Films today follow the proverb that there is nothing new under the sun. Behind all the advertising and hoopla of the new releases you will invariably find that the plots and characters are merely variations on themes that have been around for years. European films in contrast, have a low-key intensity often played out in mundane settings, where the outcomes can be far from predictable, but unfortunately these are not the films in mass circulation in Australia.
You only have to take a short walk back through history to realize that today's "new releases" are actually borrowed from the past. For example, the recent controversial film "8 Mile" is not unlike the 1976 movie "Rocky". The action-packed, 'feel-good' crowd-pleasing story, tells of the rise of a small-time, has-been, underdog Philadelphia boxer fighting against insurmountable odds in a big-time bout. Where, in similar circumstances "8 Mile" is a "feel-good" crowd-pleasing story about Rabbit (Eminem) who after humiliation rises up from the underdog persona to become the champion. Can I even go as far as saying both these feature films are similar to the fairy-tale, Cinderella rags-to-riches story? It's all the same. That's why I believe that there is nothing new in cinema anymore.
Not only are feature films based on each other, they often get their ideas from real life. Stallone based his "Rocky" character upon little-known, 36 year-old working-class New Jersey club boxer Chuck Wepner (the "Bayonne Bleeder"), who challenged Muhammad Ali in a heavy-weight title bout in March 1975 in Cleveland, Ohio, and went 15 rounds. Wepner was one of Ali's few challengers who knocked him down and went the entire distance - actually, up to 19 seconds before the final bell. Also, in short, the character "Rabbit" from "8 Mile" was based on Eminem's own life. Not only is there nothing new in cinema anymore, its borrowed ideas borrowed from reality, make movies dull and predictable except for the reliance on special effects to add colour to dull plots and characters.