Friday, 21 March 2014

Hollywood Babble On & On #1130: Aiming In The Wrong Direction...


If there was one thing I cannot stand about the Baby Boom generation is their irrational nostalgia for everything about the 1960s. If all you know of history is what you've been told by Baby Boomers you'd think that the 1960s witnessed the invention, by them, of sex, rebellion, pacifism, and the idea of equality under the law.

As a member of the so-called Generation X I was driven almost to drink by the Baby Boomers obsession for all things that happened within their lifetime. As I witnessed a parade of movies based on 1960s TV shows I swore that I would never try to cram my childhood down the throats of those who come after me.

Sadly, I appear to be the only one of my generation to have the self-awareness to make such an oath.

A bunch of folks who should know better have announced that they're making a big-budget live action movie based on the Saturday morning toy commercial cartoon Jem & The Holograms.

Since the show hasn't aired on regular TV since the end of its 3 season run in 1988 I'll give you a quick primer.

Toy maker Hasbro contracted an advertising agency to construct an animated show around their new series of rock-star themed fashion dolls. The show that was created was about a teenage music mogul who used her late father's hologram technology to create a new identity as a pop-star to keep that technology out of the wrong hands. Personally, I'm assuming giving any technology to a pop star is putting it in the wrong hands, they're not known for their rationality.

Anyway, most episodes revolved around Jem dodging attempts by her rivals The Misfits to murder her, because the best way to go up the Billboard charts is to murder your competition.

Back to the roots of the reboot. Apparently the Jem franchise languished in a form of limbo since the late 1980s due to rights issues. However, now those issues are, as far as I know, solved, and the folks at Hasbro and Blumhouse think Gen-Xers and their kids are eager to see the return of something that really only has camp value to the culturally masochistic.

I wish someone who these people will listen to will tell them that just because some kids watched something back when all they had were 3 broadcast TV channels doesn't mean that they'll pay good money to see it now on the big screen. Especially if the see the old episodes and say: "Did I watch that piece of crap?"


Or does anyone else suspect that Muppets Most Wanted will underwhelm at the box office this weekend?

I don't really like to make predictions, but I'm not getting some serious underwhelming vibes coming off the movie. I suspect it might be coming from the ad campaign pushing the film's 2 most prominent guest stars Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais.

Tina Fey has only had a little modest success at the box office, never cracking $100 million on her own star-power, and is best known for having a TV show that only Hollywood watched.

Gervais had huge success with franchising his show The Office all over the world, but his more recent TV work has seen him become more of a cult figure among critics rather than a star with the general population, and from what I've been able to gather, he can't even crack $20 million based on his appeal. (It's tricky to gather data, because he doesn't even have his own Box Office Mojo page.)

The ads pushing them over wacky Muppet antics strikes me as trying to appeal to critics over audiences. That's a mistake, because most critics don't pay to see the movies. The ticket buying great unwashed want to see the Muppets doing silly things and singing sillier songs. They don't really care if the movie's considered "edgy" by casting critical darlings.

Then again, maybe it's just me.


UPDATE: It's apparently not just me, Muppets Most Wanted had an opening weekend down 43% from the last Muppet movie.

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