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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Revive these genres!

    Justyn DillinghamEditor-in-Chief
    Justyn Dillingham

    The last few years have seen the revival of a number of classic movie genres that any sane moviegoer could have sworn would be buried forever.

    Who would have imagined, after Roman Polanski’s deservedly forgotten 1986 “”Pirates,”” that a movie about pirates could make money? Who would have thought, after “”Batman and Robin”” and “”Superman IV: The Quest for Peace,”” that any producer would give the world’s most famous superheroes the time of day?

    But the latest pirate and superhero movies are, respectively, the two biggest box office hits of the season. Even that Al Gore movie, of the long-defunct “”Al Gore movie”” genre, made a few bucks.

    If there’s one thing we know about Hollywood, it’s that it never fails to capitalize on a trend. There must be some other long-dead genres that are aching to be revived. For starters:

    Westerns: It may well be that modern audiences are too jaded to accept “”Old West””-type movies, with the usual cast of characters: the sheriff, cattle rustlers, the town drunk and a sarcastic bartender who says things like, “”If I were you, son, I’d get out of town fast.”” But then again, maybe they’re not. After all, people still go see movies like “”The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.””

    Non-Broadway musicals: The only musicals that get made now are glitzy productions based on shows like “”Chicago.”” In the old days, musicals were just like any other movie, except that the characters frequently burst into song. For instance, if my life were a musical, I’d be looking up from my keyboard right now, gazing into the camera and crooning “”I’d Better Finish This Article Soon…””

    Private eye movies: Maybe “”Law and Order”” and its 11,002 spin-offs have dampened the public’s enthusiasm for movies where a sullen maverick in a dirty trench coat solves the case by slyly intoning, “”Oh, just one more question …”” or shoving a gangster up against a wall and snarling, “”Now it’s time to talk, see?”” Which brings us to our next genre…

    Sherlock Holmes movies: The world’s most famous detective appeared in dozens of movies up until the 1970s, but he hasn’t made a theatrical appearance since 1985’s “”Young Sherlock Holmes.”” Surely Johnny Depp has thought of tackling the part; it’s about the only role he hasn’t played yet.

    Silent movies: Did you ever wish some current stars would just shut up for a while? Maybe it’s time to revive the great, lost art of the 20th century: movies where emotion is conveyed entirely by making weird faces and gasping a lot.

    Car chase movies: Movies that consist largely of very long car chases. Required by law to include the scene where two cars speed around a corner and knock over a fruit stand, sending oranges flying all over the street.

    Elvis movies: Sure, Elvis is probably dead, but there’s no reason you can’t revive the basic concept: a well-known personality playing a ski instructor, a race-car driver, a spy, or a fun-loving G.I. and singing a succession of terrible songs on the order of “”Do the Clam.”” Based on his recent box office success, I nominate Al Gore.

    The cartoon before the movie: Moviegoers in the old days got to see a Bugs Bunny cartoon before the feature. We get 20 previews and a reminder to visit the lobby. Progress isn’t always good.

    There are certainly other genres worth reviving, such as movies where explorers discover a lost continent filled with cranky dinosaurs, movies about wisecracking World War II generals and “”comedies”” where the lines and situations are actually funny, but these are a start. With a little luck, Hollywood might even last until the end of the summer.

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