franchises that really require sequels, and even fewer r
      • by GooberToo (74388)

        I find that there are few franchises that really require sequels, and even fewer require prequels

        Seems you're not alone. [youtube.com]

        I'm quietly glad for example that District 9 and Cloverfield haven't been turned into giant cash cows.

        Except Cloverfield is a classic example of shitty storytelling. And last I heard, there was a strong desire to do a sequel to District 9. The ending was specifically left open ended so as to allow for it; assuming it made some money.

        • by asdf7890 (1518587)
          There is also due to be a Cloverfield 2, apparently. http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/820796/cloverfield_2_still_on_the_cards.html [denofgeek.com]
          • by GooberToo (74388)

            Eeek. There should be some kind of trivial punishment for ruining someone's day like that.

        • The story wasn't all that impressive, but it's the best 'shakey cam' movie I've seen. I think part of it is that I'm an FPS and survival horror fan, so when I see a film that really draws those two genres together... into a film, it has a certain resonance with me.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            >The story wasn't all that impressive, but it's the best 'shakey cam' movie I've seen.

            That's sort of like saying: "There was lots of pain and bleeding, but it's the best jailhouse anal rape I've received."

          • by GooberToo (74388)

            I'm confused. Did you enjoy the story or the act of telling the story? It sounds like the later. My beef is with the former. I have absolutely no problem with stylized storytelling - but you must have a story regardless. The story there - sucked; and failed to deliver. Sadly, that's JJ's calling card - lots of hype, generally excellent concept, and failure to deliver.

            • Yep you're right - it's actually kind of like Half-Life (which for some reason I find Cloverfield similar to). The story in HL is really, really simple and can be summarised as "government do silly experiment that may or may not have been sabotaged that opens portals to an alien dimension", but the execution draws you in. For me watching Cloverfield wasn't so much about deep and involved characters with dramatic back story; it was about a group of students caught in their own little apocalypse and their des
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by medcalf (68293)
        I would amend that slightly. People like being told what to do, but they like thinking that they are unique, creative individuals, responsible for themselves, and not needing or wanting to be told what to do. In other words, yes, most people want to be sheep, but they also want to see themselves as sheepdogs.
        • The way I see it there's two possible reasons for this:

          1) We're wired up to be like that, to obey the leader, or perhaps a little less insidiously - to respect those we admire. But in todays society we all like to think we're pretty little flowers. So the trick is to pamper to the high order brain functions, while secretly targeting our inert need to follow.

          2) We're all just lazy slobs.
      • Re:Playing it safe (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:13PM (#35869196)

        Remember, a movie's sole purpose is to put asses in seats. Sure there's some kinds of asses they'd prefer over others, but in general, a movie that makes people feel smart (spoon feeding them until they can draw their own conclusion) will appeal to the masses, as are the ones that provide relief from the world for a couple of hours, hence the summer blockbuster.

        The origin story attempts to put nostalgic asses in seats, by appealing to people's childhood days when they read the comics or other such things. And for recent franchises (e.g., video games), it's meant to appeal to those who want a deeper backstory.

        It's all about putting asses in seats. And those asses are getting extremely tight these days, so filmmakers are trying to appeal to different groups of asses to get them to spend money. Broadening the market, really.

        • by chispito (1870390)

          Remember, a movie's sole purpose is to put asses in seats.

          There is also a smaller set of films that get made as director ego or studio prestige films. You know, audiences-be-damned Oscar bait.

    • Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha!

      The Killing Joker

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      I don't mind lots and lots of details, if the details make sense in the context of the movie's universe. What bugs me is when the details don't make sense and "explanations" just end up ruining the suspension of disbelief.

      Then there's the outright spoonfeeding of things that are going on in the movie. I've heard more than a few people here in Sweden wonder if the average Hollywood movie could be an indication of there being some truth behind the "dumb american" stereotype...

      • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:46AM (#35868738)

        could be an indication of there being some truth behind the "dumb american" stereotype...

        Its one of those stereotypes which also happens to be true. Contrary to political correctness stupidity, just because its a stereotype doesn't mean its not true. The average American is pretty dumb. At one point in time, there was even an official, unofficial list of words which were to be used for TV and movies; otherwise Americans wouldn't understand it. Even worse, Americans would get angry as they felt like the writers were making them feel stupid.

        To be clear, that's the average American, not all Americans. Sadly, the average American is dumber than a bag of hammers; and even worse, proud of it!

        • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:29PM (#35869520) Homepage

          I think it's apt to argue that the average *person* is dumb. I've met dumb people from all countries and walks of life. Even more broadly, nearly everyone is dumb (and I include myself in that number, you too, no insult intended) about some things. I don't think it's at all arrogant to call myself fairly smart and well educated. I'm echoing an opinion expressed to me by others whose own opinion I respect. On the other hand I know quite well that my skill in many practical areas of life are rudimentary at best.

          My mother in law is a quite a brilliant engineer and a fair visual artist, but her ability to understand literature (whether books or performances) beyond "see spot run" in abysmal. She asked me at the end of "le Mis" why Javert killed himself. She read the "Left Behind" books, not becasue she's a religious nut case, but becasue the story really engrossed her. She actually missed the entire subtext of "This is a right wing Christian fantasy fulfillment novel" until I pointed it out to her. My own mother is nearly the opposite, having no trouble with film or literature, but unable to understand more than basic math without a 20 minute explanation. Everyone is dumb about something. Most people are at least moderately smart about somethings.

        • by SilentStaid (1474575) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:37PM (#35869684)
          FTFY:

          To be clear, that's the average person, not all people. Sadly, the average person is dumber than a bag of hammers; and even worse, proud of it!

          Seriously, let's not be so ignorant as to pretend that any large sampling of people based on nationality will be anything other than average.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          Many are voters. So the options are help make them wiser, exploit them, or live with the consequences.

          I see a fair number especially at the top have taken the #2 option.

          I believe there are very many voters out there who see people like Sarah Palin and say "hey she's like me, so I'd vote for her!".

          How voters would go "Hey that person has integrity, is smarter and wiser than me, and so should get my vote".
        • by chispito (1870390)
          Yes, people can be stupid. The problem is that if you don't see the stupidity in your own culture, you're ignorant. If you see it in other cultures, you're, what, racist?
        • I'm not sure that's correct; see here [wikimedia.org] for a global Q distribution chart. As one might expect given the cultural and racial diversity of the US, the average IQ is ~100, according to that 2006 data.
      • by MaWeiTao (908546)

        I'd argue that it's people in the movie industry who are stupid. Because they don't get it they expect that the movie-going public doesn't get it either. And to that end movies depict what people in Hollywood think Americans are like, not what they're actually like. But I have noticed that people in other countries seem to buy into the stereotypes depicted in movies.

        That's not to say there aren't a lot of stupid people out there.

      • by asdf7890 (1518587)

        I've heard more than a few people here in Sweden wonder if the average Hollywood movie could be an indication of there being some truth behind the "dumb american" stereotype...

        It isn't just the yanks (though their population size means that the lower intelligence percentiles cover a large number of people over there). Most movies, especially the average summer blockbuster, aim for the largest market possible and that means not confusing the idiots too much or they might not come back for your next movie.

      • by travdaddy (527149)
        I've heard more than a few people here in Sweden wonder if the average Hollywood movie could be an indication of there being some truth behind the "dumb american" stereotype...

        Strangely enough, here in the US, I haven't heard anyone at all wonder anything at all about what the average Swedish movie indicates... because they haven't seen one. It's almost as if those brilliant Swedish filmmakers cannot attract a global audience.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      I liked the way the Watchmen did it. It started out with the characters in place and we only learned of their origins (not even all of them) through their own flashbacks with their own voice-overs. We never learn how much of what we're seeing is real and how much is their own self-serving version of their origins. It was not only simple and effective, it also gave a lot of insight into how these superheroes saw themselves.

      • by asdf7890 (1518587)
        You can thank the source material for a lot of that though - they intentionally kept very close to that in both tone and detail.
    • by jitterman (987991)
      Ah, Mr. Lucas could have learned something valuable from you. What you've mentioned are some of the contributing factors that made his prequel films so horrid.
    • by tixxit (1107127)
      The problem is that the origin story usually has fairly little to do with the main plot (at least after the first movie or whatever). The show "Heroes" actually suffered from this. The producers thought that people liked origin stories, so in Season 3 (I think) they introduced a LOT of new characters with new origins. The story suffered greatly (lots of little threads, but with very little happening each episode). The season tanked as people didn't want to watch Season 1 again. The producers back tracked fo
    • by houghi (78078)

      That is why I disliked LotR. I had read the book already so I knew that they would trow the ring in mount Doom in the end.

      Oh, sorry: Spoiler alert above.

      (And yes, this was sarcasm)

  • We've answered this dozens of times already. There's no money in creating new stories when people will pay to see what they already know, no matter how bad/bland it is.
    • Maybe they were going for ironic? Blo

    • by Hatta (162192)

      So then, are we suffering from origin story fatigue fatigue?

    • Who says the remakes have to be bad/bland? The new Batman movies were IMO much better than the 90s movies. I also think that The Green Hornet might be my favourite movie so far this year.

      I've just looked up more info on the Spiderman reboot I'd heard about, and I see it's going to be directed by the guy that did 500 Days of Summer. That film was rather unique IMO, I'm looking forward to see what the guy can do with Spiderman (who has always been my favourite superhero).

    • No, there is money in creating new stories, and it happens all the time. But there are hundreds if not thousands of new stories every year, and the movie studios buy hundreds of these scripts every year, and most of the time it's a guessing game as to which script will be a money maker, and which will bomb terribly.

      They take chances on a small number of new stories, and some of them might make money.

      Even the franchise movies sometimes fail, but the chances are higher that they won't. It's a simple m
    • by nabsltd (1313397)

      There's no money in creating new stories when people will pay to see what they already know, no matter how bad/bland it is.

      Mostly, reboots are either to fix a franchise that became broken (e.g., Batman) or about not having enough money to continue paying the actors in a successful franchise. The relative failure of the third movie and the "origins" concept, plus the large cast means that for X-Men, the reboot is probably for both reasons,.

      Even if the actors aren't too expensive, some just want to move on, and another thing the '90s Batman films showed was that you really need actor continuity (although audiences will generally

  • From third-grade science-fair pinhole camera to photojournalist and Superman's friend. The story you never knew.

    • by JamesP (688957)

      I always wanted to know the past history of Jar-Jar-Binks

      NOT

      • by ifrag (984323)
        Unless his origin story is that a time travelling assassin kills him before he can appear in any of the films. I suppose a separate film is not needed, episode 1-3 could simply be edited. That's edit / re-release model is more familiar ground for him.
  • Origin? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:21AM (#35868428)

    Hallowed are the Ori

  • Spiderman (Score:5, Insightful)

    by just_another_sean (919159) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:21AM (#35868430) Homepage Journal

    All I know is if I have to sit through Peter Parker getting bit by a radioactive spider one more time, well, I'm just not going to do it. My understanding is that the next Spiderman movie is a reboot; here's hoping they "cut to the chase".

    • Re:Spiderman (Score:5, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:31AM (#35868560)

      Yeah, but this time he'll be all emo and brooding after he gets bit. The demographics for the teenage girl market necessitated it. Product placement also requires that the spider infect him with a strong thirst for refreshing Coca-Cola.

    • Re:Spiderman (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail.cCOBOLom minus language> on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:33AM (#35868584) Journal

      It's a genetically engineered spider now, because genetic engineering is the new Hardly Understood Mystery Force that Might Give You Super-Powers. Radiation went out of style in the early 90s.

      • by Zenaku (821866)

        Yes but after recent events in Japan, it could make a come back. After seeing the massive and ongoing media reaction to that disaster, I actually wondered to myself whether or not Spiderman's origin story would flip back to using a radiated spider.

        Yes, my priorities are fucked up. I'm okay with that.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      For well established franchises, I really don't get the point of doing the origins again. However for ones that are less known in the mainstream like Hellboy was, I think it makes sense. But it also depends how much there is to it, Spiderman doesn't deserve any origins more than a very quick bit, radioactive, spider, because quite frankly his origin sucked.

  • If everyone knows the origin story, I tend to have more respect for the films that just gloss over the origin and move on the the main plot. Both The Incredible Hulk and Superman Returns did this fairly well; they just accepted that these characters were known and understood by audiences as part of western culture. Now, if your whole goal is to reset and alter/update the origin, such as was done with the Batman reboot or the Spiderman franchise, then sure, go do your storytelling best. But otherwise it j
    • If everyone knows the origin story, I tend to have more respect for the films that just gloss over the origin and move on the the main plot. Both The Incredible Hulk and Superman Returns did this fairly well; they just accepted that these characters were known and understood by audiences as part of western culture.

      I disagree. The origin is where the motivation behind the character lies. In fact, Superman Returns being the worst superhero movie since Ang Lee's Hulk proves that point. The only reason it wasn't worse is that it was kind of a sequel to Superman II, so you could take that same world story as the background. I'll agree with you that the latest Hulk was actually pretty good, but I did feel like we lost out on character development.

      Now, if your whole goal is to reset and alter/update the origin, such as was done with the Batman reboot or the Spiderman franchise, then sure, go do your storytelling best.

      Well, if you're not doing that, why bother telling a story at all? In th

      • by jaymz666 (34050)

        Disagreed. Why doesn't every movie begin with the birth of the protagonist? Because it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Motivations can be gleaned before or during or way after the event that transforms Peter Parker into Spiderman.

        Everyone knows the basics of the Spiderman, Superman and Batman characters. A basic understanding of that is all that's really needed.

        The reason Superman Returns blew chunks was because the plot was awful, not because we didn't know the origin.

        Did we know John McClane

        • Disagreed. Why doesn't every movie begin with the birth of the protagonist? Because it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Motivations can be gleaned before or during or way after the event that transforms Peter Parker into Spiderman.

          Ah, but almost every movie does begin with the "birth" of the protagonist. Not the physical birth, but the first events that make him who he is. John McClane was a nobody until the events of the Nakatomi tower. That was the birth of the hero, not the day in the hospital when he was born. Similarly, I don't care about the day Peter Parker was literally born, but Spiderman was born when the radioactive spider bit him. You can't skip that. It's like skipping to Die Hard II. You see the reporters trying

      • by residieu (577863)

        Yes, the origin of Superman is very important to the character and the movie. Superman Returns didn't need to cover it, though, because EVERYONE KNOWS IT.

        • Yes, the origin of Superman is very important to the character and the movie. Superman Returns didn't need to cover it, though, because EVERYONE KNOWS IT.

          And if you're not going to add a new angle to it that people haven't seen, you shouldn't be making a Superman movie at all.

  • I know the guy that brings pedantic perspective to the conversation is rarely the one invited to drinks afterward, but I don't think anyone's "suffering" at the hands of repetitive character backgrounds.

    Try "bored with" or "uninspired by"...

    Suffering? Really?

  • what we need to do is look into the origins of this counterproductive preoccupation to find out how it started

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:28AM (#35868514) Journal
    Does this guy not understand how the movie business works? As soon as they find something that works, they keep doing it. They want to make money. As soon as one movie comes out that works, soon there will be a bunch of copycat movies. Like sports movies in the 90s. Or CGI movies in the previous decade.

    But it's not like the movie industry is trying to push it on us, they are content agnostic (and money religious). The only reason they do it is because it makes money. When people stop going to see them, when the movies stop making money, then the studios stop making that kind of movie.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      For God's sake, they did a REMAKE of TRUE GRIT! Apparently because John Wayne really sucked in his original (Oscar winning) performance! Yes, I'd have to say it's all about the benjamins, and not about art or originality.
    • Yep Hollywood execs are notorious for being lazy. They want to follow formulas instead of evaluating movies individually for their merit. Take for instance, Disney. Back in the 90s, Disney led a resurgence in traditional animation. Execs like Eisner felt they could keep duplicating the success by following the same formula of hiring big name actors and ignore story and plot. If it wasn't for the Pixar films, Disney Studios would have been in serious trouble. Pixar is the counter example to what Disney forgo
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:28AM (#35868524)

    Surely you're not implying that almost all major motion pictures today are remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, sequels, and adaptations?!?!?

  • Origins are easy because you can behave like your audience doesn't know who anyone is, and can thus focus more on introductions and sledgehammer subtle bits of character development rather than more subtle aspects. Even in cases where it would be difficult to find someone who is both able and willing to go to a movie, it's still easier to do an origin. And it's easier to be compelling with an origin because there's so much change happening that even a jaded viewer will at least try to follow along.

    Any hack

  • by Necron69 (35644)

    Hollywood is suffering from story writing fatigue (or good story writing fatigue). How many decades more this will continue is anyone's guess.

    As 'Avatar' proved all too well, no amount of glitzy special effects and 3-D can make up for bad writing.

    Personally, I find the superhero stuff more interesting than most Hollywood dreck, but the quality of the screenwriting and casting all too often leaves much to be desired. "Van Wilder" as the Green Lantern? Seriously??

    - Necron69

  • is to tell a good story. The concept, no matter how compelling, can't make a story. It's always just the launching pad - some have better foundations than others but the rocket can still fail spectacularly.

    The problem with origin stories is that you run the risk is violating what some fans filled in by themselves - it runs counter to their sensibilities and cherished beliefs and what they see in the character. Consider midichlorians as destroying the mysteriousness of the force and making it something ra

  • by wazzzup (172351) <astromac.fastmail@fm> on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:31AM (#35868562)

    It depends, I think the Magneto/Charles Xavier origins story can be quite interesting - far more so than Wolverine. Wolverine, while likable, is just another mutant. The X-Men universe centers around Magneto and Xavier and their backstories. Plus, the X-Men comic books have such complex and convoluted continuity issues, frankly a reboot to the beginning is needed to introduce them to a new generation. FWIW, I've never found the slutty psychic thing Emma Frost has going nearly as compelling as Charles Xavier. Then again, I think comic books hurt their own credibility when they portray female characters as they do.

    Despite, my enthusiasm for the Magneto/Xavier origins, I don't have much hope that the movie will be pulled off well though. I hope I'm surprised.

    The Spiderman reboot is completely unnecessary - especially with an Avengers movie coming out soon. It's overexposure. There are plenty of interesting characters from the Marvel universe to draw from.

    • In a similar vein, the one bright spot in the total train wreck that was the Charlize Theron version of "Aeon Flux" was when she shoots a grappling hook at the giant air ship thingy and it bounces off. It is about time that happened to someone in one of these movies.

      • In a similar vein, the one bright spot in the total train wreck that was the Charlize Theron version of "Aeon Flux"
        I assume you mean besides the obvious bright spot of Charlize Theron running around in a black catsuit.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:33AM (#35868580) Homepage

    The reason Hollywood produces stuff is because they think it will make money. Period. Any artistic value in film is purely coincidental. They've discovered that re-hashing the same old material is much cheaper and easier than doing something really new and innovative, and still sells well. Ergo they will do so whenever possible.

  • Suffering from redundancy fatigue? Read my convoluted blog post about it. Won't you?

  • Most comic movies are following a fairly safe pattern; even through all 3 movies in their trilogies (though some franchises aren't making it that far). I've gotten really bored with them.

    The Watchmen was the most original I can think of. And, the Batman reboot origin was pretty cool as well.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:43AM (#35868710) Homepage

    Part of the reason we need/end up with origin stories is the film creators are trying to cater to a wider market.

    If people didn't know who the X-Men were or how they came to be, they might not be interested in the movie. Targeting geeks who are already 'in the know' and not telling everyone else what is happening doesn't fill cinemas.

    I guess the same goes for a Spider Man origins story, though in this case it's more of a "reboot" of the series to start from scratch, sell more tickets, and try to pay big name stars even less money. Which, one might argue is a little cynical and money-grasping.

    Besides, it's not like the series reboot and fresh origin story hasn't been a staple of comics for quite some time -- it seems to me we've been through a fair number of incarnations of Spider Man and Iron Man (and Super Man and Bat Man) throughout the years.

    As long as it's a good (enough) story, and has the requisite effects, fight scenes, car wrecks, and chicks in spandex ... well, they'll probably do fine. Den of Geek comes from a certain perspective of people who would want some more "hard core comic geek" movies -- but studio execs want to maximize the number of ticket buyers.

    My sister in law or wife won't want to see some super hero movie that just jumps into the middle without an origin story.

    • by residieu (577863)

      Strangely, though. X-Men, was not an origin story of the X-Men. It gave an origin of Rogue and an origin of Wolverine as "kinda mysterious", but the rest of the X-Men were an established team, with an established villain.

      I'm mostly opposed to a new Spider-man not because I don't want to see the origin again, but because J. K. Simmons did such an awesome J Jonah Jameson and I want to see more of him. Kirsten Dunst is nice to look at too.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Strangely, though. X-Men, was not an origin story of the X-Men. It gave an origin of Rogue and an origin of Wolverine as "kinda mysterious", but the rest of the X-Men were an established team, with an established villain.

        Fair comment ... I guess they couldn't possibly hope to do the backstory of all of the X-Men, but they did need to be able to introduce them to us and they had to find a way to do that. However, short of Blade, X-Men was one of the first comic-based movies to really do well in the theaters

  • Nothing original, but it keeps paying off so studios bank on it. And why shouldn't they? As long as idiots line up to see it they have a business model.

    Where things get dark is that once you've seen the Spiderman or Batman story three or four times, you just stop going (well, one would hope, we are talking comic book geeks after all, they just have to see if "this version" is "right version"... I digress) at some point (and this may already have happened) the people who make big budget films forget how to t

  • I blame our dwindling attention span...

    It seems like folks can't remember something for more than a few minutes. How else do you explain politicians who say one thing today, deny it tomorrow, and get away with it despite piles of evidence that they actually did say it? How else do you explain CNN being able to repeat the same few stories every hour and still hold on to viewers? How else do you explain the insane popularity of things like twitter?

    Hell, TV shows have started showing "last time on..." flash

    • by jittles (1613415)

      Hell, TV shows have started showing "last time on..." flashbacks just to make sure that people remember what happened in the last episode.

      It's worse than you think. There are plenty of shows, reality and otherwise, that have a recap of what happened before the last commercial break. It drives me nuts. I can remember what was going on 5 minutes ago, thank you very much! It just makes it feel like they are trying to stretch 5 minutes worth of content into a 42 minute show!

  • I want them alive! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yaddoshi (997885) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:49AM (#35868768)
    Darth Vader was far more frightening until they showed us Anakin hitting on a girl twice his age and shouting, "Now this is Pod Racing" while attacking the Trade Federation control ship. Anakin became even more pathetic after we watched him turning into a creepy stalker teenager who used the Jedi mind trick to get Padme to like him. And the final insult - Anakin becomes a Dark Lord of the Sith so he won't get in trouble for cutting Mace Windu's hand off? Lame. Really, if Lucas had avoided giving us Vader backstory entirely, our own imaginations would have been more than sufficient at keeping Vader a truly frightening Dark Lord of the Sith, even after the helmet removal in Return of the Jedi.
    • Darth Vader was far more frightening until......

      And thus it is with all villains, they are much more scary until you see them for what they are.

  • There are many examples:
    Enterprise, Green Lantern, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, every Hulk, all 10 seasons of SmallVille.

    It seems that especially in the SF and Comicbook genre the studios feel the need to make these genesis movies.

    If they do another FF movie, let it be them fighting the Hulk or something like that. Wolverine vs. Hulk would be nice too.

    Superman should fight Brainiac or Doomsday or Darkseid. Preferably with Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League.

    Or get me an "X-men: Phoen

    • by Synn (6288)

      "all 10 seasons of SmallVille."

      LOL. I watch the show and really forgot about that. 10 years and he still hasn't learned to fly yet.

      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

        I think 'inworld' only about 6 years have passed... Either way I preferred Smallville to any of the Superman movies.

  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:56AM (#35868840) Homepage Journal

    James Bond never got an original story until 40 years after he was created, even then, it doesn't go into detail (2006 Casino Royale). Meaning we don't see him as a child, then at school, then in the Navy, then signing up for the MI6. We cut to the chase with his required double kill in the title sequence.

    That should be good enough, and it is, its great in fact, especially when there are 25 EON Bond films. Spiderman gets 3, then they want to redo the origin story again, less than 10 years to the previous trilogy? What short attention spans we have.

    Again, look at the Bond Franchise against the argument for a different actor requiring an origin story. We knew who Bond was, when Roger Moore, Dalton etc took over, just give us a new plot. The same can be done with Spiderman by carrying on from the third movie.

  • Pretty much everything has gone to glorified fan fiction. Nothing wrong with that. It employs people, it makes money,

    But that is not originality that makes long lasting art. That is the adaptation of originality to create something that is currently accesible to the masses. That is rewriting KJV into contemporary language and believing on has done something great. For a while yes, but we will alway back to the KJV.

    It kind of reminds me of good tv and bad tv. Bad tv is where we have the same charac

  • by Phoghat (1288088)

    Den Of Geek wonders why film studios aren't looking a little harder for interesting stories to tell..."

    I think there looking in all the wrong places. I have Starz, Cinemax, Showtime, Encore, TMC and HBO. I think I'm going to drop them all except Showtime and HBO because they sometimes have great ORIGINAL programming. I also find I watch IFC shows more and more, because they are ORIGINAL films. While HBO and Starz have a vested interest in GOOD shows because viewership depends on it, the IFC shows are original because so little constraint is placed on them. Note the use of the words "ORIGINAL" and "GOO

  • I've watched a number of movies lately that *could* be construed as "origin stories", but they weren't - and they were that much better for it. Let's face it, most origin stories are retreads; we already know what the end result is going to be. Sure, sometimes limits can help creativity, or really good writers can make an incredible story, with twists, that still fits into canon. But most of the time good writing and creativity get thrown out the window in favor of staying in canon (just look at the Star Wa

  • Example" "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" came out the same summer. Each studio heard the other was doing a "rock from outer space" movie, so, they had to do the same movie.

    Then there was "Red Planet" and that other Mars movie (can't remember the title, but they were both out same summer and both sucked).

    When Dreamworks heard that Pixar was doing "Bugs", they came out with "Ants" -- they aren't even copycat films, they are productions that are literally greenlighted because of the other guy's PRESS RELEASE, b

  • It is obvious that questions about this topic should be asked twice every year for the indefinite future in order that we can ponder the need for such.
  • when they run out of ideas on how to take a character/franchise forward, the only two options are a reboot or to take it backward. So this really comes as no surprise. Yes, they've ran out of material.

  • They've pushed so hard to make Copyright law so strong in order to enforce their monopolies forever on their own content that they've excluded themselves from being able to get a hold of new content at reasonable prices in reasonable time frames, thus inhibiting their ability to make new works. Ironic, no?

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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