Monday, January 31, 2011
An Unscheduled Rant about Direct-to-DVD Sequels
I really have nothing to say at the moment. I just finished a hardcore reading session for some catch up, and I'm ready to get back to the business of writing. Got to finish up two short stories and make them presentable for publication, and then it's onto composing some new stuff. But besides that been busy with work stuff. So let's talk about stuff that irritates me.
This past week, I had the TV on in the background, and saw that the sequel to Beverly Hills Chihuahua -- Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (Chihuahua Harder) was coming out, and I could only think one thing.
What the hell are you thinking?
Seriously, these movies cannot be making you money. And there cannot be anyone in the world who wrote in and asked for a sequel, who wanted a continuation to the harrowing epic of an accessory dog's hero's quest. It got 40% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The first movie was a success. It cost $20 million to make and earned $204 million through box office and DVD sales/rentals. Producers see that and get dollar signs in their eyes. More of it and more of the same. I'm not going to chide people for going to see family-friendly trash. That's common. But then you churn out junk sequel after junk sequel after junk sequel instead of investing that money into something new that could be fun and original.
Maybe I'm irritated that I just got off sequel week at the Nostalgia Critic. He review four of the worst 80's sequels there were: Neverending Story 3, Ferngully 2, Secret of NIMH 2, and Care Bears 2. The worst part of these movies isn't that their horrible or thinly veiled attempts to cash in on profitable properties. It's that they shit so hard on the precious moments that made these movies good.
In Neverending Story 3, the Rock Biter has gone from this noble giant facing inevitable annihilation to this Fred Flintstone-esque husband bum with an obnoxious kid and a house made of everything rock. Falcor went from Yoda to Scooby Doo. The main antagonist went from an intangible nothing-ness to some 80's punk bullies. Ferngully 2 stars the unseen Pip instead of Krysta, the main fairy, who does nothing. And Secret of NIMH 2 completely ignores Mrs. Brisby, the hero of the first movie, and turns characters who had one line into the protagonists. And in all these movies characters are holding onto an idiot ball large enough to make Atlas jealous.
If I knew that producers were putting some effort into these movies to make the plots good, it wouldn't be as bad. Cheaper animation, lack of original voice actors/stars, shorter run times: these can be forgiven. But a horrible plot that ignores continuity, makes likable characters unlikeable, and shoves unoriginal, hackneyed plots out there just to give the characters something to do, this is my problem.
It's not hard to come up with something decent, there are lots of good writers out there. You can make a plot that has at least SOMETHING to do with the existing work and stays true to its themes and spirit. I guess the producers need to get something out there fast so the movie stays fresh in people's minds.
But really, I would sell my soul to wipe out the Air Bud/Air Buddies movies out of reality. The dog died. Get over it.