Following up on Bucky Larson

First of all, I just wanted to state that I was right about the Bucky Larson movie getting bad ratings. I was surprised that it has failed financially as well. Usually, movies like these break even.


I’m sorry that you had to watch this.

Introduction

The Three Stooges movie has been in development hell for a long time. There have been many issues with casting, writing, funding and determining who owns the rights to the movie. From what I gather from the above trailer, it’s another PG-13 comedy with slapstick, crude humor, eye candy and a silly plot that will go on for 90 minutes. The cast of Jersey Shore will make an appearance in this movie. Needless to say, I think it’s very clear who the target audience is.

On a positive note, I think the actors do a good job at playing the stooges, especially Will Sasso, who is a professional impersonator. He is also known for his impressions of other famous people such as Bill Clinton and Steven Seagal. He was probably the most popular person on MadTV. Whenever anyone says “I used to watch MadTV when ‘it was good’”, they are usually referring to when Will Sasso made regular appearances.

The Classic Three Stooges

I do remember watching the classic show when I was a kid. I found it hilarious back then, and I still do now, although I am not laughing nearly as hard as I used to. Typically, each episode is very short, about 10 minutes or less; the plot usually revolves the stooges working odd-jobs for someone who is of a higher social class; Moe tries his best to be the leader and resorts to physical abuse when the other stooges fall out of line; the slapstick is a trademark of the series. It is be silly and unrealistic. However, the episodes are never too long and I am still scratching my head at wondering how they would be able to drag something like this throughout a full-length feature film. Of course, this isn’t the first Three Stooges movie.

This made me think about something else: This isn’t the first time a classic series was remade into a movie with a star-studded cast. There are other classics that have been remade into movies:

  • Miami Vice
  • The Dukes of Hazzard
  • Charlie’s Angels
  • The A-Team
  • Starsky & Hutch
  • The Green Hornet

I did not include the recent Batman movies because they are in no way related to the 60s version. I included The Green Hornet because it has references to the 60s version. Out of all the movies listed above, Miami Vice is the only one that is rated R and has a serious plot, while the others have a mix of action and comedy and maintain a PG-13 rating.

All of these movies have negative to mixed reception, according to IMDB and Metacritic. In addition, these movies have either broke even at the box office or surpassed its budget. They are not considered box office failures.

I wanted to write about my reflections about why there are classic remakes that are being churned out like this.

Brand recognition

The TV shows these movies are based on had very high ratings back in the day. To this day, these shows continue to have a cult following. It’s an existing property. The name alone is enough to catch the attention of the fans.

Those trailers

If it’s one thing that makes people want to watch these movies, it’s the trailers. The trailer only needs to show off any action, eye candy and funny moments in less than a minute.

Creative control

It does not have to be faithful to the original series. These movies rarely are. It can be difficult to take something made for television and rewrite it for a feature-length movie. Some elements from the 60s, 70s and 80s may not be easy to understand for today’s audience. As a result, some things may be over-simplified, ignored or completely re-written for the sake of the movie.

PG-13 comedy

With the exception of Miami Vice, the other movies stick to a simple comedy style with a PG-13 rating. PG-13 tend to sell more tickets because it can be seen by basically anyone who is in high-school or older. Since people do not generally see movies alone, this is a simple marketing tactic to increase those sales.

Budget vs Reviews

Although these movies will most likely have mixed reviews from critics, they will usually reach or surpass their budgets due to the reasons stated above. How many people read movie reviews? As long as the trailers entice enough people to see the movie, producers do not care about reviews. After the movie becomes available for rentals from places such as Blockbuster and Netflix, they can continue making profits.

Conclusion

It’s another trend in the line of corny movies. In addition, I do admit watching the movies I mention above, with the most recent one being The Green Hornet. The trailers catch our attention and I feel more aware of these tactics. With the ability to cash in on a recognized brand name, creative control, certain budget constraints, mass marketing and PG-13 appeal, these movies will always be around. The Three Stooges will stand out for it’s pure slapstick humor and the fact that the cast of Jersey Shore will be in it; it will appeal to any Jersey Shore fan and anyone else who considers it a “guilty pleasure”. And no, I don’t watch Jersey Shore, although I am surprised by Snooki’s success and the fact she trademarked her name.

I have discovered recently that a movie called “Battleship” will also be made, which is based on the Hasbro boardgame of the same name. It is a big-budget movie that reminds me of the Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay. Despite how corny I think the movie will be, I am somewhat fascinated about how the movie will turn out. It stars Liam Neeson, one of my favorite actors.

To be honest, this is really an example of how important marketing is and how it can be a critical factor to a project’s success or failure.