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FEATURE ARTICLE: SCI-FI MOVIES WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE



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NO MORE SEQUELS!

If we had wanted to see the same movie more than once, then we would buy that movie on video and re-watch it whenever the fancy strikes us, not shell out several bucks at the local multiplex. Only a few worthwhile sequels which have ever seen the light of the projector, and we’re not really all that willing to see which new ones might fall into such a category. Enough already!
EXAMPLES: The Sixth Element, Jurassic Park III (The Lost World was bad enough!), Still Lost In Space, Terminator III, etc.
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: The Star Wars Prequels, Star Trek movies.

 

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NO MORE MONSTERS IN OUTER SPACE OR WHERE-EVER!

The ‘In Space No-One Can Hear You Snore’ genre made a comeback after the unexpected commercial success of horror movies like Scream and Alien rip-offs like The Relic and Species. Predictable to the bone: take a small group of people, let them be chased around through darkly lit corridors by slimy monsters jumping from the shadows and going ‘boo’, let everybody except dogs, kids and famous movie stars die along the way – a bit like those disaster movies.
EXAMPLES: The Relic II, Mimic II, Species III, Beyond the Event Horizon, etc.
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: An Aliens movie in which the earth is invaded by said nasties . . .

 

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NO MORE REMAKES!

At some stage the yanks decided that what we wanted to see was remakes of French movies. Wrong! We already saw the French movies and as sure as heck didn’t want to see any inferior remakes. Listen, with home video we can watch old movies any time we want. Plus, there is a reason why these movies are called ‘classics’ – ‘cause they can’t be imitated. Especially when the tendency in Hollywood is to strip a story of whatever made it special in the first place and add a layer or superficial special effects and a loud soundtrack. No! We do not think that Forbidden Planet needs either of the two!
And in the end, do you really want to be plagued by a vague sense of déjà vu whilst sitting in a darkened theatre thinking to ourselves: ‘I have seen this somewhere, haven’t I?’
EXAMPLES: Fahrenheit 451 (actually being remade by Mel Gibson of all people), Fantastic Voyage (also said to be in development), King Kong (also in development – sigh!), etc.
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: Okay, maybe Fantastic Voyage. Those special effects and sets were really bad . . .

 

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NO MORE SUPERHEROES!

After the damned awful Batman & Robin, who can blame us?! Big muscled men in skin-tight uniforms wearing their underwear on top belongs to the pages of comic books, S&M magazines or the local mental asylum – not the big screen. Besides, the odds are that Joel (Batman Forever) Schumacher would be involved in whatever comes our way . . .
EXAMPLES: Batman Redux, Superman Regurgitated, Re-Spawned
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: A Superman movie directed by Tim (the original Batman movie, Mars Attacks!) Burton with a screenplay by Kevin (Clerks, Chasing Amy) Smith. No Nicholas Cage! Please, the man has a seriously receding hairline and will look dumber than Sean Connery in a hairpiece . . .

 

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NO MORE ADAPTATIONS OF MICHAEL CRICHTON NOVELS!

Chrichton's literary output seems comprise a single plot: that of a small group of people confronted by unknown force - the staple diet of many a Star Trek episode - and Congo, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Sphere, etc.
EXAMPLES: Oops! Sorry, but it would seem that by dragging Eaters of the Dead (filmed as The 13th Warrior) out of obscurity that Hollywood has run out of Michael Crichton novels to film . . . for now . . .
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: Not applicable.

 

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NO MORE SEQUELS TO VIDEO MOVIES THAT NO-ONE HAS SEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!

You know what I’m referring to: the movies you have to sift through on your local videostore’s shelves to get to the good stuff. Movies so unbelievably cheap and shoddy that they were made especially for the video market without any hope - ever! – of it making the big screen. Such blatant rip-offs that you can immediately see from which big screen main stream movie it stole its, ahem, ideas. Who watches this crap? Somebody must – because every once in a while you’ll see sequels to movies you’ve never even heard of!

EXAMPLES: Nemesis 3, Critters 5, Mars 2, Within the Rock 2, etc.
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: None. Smaller budgets sometimes mean greater creativity for the film-makers – some of the most original and entertaining work in sci-fi (like A Boy and His Dog and Dark Star) was done on minuscule budgets, but these straight-to-video flicks don’t even fall in the ‘so bad, it’s actually good’ category . . .

 

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NO MORE MOVIES BASED ON OLD (AND CURRENT) TV SHOWS!

Ever since The Brady Bunch and Mission Impossible struck gold at the box office, the trend in Hollywood has been bringing movies ‘based’ on old TV shows to the big screen. Thus we have seen Lost In Space and will later this year see The Avengers and My Favourite Martian.

What is wrong with this approach?

  • The movies don’t remotely resemble the TV shows that supposedly inspired them!
  • The TV shows weren’t that hot in the first place!
  • If the show was hot, then Hollywood will make a mess out of the movie.
  • Some TV shows are so old that the film’s target audience doesn’t remember it at all! (How many of thousands of ten-year-olds who saw the Lost In Space movie can recall the TV series with great nostalgia?)
  • Send-ups are usually in order – but then you always get the people who remember the show with undue fondness.
  • Non-fans are completely lost.
  • Some of the shows belong to the confines of the TV screen where you can flip channels without regretting the money you shelled out to see it on the big screen.

See? A veritable minefield. Sure, making movies out of TV shows has in-built audience and hey, Hollywood has to make a living as well. But how about some new original material instead?

EXAMPLES: The Prisoner, Star Trek Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Thunderbirds (in development), Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Red Dwarf, any other TV show you might vaguely recall from childhood.
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: Space 1999 (hey! I loved the hardware in that show and think about how good Hollywood will do that now!), Star Trek movies featuring the Next Generation cast.


 



 

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