By Miscellaneous | | March 30, 2010 |
By Miscellaneous | | March 30, 2010 |
Amidst the trends today are more complaints about Sam Rockwell (and now also Mickey Rourke) being left out of Iron Man 2 posters and understandable blogger-hosted hara-kiri parties held in response to Pajiba’s own E-Trade Baby movie announcement. But I was unavailable yesterday when the big new Hollywood trend of screenwriter apologies began (so far we’ve got J.D. Shapiro for Battlefield Earth and Dan Harmon for Monster House — which I actually really like) and I want to in turn apologize for that. And bring you some leftovers and call for your own suggestions on which screenwriters you’d most like an apology from.
For me there’s really only one: George Lucas. This coming from a guy who cherishes Howard the Duck, too. And I don’t even care about the Star Wars prequel shit. I’m thinking more of the recent Indiana Jones debacle, which I won’t bother David Koepp nor Jeff Nathanson about. I’m sure it was primarily Lucas’ role in the writing that made it so awful. I know complaining about Indy IV is passe now, but really it was the most disappointing script for me, ever. Who cares about Gigli or even Transformers 2? As far as expectations and franchise reputations go, nothing was as painful as the screenplay that gave us a whole new term for when film series go wrong (“nuke the fridge”).
Lucas, you can leave your request for forgiveness in the comments section. The rest of you, leave your own apology requests (for screenwriters, filmmakers, TV creators, whomever) after the following suggestions and related comments from around the blogosphere:
Funny People (2009)
Apologizer: Judd Apatow
“Death comes for the Sausage King,” wrote one observer of Apatow’s bloated, maudlin spelunking journey into his own navel. Beyond the waste of talent and money and the filmmaker’s worsening lack of narrative discipline, there must be some part of even Judd Apatow’s ego that kicks in when the words “INT. KITCHEN — DAY / Montage of dog licking peanut butter off my wife and children” appear on the page. And what was that climax with Adam Sandler, Leslie Mann and Eric Bana? All the more offensive coming from a guy who knows he’s good — and is most definitely better than this.
“Super Mario Bros.”
As much as people might like to blame [Uwe] Boll for single-handedly creating the impression that video game-to-film adaptations will always suck, that honor actually goes to “Super Mario Bros.,” a maverick in that oh-so-craptacular subgenre. I don’t even know where to start. This movie missed the script in such a fundamental way, it left a lot of people speechless. Maybe it was a “too many chefs” scenario? Three writers cobbled together this deranged script, which presented the Mushroom Kingdom as a dystopian urban slumland.
Should filmmakers apologize after making a complete bomb?
What would the world be like if Kevin Reynolds had apologized after Waterworld? What if Paul Verhoeven had written an editorial stating his regrets about unleashing Showgirls?
Would it make any of us feel any better? It certainly wouldn’t erase the film, but it might be nice to see artists admit when they’ve done something that just doesn’t resonate at all.
Or maybe it would cheapen the whole thing even more.
For my money, though, apologies from behind-the-scenes of a TV show are more interesting, just because TV people can actually make amends for their mistakes. Remember when Lost’s Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse apologized for that season 3 sojourn to Hydra Island? They fired back with some of the show’s most vital episodes ever, including the cheerfully murderous palette-cleanser “Exposé.”
With that in mind, my personal pick for greatest single apology ever is the recent season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which the cast and crew of Seinfeld implicitly admitted that the sitcom’s series finale (a 75-minute courtroom clip show) was disappointing. They even gave America a meta-hysterical do-over! Pure class.