This Christmas : Movie Review

Whenever a low-budget and decidedly independent film breaks through into the mainstream in a big way, Hollywood is almost always there to try to cash in on what they perceive to be a new trend by offering up their own versions of those sleeper hits. When “Easy Rider” became a hit in 1969, studios flooded the market with similar tales about young people dropping out of society and traveling cross-country with rock music blasting in the background. When John Carpenter’s “Halloween” became one of the most profitable films ever made, all of the majors jumped into the newly created market for slasher movies with their own splatter extravaganzas. Hell, when John Sayles first made some noise with his 1980 debut film, “Return of the Secaucus 7,” it only took about three years for a star-filled, large-budget variation to emerge in “The Big Chill.” The problem with a lot of these expensive variations is that they have been produced by people who understand that the originals made a critical and commercial impact but have no real understanding as to why they did–as a result, the subsequent films include the basic surface elements of those earlier works, which is easy enough to copy, but none of the unique spark that they had, which is a little more difficult to copy.

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Author : Peter Sobczynski