Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How success leads to failure: Bloated franchises and the failure of editing in modern media

Have you noticed how many sequels there have been lately? How the longer a series runs the more it sucks? Well I have and I'm tired of it. This blog post will be regarding the death spiral that seems to be the inevitable result of success of multiple sequel franchises.

Case Study 1: George Lucas.

The original trilogy was awesome, the prequels suck royally. This is because of success or rather the delusion some were under that he no longer needed editing. He was at the top of the pile and whatever he says goes. Could you imagine what would happen if someone tried to tell George that maybe Jar-Jar wouldn't be such a good idea? You're fired is probably what would happen. The "humor" was also not funny. It felt like I was being talked down to by someone younger than me. These movies almost ruined the original trilogy for me because DARTH VADER WAS NO LONGER SCARY! He was a whiny teenager. Was that supposed to make me sympathize with him? Was that supposed to make me feel that his fall was surprising yet unavoidable?

Case Study 2: She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named 

Have you noticed how much bigger the Harry Potter books got by the end of the series and weren't much better and didn't have more real content, specifically #7? It looks like the editors decided to go on vacation. The corporate answer is that more content is good even if it's crap. Just slap a respectable name on it and shove it out the door even when it has no resemblance to the original product. (Bourne Legacy, well the movies have nothing to do with the books anyway but at least the original trilogy of movies was good.). The first half of movie seven was pointless and devoid of any plot points. The second half had all the important stuff in it. My observation from this section is that the last book is twice the size of the first book and then they made two movies out of it. That's too little butter spread over too much toast.

Case Study 3: Peter Jackson (PJ)

This should really be grouped with George Lucas because he's fallen into the exact same trap as the Star Wars franchise. Making movies the come before but are made after doesn't work. The problem with the Hobbit is that it has to feel like a sequel in terms of more action etc. but is chronologically like 80 years before or something. The Hobbit was originally a children's book and had a rather light tone as compared to the Lord of the Rings. People would be expecting that tone and the two styles clash badly. PJ resorts to slap-stick, annoying humor to lighten the mood and fails. He also relies heavily on CG special effects instead of hard work and creative problem solving to make a masterpiece. I'll just come out and say that Azog is the Jar-Jar Binks of the Hobbit. Fully CG characters just because you can is just plane unconvincing and dumb. Stick a guy in a rubber suit. He's humanoid, he'll fit and it looks better.

The length of the Hobbit series will be ridiculous. I could read the entire Hobbit faster than watching the movies. Maybe this will lead people to read the book in order to avoid the bed soars you'd get from trying to watch the movies back-to-back. He'll make a ton of money and the studio is ecstatic I'm sure to have more garbage to pimp.

Have you also notice that good ol' Pj has lost the weight. Too bad all that extra bloat just wound up in his movies.


I hate almost anything that was made by a committee. I have no love for bureaucracy either but it would be better for everyone if someone could look at these works while they were an progress and say: "NO. THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE!" Your first idea is almost always a bad one. You need to think about this a little longer and not try to make your every petty childish whim into reality. Stop surrounding yourselves with yes-people that agree with you all of the time. Have the courage to listen to someone who disagrees with you.

Unfortunately I can only say this after the fact.