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Ten Movies That Should Be Given a Redo

  • Nov 19, 2009
Everyone lately is making so many depressing list.  From the "To Quote Roger Ebert: Your Movie Sucks!" type lists to making up list about all the godawfully horribly bad movies ever made.  I never realized everything sucked so much.  So instead of writing about that... let's write about movies that COULD'VE been great if there had been a couple of tweaks made.  Not all of these movies are bad... at least not as bad as I like to believe.  But rather than making another, "These are movies that sucked!" List... I want to make a list that says, "This is how some of these movies could've been better!"  In short, I believe that the disappointment from the movies on this list are because they were, uh... "A Practice."  See, these movies WOULD suck... if they weren't a practice.  See how that works?  So think of it like this.  That if these movies could be made a second time... different things might be done to make them better.

Actually, some of these movies here aren't really bad at all.  They just had oh... something so urking that it made an EXCELLENT film merely a Good one.  
1
Theatrical poster
Why It Could've Been Awesome: Well, to be brief for a moment... Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had no chance of being awesome from the get go.  It was the continuation of a well loved series... which meant this movie could've been Dark Knight good and the fans would've still hated it.  It didn't have a chance.  On the other hand, at least according to fans... there was a way it might not have sucked.
What Was the Problem: I can hardly speak from this.  I actually didn't think the movie itself was bad, but if we have to talk about some things... the biggest would be there was just too much CGI (CGI Gophers... really Speilberg?), a main villain who didn't know if she was Russian or English... and a twist that--I will agree with fans--just had no fucking business being in an Indiana Jones Movie.
How It Could've Been Better: Well, actually this is a trap.  It probably couldn't have been.  They just waited too long to do it, first of all.  Harrison Ford is an awesome actor but he's getting a ittle too old to be going on the types of adventures Indy was on in the first three films.  Also, the whole, "Indy has a son!?" thing... yeah, that's gotta go.


2
The Happening
Why It Could've Been Awesome: Say what you want about M. Night, he still does a different blend of horror that isn't always about slashing and stuff like that.  But why should this one have been awesome?  Because it seemed like M. Night was actually making a movie that was getting back to his roots that made him well known in the first place.  The Preview in particular gave a mysterious aura that, had it been carried over to the film, might've made for a great film.  But then you see it and you see the goddamn plot and...
What Was the Problem: Plants.  Releasing.  Toxins.  That.  Make.  People.  Kill. Themselves.  .... ....  ................  ........................WTF?  THAT'S what was "happening?"  Huh?  And let's not forget that the event just ends... no real reason why.  It just ends. 
How It Could've Been Better: Tell people it was a comedy instead?  No, actually a better approach might've been to have the plants releasing toxins that make people sick and eventually die.  The big mystery then would've been why are people getting sick and dying rather than, "Why are people walking backwards and then killing themselves?"  See, at first I thought the characters on screen were just killing themselves because they were in an M. Night Shyamalan movie.  Actually, even that would've been better than plants releasing toxins.  But imagine, if you will a story about an unknown disease spreading and killing people rather than the original over-the-top premise.  I honestly believe going that route might've been a more tolerable film.  Another thing that might've made it better?  A different screenwriter.  As a director... M. Night isn't too bad.  He knows how to direct... it's his goddamn screenplays and ideas that aren't great.  He gets away with it because he doesn't want to be criticized.  But in truth, if he didn't write his movies, the directing might be more worthwhile.


See the full review, "It Just Ain't "Happening"".
3
The Village (Widescreen Vista Series) (2004)
Why It Could've Been Awesome: Okay, if you're similar to me, you probably thought The Village wasn't too bad until you got to the end.  Until that point, I was actually quite intrigued by what was happening in it.  It could've been suspenseful (it certainly wasn't scary) but instead you get this sort of gotcha twist that's worse than being the victim of an Eric Cartman prank.
What Was the Problem: First, the idea that the village is fake.  I'll never get over that.  Second, the idea that the monsters were fake and that it was actually townspeople dressing up to keep them in town.  Hated that more than the village being fake.  Thridly... they send the blind girl out there instead of just one of the guys who knows the monsters are fake...
How It Could've Been Better: Make the monsters real.  No, I'm serious.  At least if the Monsters were real or even demons or something like that... we might be able to have a better understanding of The Village never modernizing.  But more than that... if the monsters were real and the movie actually took place in the past instead of modern day... it might've actually been less disappointing to see.


See the full review, "Is This a Joke? If So It Wasn't Very Funny".
4
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Why It Could've Been Awesome: First of all, after all the disappointment with Star Wars Episode I... Episode II should've been better just for the sake that it WASN'T Episode I.  I mean, seriously.  People were so disappointed with Episode I that if Episode II had just been a singing dancing turd they would've liked it more.
What Was the Problem: No singing, dancing turd.  No, actually the problem was throwing in a horrible love story and Hayden Christensen.  We could write oodles of problems the prequel trilogy had, but the most prominent one is that beneath the mask of Vader is a whiny, irresponsible, spoiled shit rather than the man that Obi-Wan describes in Episode IV: A New Hope.  The love story helps us to understand him subcumbing to the Dark Side (and Luke and Leia needed to have a mother otherwise they wouldn't have been born) but in truth... we never actually see Anakin as the man Obi-Wan EVER described in the original trilogy.  Oh, and shitty dialog.
How It Could've Been Better: Instead of focusing so strongly on the Love Story... perhaps more focus on Anakin's corruption would've been far better.  Episode III ended up being just as bad because his shift in character was so sudden that there was hardly any build... if Episode II had actually done more to show Anakin's steps toward The Dark Side of the force, Episode III might've been more enjoyable.  Yes, I really REALLY didn't like Episode III anymore than the other two films.  My theory is that you all hated Episode I and II so much that your expectations were so unrealistically low for the third Lucas had a singing, dancing turd on screen for two hours and you would've said, "Well, at least it wasn't BAD!"


See the full review, "The Worst of the Prequel Trilogy".
5
I Am Legend
Why It Could've Been Awesome: It had the Fresh Prince in it!  Geez!  Not to mention it had such a good premise from the book that there was no way they should've been able to screw much of it up.  But somehow they did...
What Was the Problem: Well, the first might be that they didn't really read the book.  I'm not big on "accuracy" but I was wondering if they would at least remember what the point of the book was.  Instead what it feels like is a bunch of guys got together in a room and said, "This is an awesome title!" and then just made the movie.... with that title.  They threw in Will Smith because they wanted to make money.  The biggest problem, however, was that they just couldn't get their point across.  Here we're supposed to believe these are intelligent monsters because they can mimic a trap Neville sets... but the movie NEVER shows them as anything more than savage BEYOND that!  But then the "controversial" alternate ending (which actually does show the point) isn't consistent with what you got before... damn.  Lastly... those things were NOT vampires.  For everyone who keeps saying that... the movie specifically calls them "Darkseekers."  They are NOT vampires.  The next person who calls them vampires when speaking of 2007's I Am Legend should be publically humiliated middle earth style!
How It Could've Been Better: By actually including vampires?  By actually keeping the important theme of evolution in tact?  By not killing the dog?  By not killing Will Smith (you can't kill the Fresh Prince!)?  Okay, this is another one of those things I'm not sure if it can be saved.


See the full review, "In The End a Good Performance By Smith".
6
DVD front
Why It Could've Been Awesome: Well, the first Spider Man was just okay.  The second was awesome.  From there the third just had to ride off the second one's awesomeness... and not get carried away.  The first two worked because they weren't overstuffed and pretentious.  The third one only had to follow suit with a different villain.  You might've had people complaining it was the same old thing... but let me ask you something... would you have wanted the same old thing... or what you actually got?
What Was the Problem: As I said... it was overstuffed.  You had Harry Osborne, Venom, the Sandman and the symbiote all thrown into one plot.  That, and because they didn't want to let Sam Raimi do what he wanted with the movie.  Raimi never wanted Venom in there in the first place... if the "death" of Venom wasn't obvious enough that Sam Raimi hates venom allow me to inform you that Sam Raimi hates venom.  The studio called more of the shots than Raimi himself did.  More than that, you just had way too much in there.  Too many eggs in one basket... and then they completely changed who Uncle Ben's killer was just out of left field... ultimately destroying the entire incentive for Parker to want to be Spider-Man and use his powers responsibly in the first place.  The guys behind Spider-Man 3 didn't just royally fuck up.  They tied Spider-Man to a chair and pissed all over him.
How It Could've Been Better: First off... no changing who Uncle Ben's killer is.  It was because of Peter letting the guy go and that man killing Uncle Ben that Parker wanted to be Spider-Man and fight for justice in the first place.  You don't change a hero's origin IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FRANCHISE just because it suits a particular movie better.  I mean, god damn did they just think we didn't see the first one or something?  Plus, he comes from right out of left field.  No wonder they need Spider-Man then... the police suck at their job in this film.  But more than that... if they just didn't overstuff it with villains.  Venom, in particular, needs his own movie.  Sam Raimi may hate venom (and I agree that Raimi shouldn't put Venom in JUST because fans wanted him) but if done correctly at least venom would've been a more worthwhile villain instead of him just being there for thirty minutes.  And Sandman?  Maybe he just shouldn't have been in there at all.  His story was just boring and pathetic to begin with.


See the full review, "Too Many Eggs in One Basket".
7
The Matrix Reloaded (Widescreen Edition) (2003)
Why It Could've Been Awesome:  It was the sequel to The Matrix.  The first film which was so good not just because of awesome special effects, but because of being so damn interseting storywise with its neat concept.
What Was the Problem: Success went to the heads of the Washawski Brothers (I know I spelled that name wrong).  Instead of building much further on the premise of the first film, what you ended up getting was a film that focused so much more on being "cool" than anything else.  The trenchcoats, the sunglasses some of those special effects.  And some of them are cool... but most people loved the first film because it also had an interseting premise.  The idea that we're not really real, but rather we are just plugged into a fake world.  For whatever reason, the second one almost ignores this.  Sure, the machines were also a big part of the plot--as was Agent Smith--but the "cool" factor of the Matrix was NOT responsible for it being a good movie.
How It Could've Been Better: Well, first of all, if they'd focused more on the philisophical aspects throughout (instead of saving much of it for the end) it might've been a better movie.  And instead of making their audience feel like they had to be total geniuses to understand what the hell was going on, maybe they could've elaborated.  As I said, the brothers seemed aware that they made a great movie.  They just seemed to have misunderstood what it was that made it so good.  They were looking at the cool factor of their first film rather than the story and themes in and of themselves.  They STARTED to really get it back with the the third film... but by then the damage was done (and the third film wasn't all that appealing either).


8
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Why It Could've Been Awesome: Pirates of the Caribbean had it's charms.  In defense of the third film, much of those charms left when the second came out... but the second film was still, for the most part, fun.  All the third film really had to do was finish what the second one started without going overboard.  Then again, if the second film had been a standalone movie (instead of a two parter) they both might've been just as good as the first one.
What Was the Problem: Like Spider-Man 3, some of it was that it just included too much in its plot.  The third film in particular is slow because it has to explain so much that the second film could've actually explained if we didn't have to go to that stupid island with the cannibals (which had NOTHING to do with the plot whatsoever).  Not to mention that the second film also neglects to inform us all that stabbing the heart of Davy Jones means you have to take his place.  If Will had actually known that... do you think he would've been in such a rush to kill Davy Jones?  So in part, the second one has to take some of the blame.  But for the most part, the third one introduces quite a bit of stuff that should've at least been MENTIONED in the second film.  Tia Dalma being Calypso?  Where did THAT come from?  And all that trouble for her only to turn into crabs?  Why?  What was the point of that anyway?  The film doesn't even care to explain or even have character speculate.  There's just this sort of, "Well, that didn't work.  Let's go fight those assholes from the East India Trade Company now."  So nearly an hour is wasted.  Not to mention the writing just isn't as clever and witty.
How It Could've Been Better: Well, given that the second movie already gave us so much to swallow and already left us in disarray... the objective of the third film might've been better served to mostly clear up and answer questions... instead of asking new ones.  There was so much the second film left on the table for us that we already had a lot of questions.  Why then, does the third film insist on giving us MORE questions without first answering the previous ones?  It takes off from where the second leaves off, but unfortunately when watching it, the second film mostly comes off as a mere detour rather than a prequel.  When two films are filmed at the same time... usually one of them is bad... BECAUSE the directors insist on making them connect in some way.  I don't think anyone would really complain if the Pirates Trilogy had been done like the original Indiana Jones movies.  That is to say... with each adventure being a standalone thing rather than creating two sequels that really is just one movie split into two.


See the full review, "Pirates of the Caribbean Never Got that Spark Back".
9
Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard
Why It Could've Been Awesome: In truth Die Hard only has one memorable film in the series... the first one.  Live Free or Die Hard isn't really bad.  It's actually okay, only because it's competition isn't much to write home about (but Die Hard: With a Vengeance is a helluva lot better than Die Hard 2: Die Harder).  None of the movies are really bad, they just have the curse of having to live up to what is widely considered the greatest action movie ever made.  Live Free or Die Hard actually had one plus over Indiana Jones 4... the main actor wasn't too old for the part.  Because Bruce Willis being John McClane can be done in a different manner.  If Liam Neeson can do Taken... Bruce Willis can do Die-Hard.  Because Die-Hard is about action... not adventure.  Indiana Jones IS adventure... and unfortunately, adventure is hard to force on a man in his 60's.  But guns blazing?  Well, that doesn't call for nearly as much.  
What Was the Problem: Well, in the first place, the movie INSISTS on reminding us that John McClane is old.  Be glad Indy 4 didn't spend so much time joking around about his age so much.  The movie is mostly one big running gag about how McClane's generation is so much different from his sidekicks because McClane is old and he's not.  So what you're really getting is a big generation gap commentary more so than anything else.  It's annoying.  And, of course, the fact that the real Die Hard experience is tempered because of that PG-13 rating... Let's be clear... it isn't because it IS PG-13.  The movie was actually shot as an R Rated film... but at the very last minute someone decided they wanted to edit the movie down to being a PG-13 film.  So what you have is... A LOT of strange editing... really weird cutaways, for one thing and a lot of toned down violence.  They clearly shot an R-Rated film... but bad editing is why the PG-13 rating is so bad... because it's clear it wasn't supposed to be PG-13.
How It Could've Been Better: First off... by sparing us the, "Here's what wrong with your generation..." type jokes.  Especially because John McClane really doesn't come off as being that old.  The movie does it in such a way that we're wondering if McClane is really just in his 50's or if he's supposed to be in his 80's.  I get it, "Damn kids and their music!"  But that's not the kind of witicisms people like John McClane for!  Also... why didn't they just give us the version they wanted to give us in the first place?  A Die Hard Movie without the words: "Yippie Ki-Yay Motherfucker," (don't tell me the words were in this movie... it was censored... bastards) is NOT Die-Hard!


10
Transformers
Why It Could've Been Awesome: I want to clear something up... the Transformers movie wasn't meant to be entirely based off the television series so much as they were to be based off the line of toys put out there.  But the REAL reason why Transformers could've been awesome is because they're giant fucking robots!  I'm not much for explosions or anything, but the sort of "Humanizing robots," thing that Transformers had going was pretty cool.  I didn't even mind humans being in the first film... for a little bit.
What Was the Problem: Besides Michael Bay in his, "Fuck plot, let's just blow shit up," manner?  Well, probably the fact (at least for some) that he did insist on only using the toys as a basis rather than the show itself.  But moving away from that, it was really more about the fact that while you didn't exactly get a "bad" movie (and that's saying a lot for Michael Bay) you still got a movie that didn't have a whole lot of focus.  Not just the fact that there are too many explosions, weird camera angles and a movie that's just too long... but also that the movie is called "Transformers" but isn't actually about them.  It's about some kid who can help them get something they need.  This is great and all... but they made the kid the main character.  And then about halfway through the movie Michael Bay realized, "Holy shit I'm actually making a decent film!" and decided that decent movies aren't what people want.
How It Could've Been Better: By not having Michael Bay direct it, and by giving the Transformers a bit more of the spotlight.  It was supposed to be their movie.  Making a Transformers movie and then putting them in a supporting role is like making an Indiana Jones movie and then making Indy the sidekick.  Or making a movie called "Titanic" and totally not focusing on the Titanic (now who the hell would do that?).  I just can't understand why you'd put the title characters in a supporting role.


See the full review, "Not Bad... and That's Saying A LOT for Michael Bay".

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September 19, 2010
Great article. I personally thought that Transformers was terrible. Yes it didn't help that Michael Bay directed it, but I think the main obstacle to this film was the technology. I think the reason it was so human-focused was because there wasn't enough money to have CGI robots all the way through. Apparently on the DVD extra, it is even acknowledged that they wanted to have an extra 2 Autobots in it but unfortunately the budget didn't allow for it. Perhaps it can be remade in 20 years time. As for the Star Wars prequel trilogy, I like them more than most people do but I do feel very strongly that Leonardo Di Caprio should have got the role of Annakin Skywalker of Hayden Christiansen, he's an amazing actor that is often overlooked because of his pretty boy image. Not that this would have improved the scriptwriting I realise but it would have improved Episodes II and III slightly. As for the Indy film, I don't think Harrison Ford's age was the problem, more the rather shoddy plot. The whole thing about Indy having a son was desperately predicatable. You see it coming and think "please no, please no, don't be so stupid".
 
November 25, 2009
Yeah. Basically they all could have been better if they were completely different. But they weren't and we're all stuck with that and there's not a single one of us out here who couldn't go in and say what's wrong with every single one of these flix and tell 'em how to fix it. That's what a review is more or less--although sometimes we assume that by saying what's wrong with it that that the correction becomes obvious and thus doesn't need to actually be stated.

They can call the monsters in I AM LEGEND whatever they want to ("darkseekers" just seems so hokey to me) but they're still more or less vampires and it would have been better for the film if they had ust stayed truer to Matheson's book as you pointed out yourself. I'm not totally opposed to spinning on a title--I sort of liked Alan Ormsby's script for the remake of CAT PEOPLE even though it went far off the original film. I liked it because it explained how the cat women could continue to exist when logic pointed out that they should die out since they tended to kill their mates whenever they were sexually aroused and never actually  bred as a result. Sort of ends the line if you know what I mean.

THE VILLAGE though was just obvious from the moment it began and turning it into a different film (one in which the monsters were real) is far from "tweaking", it's changing the whole concept of the film and changing whatever point Shyamalan was trying to make.
November 25, 2009
I think the point is that these movies could have gone from "alright" to "great" with a few tweaks. Of course we always play Monday morning quarterbacks after the fact and point this out in our review. I think most "good" movies could never be great no matter how reworked they are. These movies listed are the exceptions.
November 25, 2009
A lot of what Sean i suggesting in a couple of cases (especially THE VILLAGE) is not just "tweaking" it's completely changing the movie. I added a bit more to my comment.
November 25, 2009
Well, yeah, most of them are big changes... although sometimes "tweaks" do result in big changes.  But if you take The Village for example, I wasn't aware of the "concept" until Trashie pointed it out.  I think I'd heard that before but dismissed it as the possibility of one commentor over reaching a little (Though I don't think having a good concept automatically makes the movie, you know, good).  Even then, however, you can still actually make changes but keep concepts, you know?  Just having a good "idea" or "concept" isn't what makes a movie awesome, though.  But when I say "tweak" well... changing the monsters to being "real" can still be a "tweak" even if it results in a HUGE change.  Although, as I said, when I put that in the list I didn't exactly know the "concept".  Seriously, I thought M. Night was trying to make something suspenseful and scary that would somehow try and blow our mind.  I'm still not even sure if that's what M. Night is getting at.  If it is... cool, but it doesn't make the movie better.  So maybe that "tweak" doesn't work for the concept.  But even with that concept in mind... that makes me think even more so that the film didn't live up to its potential.
November 25, 2009
I don't know if he was necessarily trying to do that either, but if he was then making the monsters real certainly screws up what he intended. I personally hated the fact that they weren't real. I suspected from the start that they weren't.
 
November 20, 2009
Well, that was quite a detailed analysis. I absolutely agree about the Pirates movie. Someone I know is a real fan, and I have watched most of it several times. I'm still confused by the plot lines. Fun premise for a list.
 
November 19, 2009
I agree with @andrewjt. That twist at the end of The Village made it seem like the whole plot was entirely possible to have in our world. Otherwise, I love this list and the rest of your breakdowns. So thorough and creative! :)
 
November 19, 2009
Great list! I agree that most of the movies in this list needs major re-writes . The mistake of the Matrix series was that it became too philosophical and channelled J-anime too much (we know anime isn't for everyone). The Star Wars prequels were blah as well as "The Village". However, The Happening wasn't about the plants killing humans, it was about 'an act of God' and man's arrogance to deny that he doesn't have all the answers. Me and Christy championed The Happening...http://www.amazon.com/review/R3ICI37H8M5QH5/...&nodeID=#wasThisHelpful
November 19, 2009
It was just that... well... the plants releasing toxins that made people kill themselves?  And then M. Night taking that seriously?  Like... really really seriously... I'm not sure.  I understand what you're saying and all, but even then... there just HAD to be a better way than the whole plants releasing toxins thing.  I mean if I was God I would just be like, "Shut up, heathen!" and give whoever a heart attack.  Problem solved!
November 19, 2009
LOL! "shut up, heathen!" your list is definitely why I began looking elsewhere for movies he-heh.
November 19, 2009
actually, it's not so much about God but an unexplained phenomena that is usually called "act of God"--much like a rogue wave, the bermuda triangle and what-not. It's a thematic affair, but hey, I think I like the heart attack thing better LOL!
 
November 19, 2009
Excellent List. I really liked Live Free or Die Hard so on that one there is a slight disagreement. In Spiderman 3 I would also add that Eddie Brock was a totally unnecessary, annoying character. They could have done without Sandman and Venom and instead had The Lizard. After all Doc Connors is already there. His mutation would probably work the way Green Goblin and Doc Ock's mutations worked in the other two flicks.
 
November 19, 2009
Always good to see someone having the same disdain now for Vader as I do from Episode II. Whiny guy underneath black armor, not mad human wreckage as he was described in the books. I don't care if being mutilated and having his wife die did it to him or not, he's such a little bitch after seeing Ep II. Transformers had WAY too many humans and not enough Transformers, not to mention Megan Fox who I can't look at without wanting to projectile vomit.
 
November 19, 2009
Great list. The movies I've found the most disappointing are always the ones with the most unrealized potential -- this was a really good explanation of what they could have been.
 
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About the list creator
Sean A. Rhodes ()
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I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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