I’m troubled by the devolution of movie source material. As soon as there were movies, there was a desire to convert books into films. This worked great. While it wasn’t always easy to convey the depth of a 600 page novel in a 100 page screenplay, this gave even the least of us the ability to raise ourselves up to the status of pretentious douche-bag with the mantra –say it with me: “The book is always better than the movie.”
Running low on literary fodder, movie-makers decided to shift to making movies from comic books. This worked even better. You could convey the complexity of a comic in a movie, and you had an existing visual media for continuity. The major challenge was finding actresses with huge boobs who could deliver a spinning back-kick (enter Scarlet Johansson), and figuring out what to do about the crotch bulges (or lack thereof) of male superheroes in Spandex.
Pushing the limits, directors turned to video-games. This gave us such hits as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Doom. Okay, a video game may give us a nice action-packed romp of mayhem and carnage– albeit with dialogue like, “Suck on this!” (accompanying a grenade toss.) One can watch such a movie on basic cable on a Sunday afternoon while eating an entire pizza and still leave all of one’s mental faculties for contemplating such deep questions as whether this is the low point of one’s existence.
Movies based on toys and board games are the low point of Hollywood’s existence. I thought they had learned their lesson from the movie version of Clue in the 80’s, but apparently not.
To show that I am nothing if not flexible, I will say that I’m willing to change my view if any of the studios are willing to develop my ideas such as:
Lincoln Logs: Zombie Slayer: A rogue ex-cop, Lincoln Logs, takes a break from drinking himself to death after his family is Zombified to lure zombies into poorly constructed cabins, toppling the cabins, he crushes the Zombies to undeath. Tagline: “Eat Log, Bitches.”
Chutes and Ladders: Into Darkness: Two naughty children find out what happens when one chutes right off the board — an express ride to hell, that’s what. In order to get out they have to learn to count to 100, but the devil is teaching them to count: 1, 7, brick, egg, 14, 6, toad, biscuit… They must warm Satan’s heart, and then develop the upper-body strength to climb a ladder out of hell. Tagline: “Numbers are Hard, Hell is Hotter.”
Lego Box: The Musical: A plucky red-headed stepchild is devastated when his siblings get all the Lego bricks, but he only gets the plastic tub they came in. However, through hard work and dedication, he becomes the lead percussionist for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, leaving his horrid family behind. Working Tagline: “Eat Box, Bitches.”