I was originally planning to come on here and do a post about the new Ghostbusters film trailer that just dropped and how fucking terrible that looks, but as I looked at the ratings of that video and the comments, I realized something – I am in some kind of minority here and it boggles my mind as to why. A few months back, I was invited to a birthday party for a dear Navy friend. The event was being hosted on base, so we had to carpool because I don’t have a pass to get on base. It was a great time, but on the way there I remember talking about the trailer for Disney’s latest soulless “live-action” cash-grab Lion King remake. The person in the car was so excited to see it. That was when I said this line – I am so done with nostalgia culture! At the time, that was just me registering my thoughts, but the longer this goes on, the more I am really feeling like there is something worth talking about in respect to this.
Do you like Stranger Things? Well, yeah. At least the first season. Before its head went up its own navel with awful meta humor that leaned SO heavily on the nostalgia for the 80’s. There was a great review by Red Letter Media for some film that was big on the nostalgia, and they said it best – this was cool for a while, but now it’s played out. For a bit the nostalgia was a good angle, but now they’ve driven it into the ground. For the latest Ghostbusters film, it seems like they decided to just riff on nostalgia, and who better to cast for such a thing than one of the Stranger Things actors? Ugh.
Why is that trailer so liked? Is it because the 2016 Ghostbusters film was so terrible that they are trying to latch on to something? Speaking of that terrible movie, it seems that Hollywood didn’t learn the right lesson from that movie, and instead of making an actually funny comedy, they decided that they are going to take this film entirely seriously and make it all dark. Instead of it being a deadpan comedy about shlubby exterminators who catch ghosts, it’s a story about a kid moving to small town America. What…? But it has the Ecto-1! Doesn’t that get you going?!
Why am I the only one who sees how played out nostalgia is?! I can’t be. There must be others out there who are as sick of watching Hollywood desperately trot out every single franchise that they can find, no matter how much it’s faded into obscurity and make a worse version of it. They just did that with Predator, and it won’t die there. They are remaking the original Alien, and since 20th Century Fox is owned by Disney now, not only will the film not have ANY of the trademark visceral violence of the original, but it also will have a female lead who is faux-strong, played by a woman who is expressionless and cannot act her way out of a paper bag. The tragic irony is that the original portrayal of Ripley was genuinely strong, without the need to pat themselves on the back for it. They just wrote a good character. No mainstream film company knows how to do that anymore. After all, can’t be too “woke.” Then the film might not play in China.
Bob Iger recently said something that confirms my suspicions. He said that if you don’t keep a franchise going, no matter how bad it is, it will disappear from the public consciousness. Meaning that you can’t make money off it. That’s why they are ending everything to do with the original Star Wars films with this next one. No matter how bad the ending is, they already know they are alienating the fanbase and they want to try and find a new one. For the first time in forever, Disney isn’t feeding us shtick. That was a genuine thing. Run a fanbase into the ground, then dump them and try to find a new one. I’d call it ambitious, but in reality, it’s because Disney realizes that Star Wars isn’t connecting with kids they way Marvel did, so they want to make something new with none of the original fanbase connected. Red Letter Media did a great breakdown of this too in a video where Scientist Man explains how to save the franchise. Except, instead of trying to appeal to the die-hard fans, Disney now wants to completely divorce them and try and get the average moviegoer back. That’s kind of impressive in how stupid it is.
Which means that mainstream Hollywood, which is pretty much just Disney at this point, is just gonna take every old franchise that they have in their license and stuff it down the dumb-shit public’s throat until they won’t go see it anymore. Which, given how people keep shelling out money for this crap, will never happen. After all, parents with their stupid kids will never not exist, and as such there will be some other fanbase that they can shit on with them being thankful for it. The trailer for the new Ghostbusters film is proof. It looks like shit. That looks like a bland, mediocre sequel riffing on nostalgia.
Does it end? That’s my question. What has to be done for it to end? I suppose the simplest solution would be for people to stop seeing this crap. But that won’t happen. Even if the ENTIRE American theater-going audience fell out, Disney and the other companies will still have China, who is arguably a bigger market because they pack cinemas for mediocre action films. When you see the later Transformers sequels, you realize that Michael Bay wasn’t making those films for us. They were made for Chinese audiences. That’s why they all have a huge part of the plot take place in China. It’s so blatant that it’s kind of funny.
Meanwhile, Disney has a new streaming service, so they can market their cheap crap to people with a format that they can pay money for every month. A simple scam to get people who eat this crap up to give them a non-stop drip feed of money. Sure, there’s The Mandalorian, which is now the most meme-d series ever, but meanwhile you have a terrible “live-action” Lady and the Tramp series. What’s more, Disney is aware of the scam, because they aren’t releasing these series as a season that people can digest. Because they know what would happen – people would just do a trial for their service and then discontinue it once they had binged the entire season.
I can’t do it. I’m so disenfrachised with pretty much everything that comes out of Hollywood. Gaming has had this problem for a while, but then you see companies like Sony take some huge risks and make back massive profits from people who wanted something new. Why do people want more of the same nostalgia-pandering shit?! Does their life suck so much that they would rather cloak themselves in the happy childhood feels until they can’t hide behind it anymore? Until they are forced out from their pillow fort to face reality? I guess I shouldn’t be so down on people who want to do that. Life does suck, after all. But to me, I see the great screenplays for interesting concepts that are not being made. There could be another greatest science fiction film that was never made, like Jodorowsky’s Dune. Great documentary, which makes me hate the studios more than I already do.
Until next time, a quote,
“Fact: Wearily on I go, pain and misery my only companions. And vast intelligence, of course. And infinite sorrow. I despise you all.” – HK-47, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic