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Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were 
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
The Expendables. That movie should have been a lot more fun than it was. If it had had a better script, more humor and better developed characters it could have worked.

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Tue May 14, 2013 6:22 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Sean wrote:
Speaking of The Chronicles of Narnia, does anyone else think that those films were a total mess? Granted, Lion, Witch, Wardrobe wasn't entirely bad, but everything after that felt like a watered-down version of The Lord of the Rings for the below-12 crowd. Such a waste of perfectly good source material. I don't even want to think about how a future installment in the series might be handled.

Granted, the Narnia books were always intended for a slightly younger audience than Tolkien's works. Still, while definitely not in the same league as the "Middle-Earth" films, I still thoroughly enjoyed all 3 "Narnia" films. I thought both "Caspian" and "Dawn Treader" were just as good as (if not better than) "Wardrobe." And, as I mentioned above, unlike with the Harry Potter movies, I actually felt a genuine investment in these movies. I hope the movie rights issues can be cleared up by someone if not Walden Media, so they can get back to adapting the last 4 books (hopefully before the actor who played Eustace gets too old :| ).

Personally, I'm still a little surprised no one has yet to take on The Chronicles of Prydain. Surely it's not because Disney's botched adaptation of "The Black Cauldron" (which also included elements of "The Book of Three") from '85 was one of their bigger flops? :?


Tue May 14, 2013 6:23 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Jeff Wilder wrote:
The Expendables. That movie should have been a lot more fun than it was. If it had had a better script, more humor and better developed characters it could have worked.

I dug the film, but the sequel improved upon all those areas you mentioned, so I think you might like it more.


Tue May 14, 2013 6:31 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Vexer wrote:
You should definitely check out the directors cut as it adds more to the story, I actually saw Chronicles before Pitch Black, so maybe that's why I like it more.

I'm not 100% certain which cut I saw (it was a rental though), I suspect the Director's cut. And while Chronicles wasn't exactly a BAD film, it "SHOULD have been better than it actually was". The Riddick character is a very good one, and I have to admit I'm looking forward to Riddick coming in September this year.


Tue May 14, 2013 10:14 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Vexer wrote:
Jeff Wilder wrote:
The Expendables. That movie should have been a lot more fun than it was. If it had had a better script, more humor and better developed characters it could have worked.

I dug the film, but the sequel improved upon all those areas you mentioned, so I think you might like it more.


I agree with Jeff on the first Expendables, it should have been more fun than it was. But I agree with you that the sequel improves on the first one in every way imaginable. Stallone was correct to let somebody else direct the movie. Simon West did a good job. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis were allotted more much more screen time and even got in on the action. Another plus move on the movie. And best of all was casting Jean Claude Van Damme as the villain. He was so much a better bad guy than Eric Roberts was in the first one!


Some other movies that have been mentioned here that should have been great but wasn't include:

Les Miserbles (2012)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 (liked it, but didn't love it)
Spider-Man 3 (2 as well, for that matter)


Tue May 14, 2013 10:58 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

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Wed May 15, 2013 1:16 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

You think they should have killed off the child? If so, that's pretty cold man. Ebert once said that movies must offer "hope". I think it might be in his review for Wolf Creek, or something like that.


Wed May 15, 2013 1:52 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
nitrium wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

You think they should have killed off the child? If so, that's pretty cold man. Ebert once said that movies must offer "hope". I think it might be in his review for Wolf Creek, or something like that.

Well considering that Wolf Creek was based on a true story, that statement seemed a bit misplaced to me, personally I strongly disagreed with Ebert's review of that film, I think he missed the point of the movie, but I can understand how the film would be off-putting to some.

As for The Road, I too thought it could've been better then it was, it wasn't so much the ending as the overall narrative not being particularly engaging.


Wed May 15, 2013 1:57 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Wolf Creek was marketed as being based on a true story, but it's not. It’s definitely influenced by real murders, but nothing in the film actually happened.


Wed May 15, 2013 2:13 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
nitrium wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

You think they should have killed off the child? If so, that's pretty cold man. Ebert once said that movies must offer "hope". I think it might be in his review for Wolf Creek, or something like that.

I didn't say that the child should have been killed off, but that family that just "happened" to be following and watching the boy and his father? That is such deus ex machina bullshit that it's unbelievable. It would have worked better if the film ended with the boy facing a dying world alone.

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Wed May 15, 2013 3:56 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Vexer wrote:
nitrium wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

You think they should have killed off the child? If so, that's pretty cold man. Ebert once said that movies must offer "hope". I think it might be in his review for Wolf Creek, or something like that.

Well considering that Wolf Creek was based on a true story, that statement seemed a bit misplaced to me, personally I strongly disagreed with Ebert's review of that film, I think he missed the point of the movie, but I can understand how the film would be off-putting to some.

Finally found the quote I was looking for (took some doing). Turns out is wasn't Wolf Creek, but was in Ebert's (also 0 star) review of Chaos (2005) (http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/chaos-2005)
"The movie denies not only the value of life, but the possibility of hope." I can sort of see where he's coming from on one side, but I personally wouldn't write off a movie for this reason. I'm fairly sure that if the child had died in The Road, it would almost certainly have not been a 3.5 star review (http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-road-2009).


Wed May 15, 2013 4:09 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Ah Chaos, that makes more sense. That is one fucked up film, I wouldn't give it 0 stars, but I certainly don't blame Ebert for hating it.


Wed May 15, 2013 4:32 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
I've discussed this at length elsewhere, but this thread exists, so I feel a weird sense of duty.

Supermans I, II, IV, and Returns all should have been better.

The first film is excellent, but due to certain behind-the-scenes politics, the ending was compromised and so was the plan to link it directly to...

Superman II, which is a clusterfuck of contradictory filmmaking styles that survives with an intact reputation largely based on the material that most strongly recalls the first film. Taken together, the first and second films should have been a package deal--a complete arc. Unfortunately, this approach was abandoned and it damaged both films.

Superman IV has a great underlying idea: what if Superman tried to end war? After all, it's one of the defining problems of the human condition. If Superman wants to raise us up to our best potential, it's something he'll have to address sooner or later. War is a far greater obstacle to our civilization than any supervillain. Tackling the subject, portraying the triumphs, the setbacks, and the ultimate lessons learned, should have made for a fascinating story--perhaps the best superhero story ever committed to film. It would be a debate over one of the defining questions of the whole costumed strongmen genre: how should superheroes apply their power? Alas, the only element of this film to rise above ineptitude is the cast, which gamely tries to be serious amidst the shit.

The two warring personalities of Superman Returns are big budget action and introspective malaise. Despite their best efforts, the filmmakers never manage to get those two sides to gel. Were I to suggest an improvement, it would be simply to pick a side and commit fully. As it stands, if you want one side, you have to sit through the other as well, so this is probably a movie that's more interesting to think about than it is to sit down and watch. Doubly disastrous when you're putting it in front of a summer blockbuster audience that doesn't want to think about anything.

As for Superman III, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this one is probably as good as it was ever going to be. Fixing its problems would require going all the way back to the very beginning stages of development; at which point, you're no longer talking about improving an existing movie.

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Wed May 15, 2013 5:31 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Ragnarok73 wrote:
nitrium wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

You think they should have killed off the child? If so, that's pretty cold man. Ebert once said that movies must offer "hope". I think it might be in his review for Wolf Creek, or something like that.

I didn't say that the child should have been killed off, but that family that just "happened" to be following and watching the boy and his father? That is such deus ex machina bullshit that it's unbelievable. It would have worked better if the film ended with the boy facing a dying world alone.


I saw this recently and loved it. I've discussed it with my wife repeatedly and we tend to have a darker approach to it. The appearance of the family seems too convenient considering the overall bleakness of the film, but their approach is still too ambiguous for me to grant it all the alleged hope people might see in it.

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Wed May 15, 2013 10:12 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
A few more

Ang Lee's Hulk. A comic book art film is difficult to create. But not totally impossible. The main problem with this one is that although Lee tried valiantly, he was not able to make the comic book and Shakespearean elements mesh that well. The end result ended up boring most comic book movie fans and most of the art film crowd is not likely to see a movie about The Incredible Hulk. I ultimately admired it for its ambition yet found it to fail in execution.

Miami Vice. Michael Mann was adapting the TV show he'd been executive producer/main creative force of and had shown in previous films a knack for combining action with characterization and introspection. It didn't work that well here. Why not I can't say for sure. In some ways this might have worked better if he'd dropped the Miami Vice connections and just made the movie about completely new characters. His next film Public Enemies could also have been a lot better than it was, although I suspect that the main flaw with that one is that after Thief and Heat he went back to that well one time too many. The script also wasn't as strong as it normally was coming from Mann.

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Wed May 15, 2013 10:33 am
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Ragnarok73 wrote:
nitrium wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.

You think they should have killed off the child? If so, that's pretty cold man. Ebert once said that movies must offer "hope". I think it might be in his review for Wolf Creek, or something like that.

I didn't say that the child should have been killed off, but that family that just "happened" to be following and watching the boy and his father? That is such deus ex machina bullshit that it's unbelievable. It would have worked better if the film ended with the boy facing a dying world alone.

I see your point. They could have simply had the child stumble upon some random survivors, if they needed to end the movie on a note of hope. Actually, doesn't the book actually end that way? It's been a while since I read it.


Wed May 15, 2013 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.


Somebody else really likes Threads! Yay!

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Wed May 15, 2013 5:13 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
nitrium wrote:
I see your point. They could have simply had the child stumble upon some random survivors, if they needed to end the movie on a note of hope. Actually, doesn't the book actually end that way? It's been a while since I read it.

Yep, the film adapted that ending almost directly from the original novel, hence what I said about this being a time when the adaptation should have taken license with the source material.

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Wed May 15, 2013 11:24 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
JamesKunz wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I'm going to add The Road to this thread. That film had the potential to surpass Threads as one of the most depressing post-apocalyptic films ever made but for that damn ending. This is one instance where the filmmakers should have altered the source material in the adaptation.


Somebody else really likes Threads! Yay!

It's not shocking that you haven't found too many people who did like it, given that really depressing films don't tend to be popular. If you want a truly depressing ending, Threads really delivers. Do not watch that film without copious amounts of alcohol on hand.

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Wed May 15, 2013 11:27 pm
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Post Re: Movies that SHOULD have been better than they actually were
Donnie Darko: Director's Cut
In theory a Director's Cut should ADD to a film for its benefit (i.e. it should make it "better"). Well Richard Kelly not only managed to make a WORSE Director's Cut than the original theatrical version, but actually ruin the whole thing. By explaining everything, all the puzzles/mythos are effectively removed, and this former (imo) genuinely great movie actually becomes incredibly lame. It also proves beyond all doubt that the theatrical cut is NOT simply a fluke from an otherwise crappy director. The DC (i.e. Kelly's original vision) of Donnie Darko is actually almost just as mediocre a film as all Kelly's subsequent releases, and was only made good by a very, very good editor who understood the notion that sometimes "less is more".

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Thu May 16, 2013 4:01 am
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