“It’s like Jaws meets ET!” “It’s like Pokemon meets The Godfather!” “It’s like Pride and Prejudice meets Aliens meets Bill and Ted!”
It’s a Hollywood cliché: a movie gets pitched by describing it in terms of other familiar movies in order to appeal to the studio bosses without taxing their limited imaginations. But Hollywood has been consuming itself and other popular media for years – witness the endless succession of remakes, sequels, spin-offs, and films based on television shows and comic books.
Now even these traditional sources of movie ideas are drying up, and the film industry has been forced to turn cliché into reality by actually making films that are combinations of other well-known films. Witness these industry blurbs for some upcoming releases:
Star Wars Episode 3: Obi-Wayne’s World
Relations between the two Jedis become strained as Obi-Wayne keeps making the same stupid joke to Amidala (“You’re a dolla? Here’s a fiver – keep the change! Hyuk hyuk hyuk!”). Darth is finally driven to go over to the Dark Side when Obi-Wayne discovers the name of Darth’s daughter. Also featuring Rob Lowe as Jar-Jar Binks.
Typical line: “Party on, Obi-Wayne!” “Party on, Darth!”
Dude, Who Killed My Wife?
Using clues tattooed on his own body (“Fact 5: Sweet!”), Leonard and his best bud Teddy attempt to rediscover the events of Leonard’s recent past. The trail leads them to a strip club, a drug dealer and a suitcase of money of unknown provenance.
Typical line: “Remember Shibby.”
South Gorky Park
Several gruesomely mutilated bodies are discovered buried in the frozen earth of Colorado, and Russian police detective William Hurt is brought in to investigate. Events take a disturbing turn when it is revealed that the bodies are all of the same young boy in an orange parka.
Typical line: “Bozhe moi! You killed Kenny!”
Mr. Pink Panther
Thanks to the miracle of CGI, Peter Sellers returns as Inspector Clouseau in yet another post-mortem Pink Panther film. Clouseau attempts to foil the theft of the famous Pink Panther diamond but is captured and tortured to death by the thieves. Steve Buscemi stars as the guy who survives at the end of the film.
Typical line: “What the fuck is the liew?”
Adam Sandler reprises his role as Bobby Boucher, who saves the day by tackling an iceberg which threatens a ocean liner. Also starring Kathy Bates in a role no one will remember later, if she’s lucky.
Typical line: “Mama says I’m King of the World.”
And consider these, currently in production:
Britney Spears drives cross-country with her girlfriends in pursuit of her dream of becoming a professional boxer. Features her new single “I’ll Hit You Baby (One More Time)”.
Robin Hood: Prince of Tides
Barbra Streisand stars as a therapist attempting to understand the issues behind Kevin Costner’s bizarre accent.
Four Colors: Black
Will Smith and Julie Delpy search for love, redemption and rogue aliens on the streets of Paris.
Who knows what other cinematic miscegenation time will bring? It’s a sad state of affairs, I tell you…