Special Feature:

Article from Issue #035

Top 5 Overexposed Genres

[Keep up with the "Special Feature" column and Christian Fannin will sit you on his lap and talk to you about whatever movie-related topic he feels like.]

We've been flooded with too many similar movies so I've compiled a list of the genres that need a break. These are the types of movies that need to sit on the shelf for a while until all the copycat energy has left Hollywood and then they can come back out to play. These are not bad genres, just overexposed to the point of lacking any originality. Each successive movie preys on the gimmicks of it's predecessors and has become all about making money off of familiarity. Of course there are always exceptions that pop up here and there and that is accounted for when ranking the Top 5 Overexposed Genres.

Harvey Milk and Freddy Mercury

5. Biopic

Walk the Line / Milk / Freddy Mercury

The biopic used to be reserved for greats like Ghandi, Lincoln, and Jesus Christ. Now we have Ray Charles, Harvey Milk, and Freddy Mercury. Let's brush these under the rug for a little bit and come back to them when we remember what makes an icon. Not only that, but everyone's so concerned with being 100% accurate that it takes the fun out of movies. Yes, I love Johnny Cash's music and appreciate the effort of learning to play guitar and singing like The Man in Black but his life does not make for a happy movie experience. It wouldn't hurt to cut back on some of the misery and focus more on the rise of the legend. Complete accuracy should be saved for the documentaries.

Ghost Rider and Spider-Man

4. Comic Book Adaptations

The Amazing Spider-Man / Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance / The Green Lantern

The Green Lantern, Wolverine, Daredevil, Hulk, Superman, Fantastic Four, I could go on and on. Don't believe me? Catwoman, Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, 27 different versions of The Punisher. And those are just the sucky ones. The first X-Men and Spider-Man haven't held up too well but I'm more disappointed that the new Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) looks like he has down syndrome. If it wasn't for Marvel's extreme turnaround lately ('Iron Man' / 'The Avengers') this would soar to #1 on the list. I am also a noted anti-fan of the Nolan Batman movies but I won't even go there. All I'm saying is 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' put Sean Connery into retirement and that's film blasphemy.

Dark Shadows and Alice in Wonderland

3. Tim Burton

Alice in Wonderland / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Dark Shadows

Yes, Tim Burton has become his own genre. His movies used to be pretty good, some were even great ('Edward Scissorhands' / 'Pee-Wee's Big Adventure' / 'Big Fish'), but now they suck. All of them. Now I know it looks like Johnny Depp is just as much to blame but he still makes good movies on the side ('Pirates of the Caribbean'). Tim Burton needs to take a break and get his "quirkiness" under control because shoving it down our throats is wrong and he's entirely unoriginal. But it's not one bad movie that makes you suck, it's 'Sweeny Todd', 'The Corpse Bride', 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', and 'Alice in Wonderland' all in the last decade. Did I even get to rant about the REMAKE of 'Planet of the Apes'?

Chronicle and Project X

2. Found Footage

Apollo 18 / Project X (2012) / Chronicle

I actually like the idea of found footage being a new subgenre. It goes beyond the gimmick and immerses the audience in the movie's environment but can very easily go wrong. Count me as one who enjoyed 'Paranormal Activity' (and even 'The Last Exorcism') but it's spawned 'Paranormal Entity' and 'Abnormal Activity'. Really? That's embarrassing. You can't help the ripoffs and found footage has worked as horror in the past but now it's coming to superhero movies and teen comedies. That's just lazy filmmaking. It's become a mask for amateur directors that don't know how to direct and have no clue what cinematography is. Go make a real movie, not a home movie.

Men in Black 3 and 21 Jump Street

1. Sequels / Reboots

All of the Top 10 Highest-Grossing Movies of 2011

This is unreal. Every single one of last year's highest-grossing movies was a reboot or sequel. Like Tim Burton, it has to be it's own genre now and it even affects the rest of the genres on our list. Some franchises goes as far as to get both a sequel and a reboot within just a couple of years of each other. Soon, we'll have sequels before the original comes out and reboots of movies that haven't been made yet. Can we go ahead and lump in 3D movies? They're all about "what's going to pop out at me?" rather than plot which makes it a new genre too. Luckily, 2012 is looking a little better in some ways and I hope that next year we can have a totally fresh list.

Don't hesitate to tell Christian what you think of his column and suggest a topic by e-mailing him at: christian@cineweekly.com

- Christian Fannin -
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