I saw a trailer the other day from the movie “Old Dogs,” which stars John Travolta and Robin Williams. Overall the trailer was decent. This is one of those movies that I am straddling the fence on. I can see it being pretty funny or tragically dumb. However, there is one thing about this movie that I was sure of. One of the scenes seemed way too familiar. On the trailer, you will see a scene where Seth Green gets trapped with a mother gorilla. I’m guessing she thinks he is her baby, since she rocks him in her arms. Seth Green quickly figures out that the gorilla goes bonkers if he stops singing. On the whole, the scene looks pretty funny. Problem is, I’m a huge Seth Green fan and realize that he has played a scene that is way too close to this one. If you were to go back and watch the movie “Without a Paddle,” you will come to a scene where Seth Green gets trapped by a bear and has to pretend to be its’ cub. This scene wouldn’t bother me as much, but it is a very similar scene with the same actor. I think Seth Green is a great actor, but if you were going to have a scene so close to the one in “Without A Paddle,” wouldn’t you have been better off to have it played by a different actor? I will still watch “Old Dogs” because it is only one scene and Hollywood has some glaring examples of being way worse.
I understand that as the years go by that it is getting more difficult with Hollywood to come out with original fresh material, but sometimes one has to wonder if they try. I am a self admitted movie geek and am not complaining about movies as a whole, but small things seem to ruffle my feathers.
Without even trying to think, there are two glaring examples that come to mind showing exactly what I’m talking about. In 2002, there is a movie released that is about a videotape that people die from watching. This movie of course is ‘The Ring” which I found to be a pretty good movie. A tiny bit later that same year, the movie “Fear Dot Com” was released. What was this movie about? People mysteriously start to die after watching a video on a website. No, those don’t sound similar at all. Needless to say, I thought “Fear Dot Com” was awful and the scariest part was sitting through the whole movie. Maybe it’s just coincidence that these two movies were so similar and came out at the same time, right? How about another example? Everybody remember a 2005 kids movie where four animals escape from a zoo and end up in the wild. The main four characters in this movie, “Madagascar” were a lion, hippo, giraffe and zebra. The penguins later became the true fan favorites, but they were meant to be supporting characters. Now, do you remember a 2006 kids movie called, “The Wild”? A lion is accidentally shipped from a zoo in New York to Africa, but don’t worry, some of his buddies, including a giraffe, are on the way to help.
I know that the same ideas and scripts get passed around to everybody in the movie business, but come on; give us movie watchers a bit of credit. At least try to change it and make it seem different.