Recalling summer 2013

The group HOLLOW Speak (which stands for Hollywood Only Listens and Learns Once We Speak) is circulating the following petition hoping to recall from theaters a number of massively expensive 2013 summer Hollywood blockbusters (movies that cost between $150 million and a $bazillion to make and market) that have failed to live up to their cinematic obligations. Although these movies lost at the box office, we are not confident that Hollywood will get the message and provide intelligent, more diverse summer output.


So, we are asking that you please sign this petition, but be sure to have a valid ID, such as a ticket stub, an empty (or semi-empty) bag of popcorn, or 3D glasses. Proof of residency in Orange County, Calif., is not required.

There is no requirement that you have actually seen these films or have viewed their entire running times, only that you were intending to reside in seats for these features and perhaps even looked forward to some of them before they left the theaters.

This petition language has been approved by the Secretary of Cinema. Any missing language is due to space limitations and is not cause for Hollywood to seek to challenge the validity of this recall petition, nor can such challenge be based on foreign box office receipts, revenue from subsidiary promotional tie-ins, or any other attempts at creative accounting, uncreative expectations for sequels and franchises, or chimerical positive word-of-mouth.

The Petition:

General statement of grounds for recall of R.I.P.D.

Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D.
Photo by Scott Garfield, Universal Pictures

R.I.P.D., starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds about expired cops’ busting rambunctious spirits wreaking havoc in the here and now, has failed to represent the interests of its cinematic constituents by taking direction from the Men in Black movies, stealing that franchise’s tone and tenor, and thereby does not represent the needs and interests of cinematic citizens in original entertainment. Despite having sworn to provide such entertainment value and uphold the Constitution of the Cinema, it has shown contempt for the cinematic liberties of the people it seeks to attract.

Its plot was drafted so as to be a melding of comic book superhero films and Men in Black, with significant input from the comedic mismatched buddy-cop genre. As such, it has shifted attention to familiar and well-worn manufactured output and from innovate opportunities that such a scenario rightfully presented. Additionally, Bridges’s swaggering cowboy character that he has perfected in many other performances subverts the cinematic rights of citizens by constraining their imaginings and shows contempt for their ability to enjoy this actor’s purported range. Its abuse of precedent and its failure to respect the rights and interests of its constituents necessitates its recall from theaters as the only reasonable and available means to defend the inalienable liberties of filmgoers for original, satisfactory entertainment.

General statement of grounds for recall of After Earth

Will Smith and Jaden Smith in After Earth.
Photo by Frank Masi, CTMG

Whereas After Earth has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the Cinema, it is our opinion it has blatantly disregarded its oath. It has infringed upon our cinematic rights to be free of repetitively hokey, sentimental father-and-son depictions starring Will and Jaden Smith, and depopulated earth scenarios akin to I Am Legend, et al. In so doing, it has resulted in making it less safe to drive to theaters and has limited, denied or otherwise refused to hear testimony from moviegoers holding views incompatible with its own regarding the acting chops of son Jaden. So cavalier is it toward the filmmaking process that it suggests we flip a coin to decide whether M. Night Shyamalan should continue to make movies like this that cost millions of dollars and possess shaggy-dog themes with faux-Spielbergian cutesiness, or even make them at all. It has offended the sensibilities of cinephiles by openly insulting their intelligence.

In these instances and more, in word and image, After Earth has turned its back on us citizens of cinema and our Constitution. It is clear After Earth has dishonored its sworn oath and commitment. Accordingly, we the moviegoers must exercise our right to recall After Earth from theaters.

General statement of grounds for recall of The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger.
Photo by Peter Mountain, Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Hi-ho stinker, away! 

General statement of grounds for recall of White House Down

Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum in White House Down.
Photo by Reiner Bajo Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

White House Down has stated that it does not support reform of the disaster, blow-up-the-White-House thematic structure that has been seen so many times before and especially by director Roland Emmerich and thereby ignores the rights of moviegoers to be free of such tiresome depictions. In order to avoid demonstrating continued hostility and contempt for the fundamental Constitutional cinematic rights and liberties of its constituents to defend themselves, by eye-patches and earplugs if necessary, suffice it to say that White House Down should be recalled immediately from theaters — that’s right, let’s not wait for any expensive election!

General statement of grounds for recall of Pacific Rim

Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim.
Photo by Kerry Hayes, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Two words: Transformers; Godzilla. Repeal! Or run away!

General statement of grounds for recall of Turbo

Turbo.
Photo by Dream Works Animation

Two words (or rather one word and an acronym): Snail; NASCAR. By ludicrously combining two wildly disparate concepts in a way that is outlandish and inconceivable even for cutesy pie animated fare, Turbo has betrayed the trust of its intended constituents — namely little kids who love busy, colorful images to keep and hold their attention — and instead supports a plot intended to exhaust and confound adult citizens and deprive both adults and kids of the very entertainment it has sworn to uphold and defend.

Turbo has betrayed the trust of its constituents, its oath to uphold the Pixar Amendment to the Constitution of the Cinema (a standard of animated quality, intelligence, wit and fun), and the rights of parents by voting YES on the story pitch to have a tiny, fragile snail speed along a thunderous race track among massive stock cars with iron-block, overhead-valve (non-overhead cam) V8 engines producing about 800 to 850 horsepower at 9,000 to 9,300 rpm. Its failure to recognize this folly necessitates its recall from theaters as the only reasonable and available means to defend sane movie-going and the future of summer movie fare for years to come. 

Please sign below (space has been provided for you to add other 2013 summer films that should be recalled even if they cost a mere pittance); we’ll get you started with a partial list: 

Grown Ups 2

The Smurfs 2

...

Doug Young is the award-winning film critic for The Colorado Statesman. He was appointed to this position many years ago and can never be recalled. He is also the senior policy director in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Office of Policy and Research.