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February 08, 2004

Comments

Oh, come on. I can't bring myself to hate any movie with giant bugs in it.

On That Movie With Bugs, I suggest reading this.

I'm neutral on Highlander questions, but otherwise you are displaying Impeccable Taste, Moe. (There are a variety of claims that the original script of That Star Trek film is much better, and that the studio is to blame for chopping the budget, special effects, and other aspects, but I'm very dubious, myself; most of the elements we saw were simply bad and pointless themselves. Scotty banging his head? That's so funny. Not. "Gravity boots" that wouls simply snap your ankles off? Fart jokes? Never-mentioned brothers? Idiot mental powers that magically turn everyone against Kirk because people "know their pain"? Pointless grunting Klingons? Etc., etc., etc.)

And if ever a movie shouldn't have been made, it's that abortion Batman and Robin. Joel Schumacher has no clue as to what the point or appeal of Batman is. (No, Joel, it's not nipples.)

And Burton's first film was so good. Thanks, Schumacher, for killing the franchise for many years. (Ever see the TAS episode done in the style of four Batman artists, including Bill Finger and Frank Miller, that including mocking Schumacher? Superb.)

Does this mean I should finally write up my observations on all the things wrong with ST: Generations (which I liked more than not, but still), and Nemesis? Or my rant on the awful use of weapons in modern ST?

Nah....

There was no third Godfather movie, nor were there any sequels to The Prophecy, starring Christopher Walken. :)

There are a variety of claims that the original script of That Star Trek film is much better, and that the studio is to blame for chopping the budget, special effects, and other aspects, but I'm very dubious, myself; most of the elements we saw were simply bad and pointless themselves.

I read the book before seeing the movie* and it provided quite a bit more background information which made the movie make more sense than if I had just seen it on its own. While the second run of DC comics did a pretty good job of taking off after the movie, I would have no problem with considering both ST V and ST VII** as “movies that never happened.” I mean Kirk dies falling off of a bridge while the French wimp goes on to persevere? Pshaw right!

TW

* The novelization of Nemesis (which I enjoyed for the Romulan angle alone even though it was an obvious rip-off of ST II with a clone angle) did not provide any background information to make any of the plot make sense. To this day, I have no idea why the Romulans would have made a clone of a Starfleet ensign (Shinzon was 24/25 years younger than Picard) nor why they would trust a slave with their most powerful warship.

**Although I did enjoy how Shatner resurrected his character, had him defeat nearly everyone of the TNG primaries in one-man combat but his subsequent characterization of Kirk as a father is as abysmal as the recent portrayal of Han Solo’s (by far the best sci-fi movie character ever created) character in the “New Jedi Order” novels.

"I mean Kirk dies falling off of a bridge...."

Completely lame, yes. What's amazing is that that's the improved, refilmed, second version of Kirk's death.

The Generations script was half-baked. Even Ron Moore has admitted it in interviews in recent years. The Nexus made no sense, that Picard didn't simply re-emerge at an earlier point when it was easy to defeat Soran made no sense, and Kirk's death was arbitrary and utterly undramatic and limp.

On Nemesis, my impression is that the back-storyline was that the Remans had revolted and won autonomy, partially through Shimzon's great battle leadership, thus earning his great ship in the Dominion War, for what it's worth. As for his clone-nature, one has to assume that those crafty Romulans were super-clever in spotting Picard's potential. i guess.

Stuff that bugged me far more were elements such as the dune-buggy, which existed solely because Patrick Stewart loves fast driving. It made no sense whatever as a Star Trek element. You have a small flying craft. The advantage of a wheeled vehicle is what, precisely, other than being "fun"?

Then you have a pointless alien race, with utterly no distinguishing characteristics, who are strangely completely undetected, whose sole purpose is to grunt and fire weapons (with what industrial base were those made, exactly?). Very Star Trek, that. And, again, as is the Modern Star Trek way, they are not dealt with by a single stun phaser blast from the ship, and since ST:TOS, hand phasers have lost wide-angle capacity, and ceased to act as beam weapons, and have become less effective than today's weapon. Give me a machine gun over a post-TOS phaser/disrupter any day (and any weapons beyond pistol/rifle types do not exist, a la Verhoeven's abortion).

Picard and company are also shown to be geniuses by not realizing that going through an area where communication will be impossible is not a bright idea. Until too late!

The whole telepathy/rape thing existed only to be titillating (was anyone?) and to serve as the equivalent of the homing torpedoes in ST VI (which the writers forgot didn't exist on the Enterprise, but on the Excelsior; whoops!).

Then they wonder that these things aren't hits. Clue: bad scripts make for bad films and bad word-of-mouth, Paramount, and it doesn't matter how much of a base you have prepared to want to like Star Trek, except insofar as you alienate more and more of that base by showing contempt for it.

Crank, crank, crank.

I forgot to note the nifty attention paid to the Prime Directive by engaging in that dune buggy battle. Way to pay attention to petty details of continuity, guys! Prime Directive, Shmime Directive, let's have squibs go off! No one's ever seen such excitment before!

And: emotion chip? What emotion chip?

I did like Data's singing at the wedding, though. (Wesley? Who's Wesley?)

Maybe this is just wishful thinking but didn't the Weasel get sucked through the hull breach where the viewscreen used to be?

Have to disagree strongly with the singing. I thought it was lame but not nearly as bad as the "Magic Carpet Ride" scene from "First Contact."

I must say I'm extremely gratified that no one has thus far ever made a movie with the Dungeons and Dragons license. In all likelihood, it'd be a peurile affair with an abysmal script and an apparent target audience of four year olds.

So, again, glad it hasn't ever happened.

Well, I keep hearing claims about a third Alien movie, but certainly they would never have done that without getting Michael Biehn on board. And of course any such movie would, after the success of the first two, have a director who had a long record of success under his or her belt and not use a guy who had never directed anything other than a music video. Nor would the movie depend on the alien queen having implanted Ripley, despite the clear evidence that the queen was dead--and also assume that the characters in the second film were too stupid to have made sure there were no aliens aboard the Sulaco.

The only thing crazier than that Kevin would be an Alien movie made by a post-modern French director that revealed that aliens and their progeny had a latent genetic propensity for basketball! Wouldn't that be funny?

Sorry, no time to comment, I'm off to work on my Dungeons and Dragons script.

I think TV shows that are (as Vizzini would say ) inconceivable as movies constitute a major subgroup of Movies That Must Not Be. Thank God, for example, that no one has ever thought to make a movie of The Beverly Hillbillies or The Flintstones. (I have heard that the brilliant series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was adapted into a deeply mediocre movie, but I refuse to believe this; for one thing, the alleged BtVS movie supposedly came out before the series, which is obviously impossible.) We can rest happy in the knowledge that the memory of great series like Maverick and Wild Wild West will never be desecrated by awful film adaptations; equally happy is the fact that mediocrities like Charlie's Angels and Starsky and Hutch will not be enshrined as faux classics thanks to some misbegotten movie versions.

Of all the TV-themed Movies That Must Not Be, the most utterly inconceivable would be any movie inspired by or starring contestants from any of the so-called 'reality' shows, e.g., American Idol.

Following up on Mr. Hilton's comment, it has always pleased me that there was never a movie made from the terrible series 'Lost in Space,' since it would likely include--among other Sights Too Awful To Contemplate And Remain Sane--a cast member of 'Friends' acting up a storm.

Aaaggghhh! Sorry about the missing right tag--looks like now everything is in italics. Unless that fixes it.

I have vague memories of seeing an animated version of Lloyd Alexander's book [i]The Black Cauldron[/i] once, but I think that must have been my imagination. Disney is responsible for a lot of evil in the name of moviemaking, but even they couldn't possibly have bought a classic children's book for adaptation, only to throw out most of the plot and characters in favor of a bland, generic fantasy adventure? It's almost as silly as the idea of Disney making an animated version of [i]The Hunchback of Notre Dame[/i] and even doing a sequel to it!

Speaking of bad adaptations, wouldn't it be awful if someone tried and failed to cut Michael Ende's terrific novel [i]The Neverending Story[/i] down to movie size, and further ruined it with wooden acting and crappy special effects? And, even worse, went on to produce sequels? Thank goodness the Germans' innate Teutonic sense of good taste prevented them from ever trying that.

Looks like it's my turn to screw up the italics tags...

I should mention that I'm thankful that no one has ever tried to make an animated film from any Tolkien work, and that no one ever imagined doing one with Ralph Yarbrough singing in it.

It's also good that no one ever saw Raiders of The Lost Ark and thought "that was great, but it needs a little kid sidekick speaking broken English, and a screeching woman who screams all the way through; plus, manual heart extraction!" (I believe James Lileks is also grateful.)

It's possible that someone could make a good movie out of Howard The Duck, but we will likely never know.

A Batman tv series might someday be doable, but only if it were properly mysterious, dark, and rather frightening. Given the "hot" familiarity tv brings, this makes it an unlikely prospect.

I'd hate to see a "Superman" movie that gave him wacky new powers, such as shooting rays from his finger, or being able to turn the Earth back in its orbit, thus turning back time; I'd also hate to see him and Clark Kent made all campy and goofy. I'm glad to see that Smallville is doing a pretty good job of showing a fairly plausible, believably imperfect, Clark Kent.

One thing I've considered at times are the near-constant black-outs in the Sixties that meant that there was really very little series tv ever on at all. Those few good series that were broadcast were good, but one wonders what crap might have otherwise existed. I've heard that executives proposed all sorts of crazy stuff, such as talking horses, talking cars, captive genies, astronauts living with cave-men, moron cavalry officers, Nazi POW comedies, and goodness knows what else. Must have been some "stupid" drug in the water or something. Good thing they didn't have a chance to make those!

Sigh.

Oh come on. A Nazi POW comedy? Go to Snopes.com and I'm sure you'll find that urban legend debunked.

How gullible do you think we are? Next you'll tell us that somebody madea movie about the sordid sexual antics of the [i]star[/i] of the apocryphal Nazi POW comedy.

Geez, is something broken on this site, or does everybody have an aversion to hitting the "Preview" button for fears of getting a preview for one of these nonexistent movies, thus shattering our consistent view of the universe?

And I keep hearing that The X-Files decided to bill one of it's season finales as a movie so they could make some cheap money off of it real quick before everyone realized they had long jumped the shark...

Once, about a decade ago, under the influence of more controlled substances than I really should admit, I had an incredibly detailed hallucination that someone had made an over-$100-million science fiction movie hinging on the idea that The Ultimate Perfect Being Ever could read through an entire encyclopedia in order to educate herself about humanity, and nearly destroy the universe by having a nervous breakdown upon reading the entry for "war" -- apparently having skimmed over the entries for "atomic bomb", "crusade", "ethnic clensing", "genocide", "jihad", "nuclear weapons", "rape", "suicide bomber", "terrorism" and "hollywood". Oh, and somehow at the end a taxi driver played by Bruce Willis saved the day by reminding her about "Love", which presumably she also skipped, encyclopedias being long and boring even for Perfect Beings.

Plus there was opera.

Needless to say, I've sworn off hallucinogens since. That other people have reported similar visions might well indicate that LSD actually does tap into some shared subconscious, and is also probably the only cogent argument for keeping the stuff illegal that I've ever heard.

Hey, Doctor Memory, that was a great nonexistent movie.

Come on now, who cares about all these silly Star Trek movies? What about the biggest question in Science Fiction, which is of course what kind of incredible movie might be made of Dune? It's one of the great travesties of humanity that never once has it been attempted. Why, I'd take my luck on a guy who does movies just for the hot lesbian action, if only to see what he would do with all the exposition for the most sophisticated series ever written.

Also, it's a pity that Hollywood never threw its money at a try at Godzilla. Just imagine what could be done with the special effects we had even a few years ago! And the star power a project like this might even draw the much-desired talents of someone starring in the most popular musical ever!

Second the motion of the sequels to Prophecy.

And there could have been no overcooked, over-FXed sequels to the highly imaginative low-budget Hellraiser either, because no way would Clive Barker allow his characters and concept to be polluted the way those non-movies surely would have done had they actually been made.

And Ocean's 11, second version. I mean one stupidly bad movie of that name would obviously prevent another from being made, n'est-ce pas?

You think that all those mythical movie-from-television show projects were bad? Imagine other media. God help us if they had dared recreate classic radio programs like The Shadow or famous comic strips like Dick Tracy. Probably cast them with pop stars who can't act, or miscast leading men or, worst of all, a Baldwin brother, too.

I am so glad that Tom Hanks decided to stop acting when his career dried up after Big Joe and the Volcano. Otherwise he probably would have made a whole bunch of horrible, schmaltzy, over-acted dramas that inexplicabley won him acedemy awards. In addition, he probably would have made some insufferable, schmaltzy over-acted romantic comedies with that other has-been, Meg Ryan. I am so glad that never happened.

Me, I once heard about a movie that doesn't exist, but that I want to see for one reason. It wasn't a version of Dune with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Chani, and it contained the line:

"Tell me uff the vaters uff your homevorld, Usul."

As an ex-RPGer myself, I've got to second/third the relief about a lack of D&D film. You can just bet someone would throw in token references to the game, like, I dunno, Beholders. I should imagine if anyone ever made a travesty of a film barely even based on the game, I would walk out of the cinema unless Richard O'Brien turned up playing some robber baron.

Oh, and thank the Almighty no one has ever tried to make a live action version of Scooby Doo.

I'm so relieved that Schwarzenegger did Governor of California before he could make Terminator III. The spectacle of Schwarzenegger as a moronic, grunting, out-of-control android mouthing lines from a script written by idiots is not a pretty one... but Terminator III would have been worse. (Of course, I might not think this if I lived in California.)

We should count our blessings that they never actually made X-Men I - that the oddly-named X-Men II is actually the first film. Reputedly, a couple of scenes from X-II were originally filmed for X-I - the young Magneto pushing down the gates of Auschwitz, and the scene where Rogue and Wolverine meet.

I heard a rumor that George Lucas was going to do three "prequels" to the Star Wars trilogy in an attempt to cash in on the wild success of his earlier venture. He'd probably have included Darth Vader as a cute young kid going "Whoopee!" and invented an incredibly irritating alien so that he could sell soft toys of it. Good thing it never happened.

I had a bad dream that Robin Williams tried to play the robot in Isaac Asimov's short story, "The Bicentennial Man". Only it was directed by someone with no idea about science-fiction, and adapted by someone who had no idea what Asimov's story was about. Robin Williams turned in one of the worst performances of his life. Then I woke up and realised it had all been a dream. *phew!*


Oh, and re: the nonexistent Star Trek V, it should be noted that according to Stephen King's long-forgotten memoir "Danse Macabre," a movie with that exact plot was, in fact, pitched to the Star Trek cognoscenti during the preproduction meetings for the first movie. By Harlan Ellison. As a joke.

Boy, I'm glad nobody ever tried to film Tom Wolfe's 'Bonfire of the Vanities' which is one of my favorite books but almost certainly unfilmable. I mean, they might've cast someone like Tom Hanks as Sherman McCoy (for who better to play a vainglorious wall street creep) or Bruce Willis as Peter Fallow (after all, there are no actual Brits who can convincingly play drunkard journalists) and really made a hash of it.

The entire genre of "sequel" is actually a sophisticated hoax perpetrated upon the gullible public by the cryonically preserved remains of Eugene Ionesco. There have not actually been any "sequels" and never will be -- as to the "prequel", there is speculation afoot that this genre is the fevered imagining of a virus-infected Pentagon AI project.

Thank goodness they aren't making any more religious movies. Otherwise Mel Gibson might try to make one -- using the original Latin, Greek, and Aramaic.

And it's a good thing they never made movies about those dumb "Left Behind" books.

Have you heard the rumor that in a proposed sequal to The Terminator the story line claims that they could send a terminator through time made entirely of metal that could change shape, though we all know that only flesh can make that trip (hence the naked time travelers of the first, I mean only, film)?

Also, in this travesty (I am glad the studio refused to do this because it hurts the integrity of the film) the terminators must be completely destroyed so that the technology can not be used to create the machines that take over in the first place. Which would mean that John Conner was never born, because his father would never have traveled back in time to nail Linda Hamilton.

And there was only one Highlander film. I thought I saw the third one, but it was just like the first. So they just re-released the first.

Same with Arthur 2: On the rocks.

What, they never made Terminator II, either? I just imagined Linda Hamilton, buff and pumped?

Geeze... I dream pretty dreams!

I have heard people claim that there was a movie made named "Hook". Supposedly, it was directed by Steven Speilberg and starred Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell. Now, while no one disputes that this group could make a *BAD* film, the rumors about this movie were that it was simply "dull enough not to distract you from estimating this month's PG&E bill", which is obviously not possible.

What is this "Scooby-doo" someone refers to?

I'm sorry, Gary - I wasn't actually aware of ever having taken acid, but on reflection what I had supposed was an animated series called 'Scooby-Doo' must have been the a pretty frightening trip.

There was this character called Shaggy who sounded a bit like Casey Kasem, and was fun; but it became obvious it must have been a drug-influenced daydream of mine when I recalled a really irritating dog called 'Scrappy-Doo'.

I mean, no one would ever unleash that on children.

I'm just glad that nobody ever decided to make a movie of "The Avengers". If such a thing were to happen, and I were forced to walk out of the film in disgust halfway through, it would be too horrible to even contemplate!

Good thing it never happened, huh?

There was definitly no such thing as a filmed version of "The Avengers". Hell, I flatly defy anyone to come up with any proof that such a director as "Jeremiah Chechik" even existed. I mean, look at that name and that alleged resume: obviously a hoax perpetrated on the overworked staff at the IMDB...

I have it on good authority that Sean Connery was too drunk during the time that this "Avengers" movie was ostensibly being filmed to stand up, let alone appear in a movie.

Kind of on a related note.

I just want to say that I am so glad that they are not going to do an episode of Angel in which the main character turns into a puppet.

Thorley, on behalf of those of us who are working our way through Angel as it gets released on DVD, thank you for confirming that that does indeed, not happen. :)

Michael N,

On behalf of those of us who watch it as the episodes air, you are quite welcome and you’ll be delighted to know that they never did an episode in which Wesley and Angel were dancing during the closing credits either ;) (1)

TW

(1) Although if they did do it, I would imagine it would look pretty darn funny ;)

thankfully, Angel never introduced a character that was so despised by the audience that they had to write him out of the series and create a ridiculous storyline whereby every character 'forgot' he existed!

And thankfully they would never think of bringing him back for the final story arc of the series.

There was this Internet hoax a year or so ago about how they were going to cast Halle Berry as Catwoman, except that she would have all these superpowers that the classic Batman character (you know, the one that generations know and love) didn't have, and they would make a big deal about how Halle's catpowers gave her uncontrollable cravings for tuna fish.

I thought this hoax was in poor taste.

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