in that blissful state of pre-awareness

Of all the limp, meaning-free words that marketing has given us, 'pre-awareness' may be the lamest of all. It means so close to nothing in particular that it's barely there, like a flattened figure that vanishes when viewed sidelong.

Actually, 'pre-awareness does have a meaning, but I'm selfish and I dont want the word to exist. The term shows up in planning documents and is purported to mean 'background knowledge' in some contexts and 'a state preceding awareness of a given issue or phenomenon' in others, which would seem to be closer to the sense of the word. In Hollywood, it appears to mean the public's awareness of the characters or scenario of a film project. The easiest way for a project to have this valuable 'pre-awareness' is to make it a sequel. A remake. A bold reimagining. A crappy ripoff. Whatever. Anyone who goes to movies these days knows how prevalent this is. Of the ten movies playing at my nearest CosmiPlex Cinexperience right now, one is a TV remake, three are sequels, and the rest are stupid (actually, of the remaining movies, most are so generic that they're meant to remind people only of movies they've already paid good money to see - two are animated children's rip-offs, one a highschool comedy, and two others are mediocre comedies starring the Owen and Luke Wilson, respectively. The one original piece is by M. Night Shyamalan, which is what passes for auteur these days).

You know, that's a crap sample. Usually there are more remakes and sequels on the marquee. Anyway, it appears that we've lived so long now under these pre-aware circumstances that a new standard has been set. In today's Globe & Mail, an article on the lid-bangin' good box office returns on the Miami Vice movie featured the following snippet:

"It's what our expectations were," [Nikki Rocco, president of distribution at Universal Pictures] said. "We tried to do something different. There has been a lot of criticism regarding unoriginal product. We took a TV series and made it very different."


Okay then. Putting a different wardrobe on Crockett and Tubbs constitutes originality. Take away the Ferrari and the loafers, let a hyper-masculine Colin Farrell moustache his way through the script instead of pink-shirted Don Johnson, and wham! New product somehow! I think it's time we updated Gilligan's Island, with all the characters ridiculously hot, and a monster in the jungle and a hatch and - never mind. Some days I wish I were pre-aware.

*Note: Like everyone who keeps a weblog, I am a comment whore. But please don't write to point out that works of art always rip off earlier works, or that Shakespeare did it, or that Hollywood is simply giving people what they want. Because that? Argh and bored.