Movies FB

Locked-up Genres

This is a question that I have always been puzzled by…why is it that certain franchises seem to lay claim to a certain genre or sub-genre?

Like, pirates are cool, and I like movies about pirates, but the ONLY movies about pirates being made are Pirates of the Caribbean series, which I have grown extremely weary of.  I would like to see more pirate movies, but not movies about Jack Sparrow.

Or, whenever someone tries to make a new space opera, it gets labeled as a Star Wars rip-off and seems to get ignored.  Movies like John Carter and Jupiter Ascending tried to expand the space opera landscape, and, well…you know….that didn’t work out so well (even if I really liked John Carter).  And Guardians of the Galaxy, for how tepid I feel on those movies, are still a fun fix of that type of adventure, given a pass because of their connection to the MCU. I’ll take what I can get.

The same goes for pulp adventure material like Indiana Jones.  I love Indiana Jones!  And I’d love to see more well made movies of that type (hell, I’ve found myself watching the National Treasure movies on TBS just for that sweet, sweet fix).  But unless it’s Indiana Jones, there’s a struggle to create more of that kind of thing at the same level of quality.  One of the reasons why I enjoyed the new Jumanji movie was because that basically is an Indiana Jones movie, albeit highly self-aware, and you ignore the framing device/ video game angle.

It sometimes feels like once you have an established franchise that does a thing well, it sucks up the oxygen for variations on the same thing.  Superhero films seem to buck that trend, and the only reason why the DC movies don’t do as well is because they are largely terrible (and when they’re NOT terrible, like Wonder Woman, they do great!).

I guess the thrust of this thought process is I’d like to see more adventure films, or more fantasy and space opera films, but I understand that the economics of the business demand an established brand in order for such an expensive undertaking to be financed.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t want more of this kind of thing, right?

So, some questions:

  1. What type of film would you like to see more of that seems to be limited to a specific brand or franchise?
  2. Do you think that the public has a limited interest in a genre or type of film, and therefore dismiss anything else that falls outside of an established brand as a rip-off?