See, I’ve always had this thing about Chris Columbus. He’s not a bad director. He’s even got some decent notches on his belt. However, one thing I’ve been sort of amazed by is that he’s sort of king of “it didn’t hold up well later” movies. He’s made a pile of movies that were once beloved, but history has been unkind to them, revealing them to be… less than we remember. This goes for films like the first two Harry Potter, which we were all awed by, until we saw what more capable directors could do with those characters, and instantly Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets became the most lackluster of the entries. Films like Adventures In Babysitting and Mrs. Doubtfire were beloved, but really don’t do well upon later viewings.
But really, if there’s a crime that Columbus is guilty of, it’s that he’s just incredibly fucking bland. He’s inoffensive, he’s boring, he’s the safest bet a studio can make. He’ll probably earn a studio its money back and then some, no one will complain too loudly about his movies (except for Rent, that is), but no one is really going to remember much about them. His recent efforts, like Percy Jackson And The Olympians, are almost completely un-memorable. It’s like spending 90 minutes in a sensory deprivation tank. In fact, one could make the case that his most memorable movie — that wasn’t based on a Rowling novel, anyway — is probably Home Alone. And even that sometimes resorts to cheap, populist, saccharine pablum.
What I’m saying is that Chris Columbus kind of quietly, subtly, inoffensively and almost unnoticeably… sucks. There’s nothing more frustrating than when someone like him gets handed a project that you love.
And that’s exactly what just happened, because Chris Columbus is going to produce the English-language remake of Trollhunter, a movie that I absolutely adored. It’s a clever, shoestring-budgeted, clever, innovative little movie that I loved the ass off of (read the review here). Of course, it’s in Norwegian, and it’s foreign, so you’ll only see it on DVD or Netflix or VOD. And since Hollywood hates to see an idea go unexploited, they’re remaking it. And they hired Blandy McBlanderson to put it together. No word on a director, but it wouldn’t shock me if he decided to take on that role, too.
“But Teek, ” you’re saying, “he’s just producing it, not directing!” To which I say, “shut the fuck up, cockweasel, and don’t interrupt my ranting.” Because here’s a list of the last ten movies that he’s produced:
The Help (producer) (completed)
2010 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
2009 I Love You, Beth Cooper
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
2007 Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
2006 Night at the Museum
2005 Fantastic Four
2005 3-D Rocks (documentary)
2004 Christmas with the Kranks
Columbus had this to say about the project:
”(Trollhunter) was a visceral, thrilling, cinematic rock and roller coaster ride of a movie. Visually, there are scenes in this film that American audiences have never seen. We want to introduce an international audience to this amazing moviegoing experience.”
You know how you could do that, douchebag? Release it in American theaters.
Hand to God, if I saw Chris Columbus walking down the street, I’d sack-punch him. With a chair.