6 Annoying Things Hollywood Needs to Stop Doing - Mania.com

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6 Annoying Things Hollywood Needs to Stop Doing

Bad Movies Made From Bad Habits

By Christopher Smits     December 11, 2009

6 Annoying Things Hollywood Needs to Stop Doing
© Mania/Bob Trate


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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Showing items 1 - 10 of 43
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midwest216 12/11/2009 4:23:21 AM

Completely agree with this article. 'Nough said.

Darkknight2280 12/11/2009 4:27:48 AM

I would say i agree with the #1 and #2 on this one..not soo much any of the other ones. CGI is here to stay, Remakes have been around forever (and they aint going no where), Lighthearted to hollywood = comedy. But really these are all just inevitabilities, none of which will go away, if they can maybe make some money..lol

monkeyfoot 12/11/2009 6:26:41 AM

Hey, it's a list article I have no disagreements with!

evilron 12/11/2009 6:45:01 AM

Great ideas. It's too bad Hollywood won't take this advice.

Wiseguy 12/11/2009 6:49:44 AM

6- I don't think every remake has been turned into a comedy. Haven't seen Land of the Lost but I thought Starsky and Hutch worked ok as a comedy. I always thought Dukes was a comedy.

5-Again don't totally agree. I feel if the movie is being presented to a new generation (meaning the film is at least 20 years old IMO) then I'm cool with it. If you can add or change it for the better then better yet. Just because a movie is dear to your childhood shouldn't mean a new generation can't get their own version. Afterall how many youngsters have you seen watching a black and white or even old Star Trek episodes. I'd rather we remake them for new generations than forget them.

 Reboots are a necessaty IMO. When a franchise goes wrong or starts wrong this is the only option. Don't you ever want to see a good adaptation of Elektra? A new Superman not constraint by Donner's vision?

4- Agree that story is key but cgi is a must for most genre material. People need to look at Cameron to get an idea of how it's done properly (See the reactions to AVATAR for example)

3- Disagree a bit. I'd rather have a self contained story but sometimes the story is too large to be told in one film. See LOTR or Star Wars for prime examples

2- Sure some the ideas of board game adaptations sound silly but I'm looking forward to ma Peter Berg helmed Battleship. And the video games now a days seemed to be pseudo films anyway, perfectly situated for adaptations

1-OK, I'll give you this one



akiraakobus 12/11/2009 6:55:01 AM

Ummmm plenty of people want a Halo movie, and a lot of other video game franchises will make good movies.  While a lot of Video Game movies have been bad, although most of them made by Uwe Boll whose film record is complete garbage even the movies he made that are not based on Video Games are compete sh*t.

Also while I admit that Rush Hour 3 was not that great and Van Helsing was overly cheesey, Ratner has made several enjoyable and successful films, as well as Sommers so if you don't like them thats tough sh*t  as a lot of people do because they are just fun.

djphillips25 12/11/2009 7:20:24 AM

Reboots can be very good. Without reboots, we wouldn't have gotten Batman Begins, and by default, The Dark Knight. We also wouldn't have gotten The Incredible Hulk, which was a vast improvement over Hulk. If you are going to knock reboots, remakes, viedo game adaptations, sequels and prequels, then you might as well knock novel and comic book adaptations, for they all are based on someone else's story or idea. Then we wouldn't have LOrd Of The Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter, Twilight (maybe not such a good example), 2001, To KIll A Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, and The Godfather. But that's OK, because nobody likes the Godfather...right? And hey, biopics are just real life stories of things that most people seeing them are at least partially aware of. Anyone who didn't know that the Titanic was going to sink while watching the film is a complete moron. Didn't stop the movie from becoming the highest grossing film in history.

And I would like to know how you would make a live action Transformers film without CGI. I'm not sure, but I think it would probably suck. Most people complained about the human characters in those films, but without them, they'd be all CGI. And how would you do a Star Wars movie or Avatar film without CGI. If you were to do them the way they were done 20 or 30 years ago, people would say they effects suck. CGI is a useful tool and cost effective tool. Maybe we should all go back to using horse and buggies instead of cars. After all, they are alot better for the environment. Talk about going green. But we won't because times change and we change with them. CGI is here to stay, so just deal with it. And it's OK if the CGI isn't realistic. Giant talking robots that transform into cars isn't exactly realistic.

And I think that Stephen Sommers and Brett Ratner are decent director's. Going by their current work, will they ever win an Oscar...no. But who cares? They make fun, mindless entertainment. They are not hurting anyone. If you don't like them, don't go see their movies. People ripped on Brett Ratner when he took over the X-Men films before the movie was even shot and it went on to be the highest grossing film in the franchise. Really, what was so great about Bryan Singer. The only movie he directed before X-Men that I was aware of was the Usual Suspects, one the dullust films I have ever seen, next to the English Patient. And then he left the X-Men films to screw up the Superman franchise. And how many people saw Valkyrie? How many people even remember Valkyrie? Bryan Singer is not the greatest thing to ever happen to comic book adaptations. His X-Men films strayed further from the source material than many of the films out there. But Uwe Boll should be stopped, really. If he hasn't learned how to make a movie by now, he probably never will. Can you hear me Mr. Boll? maybe you could try being an insurance salesman or something...please.

fft5305 12/11/2009 7:25:26 AM

6.  Disagree. Some versions work well as a comedy. Some cry out to be made comedies.

5.  Agree to an extent.  There should be rules to remakes.  Nothing more recent than 20-25 years (being French or Korean does not exempt a movie from this rule).  Don't remake unless you can bring something new to the table.  The original should be deficient in some way (plot, effects, acting) that can be addressed by a new version.  Don't reboot just because the franchise began sucking and you want to continue to milk the cash cow.  Also, reboot doesn't necessarily have to mean "edgy."  In fact, just remove that word from Hollywood entirely.  Etc...

4.  Agreed.  Not that it needs to be eliminated.  But take a clue from LOTR.  They integrated CGI where necessary, and used practical effects when it fit.  Dont' just CGI for the sake of CGI.

3.  Agreed.  LOTR was the exception, rather than the rule.  I understand contracting cast & crew for trilogies, in case you're successful.  But wait until the success comes before plotting out the whole series.

2.  Agreed.

1.  Disagree, mostly.  Though I know many on here disagree, but Sommers & Ratner have actually made some decent movies.  If they didn't at least make movies that made money, they wouldn't keep getting the opportunity.  Hollywood doesn't work that way.  It's all about "What have you done for me lately?"  Uwe Boll I just can't explain.  I'm at a loss.

NDorado 12/11/2009 7:56:17 AM

Great points.  I'm in total 100% agreement about number 1 -- if you're going to remake something, stick to the tone of the original.  The Brady Bunch was cute, but that doesn't mean every nostalgic remake needs to be turned into a spoof.

-- Nick
from City of Kik

Divo366 12/11/2009 7:57:37 AM

Ok, I agree with most everything... but I just had to throw out one argument..

Let's not forget one of my favorite movies... that '80's, Tim Curry favorite.. Clue!  I love that movie!!  Great cast, done right.. and all from a board game!

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