Movies & TV / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction Movies/TV 2.15.13: Week 369

February 15, 2013 | Posted by Ben Piper

Hey there, folks. I don’t know about any of you, but my upcoming weekend is going to be busy. Between substituting for one of my fellow staffers for a column next week, I’m also tasked with putting together a good portion of the site’s Oscar coverage, which again, you can all check out next week. No rest for the wicked, I suppose.

But you’re not here to hear me complain, surely. Instead, you’re probably looking forward to your weekly dose of Fact or Fiction goodness. Here to help out in that matter is Dustin James and Jason Chamberlain. Let’s see what they have to say…

1. A Good Day To Die Hard will be a worthy and enjoyable addition to the iconic franchise.

Jason Chamberlain: Fact. Sure, why not? Aside from the original, which is generally recognized as one of the action genre’s best ever installments, it doesn’t have a whole lot to live up to. The second and third were fairly forgettable IMO, and the fourth brought it into ‘modern day’ pretty well, but it was a serviceable action flick, not a classic. I’m sure this one will be along the same lines; an enjoyable time at the movies. I guess it depends on what you expect from your Die Hard. A couple hours of solid action will make me happy. If anything I’m disappointed they didn’t bring his daughter back for this one; I’ll take any excuse to get Mary Elizabeth Winstead on my screen.

Dustin James: Fact. I love me some John McClane and the guy can do no wrong. I’d honestly watch a Die Hard movie where the plot was John McClane having to rescue the Kardashian family from newly-turned terrorist Kris Humphries if they decided to make it. Bruce Willis isn’t getting any younger so let’s pump these Die Hard movies out before they decide he’s too old and decide to reboot the entire franchise with Shia LeBouf in the role of John McClane (yuuuuuuck).

Score: 1 for 1

2. With a Star Wars sequel trilogy and several planned character-centric standalone movies on the way, in the long run, it will all ultimately prove to be too much of a good thing by over saturation .

Jason Chamberlain: Fiction. I might be the biggest Star Wars fanboy this site has to offer. Star Wars can, generally speaking, do no wrong by me. I’ll even admit to liking the prequels (mostly) which these days seems to be akin to saying you’ve got a mean case of leprosy. I enjoy The Clone Wars show, I’ve read lots of the books and usually don’t miss any of the games (I’m neck deep in The Old Republic and loving it). So I’m the last person who’s going to complain about getting MORE Star Wars. And I’m not all that concerned with the fact that George Lucas won’t be involved with them. Two of my favorite Star Wars stories came in video game form (Knights Of The Old Republic and the first Force Unleashed) and to the best of my knowledge George had little to no involvement in creating those. Lucas seems to have accomplished something rare in storytelling; he created a world that others want to visit over and over, and from which they will accept creations from a variety of sources. People love Middle-Earth, but nobody dares to write more stories there; it’s Tolkien’s. Similarly, I’m not sure we’ll ever see anyone besides J.K. Rowling explore the rich Harry Potter universe. But for whatever reason, Star Wars is an exception. It can, and has, live beyond its creator. I for one am happy that George Lucas didn’t let Star Wars retire with him; to relinquish your greatest creation to a life beyond you can’t be easy for a creator, and though I’m not naive enough to think financial considerations played no role in his decision, I do think big George has a genuine love for his world and I doubt handing it over was easy. But he did, and thanks to that we have countless more adventures in the Star Wars universe awaiting us. Chewie, prepare to make the jump to hyperspace!

Dustin James: Fact. Talk about your lucky Fact or Fiction draws. Jason is probably the biggest Star Wars fanboy on the website and I pretty much hate anything that has to do with Star Wars (although the Knights of the Old Republic video games get a pass from me because those were awesome). Now, it’s not that I’m a vocal Star Wars hater or anything, as I just quietly mind my own business and let the Star Wars nerds enjoy their little trip into fantasy outer space. Of course I’ve watched all the Star Wars movies and I was even dragged to the movie theater on opening day of Episode One, so it’s not like I haven’t tried to enjoy them. I’m just not a big science-fiction guy to begin with. But back to the question. Am I already tired of hearing about the new upcoming Star Wars sequel trilogy? Yes. Then again, I’m not really the guy you want to ask that question to.

Score: 1 for 2

3. An animated theatrical remake of The Grinch That Stole Christmas is completely unnecessary and should not be made.

Jason Chamberlain: Fact. The lessons of the past sure are forgotten quickly, aren’t they? Was that live action abomination not bad enough? Look, I’m not a total remake snob. I think some films/tv shows/books/whatever’s can, with the right approach, receive more than one big screen treatment successfully. But there are also some things that were done SO well the first time they have become iconic and are simply untouchable. The first Star Wars movies are one example (give me more movies, but don’t you dare remake Empire). Raiders of the Lost Ark would be another. And The Grinch is on that list as well. I am here to tell you that there is simply no way you are going to improve on the original. It’s not going to happen. Do you have Boris Karloff available? Didn’t think so. Some things should simply be allowed to exist as they are. Today’s kids don’t need a souped up remake of The Grinch. Sit them down in front of the real one and watch them fall in love with it.

Dustin James: Fact. Did the latest Red Dawn disaster not teach us anything? People in Hollywood need to stop taking attractive things and giving them unnecessary plastic surgery. The Grinch That Stole Christmas is a classic and an animated remake is a stupid idea and is definitely not needed. Jason hit the nail on the head when he said that there are some things that are untouchable (although he left Grease off his list, but I’ll forgive him this time) and if you dare touch them, you should expect to be hit with some backlash. Here’s a new idea. Instead of taking some of the most classic movies ever and remaking them, how about taking crappy movies and trying to make them better? I think the world is about due for a Howard The Duck remake. What do you guys think?

Score: 2 for 3

Switch!!!

4. Beautiful Creatures will turn out to be quite good for a Twilight wannabe.

Dustin James: Fiction. There are few things in life I care less about than vampires or witches (and Star Wars apparently…). Unless the vampires are engaged in an intense fight with Wesley Snipes or trying to take out a group of teenagers known as The Monster Squad, I just don’t care about them. If you want to make me care about them even less, go ahead and throw in a boring love story. I know Beautiful Creatures isn’t about vampires and is about “castors”, but that still does nothing for me. I’ve never been a fan of romantic movies in my life and I know my girlfriend is going to try and drag me to this crap fest and that makes me hate it even more. Stop making these things, please.

Jason Chamberlain: Fiction. I’m using a simple equation here. Twilight is crap. Therefore, any ‘Twilight wannabe” is aspiring to be crap, and can only be crap, even if it succeeds in its mission (which is to emulate crap). I’m sure our local cinemas are in for a flood of Twilight wannabe’s in the coming years, until the writer finally heeds the call of the Benjamin’s and cranks out a couple more books or, God help us, Hollywood gets tired of waiting and goes the reboot route. It’s a pretty easy recipe to nail; tortured love story between a pair of teenagers (or really old guys who look like teenagers) kept apart by the forces of fate, add in some kind of supernatural element, mix in a dash of impending doom and stir. Serve that shit up to the tween girl market and watch the babysitting money roll in.

Score: 3 for 4

5. You’d tune in to a Barbarella TV show.

Dustin James:Fiction. I have no idea what Barbarella is, but if you search Google Images using that word, you get an awesome collection of semi-clothed vintage porn. Truth be told, I have no desire to watch any new TV shows because I just have no more room on my DVR right now and have had to actually cut some shows out of my line-up (sorry Revenge….) due to time restraints. Plus, I’m too busy watching reruns of Buckwild and Impractical Jokers to incorporate anything new into my weekly watching routine. Priorities people, priorities.

Jason Chamberlain: Fiction. I’m a little too young to have fond memories of this particular property, though I dimly recall flipping past Saturday afternoon TBS airings of it (no doubt with all the good stuff removed). Not sure what the point is here; can anyone tell me with a straight face that Barbarella is memorable for anything other than Jane Fonda’s jugs? The IMDB synopsis comes right out and describes her as a “highly sexual woman”; that’s in the plot synopsis! What possible importance can that have to the plot, I ask you? I’m not saying ‘woman fights injustice in the far future’ is a concept without potential, but why even call it Barbarella? Why not come up with something original, rather than try to squeeze dollars out of a dusty old property that might have a pinch of name recognition? Rhetorical question… the answer is “cha-ching, bitches”.

Score: 4 for 5

6. You’d be supportive of a fourth Friday movie getting made.

Dustin James: Fact. I was really on the fence with this question. While I know there is absolutely no need for a new Friday movie, it has potential to be incredible if they could reunite some of the best characters from past Friday movies. Contrary to popular opinion, I found Next Friday to be the best one of out of them all. I loved Mike Epps’ “Day-Day” character and my friends and I quoted the crap out of that movie (not that we didn’t quote the crap out of the first one though…). That’s not a knock on the original Friday and Chris Tucker’s “Smokey” character which were also fantastic, it’s just Next Friday spoke to me more. Maybe if they can somehow manage to bring back “Smokey” and put him with “Day-Day”, then I’d totally be sold. Whatever they decide to do, just please don’t make another Christmas movie. I’m begging you.

Jason Chamberlain: Fact. Not because I like the series; haven’t even seen one of them. But if people want some more Friday, who am I to deny them? Go nuts. I do wonder how they can top the wonderfully inventive Friday After Next though… Friday After The Next One? Last Friday? Probably Last Friday.

Final Score: 5 for 6

Early reports and reviews have it that A Good Day To Die Hard by all rights should be the movie to finally kill the franchise, it’s apparently that bad. Ah, well. Thanks to Dustin and Jason, who were in almost complete agreement with one another, for taking part. I’ll see all of you fine people again next week.
-BP

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