Thursday, 23 June 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #753: Two Random Thoughts...


Men In Black 3 is looking like proof of my theory about the three stages of trilogies. In case you forgot the stages are:

1. SUCCESS: The first movie is a big hit,
immediately sparking talk of a sequel.

2. DISTRESS: The sequel does well enough, but both the fans, and the filmmakers are ultimately dissatisfied with it because constant studio meddling upped the cost, and the hassle making the movie. Usually such meddling only succeeds in sucking out the energy and creativity that made the original a hit.

3. EXCESS: By the time a third film rolls around the people essential to making it, the stars and the filmmakers decide that this time they are the ones with the power. So they go over the top on everything. It's indulgence city both in front of and behind the camera. It comes out, and even it does well, the fans are dissatisfied, even disgusted, and aren't afraid to express that on the internet. Even if the film makes a profit, which is slim under the best of circumstances, it pretty much kills the series. If any attempt is made to keep the franchise going, it's usually a "reboot" with new people.

Now I know that not every trilogy follows this pattern, but enough do, so keep your nit-picking to yourself.

Which brings me to the real point of this random thought. If you read the article in the above link then you read about star Will Smith's extras and perks. This includes "personal writers" who look for places for him to insert
"Aw hell no!" more goof off jobs for his friends than a mobbed up construction site, and a trailer so huge, it took them two weeks to find the illegal immigrant family living in the trailer's basement.

So here's a question.

Is it possible for a movie star to price themselves out of stardom?

I suspect yes.

Sure Will Smith is a pretty safe investment when compared to the majority "A-List" stars, but there is a line, and being instrumental in the production budget for
MIB3 being twice as big as the one for the then overpriced MIB2 could easily put a movie star over it.

Recent movie history show that you don't need big stars to make big bucks at the movie theater, and while Smith may be doing okay now, it can't last forever. Expensive antics, such as the ones during the making of
MIB3, could make producers think twice.

Look at this imaginary, yet realistic, conversation taking place in the anteroom outside a studio boss's $200,000 office bathroom, otherwise known as his office:
STUDIO BOSS: (puffs cigar made from $100 bills) You got a great script for a new sci-fi action adventure franchise. It's a real winner.

PRODUCER: (tossing scalding hot coffee
in assistant's face) Yeah, it took over 37 different writers to get it right.

STUDIO BOSS: We should get Will Smith to star. The script's the perfect vehicle for him.

PRODUCER: Do we really need Will Smith? I mean the script's pretty salable on its own, plus, it's already a big budget project without him. With him it could super expensive, and need
Avatar like box office just to break even.

STUDIO BOSS: Your right. Let's get someone cheap. Ooh, get the guy who played Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He should be available.

PRODUCER: He is available, in fact, he sold me my vegetarian breakfast burrito with extra ground beef just this morning.

STUDIO BOSS: Then go get him!
It's not that far-fetched if you think about it.


In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, John Lasseter, the director of
Cars 2 said that "Big Oil" was going to be the villain of the kiddie oriented spy-spoof.

Now I'm not the type to tell someone how to do their job.... Oh wait, I am exactly that type.... but it did make me think for a second.

The world of Cars 2 is a world where there are only cars and other vehicles as the sentient life.

Big oil is the "uber bad guy" of Cars 2.

Cars, even sentient ones, run on gasoline, lubricate with oil, and are dependent on all sorts of other petroleum based products.

So basically, it's the plot equivalent of James Bond going after the cook at his favorite restaurant for cooking him the food that he likes to eat.

Even for a kiddie spoof that's sort of stretching it.


  1. Will Smith would HATE me as a producer. All cast and crew would be living in ARMY barracks, like I have to in Fort Custer. With showers that make what Prisons have look good. They would also get MRE's for lunch and BFast and Dinner at the set DFAC.

    If all sets were run like my NG drills, studios would SAVE tens of millions. Much of film costs are usually from the A-list demands. One of the reason Cutthroat Island was a studio killing fiasco, was one of the stars loves V8 juice, and contact demanded it be available at all times. To such an extent that jars of the stuff went to waste sitting around in trucks.


  2. Because of Smith's antics, if this film is a colossal BO failure, the execs and studio heads will all point their fingers and blame Will Smith for this mess.

  3. Blast Hardcheese24/6/11 8:14 am

    And if the stars complain too much, it's MREs all the time! And if they still complain, then all they get is the dreaded Four Fingers of Death for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  4. How about the Veggie Cheese Omelet.
    THey discontnued those so now they will be getting close to be past exp date. YUM!

    Heck if I did a film with Demi Lovato on the set. IF she ate one of those her Eating Disorders would be CURED. Anorexia and Bulimia would be like, frak you. You put that in your gut. We are not playing with you anymore.