Prequels, sequels, adaptations, oh my!

Riley Shankman, asst. opinions editor

I’ve always loved watching movie trailers that played before a movie began. I never cared how long they lasted or how they confused my young brain; the trailers astonished me, blowing me away with the amount of effort and creativity put into new movies.

The smell of buttery popcorn filled the cold, dark movie theater as I marveled at the small glimpses of the innovation coming on the big screen. There was always something new to be shocked by: a new franchise, a new form of animation, or something completely out-of-the- box that no one had ever seen before. Hollywood had a  unique way of creating original and groundbreaking films such as Toy Story, the first computer-generated film created by Pixar, or Avatar, the James Cameron movie that used groundbreaking CGI technology to create an entirely fleshed out and new planet. 

 Yet, this past year as I sat in a cushioned leather chair with popcorn and soda in hand, I watched the trailers and  I felt nothing. I waited for the innovation and originality that  I had always adored in the past as I watched the trailers for sequels, prequels, and everything in between. These movies lacked the novelty that I had always seen the entertainment industry achieved in the past.

The most advertised movies of the year have been sequels, adaptations, or just unoriginal concepts and overplayed cliches. Movies like Where the Crawdads Sing, Top Gun: Maverick, or Elvis, were great movies, but they lacked creativity, and the concept driving the movies had already been done time and time again. 

Walking out of the theater, I had thoroughly enjoyed  Top Gun: Maverick, because while it lacked ingenuity, the movie was engaging and heart-warming. Recently, I have noticed some of the most anticipated movies of the year are adaptations. While these movies were enjoyable, they ruin the innovation that Hollywood thrives on through their repetitive plots and themes.  

Innovation is the keystone to what made the entertainment industry the dazzling success it’s become today. Creativity in filmmaking has led to some of the most successful films produced, such as La La Land.  These movies were so successful due to their originality. They turned audiences’ heads and opened their eyes to new breakthroughs in Hollywood. 

As the year progresses, there are many promising new releases such as The Gray Man or The Invitation. These movies possess unique concepts that will hopefully begin to bring back the old novelty that had made the silver screen so successful in the past. 

I look forward to the next time I sit in the old cushion chairs at the movie theater and feel the same dazzling wonder from new ideas brought to the big screen.