MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT: Ad nauseam Hollywood adaptations

Think lions and tigers and bears are something to be nervous about? Try remakes and reboots and franchises - those are scary.

With Hollywood turning more frequently toward the tried-and-true technique of reinterpreting preexisting materials, originality in movies is becoming questionable and leaves moviegoers wondering if Tinsel Town's gold mines of inspiration have begun to run dry.

Now, before I have people ready to bludgeon me with a $10 tub of popcorn for that statement, let me clarify that there's nothing inherently wrong with this practice. There can be something magical and altogether gratifying about seeing a familiar plot, world or character brought to life in new, cinematically satisfying ways, and as long as the movie's good, who can complain? I can't fault renewing, reusing and recycling when the results are as entertaining as, say, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings trilogy or The Dark Knight.

Yet, even with marvelous things being made with this movie method, it's a worrisome trend. The product is not necessarily the problem (though there might be a case there, especially after seeing some of the almost aneurysm-inducing nightmares that can come from this, like Jumper); it's the fear and the reasoning behind the increasingly prevalent trend that's concerning.

Truthfully, making money off of movies is not a sure thing. Strange, considering Avatar has grossed over $2 billion worldwide, but with bigger movie budgets, larger advertising costs and fluctuating ticket sales, even Hollywood is unstable during these rough financial times. Filmmakers turn to remakes, adaptations and most recently, the almighty franchise, with their built-in fan bases, as the go-to means of breaking into the business and making a profit.

It's practical, yes, but movies aren't about practicality; movies need innovation. Audiences want to be awestruck; to be visually, emotionally and intellectually immersed in places and lives that they never have, nor could have ever experienced before.

If Hollywood cannot give this to them, who can?

Let production companies everywhere search the streets for inspiration, and go to the indie film communities for new sources; let them really promote these hidden treasures. After all, Hollywood is a town built on risks, where people with nothing went in search of gold: let's do that again now.