All these reboots, remakes and new sequels kind of feel like… old guys jerking off with cameras.

Posted: June 1, 2017 by ryanlecocq in Off-topic

landscape-1495615790-twin-peaks

“This, is the arm. We made it out of the money the studio sent us.”

I recently got around to watching the new Twin Peaks episodes and while I loved the raw David Lynch on display, they added to a sinking feeling I’ve had recently. I’m also going to lump Alien Covenant and the recent X-Files continuation in as well, since I saw them recently and contributed as well.

You see, I’ve had this growing unease while watching the rebirth of some of my favorite series and it can be summed up pretty simply; I don’t think these guys can tell a story anymore to save their lives. While they expertly show us the beauty of the camera, they seem to struggle to fit even 10 lines of meaningful dialogue into a scene. What’s worse, when they do get heavy on the exposition, it seems to range from creating holes in their own canon to outright breaking the mythology of the series (that’s you X-Files). As a fan, I haven’t just been hanging on all these years to see more of your amazing cinematography. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO FUCKING HAPPEN. That is why we have been buying your DVDs and keeping those royalties flowing all these years. Not to give you time to find ways to build steadycams out of bamboo.

As an amateur writer myself, I generally take the side of the creator and say “it’s their thing, they can do whatever they want if people buy it”. We can come to an extreme though, especially in the case of the Alien prequels or the X-Files, where you basically just throw out the window everything the fans loved about the story. That isn’t good in any sense of the word. It’s just kind of selfish and egotistical and makes me want to remind them that creation is a life of sacrifice and selflessness. You give everything of yourself to influence people’s hearts and minds for what you hope is the better. Even if your purpose is just entertainment, you need to at least deliver that. Art that is entirely selfish has no place being paid for by others.

Now I don’t want to be too harsh and say ‘how dare they’ or some such other entitled crap. It is their thing and they can do whatever they want with it. As a fan though, I have to just ask why? Why not just tie up the loose ends people want resolved in a manner that is reasonable, while still being unexpected?

I started this article talking about Twin Peaks and I do want to mention that I think it’s the least offensive of these examples. While it is true that I’ve seen about 10 minutes worth of plot in 4 hours of screen time, what filled the other frames was often breathtaking. David Lynch has not only wowed me with some unconventional film-making, but also an unexpectedly excellent performance in the cast. I never would have imagined that the creator’s silly character on the show would deliver my favorite scenes in front of the camera as well. His awkward compassion is 4th wall breaking and makes me appreciate the depth of the man on yet another level.

That being said, I think he’s being pretty damn lazy moving the plot forward and it makes me wonder if the cause is stubbornness, delusion or just plain lack of story ideas. I wonder that much, much more so with the other two examples. With Ridley Scott’s recent films, I often wonder if a bunch of producers are trying to wrestle him to the ground and failing, as he crawls to the mail slot to dump his demented final cut. Covenant was another breathtakingly beautiful film, that made absolutely no sense, even to someone who has also read the novelization and seen every theory video. With the X-Files, I often wonder if Chris Carter just passionately hates us all and wants us to stop liking the X-Files. It’s just that awful (except the Lizard Man episode of course).

I really do want to say that I feel terrible even writing this. These guys literally built my childhood and it’s really difficult being so critical of their work. It’s also really difficult to watch their work recently though, so I kind of feel obligated. Like a friend that doesn’t want you to drive home drunk anymore. Maybe the creators of these properties are just playing on some higher level that I am incapable of comprehending. Maybe these films will be like the works of Nicola Tesla, unappreciated until decades after his time. It kind of feels like they are just screwing around though and blowing millions of dollars to do it.

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