Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Good Ideas Gone Wrong

How many times have you really looked forward to a movie or a new tv show and felt really let down after you finally saw it? Probably a lot. I don't know why it's so hard to take an idea that really has potential and make it into something of quality, but so much out there is seriously dumbed down. I hate to think that's a reflection on us, the audience.

I have mentioned movie sequels, like Star Wars and The Matrix, and how they failed to live up to the promise of the originals. Now I'd like to take the opportunity to look at some movies or tv shows that had potential but failed to find their way.

Anything recent starring Nicholas Cage:

Okay, Nicholas Cage isn't exactly an idea, but his recent movies do fit the criteria of good ideas gone wrong. What exactly happened to his career? He had a good thing going as the quirky guy who starred in movies like Raising Arizona. Now it seems like he takes pretty much every offer that comes his way. Earlier this year we had Ghost Rider, which even hardcore sci-fi fans said was awful, and now we have Next, which can't seem to get people into the theatre by giving tickets away. I did notice he was listed as being cast in the Grindhouse, which has gotten some positive attention, though it may be too late to save his career.

The Hulk:

I like Eric Bana and I think he's a good actor. So I don't know if The Hulk was simply poorly executed or he didn't really fit the role. It also didn't help that the computer generated Hulk was beyond ridiculous looking. Can you say Michelin Man? The movie seemed determined to spend most of its time on the back story of David and Bruce Banner too. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for developing the story. But when you go to see a movie about an angry green guy, you expect a little more action. There is another Hulk movie set for 2008 that has cast Edward Norton in the role of Bruce Banner. Frankly, I don't know what to expect.


I liked Lost when it first started, but I did know well enough to be a tad skeptical about anything written or directed by J.J. Abrams; the man behind Alias. It seems I was right not to expect too much. Does anyone here actually think the scriptwriters of this thing have any idea where it's going anymore? It also cracks me up when I see how many plot devices they come up with to introduce new characters into the show. Though maybe I am wrong, I did stop watching it shortly after season 3 started. Who knows, maybe it's gotten significantly better. Naaaah.

The New Starbuck:

I still like BSG even though it has had its ups and downs. I was seriously put out when Starbuck was first introduced as a woman, but I ended up liking her-- at first. But lately her psychotic personality seems to have taken over and the rebelliousness that made her appealing at first has gotten tiring. Maybe there is supposed to be an arc of some sort where she goes through some other-worldly experience (I will say no more for those who may not have seen the season finale) that makes her a person with some human qualities. Or maybe we're supposed to believe that her abuse at the hands of her mother justifies her treatment of other. I don't know. Mostly, she just gets on my nerves.

The Punisher:

The Punisher could have been so much better IMO. I liked Thomas Jane as Frank Castle, but casting John Travolta as the villain kind of ruined the whole thing for me. I like ambiguous heroes and this movie could have been great. I haven't watched it in a while, but if I remeber correctly it could have been paced a little better. But mostly, I would like to have seen the character develop beyond the original revenge story. There has been talk about doing a sequel, though nothing concrete has come of it yet. I hope it gets done eventually, but with better casting of the villains this time.


Daredevil is another one that could have been great. I liked the beginning of the movie when the backstory was developed, but it kind of fell apart after that. And did anyone particularly like the casting of this movie? But mostly the second part of the movie is what ruined it overall IMO. It just never seemed to flow as well as it should and the love story seemed forced. Actually, they could have thrown out the love story altogether and just threw in some more action scenes and I would have liked it better. I'm not a proper girl am I?

So that's what I got, for today anyway. So do you agree or think I'm just plain wrong? And what would you add to the list?


Lucas Pederson said...

I hate Lost!!! Like you, I thought it was pretty good at first, then it all went to hell quickly.
I haven't seen Ghost Rider yet, but i had planned to. Maybe I shouldn't.
I have yet to see The Hulk too. I heard too many bad things about that flick.
The Punisher...I kind of liked, although I thought the earlier version, with Dolph Lundgren, was far better. MOre action, better storyline. And it showed just how messed up Frank Castle was at times.
Daredevil stank like goat cheese.

What I'm waiting to see is Spider-Man 3. All of them have been great so far, so I expect the third to kick some major ass. Espeacially with Venom on the rampage...I love that character.

Oh, and Grandhouse wasn't as good as people say it is. The first flick, by Robert Rodrigez, was the best. Actually it kicked ass. But Quinton Tarantino's film starring Kurt Russel, really sucked. I hated it. All it was was boring dialogue.
Anyway, that's my two cents.

Lucas Pederson said...

I meant Grindhouse, of course, not Grandhouse.

Carl V. said...

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with these.

I like the IDEA of Edward Norton as Bruce Bannister, but we'll see.

I didn't mind The Punisher on the first viewing, but it doesn't hold up well to subsequent viewings.

Nick is only in Grindhouse, in one of the fake trailers, for about half a second. It is a funny half a second, but not necessarily enough to save his career. I'm convinced Next is terrible simply because of the awful hair style they gave him. Yowza!

Carl V. said...

And I loved Grindhouse and actually liked Tarantino's film quite a bit. It is interesting how the two different films really split viewers. I know many people who liked one much better than the other. I liked them both, and think it really was as great, if not better, than people say it was. I thought it was fantastic and cannot wait for the DVD release...er, releases.

Fab said...

I was seriously disappointed by Daredevil. I didn't even get through the whole movie. I expected much much better.

Lost was fine season 1; I did watch season 2 but with less enthousiasm. And I think I'll leave it at that.

Fab said...

Ooh, another disappointment: From Dusk till Dawn. Djeez. That took a surreal turn form me. And I don't mind vampires usually.

SQT said...

Oh, I forgot about From Dusk til Dawn. I never made it through that one. I don't even remember enough about it to say whether or not the idea was good enough to say it could have been better.

Fab said...

That one I did watch entirely. Just to see if it was possible it getting any worse. Guess what? It did. You've got to admire that!

DesLily said...

you are so right about Nick Cage.. though I liked National Treasure, he was not the one for the part there either.

And Lost.. sigh.. I loved first season!..2nd season was..ok.. this season i think I watch "just because" and I can't even think of a reason..maybe i just keep hoping it will get better again because I do like the original cast.

Hey there, Skippy said...

So many disappointments in my life - and some of them even relate to Sci-Fi...

The Avengers movie: take a brilliant, witty, surreal 60s TV show and turn it into a giant turd.

Dungeons and Dragons movie: LOVED the kids TV cartoon. Hated the movie like I hate to eat my wheaties (see Missy Elliot for actual lyrics)

All Nicholas Cage product.

SQT said...

Oh yeah, The Avengers. So many to add...

UFR said...

There was a tv show that came out in 2001 called The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne that I thought would have great potential. Steampunk is a really awesome concept and it looks wicked cool but unfortunately I thought the show itself was an absolute bore. I don't think there was one episode that I managed to stay awake the whole way through. Such a shame because I really wanted to like this show.

avery said...

I'm still a loyal Lost fan. I do worry it will wrap up like the X-Files -- answering nothing and making me very, very put out. But, I'm still naive enough to hope.

I loved Grindhouse. Like I mentioned on my blog posting, Rose McGowan almost nailed Planet Terror as the better movie, but Deathproof turned out to be my favorite. Yeah, the dialogue wasn't as good as Tarantino usually writes, but Kurt Russell knocked it out of the park.

And speaking of Kurt and major disappointments -- anyone remember that painful piece of celluloid called Escape from L.A? Some sequels should never be born.

As far as Nick Cage, I also miss the quirky guy who was H.I. McDonnough. I even liked Wild at Heart. But now Nick's totally gone Disney. Too bad.

That show Supernatural is a big letdown, too. Had a good premise, but the episodes are like the writers open a Barnes and Noble book on demons every week, close their eyes and point at an entry, and then write a thin storyline around it. Plus the older brother is just so annoyingly brooding.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

There is a lot of good ideas gone bad in sci fi. The genre seems to be bursting at the seams with 'em. Most unfortunate.

Lucas Pederson said...

Hasn't anyone seen the old Punisher movie with Dolph Lundgren? I'm really surprised.
Oh and have you ever seen a movie called "I Come in Peace"? Don't, it's kind of a stinker. Coked up aliens are great, but the story was dumb.
And what about Hostel? I thought it wasn't too bad. I hear they are coming out with a second one here shortly.
And Rob Zombie is coming out with a remake of Halloween. Looks pretty sweet.
K. I'm done. Thank God huh?

SQT said...

I think sci-fi is just too easy to screw up. The special effects either end up overly computer generated or look like they were made on a severely limited budget.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Many of these had a lot of promise, although I confess to loving Lost!

The X Files ebbed away when Mulder & Scully stopped appearing. I hear there is a new movie with them though.

Angela/SciFiChick said...

I'd add LXG and Fantastic Four to that list. I still like them, actually. But they both disappointed me tremendously. I guess I set my hopes too high on comicbook flicks.

Lucas Pederson said...

Okay fine, ignore me.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i always loved alias! one of the ten i guess! ha ha

smiles, bee

avery said...

Sorry, Lucas, haven't seen either of the movies you mentioned. But, I do like Rob's movies, even though they seem to mean that he's pulling away from his music. His songs, videos and shows as of late are not so good. Maybe he should just stick to Hollywood and leave the music to his brother, Powerman 5000 (god save us all).

Anyway, I liked Rob's 'preview' for Grindhouse. Only he could mix choppy footage, Nazis and vinyl fetishes.

Carl V. said...

I liked Cage in National Treasure, I think he was really good for he part.

Being both a Kurt Russell fan and an Escape From New York fan I steadfastly refused to see Escape from L.A. and from all I've heard that seems to have been a wise choice.

LXG? Ugh, don't get me started!

SQT said...

Sorry you feel neglected Lucas. ;)

I haven't seen the Dolph Lundgren version of The Punisher. Something to add to the Netflix queue.

I don't really like horror movies, so I probably won't be checking out anything by Rob Zombie.

Alex said...

Tom Jane as the Punisher? WTF?!

Dolph Lundgren is the one and only Punisher.

Stupid Hollywood remakes!

SQT said...

Wow, I will definitely have to get the Dolph Lundgren version and see for myself.

Fab said...

I only know the 1989 version of the Punisher. I didn't know there was a remake.

I don't remember much of the movie. It's based on a comic? Isn't it?

Alex said...

BTW, The Hulk had Jennifer Connolly in it, which automatically makes it a must-see movie.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

OMG, the Dolph Lundgren Punisher is sooooo cheesey. The pacing is slow, the gun battles are uniteresting and Dolph not once but twice sits naked in a sewers and has a voiceover about talking to God. Pure cheesey fun.

SolShine7 said...

SQT, I agree with you on everything except Daredevil, well sort of. The first one was good, but the sequel Electra looked so crappy I have no plan to watch it, ever.

I'd like to add Blood Ties to the list. The pilot episode was really good but now it's gotten rather freak-of-the-weekish in a boring way.

Excellent post!!!

SQT said...

Soshine, I tried to watch Elektra and never made it through the whole movie. It stinks.

I think it was the whole Elektra thing that ruined Daredevil for me. I never thought the character was convincing. It kind of seemed like she was thrown in there because it was expected but no one bothered to make sure it made any sense.

Alex said...

Every film needs a strong female these days, like every cereal box needs a black kid with a front tooth missing.

It's in the law books somewhere.