Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bad Movies Happen in Threes

Despite the fact that I often use the Superman logo to define my identity and do enjoy the Man of Steel, my favourite superhero of all time is Batman. And like everyone else, I saw The Dark Knight and thought that it was made of awesome. They had taken Batman Begins, fixed the shitty fight sequences and turned it into a masterpiece.

Now of course, in the years that have passed, fans have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, which is due out next year. It'll be featuring Catwoman and Bane as the main villains. Personally, I'm a bit mixed about Bane considering how useless he was in Batman and Robin, but if anyone can bring to life the original character from the comics, a man who could recognize that Bruce Wayne was Batman just by looking at him, it's director Christopher Nolan. Our villain...who got beat in less than one minute by Chris O'Donnell and Alicia Silverstone. Lame!

Since we're just a little more than a year away from it's release, a website for the film has already been set up and a poster has been released. And to further whet the appetites of film goers, a teaser trailer was leaked onto YouTube via some guy's camera phone. I can't really make a lot out of what's there but at the same time, I'm really intrigued and wondering how they're going to close out this series.

And at the same time...I'm nervous as shit about it. Let's face it, The Dark Knight is probably the best superhero movie ever and nothing in maybe the next twenty years will be able to top it (Unless Rises does it somehow) and...well, sometimes it's the third movie in a series where the quality really drops. Let's look over a few examples, shall we? Oh and these examples probably contain spoilers, I guess.
"What do you mean Kevin Conroy is dubbing all my dialogue in the next movie!?"
1) Star Trek III: The Search for Spock-Ah, the sequel that started the 'Odd-Numbered-Trek-Movies-Suck' rule. But if I can be blunt, while this movie isn't as good as it's predecessor, Wrath of Khan, what is? Seriously, the last movie had space battles in nebulas, torpedoes blowing off engines and to top it all, the most popular character in the franchise sacrificing himself to save his friends.

This movie is by no means terrible, it just had the unfortunate duty of following a movie that put Star Trek back on the pop-culture map. Still, it's got good special effects for it's day which still hold up in my view (I prefer models over CGI starships), a good story and Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon commander. What's to bitch about? If you want something to bitch about, trust me, that's what the rest of this list is for.Spoiler Alert: They find him

2) Superman III-Oh God, talk about a drop that was faster than a speeding bullet. The first movie was a great adventure for the whole family with a simple story, great actors and stellar direction. The sequel continued that story with three dangerous villains from Krypton teaming up with Lex Luthor to rule the world and destroy a conflicted Superman. It really made you look forward to the third movie. Which villain from Superman's Rogue Gallery would be used? Brainiac? Bizzaro? But it would be neither. The producers decided to do something totally unexpected. With two great films under their belt, what could the filmmakers do to take a Supercrap on a promising franchise?

They cast Richard Pryor. Look, I'm not saying Pryor is not funny. His standup is hilarious, he's an influence to millions of comedians and drug users but...Jesus Christ was casting him just a bad idea. In fact...the whole movie was a bad idea. They replace Lex Luthor with this guy who's just Luthor with a different name, the fight between Clark Kent and Superman (Yeah, you read that right) and the so called 'comedy' in the film. If there's one thing I remember liking in this movie, it's this scene. But don't worry, if this abomination didn't kill the franchise, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace finished the job."I've come to save this franchise from any future credibility."

3. Batman Forever-The first two Batman movies directed by Tim Burton were really good. However, after the first two he handed the role of director over to Joel Schumacher. Where Burton's films were dark and gothic, Schumacher just made everything really...campy.

Remember how the villains from the first two were dark, menacing and intriguing? Too bad, because now we got loud, annoying and making us wish we were watching a better movie (An omen of things to come for Jim Carrey's later work). Oh and they finally decided to throw Robin into the mix. But instead of him being a teenager like he normally was in the comics (I refuse to believe Batman would let a nine-year old fight crime), they thought that casting 25 year old Chris O'Donnell was the best move. Cause there's nothing that can be misinterpreted by Bruce Wayne allowing a grown man to come and live with him.

Oh and Tommy Lee Jones was just forgettable as Two-Face. Oh and way to piss on the character's personality by having him constantly flipping the coin until he gets the result he wants. The coin in his only judge. Once a decision has been made, it is done. There is no appeal, no nothing.

And what's with that title anyway? Batman Forever sounds like something a fanboy would write as his Facebook status after getting an autograph from Adam West. But to the film's credit, at least it wasn't Batman and Robin.
Little known fact: Billy Dee Williams (Lando) was originally supposed to play Two-Face

4. The Godfather Par III-How the mighty had fallen. The story of the first two Godfather movies is almost like a Greek tragedy while the third movie is just a tragedy in and of itself. What hurt this movie? The absence of Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen? The casting of Sophia Coppola as Micahel's daughter? The whole kissing cousins subplot? Connie being too dumb to know that Michael had Fredo killed?

I've only seen this movie once and it just didn't feel right. In my eyes, it was like watching a movie that was trying to be like The Godfather but just came up really short. On the one hand, I can see why they would want to make a sequel but on the other hand, after 16 years, it just didn't really make any sense. Michael at the end of Part II had beaten all of his enemies yet was probably hurt the hardest with his wife leaving him and choosing to murder his own brother. Let's hope that we just leave this series where it is. Yeah, this is what mafia movies need: More incest!

5. Spider-Man 3-How could I possibly forget about this series? It started out with such promise. Granted it wasn't without flaws; the first movie had atrocious dialogue that I would write when I was still in grade school and the second movie...well, I think it's overrated. Granted I've only seen it once but it didn't leave that big an impact on me like it did everyone else.

However I was excited for the third movie because they were going to be bringing in Venom, played by Topher Grace along with Thomas Hayden Church as the Sandman and James Franco now out for revenge against Peter Parker for apparently killing his father in the first movie. I knew right then and there that it was too much for just one movie.

Having Sandman be Uncle Ben's real killer to me cheapened the impact of Peter's discovery in the first film. I sat there thinking, "It took you that long to figure this out? Wait, the original guy you caught, yeah, he was an accomplice, but he didn't even try to make some sort of deal with the cops?"

Oh and then there's the issue of Harry finding out his father died by his own hand. What the hell was that butler waiting for? Harry had already gotten his face fucked up by a bomb because of his revenge due to this guy not telling the truth and NOW he thinks this is the best time to tell him, "Oh, hey, Spider-Man is totally innocent"? I would be beating the shit out of that old dude and I don't care if his brother was President Taft or not.

And then there was Venom...what little there was. Why did they have to show Topher Grace's face every time he spoke as Venom? We know who Venom is. Stop reminding us. We're not retarded. How would you have liked it if every time Batman spoke in The Dark Knight I nudged you in the ribs and shouted, "That's Bruce Wayne played by Christian case you forgot!!!"

And of course, what kind of person would I be if I didn't mention emo-Peter or that god damned fucking stupid dance scene. That's the direction you wanted to take this movie? You have Peter Parker, slowly being taken over by an alien organism that is changing his behaviour and actions...and a fucking dance scene was the best thing you could come up with? I'm sorry, but did you call in Joel Schumacher to write this scene? I watched the Spider-Man cartoon when they did the Venom storyline and nowhere, nowhere was there any stupid dance scene!
Are you trying to show anger or constipation cause right now either one is making me laugh

I think I might be worrying about nothing when it comes to The Dark Knight Rises. After all, the people behind these movies have shown that they want to do adult stories for adult audiences and not take said audience for granted. But still, if there's a dance scene...even if it's a small one, cut it from the film.

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