Monday, October 23, 2006

If at first you don't succeed...

"Nobody knows nothing," screenwriter William Goldman once said about the movie business. And he's right. My first reaction to hearing that Keanu Reeves was going to star in cyber-sci-fi movie called The Matrix was, "Good grief, doesn't anyone remember Johnny Mnemonic?!" (On the other hand, my fears were belatedly at least partly justified by that film's two sequels.)

Anyhoo, Nicole Kidman and the new Bond, Daniel Craig, are filming The Invasion (recently changed from The Visiting), the lastest in a long, long line of remakes and knock-offs of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Again, one must ask, "Good grief, doesn't anyone remember The Stepford Wives?!"

However, The Invasion is being produced by Joel Silver, who also produced The Matrix...

Here's hoping he can catch lightning in a bottle a second time. Because if he doesn't, there are going to be a lot of fingers pointing out there, and for good reason.

14 Comments:

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous twitterpate said...

I can't recall who it was, but some Hollywood pundit said that you don't get into major trouble in Hollywood by making a mistake IF you can point fingers and say "But so-and-so made one just like it!". In other words, it's OK to cast Nicole in something that seems doomed to fail, if you can say that someone else thought it was a good idea before you. it's the unsuccessful original ideas that'll hang you.

The strength in (idiot) numbers idea, I presume (see, lemmings).

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

That's true. It's often said that a studio head would get in more trouble for a failed ten million dollar weird movie than a more massively failed would-be blockbuster, as long as the latter featured 'hot' stars or whatnot.

Computers in another decade or so are going to give individuals and small groups the ability to make smaller films for a fraction of what the studios make them for now, and they will aimed at exact, discrete market niches. (For instance, big bug movies made by people who actually adore big bug movies.) I somehow don't think Hollywood will be able to respond well to that.

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

Oddly enough, that thinking holds true in many areas of business. In my line of work (technical production), people (upper management, that is) are often promoted after a huge project failure. The key to their "success" in business is two-fold :
1. Make sure the failure is the result of a pre-conceived notion with concensus (no matter how idiotic).

2. Be able to say that you worked on a "big" project.

 
At 5:15 AM, Anonymous ericb said...

There's a similar situation in the music industry. Music on the smaller scale and/or independent level is just as vibrant as it has ever been (though no one is getting rich off of it) it's only in the risk averse blockbuster level that the product is, generally (a few good things manage to slip through from time to time), crap.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

Two words: Robert Rodriguez. He already makes movies in his "garage" for pratically nothing.

As for Nicole...it sure seems like anything she is cast in bombs. Jude Law has the same problem. If the two ever make a movie together, it will probably destoy Hollywood.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

Hey Ken.

The coolest picture on the web (that doesn't involve a donkey) is on my blog.

Prepare to be awed.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Sean Connery is my poster boy for a good actor and marginally big star who had a simply terrible nose for scripts. Look at the number of epic stinkers of his over the last ten or twenty years. This is the guy who turned down Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, and then took League of Extraordinary Gentlemen instead.

 
At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Jimmy said...

Didn't Law and Kidman star together in Cold Mountain?

Hollywood is still there... sigh.

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous twitterpate said...

Well, Michael Caine is another. However, he and Connery also manage to snag enough [i]good[/i] roles to prove that the failures aren't really their fault.

The problem with Nicole Kidman is that she always appears to be "Nicole Kidman" in her roles. I've never seen her completely disappear into a character (mind you, I've not seen all her films, so I may be arguing from few points of data here).

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous John Nowak said...

I dunno about Michael Caine -- it's one thing to appear in a bad movie; it's another to turn down Gandalf to appear in a bad movie.

Of course, it's fair to say that at that point, obody really knew that "Lord of the Rings" would be an artistic success.

 
At 3:56 AM, Anonymous Jimmy said...

I did. I knew the guy made Bad Taste and Braindead wouldn't let us down.

 
At 7:44 AM, Anonymous twitterpate said...

I don't think the irony for Connery is that he turned down Gandalf for "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". It's that he turned down Gandalf because he didn't "understand it", but HAD accepted "Zardoz".

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

I have to disagree on Caine. He appears in some bad movies because he appears in so many movies. Some are lame, some are good, some are awful, some are great.

Connery...gad, he had about a decade-long stretch there where about everything he starred in sucked. I don't know if there's a major star (by which I mean a headliner) who has chosen so many horrible projects: Highlander II, Medicine Man, A Good Man in Africa, Just Cause, The Avengers, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen...

When The Rock is one of the best films on your resume for the last twenty years, something has gone seriously awry.

 

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