But ALSO, it's because the last few generations of us all came of age at the highest point of media saturation in human history. When we were kids, cable TV was just hitting its stride, home video was all the rage, video games were first realizing their potential and the Internet was connecting everything together into one all-consuming pop culture blob. That blob hungrily, mindlessly devoured every piece of media it could get its gelatinous jowls around, and inevitably, it started excreting the desiccated remains out the other side.
This is that other side.
We, friends, are living beneath the asshole of the pop culture blob.
Pictured: You. Your life. Covered in blob-shit.
There's nothing new or exciting to people like me, because people like me were thrown body and soul into the media Big Bang. The atoms of everything we love were used to build everything you see today. If you grew up in the '60s, the first time you saw Planet of the Apes, it probably blew your mind. How could you have seen that twist coming? There had never been anything like it. And that's because you spent maybe two hours a week at the movies, if you were a huge fan. Between those times, you did other things like "run around outside" or "speak to other human beings." My generation didn't watch movies in the theater -- we watched them in our living rooms, in our bedrooms, on our phones or in our friggin' cars while driving on the highway. We're not blown away by the reboot of Planet of the Apes, because we not only saw the original -- we watched the first reboot, the sequel to that reboot and the Director's Cut of the reimagining of that sequel, and played the Alternate Reality Game for the pre-release of the reboot on the movie's website.
It's not that Hollywood's out of ideas -- they've never had a ton to begin with. It's that we've simply hit our saturation point. I said I was excited about Looper, earlier -- but I've seen Goodfellas, The Professional and Back to the Future a billion times each. I'm so up on its source material that everything is probably going to feel mind-numbingly familiar. I watched Brave this weekend, but I saw Mulan when I was younger -- I didn't get much out of the Scottish reboot.
I mean, an inappropriate erection in front of some children, sure, but not much else.
It used to be fine to create along the lines of your influences, because most people didn't share the same influences. But now we're growing up connected, watching and reading and listening to the same things -- because we're all watching and reading and listening to everything. I mentioned earlier that movies are using niche markets like a crutch, and you've probably never seen a Madea movie -- but I bet if you did, you'd catch elements of Soul Food and Mrs. Doubtfire, a little Friday and just a touch of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
If you've heard all of the songs a million times before, even the most talented musician in the world can only issue remixes.
Hey, I don't mean to be preaching the end times here. If you're not this jaded yet, great! Go out and enjoy things (your time will come, you rotten little bastards). But if the luster seems to be flaking off movies these days, maybe the problem isn't with Hollywood. Maybe it's because, with people our age, with our knowledge and our backgrounds, all Hollywood can do is pull a nervous Chris Farley routine and mutter "Hey, remember that time with the thing? You do? Yeah ... that was awesome!"
Hey look, there's another little reference that we can all get.
Get the first episode of Robert's Sci-Fi Serial Novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here, or buy Robert's other book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.
For more from Brockway, check out The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies and 5 Movie Martial Artists That Lost a Deathmatch to Dignity.