Re: Originality vs Unoriginality
I'm sure we've all had that 'too much like such-and-such a film or such-and-such a character' feeling when grapling with ideas for story.
It seems that certain genres tend to have required elements, such as your teen slasher flicks, or the CGI-dependant robotic action junk, and I'm not sure if it's because of a lack of original ideas, or just sticking what the mass audience wants. The path of least resistance.
Ever see the quick rip-off of Jaws? What a joke.
When I read for other writers, 'heaveily influnced by' often pops out like a neon sign. It's just too obvious. Sometimes it's an honest near-plagurism, with scenes almost to a T from a well-known flick, which the writer may have never seen. I was once accused of 'Yeah, 1984 was a good flick, wasn't it?' and yet the only thing I've seen or read pertaining to 1984 was the Apple commercial shown once during Superbowl 16. With all the ideas out there, and the infinite possibilities for scenes, dialogue, etc., to align, it is bound to happen both unitentionally and intentionally.
When one does 'borrow' intentionally, however, it really needs a clean interpetation on the concept. Anything else screams 'that other film'.