M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth represents the latest in the line of underperforming “sure fire Blockbuster” movies that audiences have rejected. Every year there are a handful of films that are hyped, and for good reason. Great concept, based on existing material, or starring an all star cast with a visionary director. These movies do one of three things. The best of these movies hit on all cylinders, break box office records, are acclaimed by fans and critics alike, and live on as classics. The next best thing is to be a box office hit that is profitable even if fans and critics aren’t that impressed. The worst scenario is to become Speed Racer, a panned piece of manure that loses damn near 100 million dollars.can be. The feeling of wasting twenty to thirty dollars at the box office pales in comparison to the adrenaline dump you get when you sit through a film that you were so excited for, only to be rewarded with a sh*t product. Some movies are going to be obvious flops, I mean who saw an overweight Ice Cube in XXX: State Of The Union and thought, “this is going to change the world!” Rihanna shooting a gun in Battleship while saying, “Mahalo Motherf—” did not cause you to jump from your seat and say, “I need that in my life!”. Movies like that would have never worked. But what about those films that look incredible or are sequels to great films, but let you down? How many times have you thought, “Damn, I wish they would have done this the way I imagined or how the trailer made it look!” Every Star Wars geeks has dreamed of swapping Phantom Menace with Knights Of The Old Republic or The Force Unleashed storylines. X-Men The Last Stand made the most money out of all the X-Men films, but it’s a horrible film that was so bad that Bryan Singer is currently trying to Retcon it with Days of Future Past. What if Final Fantasy: Spirit’s Within would have just taken the story from Final Fantasy 7? What if Tomb Raider didn’t piss in my mouth and call it lemonade? What if Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer would have done the Catwoman movie right after Batman Returns instead of letting Halle Berry destroy the character years later? What If’s are what we all ask ourselves when we’re driving home from the theater after a bad experience. Well I feel your pain and I’ve done a list of do overs…
The Top Ten Films That Should Be Remade The Right Way
10) Fantastic Four: The first Fantastic Four did what it was supposed to do, make money, but it came at a cost and Fox felt the scorn from angry fanboys who refused to go support its sequel. This wasn’t supposed to be bad movie, the cast was nearly perfect, and it was coming in the midst of the first superhero movie boom. The storyline was jumbled and the directing choppy, but if they were to reboot and get the family adventure tone of the Fantastic Four comics across, it would be a smash.
9) Red Tails: George Lucas had been telling people since Willow that his next film was going to be a take on the Tuskegee airman, less politics and more action, in order to give African American’s some true heroes. What we finally got was a high-octane trailer, a campaign in black communities to “support black history.” and an actual movie that should have been shown on the Lifetime Movie Network. History Channel makes better documentaries than this mess. The sad thing is that the dog fighting sequences were great and the budget could have been used to lure in good actors—not just Neyo using a bad southern accent.
8) Sucker Punch: I like Sucker Punch—a lot. But I’m still going to put it on this list because there was no reason this couldn’t have been the Kill Bill of fantasy action films. Zack Snyder is a top ten director and his take of girl power masked under sexploitation, works on a many levels as is, but it’s held back by its rating. Warner Bros were afraid to death after The Watchmen’s R rating didn’t repeat 300’s success, and what we got was steam instead of blood, cartoon fight scenes, and schoolyard friendly lap dances.
7) Terminator Salvation: Damn was Christian Bale underutilized. The trailer for this film gave me goose bumps, and then it leaked that Arnold’s image from the 1980’s would be used to reprise the role of the T-800! Take my money!!! Then I saw the movie, which wasn’t as bad as Terminator 3, but is on this list because it blew a chance to do something really special. After years of talking about the Skynet war we were finally in the future, and it was wack! Please John Conner send someone back in time to redo this crap.
6) Jennifer’s Body: Before you dismiss this as a bad idea from the outset, you have to remember what this was being hyped as before we actually saw it. Diablo Cody was coming off an Oscar win for writing Juno and was being touted as the female Kevin Smith. Her next script was described as a horror high school revenge tale, unlike anything we’ve ever seen. I couldn’t wait to see her take on this, then Megan Fox was cast… and the witty Diablo Cody dialogue became more Tromaville than View Askew.
5) Godfather III: The Godfather II is arguably the best movie ever made—EVER. So how can these complex characters portrayed by these legendary actors get screwed up beyond repair? I blame the Catholic Church storyline, Andy Garcia’s horrible casting, and Francis Ford Coppola having too much time on his hand and a daughter who should have never tried acting. If anything needs a, “ignore this and watch a new version” it’s the final entry into the Godfather Saga, please make it before Pacino dies.
4) Green Lantern: Sigh... they should have known better since it was made post Dark Knight. WB knew what comic fans loved, yet they were determined to take a crap in our face and revert us back to Batman Forever type camp. Ryan Reynolds never had a chance with Hal Jordan being molded into a poor man’s Peter Parker. How about next time we skip the origin, assume people aren’t idiots, and give us a Green Lantern tale that takes place after he’s been established as a hero and is burnt out and cynical.
3) The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions : I give the Star Wars prequel Trilogy kudos for getting it almost right with Episode 3… the same can’t be said for The Matrix. What was supposed to be our generation’s Star Wars transformed from cool sci-fi Kung Fu epic, into some Neo as Jesus religious metaphorical crap. The Matrix trilogy lost its sense of humor and sense of adventure in an attempt to become something deeper. I imagine that someone will try to do to the matrix what Bryan Singer tried to do for Superman, keep the movie we all loved, and pretend the last two never happened. …whoa.
2) Street Fighter: I’m going to focus on the Jean Claude Van Damme version, not the Chun Li one that you’ve probably seen on sale for $3.99 in the Wal-Mart discount bin. Van Damme as Guile wasn’t the biggest problem, the biggest problem was that whoever produced this movie had never played Street Fighter II. Look, Capcom game designers aren’t the best story tellers, and SF’s endings range from the bizarre (Zangief dancing) to the lazy (Ryu wanting another challenge), but with a budget this big you could have hired Shane Black to give it a realistic story or just jacked a storyline from an acclaimed Hong Kong martial arts flick. Give us another quarter and let’s start this game over.
1) Transformers: The movie world of Bayformers gets a lot of things right... I’m not going to pile on it as if Michael Bay is making Tyler Perry type films. The action sequences are awesome, the actors are generally good, but the biggest problem with all three Transformers films is that it sacrifices the epic scope of Autobots versus Deceptacons and shifts the focus on Sam as a man on the run. If you want to do Cloverfield with Giant Robots, then make that a separate movie, we don’t need a human as the central character when it’s called Transformers. We need human characters, but not at the expense of the real story. Transformers is more than bad robot fighting good robot, it’s a civil war on a galactic scale! Imagine the movie North and South or Glory with machines—that’s what Transformers could be. These robots have backstories and real emotions, they’re not just there to protect Sam. But these things continue to make more money and more money, so I guess slow motion explosions and titties bouncing > the battle for Cybertron.
What are your list of movies you want a do over on?