BLOGBUSTERS Top Of The Flops
Cult is, far too often, a synonym for rubbish in genre fiction. “What? You mean you DON’T see the fascinating socio-political ramifications of Sharktopus being deployed to fight Somali pirates? Then there is nothing further to discuss, good day, Sir! I SAID GOOD DAY SIR!” That kind of thing.
That’s not awesome. We all have different tastes, we all dig different things and we all love an underdog. Which is why this week’s Blogbusters question is:
“What flop movie franchise, which clearly had sequels lined up that never happened, would you have liked to see continue?”
Steven Ellis: I’m not sure there is any franchises that flopped which I’d like to see given another chance… They mostly flopped because they were rubbish.
If anything, given the choice I’d go the other way and get rid of some of the films that I wished hadn’t been given sequels and prequels. There are so many follow-up films out there that are a let down after excellent first films. The two Matrix sequels come to mind.
Even some of the really bad films out there get much worse sequels. I watched Ghost Rider 2 the other day. And you may have thought the first film was bad, but it has nothing on the crappiness of the sequel. Avoid the film at all costs. I watched it so you don’t have to.
That being said there are a few good films that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of; I suppose a sequel to Joss Whedon’s Firefly movie Serenity would be a welcome sci-fi fan choice. But if I had to pick just one, it would be a follow up to 1999′s Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest. I loved that film and I’d happily go along for some continuing adventures with the crew of the NSEA Protector…
John Cooper: I’d have liked to see John Carter get a sequel as I thought there was nothing wrong with it at all, apart from a slightly uncharismatic lead. The universe was really solid and fleshed out which is unsurprising considering it had the books to draw on, and there were plenty of great characters. It was clearly being set up for sequels. I think the thing that really sticks as regards its massive failure at the box office, was that you could see the love that had been poured into it to get it on screen. I still love you Andrew Stanton!
Matt Risley: What initially seems like a pretty horrendous set of films to choose from (why on earth anyone would want to see another 2.5 hour John Carter bore-a-thon is beyond me), has a couple of surprises.
I thought Prince Of Persia, as dumb as it was, was one of the better videogame adaptations committed to camera. And I’d like to see another Battlefield Earth, if only for how ridiculously naff the first one was.
But my prime choice goes to the really quite brilliant Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events. I love a dark kids movie, and this was as borderline as it gets – repeated attempted child murder and orphan abuse is a key staple of the plot. Yet it’s all wrapped up in an intelligent, and deliciously fun black comedy package. The child characters were not only likeable (bonus points for the subtitled baby), but they even managed the impossible of getting competent, engaging child actors too.
I’d pay to see a sequel in a heartbeat.
Stace Whittle: For me it has to be Fantastic Four 3. No wait, come back it’s not as mad as it sounds. I know there is probably a Spider-Man style reboot of the franchise happening and the chances of getting Chris Evans back are middling but I really enjoyed the first two films and better yet, so did my children.
Though Jessica Alba should never be allowed near the set – I bet decent replacements could be found for her and Julian McDonald – the rest of the cast are great and have wonderful chemistry. And in these movies we have something that shouldn’t be discounted: family entertainment. Most comic book films these days are aimed firmly at the adult crowd, and I’m not going to complain about that; I have a passion for comic book movies and like the darker twists to tales that make them appealing for grown-ups. But it is really nice to see your li’l one running around the place shouting, “Flame On!” and “It’s Clobberin’ Time”. The Fantastic Four, even by the very name, seems more suitable for the little ones than some other franchises.
So come back Fantastic Four, me and my li’l geeky girls would be very pleased to see you! Note: I know the plots of both movies had bigger holes than my ’80s jeans but I really don’t mind; they are silly and fun and popcorntastic films, but if you need to think less of me now… I understand!
PigMonkey: I don’t think it’s fair to call these movies flops. Sure they totally failed financially and can be badly acted with poor…. yeah, okay, they are flops.
Here is The PigMonkey Top Five picks of most prematurely ended franchises, in the order they occurred to me.
• The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension with a very young Peter Weller and Jeff Goldblum, is at the top of my list. It could have had many more adventures. You just can’t go wrong having an awesome alien fighting team. It worked for the Avengers.
• The Rocketeer with Billy Campbell. This one was such a tease; we were left with the idea that Peevy was going to build a new and better rocket pack so Cliff could fly off and give the ol’ one- two to Hitler’s Sky Nazis. I could have seen a battle amongst a huge Zeppelin navy.
• Dark Man with Liam Neeson playing a piece of living toast wrapped in toilet paper. There were so many more things that could have been done to evildoers by a psychotic skin wearing burn victim. This movie was remarkably violent for the time. (The straight-to-video sequels don’t count, presumably – ed)
• Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow with Jude Law. I’m a sucker for pulp adventures, and this was a classic. I was really kind of disappointed it did not do better at the box office. Giant robots, proto-Nazis, and Bond-like supervillany – who could ask for more?
• Iron Giant with Harry Connick Jr and Vin Diesel (barely). Come on! I wanna see what happens when the giant sentient alien bipedal death-spewing weapons platform reassembles itself. The robot takes a Nuke to the napper and keeps on ticking. I figured by the time the robot finishes repairs young Hogarth will be well caught up in the ’60s.
The sad thing about this list is I had to narrow it down from nine. I wanted to include Serenity on the list but honestly I think I have a better chance with those five.
Dave Golder: Sorry to gatecrash. Not really a reader blogger, I know, but I couldn’t let this particular Blogbusters go by without getting something off my chest: I’m still waiting for the Jason And The Argonauts 2. You know, the one where they tell you what Jason does with the Golden Fleece now he’s got it?
Alasdair Stuart: It’s another vote for Doctor Banzai from me. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension is just flat-out glorious on every level, from the ’80s Action Team! premise to a cast crammed full of magnificent actors ranging from Weller and Goldblum to Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Carl Lumbly and Clancy Brown as an honest to God good guy. It’s also really, really funny in a very odd, skewed way. After all, any movie where the Orson Welles’ War Of The Worlds broadcast is connected with an invasion from another dimension by an army of aliens whose aliases all start with “John” is a okay in my book.
So a sequel to that would be flat-out brilliant and if you wanted to go down the “Next Generation Of Heroes’” route as these things tend to, I’ve even got the perfect choice for Banzai Jr and his bodyguard, Rawhide’s kid: Zachary Levi and Adam Baldwin. The line for the Chuck reunion starts here!
So there you go, that’s the DVD store our alter egos run in an alternate reality well and truly stocked. Join us next week when we ask the question that Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof are currently being bombarded with the answers to:
What did you think of Prometheus?
See you in seven (ish), fellow bags of mostly water.
Tags: Dark Man, Fantastic Four, Galaxy Quest, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider 2, Iron Giant, Jason And The Argonauts, John Carter, Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Prince Of Persia, Serenity, Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension, The Rocketeer