Imagining Hollywood's New Year's resolutions 

No more Saw sequels

As 2011 unfolds, I humbly submit my list of some New Year's resolutions I wish Hollywood — and, occasionally, the indies ­— would make:

• No more Saw sequels.

• No more "conceptual" documentaries (see: Catfish, I'm Still Here). But if Banksy (Exit Through the Gift Shop) wants to make another one, that's cool. I don't care if his are fake.

• No more children's movies with wall-to-wall scatological humor in a cheap effort to invoke kiddie spit-takes. You could occasionally elevate kids instead of pandering to them.

• No more Botox. Nicole Kidman, I'm talking to you.

• No more films set in the South with twangy violin/banjo musical interludes. Sometimes we listen to hip hop.

• No more unnecessary remakes of European films (see: Let Me In). When in doubt, write something original.

• Let's take a zeitgeist time-out from neurotic, Peter Pan thumbsuckers (Greenberg, Cyrus, Somewhere). Throw in some real men a la Don Draper every now and then. Or try neurotic women (the nervous nellies in Tiny Furniture and Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right are a good start) for balance.

• Democratize pain. Suffering doesn't always have to be aesthetic (see: Rabbit Hole). Sometimes poor and middle-brow people grieve too, and they don't live in a Pottery Barn spread.

• Take a cue from independent film and don't think action heroes and explosions disguise weak plot lines and an absence of ideas.

• Use Andrew Garfield more (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go). That guy does complex, gut-wrenching angst better than anyone. I literally felt his pain.

• Stop with the brain-dead "chick flicks" that pander to clichés and dopey girly-girl stereotypes like Leap Year, The Back-Up Plan, and the godawful Sex and the City 2. How about more films that truly reflect women's lives like Mother and Child or Another Year?

• Have Mike Leigh run seminars in "human emotion" for soulless Hollywood automaton directors.

• Give Lisa Cholodenko more money.


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