Small Wonders: Get creative, Hollywood!

Dear Hollywood,

As a lifelong admirer, consumer of your work and member of your workforce, now that the summer movie season is over, I feel it is my responsibility to make the following request: Please stop making Spider-Man movies!

Seriously. Use your spidey-sense to think of something else to do with $200 million.

In 2002 you brought us “Spider-Man.” Fine. In 2004 its sequel, “Spider-Man 2.” Expected. And since all successful franchises and celebrity deaths come in threes, in 2007 you gave us “Spider-Man 3.” You had to do it. We understand.

But since the fourth movie in a series is almost always a disappointing, pointless money grab (Indiana Jones, I’m talking to you), you wisely bailed on “Spider-Man 4.”

Yet now, only five years later, you rammed “The Amazing Spider-Man” down our throats.

“But it's not a sequel,” you demand. A “reboot,” you like to call it.

Isn’t that like sending my hamburger back to the kitchen because it wasn’t prepared right, then getting it back with only the parsley swapped out?

Do you lack creativity? Since when is five years an adequate period of mourning before you reanimate one of your tormented, beloved creations?

I have no problem with mindless, special-effects-driven, comic-book entertainment on the big screen. “The Avengers” was the most fun I’ve had in a theater since I saw Lesley Ann Warren’s “Chicago, Illinois” dance in “Victor/Victoria” when I was 14.

And I have enjoyed the Spider-Man movies too. But can’t you think of anything better to do than put lipstick on another arachnid, hoping we’re as brain-dead as your focus groups tell you we are?

I’m not saying these movies aren’t well-made or entertaining. But in a world with 4,000 cable channels — half of which are airing “CSI Modesto” or “Law and Order: Jaywalker Unit” — why can’t you come up with something original for a family to throw $100 at?

Don’t even get me started on 3-D. What scares me most about this gimmick with a locust-like ability to resurface every decade is that it might actually stick around this time. But no one, not my 8-year-old daughter and not her grandmother, gains anything in the human experience by having Katy Perry’s firework breasts three-dimensionally thrust into their face.

Add IMAX and you are responsible for a whole generation of cross-eyed, near-sighted drones without an original idea.

There was a time when remakes took a generation to be made. I half expect you to reboot “Battleship” like you did “The Hulk” and serve that hot mess to us again before next Christmas. As long as Schwarzenegger is still schnitzeling the help, there should be a “Total Recall” on remaking his movies.

The adage, “get right back up on that horse,” should apply only to kids' sports, getting laid off and burning dinner. It should rarely apply to actually falling off a horse, and never apply to movies, whether hits or bombs.

You make movies like I shop for clothes: find a comfortable pair of jeans, buy three; find a nice shirt, buy it in five different colors; find a pair of underwear that don’t ride up, buy one.

And for Hemingway's sake, please lose Nicholas Sparks’ phone number. You are forbidden from turning anything else he writes into a chick-flick starring the Ryan/Channing/Taylor of the moment hopelessly falling in love with the next Rachel/Reese/Kristen.

I don’t care how much money a book has made. If the writing is terrible, don't turn it into a movie. I haven’t read the Twilight series, and my wife won’t let me read “Fifty Shades of Gray,” but by all accounts, they were written by junior-high writing-competition honorable-mention-award-winners.

Please stop spreading the disease of poor syntax.

And for good measure, Adam Sandler is no longer funny. We can do without his recurring, baby-talking man-child character for another century. Thanks.

The movie-going experience is not enhanced by gimmicks and recycling. It is enhanced by good, original stories.

Hollywood, we know you’re just after the big bucks. But you offer us characters who tell us not to do things just for the money; characters that inspire us and dare us to dream. Yet you consistently fail to live up to your own words.

There are talented filmmakers out there. But with the loss of Steven Soderbergh, thanks to “Magic Mike,” the herd is getting thin. Please stop the insanity.


The Creative Spirit

PATRICK CANEDAY is ready for autumn. Contact him at Friend him on Facebook. Read more at

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