I survived the '80s, thinking it was one of the most empty periods of pop culture imaginable. Now I'm watching as today's studio culture treats the '80s like this bottomless source of material to revisit, meaning I'm watching a horrible blurry Xerox of a decade that I found nearly intolerable the first time around ... [A]ll of it just stacking up, snow drifts of the same, towering so high that it all blocks out even the possibility of something fresh breaking through.
... when that's the only game being played by the actual studios that run our entire industry, it makes me feel like we are in the final days of this particular paradigm, and I'm genuinely scared that we've burned down this business and we just don't realize it yet.
The comments on the piece boil with the usual spate of "it's always been like this"-isms, which I see less now as having a sense of history and proportion about the movies and more as an admission of having no real counter-argument to begin with. When all else fails, shrug and say there's nothing new under the sun anyway.
Bad movies drive out good ones, for the same reason bad anything drives out the good: it's too easy to be bad. Or, more accurately, too easy to not demand that something be good, and just settle for whatever they pour into your lap. When you have no idea that things can be better, it seems entirely natural to believe what you have is as good as it gets.