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6 Annoying Things Hollywood Needs to Stop Doing
Bad Movies Made From Bad Habits
By Christopher Smits
December 11, 2009
Why is it that for every good movie that comes out of Hollywood that there’s at least three times as many that leave viewers shaking their heads in disbelief? Have you ever sat in a theater as a movie trailer played and thought to yourself, “Somebody approved the spending of millions of dollars for this?” We’ve all had that epiphany at one time or another and it seems that the public are the only ones aware of the red flags that pop up all around an obviously bad idea. Remember when Basic Instinct 2 was released 14 years after the original (with a then 48-year-old Sharon Stone)?
Exactly. Since Hollywood has such a difficult time seeing disaster when they’re staring right at it, we’ve decided to provide a checklist for them to consult.
6. Stop Turning Every Remake Into a Comedy
If you’ve ever seen an episode of the ‘70s television show Starskey & Hutch, the opening sequence is more than enough to let you know that it’s a cop show. Land of the Lost? Light-hearted adventure for sure, but definitely not something that brings comedy immediately to mind. Though there’s not even a direct correlation between the quality of a show and the large amount of people that watch it, we’re pretty sure that viewers didn’t tune in to The Dukes of Hazzard every week because of its hilarious witticisms or dry sense of humor. Sure, it’s obvious that Schindler’s List didn’t need fart jokes or prat falls in it, but even the B material should be allowed to be itself. If you want to make a comedy then do it. Stop trying to force an idea (or lack thereof) to be something it’s not. Starskey & Hutch, Land of the Lost, and The Dukes of Hazzard… these bring us to our second point of contention…
5. Stop With the Remakes and Reboots
Could there possibly be a more glaring light shining through Hollywood’s lack of ideas than all of these remakes and reboots? Remakes are not inherently evil. There’s John Carpenter’s version of The Thing but then there’s Rupert Wainwright remaking The Fog. If your only plan of expansion upon the original is to cast the actors ten years younger or change the ethnicity or gender of the lead role, you might have a bad idea brewing. And let’s be honest about a reboot while we’re at it, can we? A reboot is for an idea that you blew the first time around. If more attention were paid into asking why Batman’s suit suddenly had nipples on it, you’d be working on your seventh film in the franchise instead of your third. If you have a buffer of 20 years or more, sure. We’d even say that gives you a lot more leeway with things. But even the safety net of that scenario has been completely flubbed by Hollywood in recent years. The situation that Superman and The Fantastic Four have found themselves in is downright embarrassing with little to no light shining on the horizon.
4. Stop Running CGI Like Tap Water
It would seem to us that if 80 percent of your screenplay consists of effects shot descriptions instead of dialogue that you might want to rethink the validity of the movie you’re trying to make. Seriously, Mr. Bay. We mean it. Don’t misunderstand us; we love giant talking alien robots just as much as anyone. Hell, probably even more! But when your movie looks like it was made by a third grader with a cocaine problem, even we have to draw a line. Bruckheimer, you’re pushing it too, but our brains and eyeballs are still recovering from being visually bullied by that last Transformers sucker-punch. You’re definitely on notice though.
3. Stop Planning Trilogies Ahead Of Time
Hollywood is greedy, no secret there, but only they can get their priorities so far out of whack that they become worried about the third film before the first one’s even started. We don’t even like to commit to the third issue of a $4 comic book before we’ve had a chance to read the first one, so why would you spend millions of dollars and use years of people’s lives before the initial premise has even proved itself to be one that pays off? The Chronicles of Narnia and The Spiderwick Chronicles are perfect examples of getting in deeper than you needed to. A trilogy should come about by a movie being so successful that the market demands more. Ambition is one thing, but in holding back a bit, and putting your efforts into making one single movie the best it can be, the risk of desperately trying to recoup your investment isn’t as demanding. Maybe you should just steer clear of the word “Chronicles” from now on.
2. Stop Wondering If a Board Game Would Make a Cool Movie
Why do we even have to tell you this? Do you honestly mean to look us directly in the face and say that you and some friends were sitting around when suddenly Battleship cried out for a big screen adaption? Monopoly?! Things have gotten so unbelievably insane that Ridley Scott, the man who gave us Alien and Blade Runner, is attached to a movie version of Monopoly. We may not be big shot directors, but even we’re smart enough to realize that making a film version based on a game that nobody ever finishes playing is possibly the worst idea in the history of everything. We love you Ridley, but you need to go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done. We’re sorry but we can’t even look at you right now. As for you video games; don’t think you’re any better. We get that people dig Halo. People also dig the hell out of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The world doesn’t need a film about either of them.
1. Stop Giving Money to These Guys
We’re betting that you or someone you know has worked in a fast food place and yet Uwe Boll keeps getting money to make movies. We guess that that’s kind of a trade-off though. Yeah, the fast food worker is horrifically underpaid and underappreciated, but they don’t have to worry about committing some of the worst hamburgers of all time to be remembered forever. They get to keep historic dignity while guys like Uwe Boll, Brett Ratner and Stephen Sommers unashamedly continue to dig their own holes in pop culture’s refuse pit. Collectively responsible for such garbage as BloodRayne, Rush Hour 3 and Van Helsing, somehow the Hollywood movie machine keeps giving these guys new money and new projects for us to be terrified of. This is possibly the worst of Hollywood’s crimes. At this point we’ve got to assume that there’s more deserving talent to be greenlit out there than anything this trio can possibly serve up. Maybe we should give the fry cook a shot?
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