Movies & TV / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction Movies/TV 12.07.12: Week 360

December 7, 2012 | Posted by Ben Piper

And we’re back! Welcome back yet again to the internet column that doesn’t pull punches or suffer fools lightly, Fact or Fiction. This week we’ve got Todd Vote and Leonard Hayhurst hanging about. Let’s see what’s o their minds.

1. You’d be interested in a big screen Family Guy movie.

Leonard Hayhurst: Fiction. Am I obligated to say “Simpsons did it?” Closing in on 20 years on the air, The Simpsons released a feature film in 2007. I saw it in the theater and enjoyed it, but it just felt like a long episode of the series. After that much time and that many episodes, there just wasn’t much ground left uncovered that the expansive world of film was really needed to cover. I feel the same about Family Guy, which debuted in 1999 and already did a direct to DVD film. I could also see Family Guy using the platform of a movie with an R-rating to go needlessly extreme. Does Peter dropping the f-bomb and Lois walking around naked add anything to a possible movie plot? One of my complaints on the Reno 911: Miami movie was that it was just a long episode with swearing and boobs. So, I’m not interested in a Family Guy movie, because I don’t think it would bring anything new to the table for the franchise.

Todd Vote: Fact. Normally I would agree with Leonard on this one, but I read a brief snippet with Seth MacFarlane, where he stated the exact same thing that Leonard did. He went on to say that a Family Guy movie would not happen unless they would do something they can’t do on TV. He actually stated that they had the idea nailed down, so I am actually curious to see what he has in mind. Peter dropping f-bombs, and Lois walking around naked will probably happen, but there could be a lot more to this. I think a Family Guy movie will deliver something more South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, and less The Simpson’s Movie.

Score: 0 for 1

2. Flight Of The Navigator should not be remade.

Leonard Hayhurst: Fiction. I say you should do a remake if you can improve upon the original and a new film would be accessible to a new generation of viewers. I feel both is true in this case. I loved Flight of the Navigator as a kid, but even then I knew it was cheesy and hokey. You don’t want to go overboard on the CGI, but certainly today you could make a more realistic looking ship and creatures on it. It’s a fun story that children can relate too, but the movie is certainly a product of the 1980s and therefore maybe doesn’t relate the best to kids now. The apprehension I have is Disney’s remake of Escape to Witch Mountain, which was modernized, but low budget. If Disney puts money into a Flight of the Navigator remake across the board with script, effects and production values, I think it could be a good movie for modern kids and a bit of nostalgia for parents.

Todd Vote: Fiction. Now here, I agree with Leonard 100%. Flight of the Navigator was one of my favorite movies as a child. That being said if they can nail down a good script, keep CGI to a minimum, and get a good cast on board, this could easily translate to today’s kids. One part where Leonard and I disagree though, is the ship. I thought the ship was one of the best parts of the movie. It was like a liquid Terminator. The ship could be anything that the kid needed it to be. Oh, and I would be totally okay if they brought back Paul Ruebens to voice Max again. Compliance!

Score: 1 for 2

3. A Mr. Ed movie would be a horrible idea.

Leonard Hayhurst: Fact. I really don’t see any way such a movie would be good. I also get the sense Wilbur would be played by Kevin James and nobody wants that either. A story about a talking horse was stupid in the 1960s and it’s even more stupid now. The series has some charm to it, I remember watching it in reruns as a kid, but it’s one of those concepts you’re surprised made it to television. As I said above, you do a remake if you can improve upon it and make it more accessible to a new generation. Even children today are a little more sophisticated than to get into a talking horse, even though I know there are a lot of dumb live action-CGI movies out there that did well at the box office with families. And, we’ve seen with other movies, CGI doesn’t always make the most realistic looking mouths, often they just seem creepy. Creepy and bad, that’s what a Mr. Ed movie would probably be.

Todd Vote: Fact. Though again for slightly different reasons than Leonard. I don’t think children will have any problem at all getting into a talking horse. Why would a talking horse be any less believable than the many other talking animals in kids movies these days? Anyways, this is a bad idea. Mr. Ed, as silly as the premise was, was done more for the adult audience I felt. Remaking that now would mean they would almost have to re-gear it as a kids movie. Which would turn it into a run of the mill movie that would more than likely get lost in the shuffle. I just don’t see how it could work. Make a talking animal movie, but leave Mr. Ed alone.

Score: 2 for 3


4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be horribly miscast as Batman in the planned Justice League movie.

Todd Vote: Fiction. I’ve actually went back and forth on this idea since it was first rumored last week. If they really want to have Nolan’s Bat-verse tie in with the Justice League, then this is honestly the best way I can see them doing it. One of the big ideas Nolan was trying to get across was that the symbol of Batman is bigger than any one man. Passing the mantle off to JGL’s John Blake was his way of showing that and closing his story. So no, I don’t think JGL would be horribly cast as Batman in the planned film. However, at the beginning of the Justice League, I think Bruce Wayne is a must. So having John Blake’s Batman in the movie is probably not the best idea. But, if he plays Nightwing or something and has to talk Bruce Wayne into coming back, it could work.

Leonard Hayhurst: Fact. Even though Todd said fiction, his answer reads like fact to me since he said having Bruce Wayne to start is a must. I agree that having JGL as Nightwing with Christian Bale coming back as Batman is a great idea. I think that would really help to elevate the profile and box office potential of a Justice League movie considering we don’t know what the new Superman film is going to do and the Green Lantern film underperformed (I don’t think it’s been guaranteed that Ryan Reynolds would be in a Justice League flick). While that tie in might be key for marketing and fan interest, at the same time I don’t think the Christopher Nolan Batman universe would be a good fit for what a Justice League movie might wind up being. Nolan made Batman as close to realistic and grounded as possible. A Justice League movie, just based on super powered characters like Superman and Wonder Woman, would be in a whole other realm. I’m not sure who I would cast as Batman or how I would play his character, but trying to tie into the recent Batman movies with JGL only I don’t think would play well.

Score: 2 for 4

5. Matthew Vaughn would be a great choice to direct Star Wars Episode VII.

Todd Vote: Fiction. Vaughn would definitely be an inspired choice. I’ve enjoyed most of his film work thus far, and I would be very curious to see what he could do with the franchise, especially after his work on X-Men: First Class. However, given Vaughn’s penchant for violence seen in Kick Ass, and even a bit in X-Men, I have to ask if his particular brand of action is right for the Star Wars Universe.

Leonard Hayhurst: Fact. I’m all for bringing fresh blood into the Star Wars universe. Matthew Vaughn has maybe not done straight science fiction, but he’s shown to be adapt at genre films at various ends of the spectrum. I’ll buy anything as long as it fits the world of the movie you create and Vaughn has shown to be a master of that. He’s also good at character development and not letting special effects or violence over shadow that. The Star Wars movies are all certainly family friendly, but there is a certain level of violence to all of them with plenty of blaster battles and lightsabre duels. To get a sense of what Vaughn could bring to the Star Wars universe, check out the underrated and fanciful Stardust.

Score: 2 for 5

6. You plan on tuning in to CBS’ adaption of Stephen King’s Under The Dome.

Todd Vote: Fiction. I know this is going to want to make some of the readers throw things at me, but I have to be honest here. Stephen King’s stories that are made into TV shows have usually left me bored, aside from IT. There is no doubt that the man is a master of writing, but I just haven’t found much of his stuff that has translated to the screen the way I would hope it would. No, I probably won’t be tuning in to Under the Dome. If someone can point me to some of Stephen Kings TV work that wouldn’t bore me to tears, I’m willing to check it out.

Leonard Hayhurst: Fiction. I seem to always get a Stephen King adaptation question when I do Fact or Fiction. I always have to say I’m not familiar with the material and therefore am not keen on seeing it. I’m too busy watching movies for you people to read books. Reading a synopsis of the novel, it sounds interesting. It also seems derivative of The Stand by putting a limited group of people in an isolated environment and seeing how they break off into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ factions. You can see a similar theme running through current hit shows like The Walking Dead and Revolution, probably why CBS gave it the green light.

Final Score: 3 for 6

And there you have it, as Leonard and Todd split the difference. Many thanks to them both for stopping by, and see you all once again next week.



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