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Homogenous Hollywood

The Baltimore Sun

Is it just me, or has the pedigree of the Hollywood blockbuster taken a serious downturn in recent years?

It used to be that big-budget, high-stakes studio releases covered a host of genres, from historical epics (Lawrence of Arabia) to sci-fi (Star Wars), from horror both imagined (Alien) and real (The Longest Day) to musicals both gritty (West Side Story) and squeaky clean (The Sound of Music).

But this year, all the big films are either sequels (Live Free or Die Hard) or based on comic books (Ghost Rider), or both (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer). Some of this year's crop have been fine films, true, but such uniformity of origin makes one long for the days when variety and originality were seen as good things.

Then again, with Hairspray yet to hit theaters, there may be hope yet.

Chris Kaltenbach

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