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Hollywood Cynicism: The Rise Of High-Concept Films, Sequels & Remakes

Hollywood cynicism is the phrase I’m using to describe big-budget mainstream films created purely with sales in mind not so much Hollywood putting business before arts but rather Hollywood focusing on business without regard for film as art or otherwise I think it’s important to note that mainstream Hollywood has always been an industry the film business on the mainstream level has always been focused on making money and I’m not criticizing that it is an industry after all but I’d argue that over the last 30 years or so Hollywood has become far more focused on guaranteed returns far more reverse at taking risks and much more adept and knowing what will make money Hollywood is now very good at adapting scripts or even edits of films to fit audiences and to fit demographics of course sometimes they get it wrong really wrong but I think often in the past the strategy to make a film or a franchise profitable was to make it appealing by creating a good film a film that had something to say that was genuinely entertaining and that wasn’t entirely superficial yes there were elements that were used cynically certain actors were used not necessarily because they would fit into a role but rather because they were recognizable genres were tackled because they were popular and already popular films were ripped off but still there were not so many sequels there were not so many remakes and it wasn’t necessarily just down to indie film to come up with esoteric or left of field ideas in the past yes there were big films that were calculated hits but not to the frequency we have today and those calculated films of the past were usually calculated to be both hits and artistic achievements – when I described a film as being cynical I’m not talking about the tone of the film but its reasons for existence the spirit of the film industry hasn’t necessarily changed it’s always been cynical but the way can generate films it knows will have great mass appeal and it knows could be greatly profitable has this is where the idea of high concept films come in high-concept films which emerged in the mid to late 70s a pitch driven non high concept films are execution driven the Terminator is a high concept film it can be summed up in a few words it can be sold to someone whether that be a friend or a studio executive on its pitch jaws is often credited as the first such film it used b-movie elements on a big budget to appeal to a mass audience and was tailor-made to be explainable in a few words in just its post or even the director of Jaws Steven Spielberg famously said that if a film idea can be told in 25 words or less it will probably be pretty good and that line has helped to form what we understand high concept films to be as well as being pitch driven high concept films probably have a very recognizable logo they’re probably something with an instantly recognizable main character and they usually have a fairly unique premise a fairly standard and usually not challenging execution and mass appeal it’s easy to sell high concept films that’s why they exist potential backers can understand what they’re about from a few lines in a brief synopsis potential audience members can understand what they’re about from a few seconds in a trailer we constantly hear people talk about an elevator pitch pitch me your movie in 30 seconds I want to know when your movie is about in two sentences or less that’s what movies are now expect it to be his script doctor and screenwriting instructor Carl Iglesias now if you’re a beginning writer high-concept is paramount it helps you because it helps you break in because you will be get your script will be requested and then once they get the script in front them and if it’s well executed then you’re here on your way in but so I don’t recommend having low concepts when you’re a beginner Jules a shark terrorizes a coastal town aliens a group of Marines in the future are outclassed by extremely hostile alien life-forms mostly Scarface the rise and fall of a brutal gangster now I think that’s possible for most movies high-concept or not.but high-concept movies are all about mass appeal and on the pitch end about communicating that as shortly as possible writing high concept scripts is the nature of the beast but I also think it’s very limiting I probably could boil Stoker down to two sentences but really that would entirely overlooked its nuances taxi driver may or may not sound interesting if I sum it up by saying a Vietnam vet taxis people through New York slowly going mad and eventually storming a brothel but it’s brooding tone the waves of atmosphere and the psychology of Travis Bickle are what make taxi driver interesting it’s the execution that makes the film so notable and with films like taxi driver you can never be sure of what the final product will really be like when you’re still only at the pitch stage or you’re still only in a third or fourth draft I’m not sure Darren Aronofsky’s breakout film pie could at all be considered high concept but it allowed him to breakout and it did well because of his execution 2001 a Space Odyssey might be a great example of a film that is not only very difficult to sum up in two or three sentences but would really take paragraphs and paragraphs just to surmise adequately without even touching on all the very deliberate directorial choices or the atmosphere that’s created the feeling of sterility and the philosophical questions posed think of it like this you might want to make a post-apocalyptic film where you approach that sub-genre in a very thoughtful way the tone is really important it’s very oppressive there’s no monsters it’s all psychological horror it’s all about the siege mentality of the survivors you know what the music should be you have a director of photography who can make shots look beautiful it’s a fantastic allegory into isolation and loneliness that’s probably not as easy to pitch as its zombies in Disneyland now the first film might be better it might even be more commercial but there’s no real way of telling that until it’s made because it could end up as a inaccessible but brilliant film it could end up as a masterpiece that has huge commercial appeal or it could end up as completely inaccessible and also very pretentious and having not much credibility either on an artistic or commercial front zombies in Disneyland might be great it might be a load of crap but you can market that people will go and see it it isn’t a surefire success but it does have an audience there are many much-loved high concept films rocky Titanic Back to the Future however I believe and this isn’t just me looking back with nostalgia that those films were less cynical than something like transformers or some of the superhero movies were seeing today yes there were products but they also often had something to say they often reflected social values or social fears and they weren’t all about spectacle back to the future isn’t a film made from the IP of a line of toys high concept films aren’t necessarily artistically devoid they’re not necessarily films without subtext without something to say but I increasingly feel that they are just that obviously there are big Hollywood films that do have a lot of artistic integrity and there are a great number of American and European films made for anywhere between a few thousand and a few million dollars that aren’t all about cash but I feel high-concept has evolved to the point where decision makers view most of the films they’re producing as cash cows or when they aren’t just about mass appeal and money as award bait which is arguably even more cynical sequels like remakes or reboots exist because they form part of a proven brand or at least hopefully Hollywood has come to realize just how bankable sequels and shared universes can be thanks to the success of Marvel and other studios who are currently trying to emulate the success of Marvel shared universe that’s why we have a fourth Indiana Jones and that’s why Star Wars films are still getting made sequels of course existed before but they’re now assumed they used to only occur if a film was very successful something like The Godfather or Star Wars of course there is no doubt a complex feedback loop of Hollywood giving people what they want but also dictating tastes it has become more and more brazen in how commercial its chasers are and how unwilling it is to venture from proven source material the Spider Man series has been rebooted twice in 15 years and there were spider-man films before that that’s not because it needs updating it’s not because it needs bringing to a modern audience or because the filmmakers have something to say it’s because people keep buying tickets Hollywood has always been money driven there’s nothing wrong with that that’s why it exists but now it seeks a comfortable place with shared universes now it relies on sequels and remakes and shiz away from anything original that could be a bit of a risk and I think that threatens creativity in big film and is a long-term problem for the industry high-concept films are far less risky than films which rely on a unique execution to sell they’re far less risky than the arty or weird but I don’t see why they have to be so by the numbers in my opinion the high concept films in the 70s 80s and 90s things like jaws or Ghostbusters or Toy Story had much more to offer generally the current model is making a lot of money now but there’s only so long it can last Hollywood is cannibalizing its own property there’s only so many despicable means you can make only so far Marvel can go only so many times you can bastardize a classic isn’t there the rise of the quite concept film and the reliance on sequels and remakes is very well documented and a lot of what I’ve said here is my opinion I’d love to know what yours is thank you very much for watching do me a favor and leave a like and join me next time where I will be looking at the 1987 he-man film masters of the universe and why it didn’t spark the franchise it intended too many reasons see you then [Music] you


  1. Xenath Cytrin Author

    I wonder if it would be possible to make a film that is both high concept and high execution.
    Or better yet, one that can be seen as either high concept and high execution depending on what you expect it to be; if you could do that you could put selective clips in two seperate sets of trailers supposedly for two seperate movies, but there would only be one movie shown that would be described as completely different from people who went in expecting different things.

  2. Chris Sch Author

    thank's for the first time finding STALKER mentioned in a cinema-vlog that i saw… i would realy like to see you talking about this film in a whole episode

  3. navigator of none Author

    The reasons why hollywood has become what it is today is because of the cancerous leftists.
    Mainly the SJWs, and the feminists.

  4. naruvoll Author

    I'm not sure that there is any correlation between a film being high concept and it being high or low quality. The video pretty much even accidentally says so with it not being predictive over the artistic quality of the films. Hollywood pumping out films goes back to the beginning. There were obscene numbers of westerns at their height, enough to make Disney's entire output look pathetic. This also conveniently forgets the serial, Hollywood's original version of the arc driven TV shows we have today. Those were short films that were absolutely shot with the intention that there would be a sequel out next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. Serials as a whole even got sequels. So that quality isn't new in any way. Not to mention I know I heard that Hollywood had declined and become too commercial a decade ago, two decades ago, and three decades ago. I think as much as we don't want to admit it, it is nostalgia that makes us feel like movies today are fundamentally different from the movies of yesteryear. The advantage that yesteryear has, is that we get to forget all the terrible movies that came out and just concentrate on the narrow band of great films that have stood the test of time. It was 90% schlock 30 years ago, too. One of the things that HAS changed is that there are relatively fewer movies being made. I suspect that has much more to do with it. That there is a smaller pool of candidates to make it through the filter of time to where we remember them as great. If high concept is going to explain it, then it has to act as a filter in that same way: that most beloved films from a decade ago, two decades ago, etc. were not high concept. But most films that have survived as amazing cinema were either high concept or can have high concept pitches easily applied to them retroactively. One of my favorite black and whites (long before high concept): An American pulp writer goes to post-war Vienna for a job but his friend who hired him, has just died in an accident and the police think that's good. When the writer tries to find his own answers one of the witnesses can't be found: The Third Man.

  5. It's Because Author

    What exactly is so wrong with the MCU? I just treat it as any tv series just watch the movie. keep notes of what's happening and what might happen and enjoy the ride. I've been doing it since the first Iron-man and got rewarded with Infinity War. Marvel was committed to finishing the MCU, and it's finally coming to a close, at least as far as I am concerned. The only other franchises that i know that kept going without any mayor retcons is harry potter and star wars, and star wars doesn't really count because there's like a decade between each trio of films. Every other attempt at this has been made with reboot after reboot. Poor spiderman can't catch a freaking break. He's been rebooted 3 times in my lifetime.

  6. Jtom Magic Author

    Okay… third video in a row that rocks ! I'm subcribing just to support the channel, it's entertaining, and yet trying to think.
    I feel the effort to make good analysis with quality and without being obnoxious, thumbs up well deserved, keep going !

    [ I hope I won't be disappointed later and regret those words haha]

  7. Mrfaceroll69 Author

    i know this is almost a year old but hollywood only got worse since. I almost feel like they feel 2 confident holding all that marvel money 2 the point they think shiting on fans is a good idea. I just hope that this overinflated bubble will burst soon and we get some good films made.

  8. jenny r Author

    what the other studios don't understand is that the marvel universe is already populated withstrong characters, each existing in a self contained universe, who have a built-in fanbase. but above all, they're controlled by people who understand and care about story. they certainly to stick to a formula, but it's one that allows for character-driven stories.

  9. Scaitan Author

    'Isn't there?' I think, as long as you can add a number to Mission Impossible or Ocean's, they will make more of them. Like a cineastic Groundhog Day, minus the fun.

  10. John R Author

    Hollywood reminds me of our auto industry back in the day. Decades ago, Hollywood was the premier moviemaking industry but not so much now. It was the same with cars: Ford, Chrysler, and GM ruled the roost. It seemed like they didn't pay too much attention to most foreign automakers. Then the Energy Crisis of 1973 happened as a result of the Yom Kippur War. All of a sudden gas guzzling cars were taking a hit and those little Japanese cars that had started appear years before started to be more popular. American companies really did not know how to make a car that was economical, inexpensive, AND reliable. They also listened to their customers only as it suited them. Japanese cars really caught on and by the late 70s they were making not only smart cars but also cars with options like the Datsun (Nissan) 280ZX. By the mid-80s, many American car makers were in real trouble and it has taken is to where we are today.

    The same with Hollywood. They don't seem to understand their own consumers. As a result, Hollywood produces a great deal of garbage. As you stated, it's garbage that sells. Making the sale seems to dictate what is made and even, I think, how fast it's cranked/crapped out. Independent films continue to catch on. Even some of these have sequels that end up being Hollywoodized and end up being garbage (example: The Blair Witch Project compared to what came after). Sequel is like a codeword for crap and so is a reboot. So much gargage out there now that seeing something really great and rewatchable is the exception to the rule.

  11. Goldyray Yeazle Author

    If hollywood is so into making risks, why would they make a movie like Solo that nobody asked for? 😀 Looking forward to the new halloween movie. Forgot what the title of the upcoming one was though.

  12. 1sdrummer2 Author

    Another great analysis. This is as true for the music industry as well. Radio today sounds almost exactly like it did 10 years ago. Labels want proven hits so it keeps signing and regurgitating the same rock, pop, and country sounds. It's boring and predictable with only a few songs rising above the mediocrity as to actually catch your ear for more than the three minutes it's on. There are many causes for this: greed, spoiled fans who want everything for free and feel entitled to entertainment, ballooning production and marketing costs, but they all add up to a sterile market.

  13. Lee rV. Author

    I never thought about this notion of "high concept", I had never heard of it before. Looking back on films I really love,I don't think many of them can be summarized easily in a sentence or two. And none of them have sequels or share a universe. Grave of the Fireflies vs. City of Lost Children: The Childrening!


  14. kieferonline Author

    The Lord of the Rings films threw the doors wide open for shared universe, effects-driven, high budget action sequels. I think that provide Marvel the recipe it follows today.

  15. Bryant Low Author

    I can't tell one Fast & Furious film from the next one (or the last one) or even one bland bald-headed over-muscular punching-bag from the other…

  16. maldicientin Author

    "A malfunctioning space-ship computer goes crazy homicidal against the crew of a spaceship sent to collect proof of an extremely advanced alien civilization that might have brought civilization to Earth in the distant past." there….

  17. Steve Gee Author

    I'd go back a lot further to movies like The Magnificent Seven (1960), sold as a concept (that had already worked in Japan), then treated as a sequel spawning cash cow.

  18. Matthew Gaudet Author

    Last Jedi was a cynical cash grab, that should have bombed. It got everything wrong about Star Wars and the character of Luke Skywalker.

  19. Dirk Doom Author

    I will Say Marvel does genre films rather then superhero movies. Ant-Man for example is a heist movie. The Captain America movie is a war movie.

  20. Aiber Lane Author

    Honestly, big Hollywood films don't even seem like they're created by people anymore. It's like someone typed in an genre, and a generator spit out a premise cobbled together entirely from parts of famous films.

  21. Arno Pietersma Author

    Georg you're absolutly amazing with your analyses. Im still catching up on all your videos but i have to say you're kinda like my new Bob Ross. Before bedtime i just have to watch/listen to you talking away on movie/series related subjects. Keep up the good work and never forget to put in those classic movies we've all seen to have forgotten over the years!

  22. nick794 Author

    oh yes you're wrong. there is so much more story to tell in spideman movies. have you seen homecoming? i think its very rich and fruitful in content. in either case, yes audience would buy tickets.

  23. Bill Green Author

    I feel like sequels and remakes just show how disrespectful, and lazy that modern day film makers have become. They need to ruin everything that came before them.

  24. Rafael Silva Daniel Author

    hmmm funny how itcan be aplicableto anime, like evangelion

    children pilotinggiant robots to fight aliens

    there are no robots, the aliens are no standart aliens and the children are emotionaly broke beyond repair

  25. blupunk01 Author

    You can definitely see the effects of this cynicism on theater attendance. Brick and mortar movie theaters are hurting with ticket sales down 21% from 2002 to 2017. While we don't yet have numbers for 2018, 2017 was the worst year for ticket sales since 1995. Theaters have mostly made up the difference by jacking up ticket prices which increased by 53% in that same 15 year time period. Of course that eventually becomes its own problem as higher prices continue to drive more consumers to seek alternatives (regardless of the theaters attempts to justify price hikes with new luxury seats or whatever). A big demographic bulk of millennials have moved into that prime movie-going age and should be a positive boon to but they are just not driving up ticket sales the way prior generational surges have.

  26. George A Author

    The movie industry is saturated with unoriginal concepts. People are going are going to be less willing to pay to see movies in a theatre if its just more of the same thing.

  27. siukong Author

    I would suggest that the current state of copyright law is an important factor here. Studios know that if they stumble on a hit franchise-starting IP that they can have decades and decades to milk that cash cow for all that it's worth.

  28. seinfan Author

    I think you are using this term "high-concept" in some oxymoronic fashion. I don't see anything highly conceptual about a stupid movie about emojis.

  29. Bob Riemersma Author

    As far as I can tell there is a heavy handed trend toward dumbing films down to simple stories that can be expressed through visuals and sound effects for a pre-linguistic global population.  Sure, there is still a little dialog left to be dubbed and subbed but if the trend continues even that becomes superfluous.  De-evolution is great for business: entertained ape men make great workers and consumers, question nothing and lack the ability to – even if aware of their oppressive subjugation.

  30. FootballJunkie Author

    It’s no different from fiction and non-fiction book sales. Not many people want to read about real stuff. They want to read about Fabio coming in and sweeping them off their feet…. or being swept away by a poop emoji

  31. NHMO OYTIS Author

    Hollywood always was cynical but there used to be writers, directors and actors of genius where now we have dumbed down poorly educated hacks with no work ethic–same thing destroying everything else in society. Short of euthanasizing boomers and millenials before they can breed an even dumber lazier generation don't see it turning around. PS yow is that ever cynical…..

  32. MasterDecoy1W Author

    When he dismisses Transformers as being "based on a toyline" it makes me cringe. That's not why the Tranformer movies are vapid cash grabs. There's plenty of lore and depth within Transformers characters that could be brought to the cinema, but the soulless overseers of the franchise don't get that. They slap a Transformers coat of paint on stock stories, relegating the robots to props adorning a coming of age/teenage-targeted comedy/2 hour commercial via product placement/mid-life crisis catharsis/arthurian fantasy movie salad.

    TL;DR: The cancer is from the management, not the source material.

  33. HoolioThunderbolt Author

    Let's smoosh our knobs together so the lips of our pee holes can kiss. Then I shall roll my foreskin up over your knob, connecting us as one like a veiny Chinese finger trap. We'll finally be together.

  34. Simon Coles Author

    The problem now is that, even adjusted for inflation, old movies cost a lot less to make than modern ones. So in the mid 1970's it wasn't as financially risky to experiment with movies that might not make a lot of money. Sure, at no point in the history of film has any studio not wanted to make the most money possible out of every film, but the key was, the financial risk was less.

  35. Gen Ohmni Author

    I am not a film guy, I'm more a video game kinda guy but I come here for movie insights. So not really giving a damn about franchises/IP/universes etc etc the only time I ever skip stuff on this channel is when Georg mentions STALKER. Why? Cheeki breeki began with an nuuu and ended with iv damka… cyka blyat! (RUSH B!!!) Basically I like the First Person Shooter/Role Playing Game hybrid video game that was loosely based on both the movie and it's inspiration, a book called A Road Side Picnic, so much so I have one tattoo and it took about 6-1/2 hours to do and it is based on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the video game.
    Now despite all that I never have seen the movie let alone gotten an English translation of A Road Side Picnic but obviously have seen it referenced in game/in forums and the like so I find myself hearing Georg say STALKER and then I pause the vidya and pretend S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 never got cancelled and it was so good that a movie was made of it.
    Sad, I know. But meh. An nu cheeki breeki iv damka cyka bliat N za va Svaboda! Oh and I really should watch the movie STALKER and get the book. procrastination intensifies even as the damn Bandit Base bar musics continues on an endless loop

  36. Michael McInnes Author

    I think this is a good take on one of the industries problems right now, it's not all there is, for example I think an associated problem is the selling a movie based on it's "Set-pieces" (That is, exciting scenes and moments that have never been seen before.) I don't think this is inherently a problem, but it's become over depended on. I don't however think the elevator pitch is to blame here. Because when you described the hypothetical film you wanted to make that was actually a form of pitching. And if I were a film producer I would contact you about setting it into motion based on the premise you gave. The problem more lies in what is most widely seen as being valuable in those short pitches, right now one of those things is set-pieces, as well as being save with money like you had mentioned. Good video though, I enjoy your essays.

  37. Adam Craig Author

    Good video. I had not thought of films in terms of high-concept vs low-concept before, let alone realized that high-concept ones had become prevalent.
    One question I would like to see you address in a future video is whether it matters to what extent the up-to-25-word summary focuses on people as opposed to things.
    For example, consider these two summaries of the original The Terminator movie
    (*These contain spoilers.*):
    1. A robot from the future travels back to the 1980s and kills a bunch of people.
    2. A woman in the 1980s and a soldier from the future flee a robot assassin, fall in love, and conceive humanity's future savior.
    They both convey the thing the movie is nominally about, but they give different impressions of why someone would want to watch the movie: special-effects-fueled slaughter or human drama.
    As another example, consider these two summaries for different movies
    (*These also contain spoilers.*):
    1. A spaceship's AI begins murdering the crew. An alien artifact sends the last survivor into a time-warp, where he becomes a magic baby.
    2. Fugitives from a city where each person's job is to wordlessly convey a single concept flee robot police through a maze of game-like worlds.
    If you had not heard of either movie before, it might be difficult to judge which would make for a better movie.

  38. The Big Bad Wolf Author

    I can see it as well. Hollywood cynicism but also Video Game cynicism and dare I say it, even book cynicism focused on money, money, money. It is rare these days that we get to see some actual art…

  39. John Rhines Author

    I like how he throws out the idea "Zombies in Disneyland" because Disney would never make it, but Zombieland could have been entirely in a theme park and with that cast could have been great there too.

  40. metallurgicarborist Author

    It sounds like the terms have been reversed. High concept seems like almost no concept, while low concept seems like concept art.

  41. nottiification Author

    I am sick to death of reboots & sequels. I'm also super done with super hero movies.

    So yeah, i havent been to the movies in like 10 years.

  42. FullBlown Author

    i love when they make good post apoc movies and some zombie movies,i can watch those allday along with sci fi,all the other shit i dont even watch,not even the super hero weird shit..GOT BEANS!!! WHERE IS MY CAN OF BEANS!!!

  43. Sam Grig Author

    I'd argue that money driven is bad if it money first and art 5th. Capitalism seeks to control and destroy art, not create it. If the studios could, they'd have audiences that hate art, much easier to make and market films devoid of art than ones that are high art. Look at the Fast and Furious movies.

  44. DungeonStudio Author

    I'd say when Hollywood got it's revenge on independent film companies, distributors, and theater. Which was a minor threat mid 50s through 60s. But late 60s to mid 70s really scared the crap out of the majors. Robert Evans would be the one to reshape youth culture from drive in break evens back to box office block busters. Squashing the steamed up and pot filled windows of VW mini vans barely paying attention to Disney fare and naked cheerleaders vs. Dolemite and Andy Warhols Dracula. Back to the theaters, and away from the back rows to get a close look at possessed Linda Blair or Superman Chris Reeves. And before Indies could make knock offs or something of a deeper scope – Boom! Get a sequel out tout sweet! And ironically, big studios are operating much like their predecessor threats of Roger Corman, AI, BBS, etc. where it's just cookie cutter ethics with big stars and CGI now. Good filmakers are retreating back to cable and internet studios as Hollywood hacks try to drum up Suicide Squad 2 and another stab at Bewitched with Rob Zombie at the helm. Hilarious! 😉

  45. Brandyn Wilcoxen Author

    I understand the points being made, but sequels don't come from thin air. Original movies, believe it or not, still exist, and there are plenty of them today that either lead to sequels of their own or fade out to be forgotten.

  46. Kish Jugo Author

    I heard the story behind Aliens pitch was that James Cameron walked into a room with the word Alien on a chalkboard and added an S to it.

  47. S Ros Author

    Thank you Mr. Rockall-Schmidt, someone that's willing to bring up valid points where films nowadays are product instead of art. When corporate machines (Disney in particular) get so involved in a production that whatever comes out is bubblegum family-friendly "safe" ho-hum material that makes people move on to the next product instead of challenging them to make something interesting, then this is where we are. Sad thing is, millions of dollars are always part of a movie's return for one reason-to make the corporate machine even bigger to create more mindless and product-endorsement movies that don't push the creativity of the human mind further.

  48. Phoebe JYL Author

    I think it's pretty disgusting to imply Homecoming is as vapid as The Emoji Movie or Transformers. It may not have all the artistic integrity of Iron Man or Infinity War, but it still told a story about characters. Besides that it was part of a bigger project, the other option was to just "not bother with Spider-Man in the MCU" which would have harmed Civil War and Avengers 3 and to an extent 4. It was a chapter in a story, not a heartless cash grab. The reason the rebooted Spider-Man a third time was to be able to utilize him in the MCU continuity, not "just to sell tickets." And yeah, I do think Fatigue is a legit concern in the MCU's future now that they they have finished this 3 phase story, but to imply it's just a big risk-free cash grab is ignoring the huge risk that was the first Avengers as well as the first Cap and Thor movies, followed by every Phase 2 director with the possible exception of Whedon taking risks that didn't always pay off.

  49. Larry Collins {larrdogg} Author

    Ya ppl dont want to c original movies, take for example the movie, The Nice Guys, original new story and in my opinion a very well made movie that nobody went to go c, so it probably didn't make back its money's

  50. cream bun Author

    The term "high concept" is more of a word play to engender a perception of super-value, contrived by hollywank autofellating itself, because all it makes is agenda soaked garbage that doesn't make it over par. Salesmanship, in a nutshell. All glitz and no tits.

  51. Alexander Nunez Author

    It is a growing cynical tendencia in all the media industry: do as less as possible to grab as much cash as possible.That kind of thinking is going to drive them to many economical failures and bankruptcy.Hopefully, to some extent, a large portion of people is rejecting this kind of films.The bad part, our childhood is going to end up screwed.

  52. Dave Coons Author

    What about the effect of modern media? Movies have so much more competition now. When there were only three networks and Blockbuster video to choose from, Hollywood had a more "captive audience" and could therefore take more risks.

  53. Colin Campbell Author

    I had to look up what movie Anthony Hopkins and Mark Walberg were in, at 8:07. Turns out it's a Transformers movie.
    Why Hopkins, why?

  54. Lord Byron Author

    That is an interesting take on Hollywood, but I wonder if it can't just be explained by the survivor bias (as many things can when it comes to judging quality, from music to videogames to personal success stories).
    What I mean is, maybe now you think that Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, the Goonies or Jaws had something to offer in addition to being cash cows (New Hollywood anyone?) but those are a tiny fraction of the production of that era, the very best movies we remember from that time frame. And I don't think it's fair to compare those outliers to the mass production we have today, such as the Emoji Movie. A fairer comparison for this one would be movies such as Beethoven or Look Who's Talking, which aren't exactly great movies and certainly didn't have much to say, but were entertaining for their target audience. Most family-friendly movies starring dogs or babies fall into that category, by the way (and yes, even if we all have fond memories of Home Alone, that one is guilty too).

    So yeah, my main issue with your analysis is it doesn't compare comparable things, and so isn't a very fair analysis. I would even go as far as saying that it's almost impossible to make a relevant comparison if one of the two elements are produced in the current era, since we don't know yet what will be remember in the future as "the very best" of this time frame. You may compare, say, the best movies of the '50s and the '80s if you manage to account for their differences in terms of technic and tone, but it's too early, I think, to compare the '80s and the 2010s. I am fairly sure that if you take the whole '80s/'90s production into account, you would certainly see the extreme cynicism of the New Hollywood era, and it may even seem even stronger than the one we have nowadays.

  55. GuyThatUhate1 Author

    Don't discount the influence of Content providers like Netflix who buys up any presentable IP for their service to flood the market with these high concept films. some are passable as good films like bird box while others are not so great but maybe somewhat enjoyable to watch


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