I’ve discussed how much I loathe greedy filmmakers that don’t care for art or for story telling, so I won’t get too much into that. I’ve discussed how stupid I think the new Underworld movie will be, so I won’t get into that either. Instead, I was thinking about the Underworld series the other day.
I grew up with the Underworld movies as a teenager. I got tired of them, of course, but I still grew up with them, and am stunned that they are still around. Then it dawned on me. Some film series are still around that I grew up with as a child, never mind a teenager. Some are more obvious, like the rotten Scary Movie series and the I’m-so-sick-of-Stifler’s-shit series (known by most as the American Pie series). I got bored in between ranting about SOPA and PIPA and watching good movies, so I did some research to find which series still exist. When I say still exist, I’ll be a bit lenient here and make a window of at least a number of years, as some of these latest installments came out within the last decade (and some so recent, one even came out this year. Yes, 2012, not 2011). With that being said, you will not believe what is about to come. Here are the film series that just somehow won’t die, and yet none of us had any idea they were still alive.
5. Stuart Little (3 movies)
This one isn’t that bad, so it’s only number five. But really, did anyone even know there was a third one? I don’t know many that knew there was a second and much worse one, but the third one just came out of nowhere. Unlike the first two, the third film (called Call of the Wild) is animated (…for some reason). Unlike the other stinkers on this list, this one isn’t so bad. Yes, it is unnecessary and yes even the second film was, but at least they cared in some areas. The story, let’s face it, is terrible, the dialogue is primitive, and the animation is choppier than Vince Offer’s relationships (you see what I did there? I’m sorry, this is difficult to write about). Okay, so what IS redeeming about this last film? The cast is the same. Yes, Michael J. Fox is back as Stuart himself, Geena Davis is here, and even Hugh Laurie decided to return. I guess it was easier for them to do because all they had to do was voice acting in this film (well, J. Fox only had to do that for the other two but you know what I mean), so they could probably have recorded their lines from anywhere and anytime. See, this isn’t so bad. Bad film, stupid idea, but could be worse (as you are about to find out).
4. Home Alone (4 movies)
Ahh, Home Alone: The film that every 90’s live action kids movie tried to be like. What’s cooler than a bunch of traps set up by a kid in 13 Dead End Drive fashion? Not only did other filmmakers try to recreate all of the cliches Home Alone made, so did the series itself. As if 3 wasn’t an abomination enough. I mean, 2 was just okay but at least it carried on the story with the same characters and themes. The third one was just lazy and made absolutely no sense (from the benign plot to what-the-shit-that-kid-just-ruined-his-floor-boards-to-hurt-a-guy-and-how-did-he-do-it?). Sadly, there’s a worse one. This even lazier film (at least 3 tried to involve bombs and high tech stuff) has no plot, no talent, no reason. With the dumbest tricks in the series and the absolute worst fake snowfall I have ever seen in my entire life, Home Alone 4 will put you in a mental home. Also, the characters are just snotty and repulsively lacking in charm, and those that aren’t like that are boring as hell. Most people only remember the first two films, and that’s how it should be.
3. Bring It On (5 movies)
The first Bring It On film wasn’t the best film ever made, but it was fun, campy and made fun of itself. It was meant to be a light comedy while still having a bit of tension and an actual storyline. The problem with having a sequel is that nothing of importance could truly have been added to the original story. You think the chimps behind the straight-to-dvd quartet cared (no offense to any chimps reading this. Rats, I just lost my entire audience in the Amazon)? Absolutely not. All they saw were dollar signs, and I have absolutely no idea how. Who would truly care to check in on this series again when NONE of the main characters are back? Who would care even if the main characters were back? One more film was one too many, and they try to get younger girls to buy them by featuring stars like Hayden Panettiere, Solange Knowles, Christina Milian and Jennifer Tisdale (not even Ashley Tisdale). When we said bring it on, we were talking about the name of the movie, not making a challenge!
2. Dr. Dolittle (5 movies)
The 1967 film was based on a series of children’s books and starred Rex Harrison as Dolittle himself. In 1998, Eddie Murphy took on the same role in a modernized, raunchier version. As a kid it seemed pretty funny, but watching it now that I’m older, it isn’t that good. I love the celebrity voice work with the animals, though, so that kept me trekking it to the end. There was a sequel, again with Murphy, that was also just okay. I can see why they made the first film. Eddie Murphy starred in a remake a few years earlier, and his version of The Nutty Professor was actually somewhat even better than the original, so why not try with other films? Oh well. It was failed experiment, there’s nothing to worry about. Then there was a third film which features… who else? Dolittle’s daughter who, hey, can speak to animals too now. Also, the daughter is played by someone else (Kyla Pratt instead of Raven-Symoné). Somehow there was a fourth one with Pratt again. Also, the third and fourth films don’t even feature the main Dolittle at all, but merely mention him. Then there’s the bottom of the barrel fifth film called Dr. Dolittle Million Dollar Mutts, which features mostly the dog… yes, the dog. Can you see where I’m going with this? Their formula for “success” is obviously failing, so they’re trying to pass on the key role of the film to someone else to try and strike gold. Here’s a thought: Nobody wants another stupid Dolittle film. We can only take the same gimmicky premise so many times. Did any of us know there were more than two? Probably not, and that enough should be proof that this series should be extinct. They should go the way of the doctor’s name and do less rather than more. Hey, speaking of animals that piss us off,
1. Air Bud (12 movies)
Just… take a look at that number. Twelve. For Pesci’s sake, there are twelve of these bloody films. Did you know there was more than two, hell, even one? I knew of three when I was a kid, but not…TWELVE. I’m sorry, I can’t get over this. About half of them are about sports playing mutts (because, hey, how many sports can we use to milk as much money from people as we can?), and the other half are a series called “buddies”, where younger dogs get into all kinds of silly family-fun situations. Seriously, the Air Bud or Buddy or Bud Bud series (whatever the hell you want to call it) HAS to be the reason for the recession. Who is buying these? Why are they spending so much money to make these if clearly nobody is interested? If I want to watch cute dogs doing cute things, I’ll go to youtube. Air Bud was cool. It was formulaic and just way too obvious, but it was still enjoyable and somehow even refreshing. I don’t know. Something about a dog that can shoot a basketball without the use of CGI or camera tricks was just so fantastic. But I’m not going to watch a juggler do the exact same thing with different coloured pins, or, gasp, candles instead, am I? No. There is no reason for this stupid series and I’ll be damned if anybody can tell me how the hell these filmmakers (if you can call them that) figure that this is a successful enough series to keep hooked up to a feeding tube. Uggie would be so ashamed.