Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

By James Bradley


As teenage girls across the world quiver in anticipation of seeing the latest movie in the Twilight saga, many are left wondering why?

New Moon is the second high budget movie based on the best selling novels of Stephenie Meyer. And another in a long line of movies which have little originality about them.

Some of the largest movies over the last few years have been based on novels: Lord of the Rings; Harry Potter and even Bridget’s Jones’s Diary. Whilst some were just simple sequels and remakes, such as the two Spiderman sequels and a third one planned.

Sometimes they get really ridiculous and you end up with a prequel which is actually a reboot of the original. Whilst still containing characters from original continuity – thank you star trek for blowing my mind.

But why has Hollywood started churning out movies with plots and themes which have been used a thousand times before?

Could it be the feeling of security that comes from the familiar? Watching movies with no new plots and familiar characters would be comforting to modern man, when everything else is changing five times a day.

Or is there an ulterior motive? And the only reason these movies are released is to draw in as much money as possible. And the easy way of doing this is by rehashing old ideas and getting them out fast. This could be a reason according to Maria Panayi of Stripe Communications, a marketing firm based in Edinburgh.

She said: “Movie producers like to strike while the iron is hot and ride the crest of a wave, so to speak. Improvements in digital technology mean that a product can be turned around within a short time frame, and this meets the demand for instant gratification.

“In terms of marketing and PR, by adding another layer to a product, such as a sequel, it means it can be marketed as a package and has a longer lasting shelf life.”

Which does kind of paint the picture of movie goers as some kind of addicts who need to get their fix of CGI goodness and predictable plotlines.

The latest Indiana Jones movie seems to be proof of this, a movie which took almost $800 million since its release, but has almost been universally panned by critics.

Of course there is one last reason which may be behind all of this. It could be that the writers have run out of ideas.

It could be that there’s only so much you can do with a brave hero and his plucky female sidekick before it starts to get samey. And there’s only so many ways for a lone woman to take down the nest of face eating crab men whilst swearing a lot.

So how are we going to inspire a new generation of writers to create cinematic masterpieces?

Certainly not by having a sequel for every film ever made, and not just taking old ideas and flipping them about. And definitley not by having Matthew McConaughey playing the same character in every movie he makes. Someone has to tell him that he is just repeating the same movie over and over. I don’t care how big your abs are – that’s no excuse for poor judgement.

But hey, could be worse. At least they aren’t remaking Clash of the Titans.

Wait? What do you mean they are…