Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fiasco In the Making? (Bookblogging #14 - 'Fiasco')

One of the previews before Pirates II (ARRRR!) was for the latest Kevin Costner bombflick, 'The Guardian.' I say "bomb" because it has several characteristics of the films described in "Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops:"

  1. A series of production delays - part of the filming was to be done in New Orleans, then moved to Shreveport for obvious reasons. Location shooting was also planned for Kodiak, Alaska, but apparently locating Costner's massive forehead (and even more massive ego) this far north for a month or more at a time would cause the Earth's rotation to become unbalanced, forcing a game of interstellar marbles. And nobody wants that, right?
  2. Filming on water. One might think that people would learn that filming on open water is hard. It's probably no accident that more than 20% of the films discussed in "Fiasco" went massively over budget, in part due to watery sets. (Even successful aquatic films have this problem) Of coure, it would be hard to have a movie about the Coast Guard without using water - I might suggest that's a reason not to make a Coast Guard 'blockbuster'.
  3. Kevin Costner - the overriding commanality in movie disasters is ego/hubris either at the studio, directorial or most commonly star level. Costner is absolutely notorious in this regard. Who else would try to followup "Waterworld" with the freaking Postman? Perhaps the theory was that if you kept remaking The Road Warrior, you'd eventually get it right...

Of course I could be wrong and this one could blow up (destroying my HSX portfolio in the process...bastards...)

You may have noticed that I'm well into this post without really discussing James Robert Parrish's book itself. There's a reason for that - the less said about the book, the better. There is a certain irony in a book catalogging the sins of various studio disasters, top of nearly every list being some iteration of "it's not there on the page," wherein the writing of the work is alternatively leaden, overwrought or dry. How can you spend 20 pages discussing Showgirls and get nary a laugh?

Or perhaps I'm just so used to blog-quality snark that Parrish can't keep up. But it really is inexcusable to tackle such a schadenfreude-rich topic so joylessly.

Pooh's View: Skip it. If it wasn't for the 50 in 50, I wouldn't have finished it myself.

1 comment:

Ahistoricality said...

Postman is not a remake of Road Warrior, but a bad cinematization of a very successful and thoughtful novel. It shares a milieu with Road warrior very little of its sensibility.

And I agree, though I haven't read the book itself: why would you write a book like this if you were not going for laughs?