There no longer seems to be much originality in Hollywood. When did the ability to sit down and write a captivating screenplay from scratch go out of style? It seems that Hollywood is stuck on turning cartoons and video games into movies. And there's the predatory sequel often lurking and waiting to be as bad as the original movie or better, if we're lucky.

Cartoon Disasters

Talk about digging something out of the woodwork. In the summer of 2007, the 1964-1973 cartoon "Underdog" was brought to life on the big screen, and we have to wonder why? Kids probably enjoyed it, and "Underdog" was a great cartoon for its time. However, watching a real dog moving its mouth on the big screen is a bit creepy. Movies that were once cartoons don't always translate well on the big screen.

One good exception is the 2007 blockbuster "Transformers." Though the plot itself was a bit weak, the movie's special effects and how producers brought the robots in disguise to life was amazing. The face-to-face interaction between robot and human was well presented, filmed and also believable.

Another example of a cartoon turned into a bad movie is the 1994 film "The Flintstones," starring John Goodman and Rosie O'Donnell. Sorry, but the last person we want to consider yelling 'Wilma' is John Goodman. He may as well be screaming for "Roseanne." My God! Even Halle Berry had a role in this movie playing "Rosetta Stone." Halle, even we wish we could erase this one from your movie resume!

"Aeon Flux" (2005) was another 'What were they thinking?' movie. While we adore the beautiful Charlize Theron, this movie was just not a good idea. "Aeon Flux" was originally a cartoon on MTV, and while the animated series and concepts were well represented in the TV version, the movie was a disappointment. Some cartoons should remain as they were meant to be - drawn on a piece of paper and then brought to life with cartoon magic, not real people.

Video Game Mania

Hollywood seems obsessed with turning video games into movies. Video games are for playing at home in one's living room. Now, because Hollywood is low on ideas, we have to go to a movie theatre to watch a game and not play it? The soon-to-be-released "Hitman" (November 21) centers on Agent 47, a gun totting assassin on the run from Interpol and the Russian military. It is yet another video game turned into a movie. While this one may actually be a hit, we must wonder what were they thinking when they decided it would be okay to bring "Mortal Kombat" (1995) and "Street Fighter" (1994) to theatres. And now there are reports that sequels will be abounding for both of these movies in 2010 and in 2009, respectively. Ouch!

While Milla Jovovich looks beyond hot in all "Resident Evil" movies (2002, 2004, 2007) and "Ultraviolet" (2006), we really do think she should stick to modeling and those L'oreal commercials she's so good at. If a video game is to become a movie, make it have more substance along with the endless fight sequences. Unless joysticks are installed in theatres across the U.S., Hollywood should really cut down on the number of video games being made into movies.

Land of Sequels

We live in a land of sequels. It seems that if there's a new movie coming out, a sequel will soon follow in the next two to three years. Sometimes it appears as if Hollywood takes one movie and splits it into two. Why? Is it just the money or is it to torture movie goers? Of course, there are good sequels and there are bad sequels. Some good sequels include "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" (2007), "Spider-Man 2" (2004), "Spider-Man 3" (2007), "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (2006) and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (2007). These are the exception.

One upcoming sequel that may not be an exception is "Alien vs. Predator: Requiem" (December 25). If you saw the first "Alien vs. Predator" you know another battle between these two creatures isn't necessary, especially on an unsuspecting small American town. Don't they have their own planets to fight on? You are better off renting the original "Alien" and "Predator" movies instead.

When one thinks of the father of the sequel, the name Rambo comes to mind. Oh yes, there’s another Rambo movie in the future. “Rambo 4” is coming to a theatre near you January 25, 2008. The first Rambo movie, “First Blood,” came out in 1982 when Sylvester Stallone was a mere 36 years old. Now he’s pushing 61, and he’s making another Rambo movie. While we commend him on his effort, we think it’s time to put this character to rest. Heck, even Chuck Norris had to stop making “The Delta Force” series at some point. It’s okay Sylvester. Let it go. Let this be the last Rambo...pretty please!

Saving Graces

While we may feel that Hollywood is running out of ideas there are some new movies coming out that we feel are worth seeing, including some sequels that are definitely worth checking out. They include:

"Darfur Now" (documentary, currently playing)
"War Dance" (documentary, currently playing)
"Atonement" (December 7)
"The Golden Compass" (December 7)
"City of Men" (January 2008) - If you loved "City of God" you'll love this.
"Semi-Pro" (February 29, 2008) - Will Ferrell always delivers with his comedic excellence.
"Sex and the City Movie" (May 30, 2008)
"Indiana Jones 4" (May 22, 2008)
"Chronicles of Narnia 2" (May 16, 2008)
"Thundercats" (expected in 2009) - we've always wanted to have 'sight beyond sight' like Lion-O.

Story by Doshka Harvey contributing writer