I hate to make generalizing statements. There is no such thing as a genre of movie that is never good. But these types of movies, well they are close to never being good. The success rate is so low, that I have stopped trusting them all together. Most of them have at least one movie that breaks the mold, but that doesn’t make up for the overwhelming awfulness the rest of the genre offers.
I have seen enough 25-year-olds playing high schoolers. Why does Hollywood insist on setting so many movies inside a high school? I do not care if two 16-year-olds find love because even if they get together, it most likely is not going to last. The problems these teen characters have are usually laughably small. I just do not care about them.
At least college movies can have some consequence. At least in college movies, it is believable when the characters are unsupervised. At least the romance plotlines can have a chance of lasting. High school relationships almost never last. College relationships have a better chance.
But beyond the movies haveing no consequence, they are just a minefield for lazy cliche writing. They all hit the same notes. There is a teacher or principal who is a giant stick in the mud. A nerdy girl will get a makeover. There are usually characters trying to lose their virginity. The hot girl learns that the nerdy guy is actually the person she wants to date. And so on and so on. They almost always feel like the same movie.
Some manage to still be good though. I will always love Mean Girls. Breakfast Club is a classic. Clueless is fun. But most movies based in Highschools, are awful.
Spoof/ Parody Movies
I have talked about spoof movies before here.
The problem with them is that writers are lazy. Plain and simple. Too many people who write spoof movies, pander to the lowest common denominator. They make crude humor, which can work, but it a lazy form of crude humor.
Movies like Epic Movie, Date Movie, Disaster Movie, and so on, are just, well, bad. They mistake references for jokes. “Hey, remember this movie, and when this happened. Wasn’t that funny?” Yes, I do. But you just reminding me of it, is not a joke. There are ways to spoof a movie, without just referencing it. Add something new. Make it your own joke. Black Dynamite did so.
Satire works so much better than parodies do. Because in satire, writers do not have the lazy crutch to lean back on. Hot Fuzz manages to poke fun at buddy cop movies, without having to just repeat lines and scenes from other buddy cops movies the entire time.
This genre is completely overdone. There has not been a movie about a natural disaster, that is good, in a long time. They are usually laughably over the top. Always with questionable CGI.
The Day After Tomorrow and Twister were okay, but then movies like 2012, San Andreas, and Geostorm, are laughably bad. Most of them completely ignore real-world facts and decide to just make stuff up so they can look cool. Take the movie volcano, where a volcano, just randomly appears in LA. Volcanos can’t just appear, not even along fault lines. Very small ones maybe, but not huge ones like the one in this crappy movie. And in 2012, they claim the Earth’s Core is overheating, which, just no. And don’t even get me started on the stupidity of Geostorm.
They all hit the same notes. The largescale destruction that is treated with zero care. Many times it will be set in a foreign country, but still somehow feature English speaking white people. Some beloved landmark will be destroyed. And absolutely no actual story will take place. They are just a medium to deliver awful action.
Video Game Movies
I firmly believe Hollywood will eventually figure out this genre. But so far, it has noVolcanot figured it out, at all. At best, video game movies have been just okay. At worst, they have been sorry excuses for the video games they are adapting.
Part of the problem is that Hollywood studios do not understand the video game medium. And you cannot adapt something you do not understand. If you only see a film as a way to cash in and pander to a demographic, you are not going to make a good film.
Another problem is people have not figured out how to adapt it. Studios have tried just literally adapting them like one would a book, hitting the same beats as the game did. But the problem with that is a 2-hour movie based on a 10-hour video game, will always feel like it is just a lesser version. Video games offer a longer experience and allow you to interact with the story. A straight-up retelling of a story from a video game just feels lazy. But you also cannot change too much from the game. As fandoms are usually pretty intense and will get upset if something is messed with too much.
I think the key, is finding a video game universe with a ton of lore and telling a new story within that universe, that is true to the games, but puts an original spin on it. Or likewise, finding a game with strong characters, and telling an original story with those characters, that feels like it could take place in the same universe.
Stop making live action movies with talking animals. They are almost always bad, even for kids movies, they are bad. The list of crappy family movies, where at least one character is an animal that can talk, is oddly long. Cats vs Dogs, Nine Lives, Woody Woodpecker, the many Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, and literally, hundreds more.
They tend to be poorly animated, with no real lesson. I mean in Woody Pecker, which I watched for some reason, the lesson is all over the place. At first, we are supposed to believe that the moral is that it is wrong to tear down trees to build stuff, then when Woody accidentally burns down the gaudy new development, they treat it like a bad thing. And then the lesson ends up being it is okay to tear down the forest as long as the development you build isn’t ugly. The lesson in Cats vs Dogs is that cats are bad. I do not expect kids movies to be art, but at the least, they can have a good lesson.
And the talking animals never look good in live action. I will direct everyone to Garfield, where the title character was an eyesore that made watching the movie a chore. None of these movies need to be live action. They would all be better animated. Stop trying to make animals talk in live action, and stop inserting animated animals into live action.
There are a few exceptions though. Jungle Book was okay, but more importantly, it looked great. It was mostly CGI, but it was photorealistic, so it kind of counts. Even better, the movie Paddington 2. Paddington fits into the environment well, and it is a family movie with an actual lesson that can be learned.