Sunday, March 21, 2010

Does Hollywood Have No Geeks?

Repo Men opened to $6.15M this week.  In the future you buy your organ replacements on credit then repo men come and cut them out of you when you miss your payments.  I know it's supposed to be allegorical, maybe they thought they were making some deep comment on our overuse of credit cards and health care issues.  But how could anyone take the story even remotely serious?

It's the latest in a list of movies released over the last 6 months that just feel to me like what somebody who has never read a comic book or played a video game imagines geeks want to watch.  If they had played it satirical like RoboCop that would've worked, but trying to play it serious?  WTF?

Daybreakers -- the entire world population is vampires but not scary vampires, instead vampires who work at Wal*Mart and are accountants and such.  Then some vampires are working on a cure.

My writing partner and I actually had an idea along these lines -- world taken over by vampires and we follow the efforts of a group of rebels trying to overthrow the vampire empire, sort of RED DAWN, but with vampires instead of Soviets.

I think Daybreakers might be the result of someone thinking that a modern vampire movie MUST have vampires as the protagonists.

Gamer -- seriously, video games where you mind-control prisoners through battles by doing Wii-style cavorting in front of a plasma screen? This is what inspired my theory that the people making the decisions have never played a video game.

on the other hand, there have been a couple solid concepts that haven't done great either --

Surrogates -- didn't do that well either (though significantly better than the others on this list), but it at least had a good premise.  In the future people stay at home and mindlink into robot bodies that go out in the world and do things. Then the hero cop has a malfunction and has to go out in person to do things, which is a lot more dangerous, of course.  A) that's plausible in that if the tech existed I can see people using the hell out of it, and B) good angle for the hero since he's especially vulnerable.

Legion -- not a unique idea in geek circles. There's been I figure at least 4 roleplaying games based on the idea of angels kicking demon ass on modern earth. But it's a good genre that hasn't really been done as a feature.  Might've been better though to make Jensen Ackles the angel and try to work a Supernatural tie-in.

I saw a recent option sale on a short story the premise of which was that in the future overpopulation has gotten so bad that the government has hit teams wander around icing couples who have a second child.  As a short story it was sharp and had some nice twists.  But as a movie it sounds like another Repo Men.

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