No producer in Hollywood today is capable of even thinking, "Why not?"
Among entertainment news stories this morning, there is Ivan Reitman talking about a possible Ghostbusters 3, Baywatch feature film, and sequel to the Howard Stern biopick Private Parts, along with news that Robert Zemeckis' mo-cap remake of Yellow Submarine has been scuttled by Disney. Just a few days ago, the gritty reboot of Little Red Riding Hood, called simply Red Riding Hood, was released, making $14 million on its opening weekend. This seems as good a time as any to talk about all the really bad ideas not only being thrown around by Hollywood but actually being put into production. I'm not terribly interested in being one of those people who complains about the lack of originality in Hollywood--because I know it's as much our fault as it is theirs--but really, the fact that these movies were green-lit and are coming soon to a theater near you soon should be a sign to all of us that we are quickly approaching the apocalypse.
This list is about movies being released this year. I have scoured the release date calendar for 2011 and picked the five most ridiculous films we have to look forward to. What's far more frightening than these films' very existence is the fact that they all might make a killing at the box office. What is wrong with you people?!
Before I get to the top 5, here are the runners up: Hanna (imagine The Bourne Identity, only replace Matt Damon with a teenage girl and throw in some pseudoscientific nonsense), Priest (basically, it's The Searchers with vampires), Limitless (that "you only use 10% of your brain" thing is a total myth, and movies based on it got old with 1992's The Lawnmower Man), and several unwarranted remakes of beloved eighties movies (Fright Night, Footloose, and The Thing).
Release Date: Sep 30
Filmmaker Roland Emmerich is taking another stab at historical accuracy (because he did such a good job with it in movies like The Patriot and 10,000 BC), only this time, he is using as his starting point an assumption that the Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship is a true fact. Not only that, but he's going with the extra-fringe "Price Tudor" approach, which states that, not only was Edward de Vere the true author of Shakespeare's plays, but he was also the illegitimate son of Elizabeth I. I don't even know how to begin to explain why this is a bad idea, but sufficed to say, Emmerich doing anything other than directing apocalyptic blockbusters (or writing legendary episodes of Star Trek) is, by itself, a terrible idea. Trusting him to do a political thriller is questionable at best, and trusting him to do a historical political thriller is downright stupid. Thinking that it would be a good idea to let him tackle the Shakespeare authorship controversy is even worse, but the good news is that, if his film does for the authorship debate what The Day After Tomorrow did for global warming alarmism or what 2012 did for the Mayan calendar madness, we can all look forward to poking fun at Shakespeare conspiracy theorists in the very near future.
Release Date: Apr 8
There are unwarranted remakes like the ones in my honorable mentions, and then there's abominations like this. Look, I'm no huge fan of the original Dudley Moore flick (which did win Oscars), but the idea of remaking it with the ludicrously annoying Russel Brand in the title role just doesn't make any sense. First of all, fans of the original Arthur are, for the most part, over the age of 40, while fans of Russel Brand are somewhere around 15. Secondly, is there a single human being on the face of Planet Earth clamoring for more Arthur? It won't be long before we see a remake of Moonstruck starring Britney Spears and a remake of Tootsie starring Zac Efron.
#3. Apollo 18
Release Date: Apr 22
I'll admit that I actually like fictional found footage horror flicks like The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, and Paranormal Activity, but even fans of the gimmick have to admit it's getting extremely old. Enter Apollo 18, the latest iteration of this idea. The film claims to be secret footage of a post-Apollo 17 mission to the moon in which the astronauts encountered aliens that killed the crew off one by one. The producers are even half-heartedly trying to market it the way The Blair Witch Project was marketed, by claiming that the footage is 100% real. This would be an effective trick if we were still in the late nineties and they could wipe that stupid grin off their faces.
#2. Conan the Barbarian
Release Date: Aug 19
Oh boy, another remake of a movie from the eighties! What separates this one from the others on the list is that, in addition to being a retarded idea, it isn't a terribly profitable one. Consider that this remake wants to be true to the original film's hard-R-rated titty-soaked violence, is being produced by smaller companies, has a working budget upwards of $150 million, and has virtually no star power attached to it. Even though this film purports to be based more on the original 1930's pulp fiction than on the 1980's films, it is hard to separate the character of Conan from the grips of Arnold Schwarzenegger's iconic performances, especially when you are replacing him with someone who is essentially unknown. Also, recent attempts to revive the character as a video game icon, similar to God of War's Kratos, were dismal failures, which should be a warning to anyone interested in the property that it's not something people are longing to revisit. While there are certainly a handful of geeks out there excited by this one, they do not make up enough of a population to recoup the film's bloated budget.
#1. The Smurfs
Release Date: Aug 3
Not only was this idea the brunt of an SNL parody many, many years ago, but it is actually a real thing being put out by the same Hollywood that brought you Alvin and the Chipmunks, Garfield, and Marmaduke. Just like those other three embarassments (all but one of which was hugely, inexplicably profitable), this one is taking a classic cartoon, turning it CG, and putting it into a live-action movie where wackiness is bound to ensue. The fact that there is even a single person who thinks this is a good idea makes me lose faith in humanity in general, but the fact that it's actually, seriously being made and released gives me a new understanding as to why the terrorists want to kill us all.