Over the past few years, a good number of classic movie franchises have churned out brand new installments after long hiatuses. Typically, I am stoked for these blockbusters when I first hear about them, but the excitement wears off once I find out that they have been edited and watered down to appeal to a more mainstream audience.
An example would be the upcoming film “Terminator: Salvation” starring Christian Bale. I am a huge fan of the Terminator franchise and there hasn’t been a Terminator film since the Governator was the star, so hearing the news about its release was a joyous occasion…until I found out it was going to be rated PG-13. I am not sure whether it was the studio’s fault or a member of the production crew, but someone actually decided to change the rating from R to PG-13 specifically to appeal to a wider audience and make more money.
The Terminator franchise is famous for being gritty and violent and it seems like the new movie will not be capable of sticking to its roots (besides the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is not in it).
This same phenomena has happened with other franchises, including last year’s “Live Free and Die Hard” and the 2004’s dreadful, “Alien vs. Predator.” Clearly the AVP producers realized their mistake and attempted to make another installment in 2007. Ironically, the fact that it’s rated R was actually promoted in the advertisements.
With all of these franchises, fans basically expect a shot of adrenaline. When studios decide to make them generic and mainstream, just to make a few bucks, viewers are not getting what they paid for.
It is understandable that movie makers are going to want extra money, but it seems like in doing so, the artistic spirit that made these classic productions popular in the first place has been lost. I think that all three of these productions should have remained trilogies.
Thankfully, directors with cajones still exist. Zach Snyder has made a killing at the box office with violent, high-budget comic book movies. His film “Watchmen,” which came out last March, told a brutal, nihilistic story and was produced in that manner.
I think the best movies are the ones that do something bold, not the ones that leave viewers wanting more.