Tuesday, 30 November 2010

15 Directors Who Went Outside Their Comfort Zone (and Failed)

What makes a great director? Ultimately it comes down to output; great directors make great films. But there is an extra quality that truly marks out the best; range. Take Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick transcended genres and excelled in every new style he attempted. He made classics in horror, comedy and sci-fi, while all the time keeping his own personal stamp on his work. Kubrick wasn't afraid to try something new and different, and that's what made him the best.

Most directors know what they're best at, but a lot also realise that if they stick to that for their whole career people will begin to question their talent. It takes stepping outside of your comfort zone to prove yourself. Often it means less talented directors biting off more than they can chew but sometimes even the best, and there are some fine directors on this list, can try something new and ultimately fail. This list charts 15 directors that went outside their comfort zone, but misfired.

Kevin Smith

The Film: Cop Out

Kevin Smith is cinema marmite. He has adoring fans and hate filled critics. One thing you can't argue with is that Smith's early films were extremely personal; based on his life and with a script written by Smith that he staunchly refused to change. Kevin Smith movies were all about Kevin Smith. For a while this was successful, but after Clerks and Chasing Amy, the noughties were less kind. For Cop Out, Smith tried something new; making a buddy action movie from a script that wasn't his own. What we got was incredibly generic and bland. It hasn't stopped Smith branching out; his next film, Red State, is a contemporary horror film, but only time will tell if he can cut it away from the chummy pop culture referencing tone of his early work.

M. Night Shyamalan

The Film: The Last Airbender

Shyamalan needed a change. His films were becoming a joke, and he was increasingly gaining a reputation as a one trick pony. Shyamalan needed to move away from the gimmicky plot twist movies that had defined his career and went all out with a big budget cartoon adaptation. It failed, miserably. Poor acting, bad decisions and murky cinematography made this the worst blockbuster of the summer and proved that M. Night's name could no longer act as a box office draw. One struggles to see how he can restore his reputation from here. Unbreakable 2 anyone?

Brett Ratner

The Film: X-Men: The Last Stand

This may not seen like too much of a departure for Ratner; he'd done action before, albeit a very different kind of action. However the jump in quality required for X-Men: The Last Stand was just too much for Ratner. The X-Men series may have been 'just' comic book movies but they were built on very solid foundations; previous director Bryan Singer had approached the movies very seriously and produced two great films but it was always going to end badly when handing the series finale to a less talented director. A lot of the blame has to lie with Singer himself, and the script, but Ratner's directing was messy and confused and he has not been trusted with a major franchise since.

Michael Bay

The Film: Pearl Harbor

As much as it will pain people to admit, Michael Bay is good at what he does. His movies are generally explosive and cheesy and completely lacking in substance but that's all you expect from him. That lacking in substance bit is important though, because you need substance when asked to make a film about the deadliest attack on American soil in the 20th century. Pearl Harbor needed to be handled sensitively and subtly; instead we got a fist-pumping action movie with insincere emotion.

Robert Altman

The Film: Popeye

Proving that it can happen to the best of us, Robert Altman, director of The Player, Short Cuts, and M.A.S.H was given the prestigious job of adapting a spinach eating cartoon sailor to the big screen. Whether anyone actually wanted a live-action Popeye starring Robin Williams is a pretty important question but Altman should have known to steer well clear of this. Even the best couldn't make a good film out of this material.

Marc Forster

The Film: Quantum of Solace

I've made this point before but I'll make it again. Marc Forster is a fine director who has made good films, but to give a director with no experience in the action genre the job of directing the new film in a reinvigorated James Bond franchise was wrong. Yes, new Bond has a stronger emphasis on character and plot, which are Forster's strengths, but at the end of the day James Bond is about the action sequences and Forster directed them poorly, taking too big a leaf out of Paul Greengrass' book and giving us dizzying and rather confusing car chases.

Peter Jackson

The Film: The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson hasn't always been a genre director. While his roots are in horror, and his stardom comes from fantasy, his work on Heavenly Creatures showed he had a gentler touch. He wasn't right for The Lovely Bones though. If anything, Jackson tried too hard, laying on spectacular imagery where it wasn't necessarily needed and valuing visuals over story. Jackson has evolved into a director of big films, and he does that very well, but for a film as emotional and personal as The Lovely Bones, more subtlety was needed.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

The Film: Alien: Resurrection

Jeunet is my favourite director purely for his absolute unique style. His films inhabit their own little world of big characters and whimsy. This meant he was a strange choice to revive a big franchise with its own world and back story. In truth, he didn't do a particularly bad job of it, but his own unique directing quirks and style just looked out of place in an Alien movie. Each Alien movie has very much acted as a showcase for the director's own style but while it worked perfectly for Ridley Scott and James Cameron, the glove just didn't fit for Jeunet and David Fincher. Jeunet has not made a Hollywood film since.

Ang Lee

The Film: Hulk

Ang Lee makes thoughtful and intelligent movies and his Hulk adaptation was thoughtful, and to some extent it was intelligent, but for the most part it was just dull. It's easy to see why Lee was chosen, especially after Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but if you go back and watch it you'd see Dragon is actually something of a slow burner. Hulk is very much a slow burner and while Lee's efforts to delve deep into Bruce Banner are admirable, at the end of the day Hulk is a comic book movie about a big green dude smashing things. It didn't help that the action sequences, when they finally came, were laughably bad. Lee will not jump so easily into Hollywood blockbusters again.

David Lynch

The Film: Dune

David Lynch is absolutely bonkers. David Lynch makes absolutely bonkers films. But the genius about David Lynch is that when he is left to his own devises he makes bonkers films that are really very good. When given a lot of money to work on a big sci-fi adaptation, David Lynch isn't really left to his own devises and instead we get a film that shows Lynch's mad style but limited by the confines of the genre and budget. Audiences just didn't take to Lynch in the mainstream, and Dune became a famous flop.

Roman Polanski

The Film: Pirates!

Polanski did his fair share of hopping between genres but his attempt to make a swashbuckling pirate movie was an unmitigated disaster. Polanski has always thrown up surprises with his work, and he was convinced he could make a great pirate movie, but the material just wasn't right for a man who's directing style has never been a good fit for an action-adventure. Pirates! flopped badly, and effectively killed off the pirate movie until Johnny Depp and co. revived it.

Guy Ritchie

The Film: Swept Away

You can blame Madonna all you want, but Guy Ritchie still made a terrible film and has only himself to blame. Ritchie has always been accused of being a one trick pony and while it is clear that he is most at home with mockney gangster films, you have to wonder how his one time wife ever convinced him to make Swept Away. The jump from gangster caper to island romance is a pretty big one to take and needless to say Ritchie failed miserably. It didn't help that Madonna was atrocious in it, but it must be difficult to tell your lead actress that when she's your wife.

Jim Sheridan

The Film: Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Sheridan was a bizarre choice for 50 Cent's self congratulatory disaster. Sure, I can see the logic on getting a respected director in, especially as Eminem had Curtis Hanson for 8 Mile but this film was such a long way from anything Sheridan had done before it just seemed way out of left field. The transition from powerful Daniel Day Lewis dramas to the tales of a rapper's rise from the mean streets was not smooth and it didn't help that 50 Cent lacked Eminem's charisma. Needless to say, it was no 8 Mile.

Sylvester Stallone

The Film: Staying Alive

It's easy to forget that Stallone is an Oscar nominated screenwriter and when he directs himself in his strongest franchises (Rocky, Rambo) the results aren't too bad. Stallone is more than just an action hero but he should stick to what he knows. What he was doing writing, directing and producing a sequel to Saturday Night Fever is anyone's guess. Stallone has proved he can write, he has proved he can direct, but only with the right vehicle. Staying Alive was a long way from being the right vehicle and was extremely damaging to Stallone's reputation behind the camera.

Chris Weitz

The Film: The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass should have been a sure thing; a beloved children's book, in many ways better than the Potter franchise, with an epic quality that everyone wanted post-Lord of the Rings. Weitz, however, managed to kill the franchise before it even got going. Weitz had done very little to prove he had earned the right to direct a major franchise; American Pie was good but just a teen comedy and About a Boy was fairly diverting but little more than that. In more experienced hands, The Golden Compass could have started a major money-spinning franchise, instead it just reflected the mediocrity of the director.

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  1. Great list! I love Popeye for its awfulness. All the random off-screen dialog is classic Altman and always leaves me thinking, "well, he tried."

    As a footnote, Sylvester Stallone lost the screenwriting award to Paddy Chayefsky for Network. He left the 1976 awards Oscar-less.

  2. Thanks for pointing that out. I had meant to put Oscar nominated but must have accidentally given Sly an upgrade. I'm sure he wouldn't have minded.

  3. Actually Popeye is nowhere near as bad as its reputed to be (although with at least one song you can tell Harry Nilsson was drunk out of his mind when writing it) at least to me it's not. Altman took a lot of steps out of his comfort zone, and like Neil Young has never been afraid to fail, which you have to admire him for. Popeye is also one of the most perfectly cast films ever. Who else could have been better to play those roles, especially Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelly Duvall as Olive Oil.

    More out of comfort zone you'd think of something like At Long Last Love from Peter Bogdanovich, Spielberg's 1941, the Stallone and Schwarzenegger comedies (Twins was a great concept, the movie never showed up), things like that.

  4. Not entirely fair to place all the blame for the failure of The Golden Compass at Chris Weitz's feet. The books, which are far superior to the Potter series, are an out and out assault on the Catholic Church (Christianity, even): Narnia they ain't.

    Why a studio chose to make this film puzzled me, as they clearly wouldn't have the bottle not to drastically reduce the overt religious criticism. Thus, all that was left was a bland CG fest (featuring bland leads) that looked for the most part like a Coca Cola polar bear ad. A wasted opportunity, or possibly a bold misfire.

  5. Man, it's really hard to dislike Popeye. It's also very hard to critique a musical, which is a very difficult genre to pull off. The film has its fans, i.e. PT Anderson.

  6. "Poor acting, bad decisions and murky cinematography made this the worst blockbuster of the summer and proved that M. Night's name could no longer act as a box office draw."

    You're aware that this movie mad $300+ million worldwide right? A lot of people think Michael Bay makes the worst films of every summer, but he's also bankable. Comments like the above show you don't know what you're talking about

  7. "You're aware that this movie mad $300+ million worldwide right? A lot of people think Michael Bay makes the worst films of every summer, but he's also bankable. Comments like the above show you don't know what you're talking about"

    I didn't say The Last Airbender was a bomb, I said it proved M. Night was no longer a box office draw, which I stand by. The film was meant to launch a franchise, but instead it was only a modest hit.

    You have to remember that the film was rendered (poorly) into 3D, which can add $50-100million on ticket prices alone. If you compare it to other 3D films with similar budgets, it doesn't look so impressive (Clash of the Titans made nearly $500million worldwide).

    My point is that M. Night used to get people into cinemas on name alone, but the moderate success of Airbender was nothing to do with his talent as a director, and in different hands could well have performed far better.

  8. You know, its easy to shit on talent when you have none. Every director has one or two flops on his resume. Thats just life. Since they 'suck' so bad, I challenge you to do BETTER!

  9. Go further. What made this movie a flop, and is the flop tied to any success? Is there a relationship, say, between "Dune" and "The Straight Story"?

  10. "About a Boy" was "diverting" and not much more? You must have seen a different film than me..i thought About a Boy was one of the best movies of that year and it still stands up well...your thoughts on About a Boy taint everything else you wrote

  11. I'd say Altmam's bigger mistake is "A Prairie Home Companion." What a way to go... or not.

  12. I don't think Chris Weitz fits in this list. All of movies have been pretty bad. :I

    But I'm curious, in what ways do you think The Golden Compass is better than Harry Potter?

  13. To the Anonymous guy that posted at 12:35:

    Read the whole thing again. He isn't ''shitting'' on talent at all.

    And even if he was, the logic that you have to be able to direct movies to critique movies is just retarded.

  14. In defense of Dune - It could have and SHOULD have been a better film, but one has to accept that the blame falls as much on the shoulders of the ham-fisted production asthetic that IS the House of DeLaurentis. Example: What's a good shape for a flying vehicle? How about a cube? Then give it tiny wings and paint it gold. Cappucchino time!

  15. Nothing was worse than Speilberg and 1941

  16. I would also offer up 'Music of the Heart', directed by Wes Craven...

  17. Interesting, well-written article. Although I absolutely love The Lovely Bones, I agree with you with you on what you said about the subtlety. Popeye is still one of my worst youth-memories when it comes to movies.

  18. I agree with you on Marc Foster and Quantum of Solace to some extent, however you can't blame him entirely for the action sequences as he didn't even direct them. As is often the case with the Bond films, the action sequences are mainly the work of the second unit director, which in this case was Dan Bradley. That said, you still need a director who has a feel for action scenes and how to use them, and it was quite clear that, unlike Martin Campbell, Marc Foster didn't have that instinct.

  19. One glaring omission from this list: Brian DePalma's Bonfire of the Vanities.

  20. I have to agree with Ian Gilchrist on your assessment of Chris Weitz and The Golden Compass. You can't lay the blame entirely on him. Along with Ian's point on adaptability, it's also very well known that Weitz was not allowed to make the movie he wanted. The studio interfered on everything from casting to editing the script. Because of all of their interference, it took 4 years to get the movie made. And as a crowning touch, the studio completely re-cut Weitz' completed version of the film. The movie you saw in the theatre should be laid to rest at the feet of New Line Cinema more than Chris Weitz.

  21. Thank you for the list - I thought that on the whole it was insightful and interesting. However, I do not agree that Marc Forster did a bad job with Quantum of Solace. I loved that film and infinitely preferred it to Casino Royale. BTW, to JayJay, I disagree with you re: Music of the Heart. It certainly is not the best film I've ever seen but I still enjoyed it.

  22. Fantastic topic! I have to say, matter of opinion of course, I liked Quantum of Solace. I thought it was a nice marriage of classic Bond with our new character driven Bond. Despite it having the worst opening titles song any Bond movie has had, the film was a nice complimentary dish to Casino Royale with one of the most interesting Bond villain's I've seen in a while.

    The rest though, agreed!

  23. I disagree that Quantum of Solace failed. It was the perfect bookend to Casino Royale. Were the action shots a little jumpy? Perhaps, but that doesn't make the entire effort a failure.

    I very much enjoyed the Golden Compass, but agree that a more experienced "big film" director would have made an important difference.

  24. popeye is a bona fide master piece, i am fed up with people who dont know it calling it a failure it is also a perfect altman movie, this is the only fully live action film where the actors do things that seem like animation or computer morphie, williams and the entire cast are perfect the songs are great, the locations and sets unbelievable, i really dont care much about any of the other directors apart from kevin smith, you left out his great film jay and silent bob strike back

  25. Stallone should have won the Oscar for ROCKY. The script it far better than NETWORK. And POPEYE is a good movie, you just have to be in the right, or wrong, mood. And Bret Ratner sucks even in his comfort zone.

  26. People who down-rate Altman's "Popeye" very likely have no idea of what the original source material (Segar's "Thimble Theatre") was like.

    Being a not-a-fan of Robin Williams at the time (i have since mellowed to the point where i will say he's accidentally made a couple of decent films), i was prepared for a disaster; instead, i was favourably impressed by the way that Altman captured the anarchistic cluttered skewed world of the original strip.

    As his PHC film, it was a bit of a disappointment, but not nearly a disaster.

    If you really want something Altman should never have tried - try "Quintet". Ewww.

  27. Pirates is perfect to instance, how one great actor can carry a whole movie all alone and make it worth seeing. I am of course talking of Walter Matthau.
    (But the list is very much OK)

  28. Great list! I would tend to agree with all of these, actually. While these directors all have talent, they clearly stumbled a bit out of their comfort zone.

  29. "You know, its easy to shit on talent when you have none... Since they 'suck' so bad, I challenge you to do BETTER!"

    That's a fairly weak argument. The difference is that we (the ones who shit on) don't get paid tens of millions of dollars to make movies. When a person gets paid that much money to make a movie, they're expected to make a half-way decent one. People who complain don't claim to be able to make a better movie because we're not the professionals. We simply expect more from the ones who call themselves "professional" movie makers.

    I can't cook to save my life. I ate a lousy plate of pasta at a crappy Italian restaurant last week. Is it not my right to complain, even though I never claim to be able to cook? It IS my right, because even though I can't cook, I PAID someone who claimed to be able to do it at a professional level.

  30. The evidence used in parts of this list is terrible.

    Michael Bay sucks. You say it's all we expect... no, it's not. Blockbusters do not have to be stupid, racist, sexist, and incoherent.

    Ang Lee's "Hulk" is fantastic. Did you ever read the comic? It's not as slam-bang as you'd think, it's about rage and what it means to be human and frail in comparison. Lee nails this angle and his action scenes are great fun, never mind actually COMPETENT (unlike Bay).

    Alien: Resurrection is also an underrated film, and (as written by Joss Whedon) has an over-the-top humour that marks a pretty good end to an overblown series.

  31. "The Lovely Bones"? I can understand why the other movies are on this list, but "The Lovely Bones" was absolty Jackson's Genre and for me one of the best films of this year (okay, that wasn't that difficult this year...).
    And "The Golden Compass" was mainly a fault of the studios who feared the lobby of the churchs and forced the directors and authors to make a movie who was still too religion-critic, but already tpoo far from the novel to become a success.

  32. Pardon me, did anyone else see the Haunting, or Lady in the Water? Shamalamadingdong was making poorly shot, terribly acted films long before avatar. Which indicates that it wasn't the jump to a new genre that made avatar such a poor film, but the fact that its director can't direct. How about instead we nominate Ron Howard's western Missing.

  33. I (and frankly, nearly everyone I know) love Dune. For an ostensibly mainstream film, it's still an intensely weird movie. I can see how it's not for everyone, and it certainly was a flop financially, but it's still got more personal vision that the vast majority of SF produced for mass consumption. I also really enjoyed Quantum, though some of the action scenes were indeed cut way too incoherently.

    Alien: Ressurection was ORIGINALLY written by Joss Whedon, but as he himself is quick to point out, the film that got made was nothing like the script he turned in. There was even an episode of Angel where a character complained about how bad that movie was, if that tells you anything.

    And M. Night never made a film called "The Haunting." That was Jan de Bont (for the remake). Incidentally, while I'm no defender of the guy, I can't help but note the irony of endless viewers complaining that he has no creativity while all using the mock name "Shamalamadingdong" for the five millionth time. You can't even come up with an original joke.

  34. I'm just gonna say before it goes there with the rumors to creative unnecessary disaster. Robert Zemeckis and the Wizard of OZ. Enough said.

  35. Another to add to this list is Spike Lee for "Miracle at St. Anna" please spike don't make any more war movies. He did great with 25th hour but he constantly has to cram the message down your throat.

    David Lynch really went out of his comfort zone with "The Straight Story" which was quite good.

    Personally I wish Tarantino would venture away from his comfort zone for once.

  36. When I first saw the title, the first two names that came up were Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor) and John Woo (Windtalkers.) Neither should be trusted with serious subject matter, ever.

  37. Dune is great. Popeye is terrific. Quantum of Solace is not only awesome, but easily Marc Forster's best movie. Ang Lee's Hulk is tremendously underappreciated and a lot less boring than, let's say, any of his other films. Chris Weitz and Brett Rattner are far too insignificant to make the ranks on a list like this.

  38. On a vaguely related note, I'd like to say that calling Shyamalan "Shamalamadingdong" or similarly extended variations is really really played out and unfunny. I think he sucks and always has, right from the beginning. But it's still a super-dumb "joke."

  39. I think you need to rewatch quantum of solace. I know its not your typical bond, but to say it's poorly directed just tells me youve only seen it once. And as much as I hate saying this, I truly believe that Hulk is underrated.

  40. I nominate Richard Attenborough and his atrocity "A Chorus Line".

  41. Popeye is completely perfect. If you didn't like it, you're probably just not the target audience, and maybe the target audience just isn't that big (people who like comic and cartoon based live action musicals?). For my money it's his best film. Literally. It's the only one I'd consider buying on DVD.

  42. We should also remember the terrible mistake they made in handing the great John Huston "Annie" ... and he should have known better.

    "The Golden Compass"? .... castrate something and you end up with a eunuch, no matter how beautifully you dress it.

    "Popeye" is a beautiful-looking film, with great casting,(Shelley Duvall was born to play Olive, Williams was a great fit as Popeye and the guy who played Bluto was also perfection), but Altman's way of using sound and dialogue, while perfect for other films, sank "Popeye" .... I spent the entire movie straining to hear what was being said, and when I did hear something clearly, it wasn't worth the effort ... a visual masterpiece and a terrible film.

  43. I was the chubby lady hiding in the bushes!

  44. Surely you didn't forget about Cutthroat Island ?

  45. I think you're wrong about Brett Ratner. X-men 3 had moments of genuine emotion that the first 2 films sadly lacked. Xavier dying, the look on Beast's face when his hand started turning human, Magneto abandoning Mystique. Ratner understood that comic book movies need melodrama and not the coolness of Singer's films. That said I don't know anyone else that thinks the 3rd film X-men film is the best so I accept I am in the minority here.

  46. Wait..."Quantum" was bad?

  47. "Alien: Resurrection is also an underrated film, and (as written by Joss Whedon) has an over-the-top humour that marks a pretty good end to an overblown series."

    And therein lies the true fault with ALIEN: RESURRECTION---it wasn't Jeunet's fault at all. Rather, the blame can be laid at the feet of Joss Whedon's fucking awful script. I know it's fashionable to dick-ride Whedon these days, but that was a truly abysmal piece of writing, and only one of his myopic apologists would claim otherwise. "Adding humor" is the last thing in the world that series needed. Oh, and to suggest the entire series is "overblown" would suggest that you have, in fact, only watched parts three and four...

  48. I have to agree with a couple of commenters that Golden Compass was doomed to failure no matter who directed it. If you stay true to the spirit of the books, nobody will watch it because two hours of thinly veiled whining about religion is boring, and to much of the family-movie crowd outright offensive. If you skip all that emorage you wind up with a fantasy story about as lame as Eragon and thus nobody will watch it. Hairy Pooter isn't exactly an epic franchise, but at least it is what it sets out to be, doesn't try to sell anything, and doesn't weigh itself down with the sort of phony intellectualism that only film critics take seriously.

    As for Quantum of Solace, I agree the director sucked but I can't really blame him for a lot of it. "Management" has made it pretty clear that Bond 2.0 is supposed to be a vaguely English Jason Bourne, i.e. all angst, shaky camera-work and overly melodramatic "relevance" with none of the wit and male-fantasy action sequences that defined the series pre-Craig (except for maybe OHMSS, which everybody agrees sucked for many of the same reasons). Indeed, looking at it from that perspective it makes perfect sense why they'd pick somebody like Forster to run the show--he has a pedigree in the Serious Business sort of films they apparently want to make.

  49. Just how did Howard the Duck get by without a thorough shotgun blast (we'll ignore Star Wars 1, 2 and 3). Or Waterworld?
    In a number of the films; Alien, X-men, Golden Compass there was enormous studio mirco-management going on to wreck the final result. I still like the Wooden planet version of Alien: Resurrection. Perhaps a list of aborted films would make a good companion list. Or a list of the studio execs who killed movies with their "great ideas", and who are those faceless genius dudes? Brothers of the Wall Street fools who crushed the world economy?

  50. Interesting article, although I would have added John Huston and ANNIE to the list and, sadly, Stanley Kubrick and EYES WIDE SHUT. I personally liked POPEYE and I think that Altman made worse films (Seen A WEDDING or READY TO WEAR lately?) but, by and large, on the mark. I must, however, address the comment by James M. Tate who said "Stallone should have won the Oscar for ROCKY". I find it very disconcerting that Mr. Tate has a blog in which, I assume, he discusses movies, for anyone who thinks that the derivative and cliche-ridden script of ROCKY is better than the acid satire of NETWORK knows very little about good film-making and far less about good script writing. I suggest that Mr. ate refrain from commenting about movies until he takes a few film courses. His comment was ridiculous.

  51. For the most part I disagree with your critique of the movies. I can understand though that some directors on this list may not have had box office failures, it certainly didn't have the same skill they bring to the other films.

    Ratner? X-men 3 may not be the best film in the trilogy but that by no means ended chances of getting another franchise movie. How many directors actually have one of those? Also like quite a few on your list. Last Stand plus others may have had dissenting reviews but they were box office hits. Ratner picked up a rushed project and Fox sure as hell knew that. They didn't wait for singer or their backup director. They didn't bring back part of the cast...........and yet Ratner still gave a blockbuster.

    Mr. Bay........really this trash has to stop. Why is it bad to like explosions and sex? It seems to me the only people who consider Bay racist is white people honestly. He had two stupid robots who were intentionally made the way they were because the robots learned all of earth culture from the internet. You blaming him for exploiting stereotypes.

    Also I liked Pearl Harbor but I guess it was a subject that was still too hot. But I guess saving private ryan set a standard for war films going into the 2000's. Again blockbuster that certainly says the general public seemed to think Bay's failure didn't actually exist.

    I'd say most of these ventures were not well received by critics but the audience ate it up. So as to saying they failed, more like they did okay.

  52. Joss Whedon and the producers can def be blamed for alien resurrection/

    And Quantum of Solace is actually a pretty decent film, feels a lot like for your eyes only-

  53. I've always felt like Jeunet gutted Alien: Resurrection intentionally. It seemed like a kind of snarky way to poke fun at the conventions of big American franchises. My feeling was that he looked at it as turning an American Blockbuster inside-out and poking fun at the seriousness and canonical pretensions that accompany big sci-fi franchises. I'm pretty sure Jeunet would get a little queasy if people were arguing about the structural capabilities of the Betty in a sub-orbital apogee. More fun to suck a melty wax hobgoblin out of a hole in the window while it shrieks like something out of Eraserhead.

  54. terrible list. Quantum of Solace was perhaps the best crafted Bond film yet. It was exciting, yet still subtle and engaging.

    Dune is a very unduly maligned masterpiece.

    Alien Resurrection is very underrated and quite superior to David Fincher's entry in the franchise.

    Also Ang Lee's Hulk was flawed but great. I only really found the FX a little offputting, but the directing and the overall film was quite good.

    This entire list is a misfire. It doesnt include the Coppola failures, or more bizzare director choise like Flash Gordon.

  55. Tarantino failed with DEATH PROOF. The reason I know he failed is.you can tell he doesn't have a respect for the genre. He also had said in an interview years before that he didn't care too much for horror films. He understands how to make one, but you can feel he's kinda making fun of it. Instead, he in fact didn't even ultimately make a horror film at all, as it is a self-proclaimed exploitation film. So he tried the Weinsteins tried to market it a horror film, which it clearly is not.


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