Sep 30 2009

Eight Movie Franchises That Need to Rest in Peace

Published by at 10:00 am under Lists,Movies

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It seems to be a running joke in the industry these days that every movie made these days is either a remake, a reboot or a sequel, and the sad part is it’s true. The problem with this new philosophy of unoriginal filmmaking is that it can take a series we’ve always loved and taint it by forcing crappier additions to it that never should have seen the light of day, or adding on more crappy additions to an already crappy franchise.

Either way, it’s not good, and out of all the series to choose from, I picked these eight that should really be left alone above all other, each for their own reasons. Let me know if you agree.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

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When I first heard there was going to be a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, my initial reaction, like so many of yours, was “Why?” The answer that came back? The booming voice of Mickey Mouse who said “MONEY!” For as expensive as they were, the Pirates movies made just an absolute ton of money, and as long as people will keep paying, they might as well keep making them.

The only problem is that half the original cast is gone (Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom are possibly showing up for cameos, but nothing more), and the star that made the films watchable is only halfheartedly into the project. Johnny Depp has been quotes as saying he’s not that excited about the project since his buddy Disney chief Dick Cook had been let go.

There’s no reason that this franchise should sail any further than it already has. The first film was quite fun, the other two were watchable but poorly constructed. And a tacked on fourth installment? Not necessary.

2. Spiderman

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Yes, it’s true that Sam Raimi severely ****ed up the last Spiderman movie to the point of unwatchability, but that doesn’t give you free license for a do-over. A fourth film is now for sure going ahead, but no one seems to excited about the prospect. There aren’t many cool Spider-villains left to be touched upon, and the coolest one of all, Venom, was ravaged in the third movie (but he’s actually getting his own separate film now).

The only cool villain worth examining would be Carnage, but a decidedly un-PG-13 version of Carnage which the studio would never allow. I’m worried we’re going to get stuck with Black Cat, Mysterio and Morbius just because there is a limited depth pool to the Spiderman villain cannon.

At least wait a decade or so before going back and trying this again. I’m not opposed to that idea, but a fourth film now just seems forced. Wait until we actually want to see it instead.

3. Every Horror Franchise Ever

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There are a thousand horror franchise right now that are currently getting sequeled, remade or rebooted. Off the top of my head, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Saw, Nightmare on Elm Street, and so on. My instructions for those behind these movies are simple: MAKE ORIGINAL FILMS.

The original horror genre isn’t dead yet, but it’s certainly dying. The Strangers may not have been great, but it was not based on an older film, a foreign film or a book. It was wholly original and deserves credit for that. But such an occurrence is so rare in the horror genre these days, it seems like a miracle when you find one.

Just try to make an original horror fillm, even if it fails, you will win points for originality. I wrote a list of the best horror films of the past decade, and out of 10, exactly two were remakes. Be original, you will succeed more often than you fail.

4. Resident Evil

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No, I’m not lumping in the Resident Evil series with horror, because it’s sort of its own genre of horror/action/video game horribleness. The original Resident Evil holds the high honor of being the closest thing to a halfway decent video game movie adaptation that currently exists, but all the sequels are garbage, and the recent announcement of a fourth film AND a prequel has me wondering who the **** is so gung-ho about these movies?

There are so many better video games that should be turned into movies before we keep churning out RE sequels and prequels. Why does the Bioshock movie sink while Resident Evil gets five cracks at theaters? Life’s not fair.

5. Terminator

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The original two Terminators were awesome, and that’s great, but when Cameron left, so did what made those movies great. McG is the hackiest of hack directors, and took a somewhat decent story in Terminator Salvation and butchered it into a truly atrocious project. And for some reason, the studio has given him the key to the city, and he’s about to further taint the series with a fifth installment set in the present day, because that makes sense.

It’s a cool universe, no doubt, but there are only so many plot holes you can stomp into a series’ mythology before the thing just becomes one big vacuum. Leave futuristic robot war to Michael Bay for the time being.

6. Alien

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This is a very strange situation we find ourselves in with the latest Alien reboot. Ridley Scott has actually expressed an interest in coming back to direct a new film, which would make you think that it might be a good idea to revive the franchise with the original director of the genre classic on board, but still, I don’t approve.

I just don’t think there’s anything to be gained from continuing the story here. The first two Aliens were suitably terrifying, the third was rubbish, and I can’t even bring myself to watch the last one. For as good as the first two are in the horror genre, I just don’t think the mythology is that interest at all (Predator confrontations not withstanding), and I can’t picture a new film that would add anything new without feeling gimmicky (Aliens that can FLY!). Scott should just leave it alone and make a NEW sci-fi classic if he really wants to return to that scene.

7. Indiana Jones

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I actually enjoyed the fourth Indiana Jones film more than most people did. I thought pieces of it were truly pulled from the classic films and the overall plot was great. But it’s clear that George Lucas still doesn’t understand that not everything needs CGI, and the movie was tainted by a bevy of animated monkeys, gophers and aliens that stand out as the most memorable parts of the film.

I didn’t mind the whole Shia as Indy’s son bit, but he CAN’T take over the franchise, and Ford is just flat out too old to keep things going. While a universe like Star Wars can (and should) carry on forever, I’m afraid that Indiana Jones can’t take the same path.

8. _____ Movie

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There’s only one thing I have to say about these types of movies. STOP SEEING THEM. And they’ll stop being made.





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47 responses so far

  • xtheenderx

    Maybe we’ll get our wish for the Terminator Franchise as the Halcyon Company who funded Terminator Salvation filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    And yes, these movies reeeeeally need to die out. PERIOD.

  • Geez

    the only thing worse than lack of originality is lack of creativity
    Id agree with you but frankly im sick of people bitching about the couple of times a bad idea came to fruition

  • Madison

    Agree on all except Terminator – with different timelines/universes, you can do tons of creative shit that doesn’t necessarily have to involve John Connor. Even though the show was about John and Sarah, it fit perfectly in Cameron’s Terminator universe and the stories were fresh and orginal.

  • doudesg

    What exactly is the problem with the fourth Alien? It is definitely not a horror movie but the franchise has moved to the action movie section already in the second episode.

    Each Alien film had its own atmosphere and none of them could be considered a failure.

  • zsasz

    i agree entirely with doudesg.

    and those _ movies need to be ended. everyone involved with their conception should be brutally murdered.

  • moe

    actually in regards to the strangers, i don’t know if the filmmakers credit it, but it’s pretty much a retelling of the french film “ils” (them) same story essentially…don’t get me wrong, i liked the strangers, but it’s the same movie

  • http://twitter.com/judgejobrown judgejobrown

    I agree with every last candidate!

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  • idisagree

    i can’t agree with aliens. that franchise can live on for me.

  • Stu

    moe – you’re right about The Strangers being exactly the same movie as ‘Ils’ (Them). A great movie, but the 2 are practically identical… and no they don’t credit it.

  • http://onlyrings.net vadim

    nice screenshots

  • deejay

    We can whine and whine about how Hollywood is creatively bankrupt, but the fact of the matter is it’s OUR fault. WE are the ones who keep going back to these franchises over and over. These movies cost a buttload of money, it’s risky to make something that could bomb, so why bother?

    The fact is, you and I keep going to these umpteenth sequels, if only because we’re curious to see what happens even if it is a gong-show.

    As for the writer, he’s missing out on the good ones. Alien: Resurrection is a hilarious, ridiculous movie, and a great time. I’m really sorry that Alien3 wasn’t the exact sequel to Aliens that he wanted. I guess they were too creative.

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  • Nick

    Sorry, but Silent Hill is the best video game movie thus far

  • http://www.ihoneyjoo.com Kenny

    I actually enjoy watching Pirates of the Caribbean. I wouldn’t mind another movie.

  • Bunny

    It’s a damn good thing that the idiot that came up with this list isn’t in charge of anything.

    If he (or more likely she) had her way, we will all be waiting for “Sex in the City 2″. The only movie franchises left after this list are Superman, James Bond, Daddy Day Crap, Dr Doolittle, The Hulk, Star Wars Prequels, and sad Trekkie Jiz fests.

    I think I will be waiting for the eight movie franchises on the list instead of the trash I listed off the top of my head.

  • cyco

    “The Strangers may not have been great, but it was not based on an older film, a foreign film or a book.”

    Haven’t seen Ils, have you?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465203/
    The strangers are only a mere copy of this great movie.

  • Marq

    I would really love to see another Indy movie. I agree with most that the fourth one was, well – less than good – but that ride the fifth movie of the “must be great” pressure. I think the creative team behind the movies still has one last great “farewell Indy” story in them.
    So gentlemen, put your thinking hats on, and allow us to see our favorite hero off to the place where good franchises go to once they’re extinguished.

  • Brian

    What about:

    Police Academy
    Final Destination
    Fast and Furious
    Oceans 1X

    Hmm?

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomdaylight Tom Daylight

    Actually, Venom and Carnage are NOT cool Spider-Man villains… unless you’re eight years old I suppose. There’s a dozen or so with big screen potential. The main reason SM3 didn’t work was because Sam Raimi was forced to shoehorn in this character he didn’t even like (Venom) and make him the centre of the film, hence giving the interesting villain character (Sandman) short shrift. Hopefully the suits will be less hands-on with the next films.

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  • Ben

    The last Spider-Man movie did suck, I didn’t think Venom should have been in there at all. But I don’t think that they should end the franchise, in fact I think with the next movie they should have the one villian Raimi’s been hinting at the whole time: The Lizard.

  • arseface

    I completely agree with Tom Daylight. Carnage embodies the worst of 90s Spider-Man villains. Venom was half-arsed in SM3 because Raimi didn’t want him in there in the first place. The film would have worked better if it had introduced Eddie Brock and the alien costume, kept Sandman as the main enemy and left Venom until the fourth film. Instead it was all crammed into one bloated mess. There are plenty of places to go with the classic Spidey villains… Lizard, Kraven, Electro, Vulture, Hobgoblin, Mysterio… The Black Cat could come in and, yes, the door’s open for bloody Venom to return.

  • http://lifejustbounces.blogspot.com tomasz.

    “The problem with this new philosophy of unoriginal filmmaking is that it can a series”

    you’re missing a word in sentence 2, dawg.

    totally on-point with the rest of it.

  • TheoGB

    It’s worth watching Alien: Resurrection because you may be one of the people (like me) who kind of appreciates the idea of a black comedy Alien film in the style of Delicatessen.

    Sure the script is ludicrous and the last act is even worse but as a fan of Firefly I find it hard not to enjoy it.

    Otherwise: Yeah. No more.

  • aguy

    aliens as a concept is amazing and has been vastly underutilized. i want an aliens 5 where earth is overrun and humanity is forced into space. GIVE IT TO ME

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  • Jugzwei

    Just seeing the author say that RE is the best videogame movie out, discredited his whole list.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dorondeutsch doron

    This article misses the whole point. A series for itself is a great thing. You’d stop the rolling stones after two albums?! and make them create an ORIGINAL band? this is silly.
    There can be great originality and heart in the tenth chapter (see bond’ Goldeneye, or actually a much better example the new Star trek, or star trek 6, Rambo, or Rocky Balboa), the problem is just how to make it Right.

    Harrison ford was definately not what ruined the last film but a silly plot and dreadfull dialogues, as well as some uncool castings…

    Smame goes to Aliens 4, mabe the writer should see it.

  • Cronkite Moonshot

    The main problem with this article is that it implies that the first Resident Evil movie is anything but an atrocity comited against all of humanity. I’d say that movie and it’s director Paul WS Anderson are just as bod, if not worse than McG and anything he has ever done. The other main problem with the list is that there are far worse franchises that need to be put to bed than Aliens, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Spiderman. For instance I’d say X-men is in much more need of being put down unless they bring back Bryan Singer (which is never going to happen). Xmen 3 is one of the dumbest movies ever made (again, talk about talentless hack directors Brett Ratner is right near the top of my list) and the new Wolverine movie wasn’t much better. I’d also say that Transformers was already one of the dumbest and least creative series right out of the gate (and Michael Bay is the supreme emperor of talentless hack directors in my book). And as for Star Trek, I would say that killing that now twisted and mutilated series would be a merciful thing before J.J. Abrahms can anally rape Gene Roddenberry’s corpse again with another in his “The Warp Speed and The Furious”, aimed at dullards version of the series.

    Alien 3 was and still is highly underrated, but I agree that the fourth Alien movie was horrible (even though Jean-Pierre Jeunet is one of my favorite directors), as are the AvP movies, but I think the possibility of a return by Ridley Scott means that series deserves another chance.

    Spiderman 3 was absolutely unwatchable as well, but I’m convinced that it was 90% the fault of the studios forcing Venom on Raimi. He had already made it known that he didn’t like the character, so I imagine him wanting to use Sandman but having the popular Venom forced on him by the studio suits, and so he tried to cram four feature length stories (Harry Osborn’s revenge, Sandman, the black suit, and Venom) into one film, and failed miserably as you’d expect anyone to. I think that had Spiderman 3 focused only on Sandman, and actually developed the character in any way, it probably would have wound up being good. I also think that he knows that Spiderman 3 sucked and he is doing Spiderman 4 mostly so that he doesn’t go out on such a crappy note. And if he sticks to ONE main villain in the next movie as he did in the first two I can’t see why he couldn’t make a film as enjoyable as those first two were. (P.S. Carnage is an AWFUL, STUPID CHARACTER THAT SHOULD BE EXPELLED FROM THE HISTORY OF SPIDERMAN AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!)

    The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are all great (yes even the two highly creative, funny, and exciting sequels despite what all the Transformers and Star Trek praising hypocrites say about them). I don’t care that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly wouldn’t be returning, and in fact I’d prefer that the series move on and leave those characters as they were at the end of the third film. Their story is over anyway, and had an excellent conclusion, so bringing them back would ruin it. Trying to force a way to bring them back is exactly the type of thing that could ruin a fourth movie (which is exactly what happened to Alien Resurrection which killed the Alien series). They were central to the story told in the first three films, but NOT to the series as a whole. Captain Jack on the other hand is the heart and soul of the series, and his future adventures are wide open to all kinds of possibilities so there is no reason to abandon him. I’d say that a new film featuring a new story with Captain Jack, and maybe Barbossa looking for the fountain of youth could be very fun, and I’d wait until it actually gets messed up before declaring the series dead.

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  • Madison

    @ doron

    I see what you’re trying to say, but that’s really a poor analogy. When a series of movies is extended, you have a lot of new and different people contributing. New directors, actors, writers, etc. So comparing a series of movies to a series of albums from a band doesn’t hold, unless members of the band kept getting swapped out.

    @ Cronkite Moonshot

    Great comment, and thanks for posting. Totally agree that Alien 3 is underrated. It’s not a very good sequel, I guess, but as a sort of stand-alone movie about an alien, it’s pretty good.

    I also rate Ratner, McG, and Bay as some of the worst directors.

    And I’m sorry, but the two Pirates sequels were atrocious. I agree that Jack is the heart and soul of the series, but the novelty – for me at least – had worn off.

    Again, great comment. Thanks for reading.

  • http://nowhereland Ryan

    NIIIIICCCKKKK!!!!!! AMEN to that…Silent Hill by far the best video game movie ever…i mean come on how many movies show someone getting their skin ripped off

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  • Grampa

    I thought Terminator Salvation was garbage. They should have kept Sarah Connor on TV. It was great and deserved more time. They could make a good Sarah Connor movie with the remaining cast members and I would be overjoyed.
    Wouldn’t you consider the two Aliens vs Predators movies sequels to both franchises.
    Indy 4 was sadly botched.
    Star Trek, with as good as the redux was, must go on.
    The Die Hard franchise continues with my blessing.
    I enjoyed the last Superman movie and think it needs a sequel.
    Spiderman should have ended with 2. Doc Oc was great.
    Pirates is all worn out. Jack is getting annoying.
    I am sick of remakes that add nothing.
    Can’t wait for The Hobbit.
    Narnia 2 was decent, could maybe stand 1 more.

  • http://www.graffizi.com Graffizi

    Some one forgot Harry Potter and all his magic crew. Harry is now old and he really looks like he will become an evil villan himself. I should say that franchise is very tired and i still have not seen this one coz I think it should have been over a long time ago. Someone said RE was the best game ever, then he has never played any game at all. There is no fun in shooting people who have become zombies. They are victims of a bad situation and you come and shoot them, I think all those who enjoy that game should be watched carefully coz they will be out on the streets shooting helpless people in the name of fun.

  • http://www.graffizi.com Graffizi

    Some one forgot Harry Potter and all his magic crew. Harry is now old and he really looks like he will become an evil villan himself. I should say that franchise is very tired and i still have not seen this one coz I think it should have been over a long time ago. Someone said RE was the best game ever, then he has never played any other game at all. There is no fun in shooting people who have become zombies. They are victims of a bad situation and you come and shoot them, I think all those who enjoy that game should be watched carefully coz they will be out on the streets shooting helpless people in the name of fun.

  • cherrorist

    meh :P

  • Ciudadela

    Great choices!!! Completely agree with all of them, and I would add Fast and Furious to the list.

  • Unbeknownst

    @Graffizi, you’re an idiot who can’t read. Harry Potter is a series of best-selling books- as in, there is a story, and more to the story to draw from. We’re not dealing with sequels here but a completion of the original story. It’s totally different than Disney making Pirates, seeing dollar signs, and hacking together additional scripts for sequels. Or like making yet another crap Terminator movie where they should have stopped at T1. But frankly I think all the T-movies were stupid, and sucked.

    The problem with Harry Potter is that the series suffered from ‘musical directors’, from Columbus’ sticky-sweet bright colored Disney-ized flicks, to Cuaron’s total abortion of POA (don’t stick up for him people, he sucked, the film sucked. He thinks he’s ‘Tin Burton Jr.’, and we already have one Tim Burton too many directing already). Yates’ directing is OK, but thanks to Kloves butchering the plots in his screenplays, everything from GoF onwards has been retarded.

  • ptlk

    The Saw movies!

    Saw number one was good and I enjoyed number two, however after that…

  • http://seekng.com alien

    Spiderman 3 was hardly “unwatchable”, not F**CKED up

    your hyperbolic writing does great disservice. That movie was reasonably good, my kids loved it..

    who’s brain were you watching it with? Cranky hipster brain? I’m Oh-So-Smart brain?

    Alien 4 was actually better than 3

    I agree, Silent Hill is easily the best video game movie made, to my knowledge.. It deserves another

    I agree with the general premise, though.. sequels can be nightmarish. I’m not sure they suck up all the creativity in the industry, though.. Lots of good indie stuff out there if you look for it

  • Madison

    @ alien

    Kids like a lot of things that suck. They’re kids. Spidey-3 was a PG-13 movie, not marketed at kids. Those of us who fit into the target demographic generally hated it.

    Alien 3 is better than Alien 4 on just about every level imaginable.

    Thanks for your comment, though – not trying to be a dick, just pointing out that kids aren’t really the best way to measure a movie’s worth.

  • KayN

    “who the **** is so gung-ho about these movies?”
    That would be me. Honestly, they may not be great as far as plot or cinematic novelty goes, but they’re just… bad-ass.
    Still, have to agree with Nick, Silent Hill was a great movie. That might not stand if they made any sequels.

  • Muffy

    Bring it On (One was good.)
    Cruel Intentions (One was good)
    American Pie (I don’t like any of them.)
    Poison Ivy (One was decent.)

  • Joan

    Where’s the Twilight series???

  • Lauren

    Whatever peyote you all are smoking must be good so please pass it around don’t be selfish I mean really are all you folks high or are you on the payroll?!! Paul is 100 percent RIGHT Hollywood is heading headfirst into the shitter and needs to be flushed as of 20 years ago. the fools running this industry are determined to allow it to collapse undere the weight of it’s crushing mediocrity. It starting to cave in on itself and if it’s not shitty ass sequels and WTF remakes it’s stupid claptrap like Chuck and Larry or Marmaduke. I’m too busy looking for 4 dollar bootlegs to care anymore and oh yeah Hollowood those stupid ass commercials with Jack Black/Ben Affleck/Owen Wilson about how the ‘little people’ in your industry are suffering more because of the bootlegs no it’s because you all refuse to do BETTER!

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