Summer films aren’t impressive

Bradenton Herald – Dear Hollywood,

Thanks for nothing.

Your cinematic blood, sweat and tears have lacked imagination so far this summer.

How?

“Robin Hood” — that’s been done before, at least six other times. Don’t we all know how the story goes by now? And no one steals from the rich to give to the poor anymore. They just keep it for themselves.

“The Karate Kid” — really (even if it did make a $56 million debut last weekend)? Why remake what’s already brilliant? Some may say to present it fresh to a new generation. Should we then expect a new version of both “Robin Hood” and “Karate Kid” in 2030? Classic as the films’ predecessors are, you don’t see anyone trying to freshen “Citizen Kane,” do you?

Don’t even get me started on “Marmaduke.”

I was even surprised when I heard a year ago that “The A-Team” would be reawakened from the dusty TV sets of the 1980s. Even though the campy film is getting good reviews, couldn’t Hollywood come up with something fresher? I mean did we really need a fourth “Shrek”?

Maybe the powers-that-be have all run out of original ideas.

The horror.

Well, there are probably some good ideas out there, they’re just not executed well. Not even the ones adapted from good summer reads.

Case in point: “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” I read the best-selling book and was thoroughly impressed at how funny and well-written it was.

Then I rented the movie.

It’s expected that a film will never equal the brilliance of the book. Yet even with this in mind, the film version of “Shopaholic” was a complete washout. I found myself saying — all too often — “That’s not how it’s supposed to happen.”

But there’s still a chance for Hollywood to redeem itself this summer. Especially after the whole “Sex In the City 2” debacle.

There’s actually a couple of films I’m looking forward to. Namely, the mythical “The Last Airbender” and the August release of “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. Also, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” seems like it will be a cult teen classic if it plays out as good as the previews look. Plus, July’s “Ramona and Beezus” might be a favorite with the kids — and, hopefully, it won’t be as cheesy as “Marmaduke” looks.

published June 20, 2010

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