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 Posted:   Jul 24, 2010 - 6:47 PM   
 By:   Recordman   (Member)

I'm not talking about continuity, or bloopers, historical or physical errors or anachronistic devices or scenes etc. I am talking about a film in which a production decision was made that, in hindsight, was so wrong that it affected the quality of and respect for the film.

My personal nominee (of many) would be the 1958 film release of the musical "South Pacific." In the film process it was determined that musical numbers would be shot though colored filters which provides a garish otherworldly scenario more fitting of a film school horror attempt. When I first saw this film I initially thought that somehow the color wasn't registered properly, only to later find that it was intentionally filmed like that (for whatever reason I have no idea, perhaps Manderley can enlighten us). I cannot get past that color decision to enjoy the underlying fine musical that it is.

Another pet peeve is the casting choice of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in the musical "Paint Your Wagon". Two of my favorite actors but in a musical?
You get the idea.
What are some of your complaints?

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2010 - 6:56 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

How about the decision to shoot 1967's Reflections In A Golden Eye with a camera filter that makes the entire film look like it was shot through a fishtank full of urine? Yuck.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2010 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

The decision to use Mike Oldfield's obnoxious score in The Killing Fields.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2010 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

This blunder came after the theatrical release, but how about the director of DRACULA (the John Williams, Frank Langella one) bleaching all the color out of a color film? The results, as seen on TV, were not to my liking.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2010 - 8:08 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

After buying Tadlow's great new score CDs, I was reminded of something in MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME which always struck me as odd. They brought back actor Bruce Spence to play an entirely different character (Jedediah), yet he flew an aircraft just as the Gyro Captain did in THE ROAD WARRIOR. Watching THUNDERDOME for the first time, you keep wondering why Max and Jedediah don't recognize each other from the previous film. I thought that was a big mistake.

Francis Ford Coppola casting his daughter, Sofia, in GODFATHER III. She later salvaged her career becoming a director and getting an Oscar nomination for LOST IN TRANSLATION.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 1:19 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)


My personal nominee (of many) would be the 1958 film release of the musical "South Pacific." In the film process it was determined that musical numbers would be shot though colored filters which provides a garish otherworldly scenario more fitting of a film school horror attempt. When I first saw this film I initially thought that somehow the color wasn't registered properly, only to later find that it was intentionally filmed like that (for whatever reason I have no idea, perhaps Manderley can enlighten us). I cannot get past that color decision to enjoy the underlying fine musical that it is.



One story is that director Joshua Logan felt that the color filters would give a more theatrical tone to each number, with the various colors underlining the emotions of each song. As a stage director, Logan was familiar with the way that lighting affects the mood on the stage. Others attribute the filters to a concern that the film's lush tropical settings would appear unnatural in Technicolor, and a desire to partially cover up the fluctuations in weather during the shoot, Ken Darby tells the story that during filming he advised Logan against the use of the filters, telling him that if he wanted to incorporate such effects, that colors could easily be added in the lab during printing. Logan paid no attention to the advice. Later, following a preview screening, Logan reportedly went up to Darby and said "You were right."

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

The decision to use that horrible sound system for Aces: Iron Eagle 3.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 1:31 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Jacques Tati's 1949 film Jour de Fete was originally filmed in Thomson-color, a process that became extinct before prints of the film could be shown. Consequently, the film was only available in a black and white version that was filmed as a precaution, in case the color process was not perfect. It wasn't until 1995 that the color copy was able to be restored and issued by Tati's daughter Sophie Tatischeff, and cinematographer François Ede.

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 2:41 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

STAR TREK TMP:

- New uniforms were designed with the shoes sewn right to the pants. They were very expensive. When the male actors tried sitting down in these pants, they shrieked in pain (as told in Walter Koenig's book). The pants did not even look good; they looked like a toddler's footed pajamas, and they came in the same baby-friendly powder blue.

- Captain Kirk was re-imagined as a desk jockey who has lost touch and doesn't know his own ship.

- Spock was a harsh and unfriendly jerk for most of the movie. Like the stupid pants (and Ilia's shaved head for that matter), this was done for sci-fi reasons, Gene Roddenberry trying to come up with visionary ideas.

It all worked against audience enjoyment. Movie goers were squirming in their seats.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 2:50 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

To cover the fee demanded by Sean Connery, the producers of "Diamonds Are Forever" drastically cut the special effects budget. By this stage the James Bond film series has made several hundred million dollars, so as far as I'm concerned the producers should have had the balls to go to the studio and sort something out so that a component of the film as basic as the special effects didn't end up looking like amateur hour.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 5:17 AM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

To cover the fee demanded by Sean Connery, the producers of "Diamonds Are Forever" drastically cut the special effects budget. By this stage the James Bond film series has made several hundred million dollars, so as far as I'm concerned the producers should have had the balls to go to the studio and sort something out so that a component of the film as basic as the special effects didn't end up looking like amateur hour.

Which I think might have been more forgivable had Wally Veevers and Albert Whitlock's names not been on the credits. To be fair, I think most of Whitlock's contributions are solid (the Whyte House for example).

Re: Iron Eagle 3

More details please, as I have never seen this film!

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 5:22 AM   
 By:   Ebab   (Member)

Jacques Tati's 1949 film Jour de Fete was originally filmed in Thomson-color, a process that became extinct before prints of the film could be shown. Consequently, the film was only available in a black and white version that was filmed as a precaution, in case the color process was not perfect. It wasn't until 1995 that the color copy was able to be restored and issued by Tati's daughter Sophie Tatischeff, and cinematographer François Ede.

The color version looks a little odd to this day. Personally I much prefer the B&W version.

I would never call Tati’s attempt a “mistake”, though. It was a bold, daring experiment, artistically and economically in post-war France. And after all, he was realist enough to film the B&W version simultaneously as a backup.

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 5:47 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Number 1 for me, always was and always will be Warner's ridiculous notion that George Cukor was the right director and Audrey Hepburn was the right actress to do My Fair Lady. One had absolutely no concept of what the piece required, and the other simply lacked both the acting and singing talent to pull-off any aspect of the character as imagined by Shaw, Lerner, Lowe and Hart. Cukor had no clue how to help her. He was only concerned with how she was dressed. Harrison and Holloway fare much better, because they didn't need his "direction".

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 6:49 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

Which I think might have been more forgivable had Wally Veevers and Albert Whitlock's names not been on the credits. To be fair, I think most of Whitlock's contributions are solid (the Whyte House for example).

I'm not sure who was responsible for what, but two things come to mind as being particularly bothersome to me. Firstly, Blofeld's diamond-encrusted satellite. Watch the scene in which it moves into position and blows up the nuke bunker. Cringe-worthy. Secondly, the helicopter explosions during the final battle on the oil rig. If you step-frame through one such explosion (OK, granted, not many people are going to bother), in one frame you'll see the helicopter, and in the next an orange smudge on the screen, but the helicopter still perfectly preserved behind it. Clearly they knew it was bad, because the subsequent frame cuts away to a shot of something happening on the deck of the oil rig.

I'll tell you one thing, they wouldn't have dared cut John Stears' budget if he was still working in the series at that time! Fortunately, he came back on "The Man With the Golden Gun" (having been absent since "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"), and, along with newcomer Derek Meddings (who, having actually made his Bond debut with the previous film, "Live and Let Die", remained with the series until his death during post-production on "GoldenEye"), reminded everyone how things are supposed to be done.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

Which I think might have been more forgivable had Wally Veevers and Albert Whitlock's names not been on the credits. To be fair, I think most of Whitlock's contributions are solid (the Whyte House for example).

I'm not sure who was responsible for what, but two things come to mind as being particularly bothersome to me. Firstly, Blofeld's diamond-encrusted satellite. Watch the scene in which it moves into position and blows up the nuke bunker. Cringe-worthy. Secondly, the helicopter explosions during the final battle on the oil rig. If you step-frame through one such explosion (OK, granted, not many people are going to bother), in one frame you'll see the helicopter, and in the next an orange smudge on the screen, but the helicopter still perfectly preserved behind it. Clearly they knew it was bad, because the subsequent frame cuts away to a shot of something happening on the deck of the oil rig.


Most of those mentioned I believe are Veevers work. For me, Whitlock's big groaner was the bunker with the cartoony missile in it, and the Chinese army guy with the drawn on missiles behind him. I also don't like the background art of Earth seen behind the satellite.

I do love the shot of the rocket breaking open as it leaves Earth, which is a pretty classy shot in my opinion. I think the opening scene with Kidd and Wint by the way features a great example of that helicopter trick you mention done correctly.


I'll tell you one thing, they wouldn't have dared cut John Stears' budget if he was still working in the series at that time! Fortunately, he came back on "The Man With the Golden Gun" (having been absent since "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"), and, along with newcomer Derek Meddings (who, having actually made his Bond debut with the previous film, "Live and Let Die", remained with the series until his death during post-production on "GoldenEye"), reminded everyone how things are supposed to be done.


Don't forget that DAF had TWO credited world class visual effects supervisors (one who was a Kubrick regular, the other a Hitchcock favourite) in addition to two credited special effects (on set physical) supervisors. I would have thought that would have been the more expensive route rather than hire Stears to be overall supervisor of everything as he had been on the previous installments.

In my opinion I don't even think Stear's visual effects work ever very good, and was cheesy for the time. No doubt he's a master of physical effects (I think the reason he won an Oscar for Thunderball), but his work with miniatures on all of the Connery Bonds I thought were dreadful, especially when having to realise shots involving opticals. I think the rocket lowering into the volcano in You Only Live Twice is some of the worst special effects of the 1960s, and I don't think it was cheap, either.

In my opinion I think Derek Meddings really elevated the reputation of production value on 007 movies.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 11:49 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

The filters in SOUTH PACIFIC have always been annoying. There are other problems, but the filters are catastrophic.

Fox forcing Jack Clayton and Freddie Francis to shoot THE INNOCENTS (1961) in CinemaScope. It's an intimate chamber play and a 1:66 or a 1:85 story. It still turned out brilliantly, however.

Replacing Peter Hunt and Richard Maibaum with Guy Hamilton and Tom Mankiewicz on the James Bond films in 1971. That was a bad decision in a long history of bad decisions.

Hanging Barbara Parkins in PUPPET ON A CHAIN (1971).

The robot and the monkey suit in the remake of KING KONG (1976). I don't know what the solution could have been, but the robot and the monkey suit wasn't it.

Paramount's decision to push STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979) into principle photography before a viable script has been written. That script was a shipwreck.

The decision to have Lois Lane chase Superman and then sleep with him in SUPERMAN 2. The franchise has been on a downward spiral ever since. Eventually he becomes a deserter and a deadbeat dad. Keep gender deconstruction and political correctness out of the Superman movies. Their relationship sustains tension and poignancy while it remains platonic. The simple rule of thumb is this: Superman flies because he is above mortal foibles.

The decision to make LOIS AND CLARK and SMALLVILLE. Both series are a sick and twisted mess.

Jack Nicholson deciding to direct THE TWO JAKES (1990).

Kathleen Turner agreeing to voice Jessica Rabbit in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Her career never recovered.

"Producer" Wynona Ryder's casting decisions on BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992).

The decision to infect and kill Ripley (damnit!) in ALIEN 3 and to set the story in a penal colony for sex offenders. Who came up with these stupid ideas. What a miserable, depressing, bitter pill of a movie. Plus it's so well made.

Was it really necessary to turn Jim Phelps into a traitor and then kill him in the feature-film version of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. Couldn't Tom Cruise have just gone ahead with another IMF team and leave the old IMF team out of it?

Waiting a decade too long to make a fourth INDIANA JONES film.

Richard

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Michael Mann's decision to cast Colin Farrel as Sonny Crockett in MIAMI VICE. The actor has no idea who this character is. Also, the decision to shoot with digital cameras instead of 35mm. The dim, ill-defined image undermines the pictorial value and communicative ability of the movie. Also, Jan Hammer's classic theme and instrumentals were sorely missed.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Making Live Free or Die Hard the first PG-13 rated Die Hard film. Also the ridiculous title (even Die Hard 4.0 would've been better by leaps and bounds).

Putting 50 Cent in the same movie as Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro (Righteous Kill).

Adding an unhealthy dose of comedy to the third chapter in the Scream trilogy.

Guillermo Del Toro choosing Danny Elfman over Marco Beltrami to score Hellboy 2.

Reducing Jason Priestley's role in Tombstone.

Having Sam Worthington utter the line "That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, bitch!" in Cameron's Avatar.

Everything about Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.

Rob Zombie's decision to make young Michael Myers *speak* and foolishly attempting way too much backstory into why Myers is who he is in his remake of Halloween. Also having Myers *grunt* as he kills.

Casting Eli Roth in Inglorious Basterds.

Killing Cpl. Hicks (Michael Biehn) and Newt at the beginning of Alien 3, after audiences spent the entire previous entry caring for, rooting for, and celebrating the survival of said characters.

Just about all production decisions for the movie The Spirit.

Excluding the character Firefly from the recent live-action G.I. Joe.

Editing one of Ed Harris' finest performances down to literally 5 seconds of screen time in Waking the Dead.

Quentin Tarantino in From Dusk Till Dawn (or Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction).

Allowing the brilliant first half of John Dahl's Joy Ride to fall apart in the second half.

The amped-up extreme gore in the remake of Black Christmas -- proving that in this case less is more.

Marketing the phenomenal film The Invisible incorrectly, misleading audiences and preventing a lot of people from giving it a chance.

Casting Rainn Wilson in what would otherwise be a relentlessly creepy and horrifying experience in House of 1000 Corpses.

The colossally annoying character Franklin from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The colossally annoying character Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson in Die Hard.

Casting Courtney Love in anything.

Vince Vaughn in the Psycho remake.

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

I'm not talking about continuity, or bloopers, historical or physical errors or anachronistic devices or scenes etc. I am talking about a film in which a production decision was made that, in hindsight, was so wrong that it affected the quality of and respect for the film.


The production design and sets on Ridley Scott's much-overrated "Alien" may be the very elements of its success and trend-setting techniques, but I have little respect for the emphasis found in "Alien" on strobing lights during the movie's climax, vast and dark metallic structures, a blue-collar/working-class crew, a female protagonist who behaves like a male, an alien creature who cannot communicate with humans but only exists to annihilate, and an artificially induced happy ending grafted onto the proceedings.

The success and popularity of "Alien" may have influenced how science-fiction and horror films were to be made in the decades to come, but, in my opinion, "Alien" is a messy hodge-podge resulting from wrong-headed amalgamations, such as dressing-up a B-movie monster show with state-of-the-art special effects and gore, and treating the human characters' one-by-one deaths as an amusement-park rollercoaster ride, capped with a false happy coda which doesn't ring true (hence the use of the Hanson symphony fragment instead of Goldsmith's music). If one is going to make a 'dark' film wherein audience enjoyment is derived from watching ugly deaths, then there should have been no surviving human characters at the end. The tone should be consistent all the way through. However, the need to pander to customary audience expectations implies that Ripley should survive to soothe viewers that everything is "OK" now, and Ripley can move forward towards the movie's sequel (so that the studio can rake in even more profits with "Aliens")...

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Two words: Ellen Page

 
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