Friday, May 7, 2010

Hollywood Is Out Of Ideas: "Battleship"

I'm sure, if you're as big a fan of movie-pictures as I am, you heard the shocking news that the beloved board game "Battleship" was optioned for the silver screen by Universal.

If you had not heard this news, I encourage you to collect your jaw from the floor and to lie down and raise your legs to avoid suffering a stroke.

"How could this be?" you may ask. The easy answer is that with the name recognition, no matter how awful this film turns out to be, Universal will easily break the $100 million mark in the domestic box office. People will see it because it's something familiar.

Anyone up for a trip to Coupon: The Movie this weekend?

Battleship will be directed by helmer (get it?) Peter Berg, whose credits include Hancock and the superb Friday Night Lights. Although it's already announced that the film adaptation will take self-serious action route, knowing the inner workings of Hollywood as I do, I'm sure there were a few options on the table. Universal, for the record, probably would have been best off leaving all of them there.

FORMULA: Action-thriller
SYNOPSIS: In these modern times with piracy a rampage on the high seas, a US destroyer is tasked with transporting an elite team of SEALs to turbulent waters so they can unleash hell. When the SEAL team embarks on a mission, though, the destroyer is captured by pirates, and the US Navy is dragged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. With nuclear weapons.
WHAT IT'S LIKE: Under Siege.
WHY IT WOULD FAIL: Familiar formula, accidentally racist undertones with Somali pirates, and a woefully miscast Jeffrey Tambor as a high admiral that's too funny to be taken seriously.

FORMULA: Family adventure/comedy
SYNOPSIS: A naval officer gets more than he bargained for when his ignored but computer-savvy son accidentally hacks into a new computer system that gives him control of the entire US naval fleet. Hilarity ensues!
WHAT IT'S LIKE: A weird combination of The Goonies, The Sandlot, and Kramer Versus Kramer.
WHY IT WOULD FAIL: Two words: Robin. Williams.

FORMULA: Period drama/adventure
SYNOPSIS: At the height of WWII, an inexperienced lieutenant is forced to take command of an aircraft carrier in the midst of a pivotal battle when all the other commanding officers are killed by a kamikaze pilot.
WHAT IT'S LIKE: Tries to be Band of Brothers, ends up being Pearl Harbor.
WHY IT WOULD FAIL: Over-reliance on CGI and Tobey Maguire's ability to make ridiculous dialogue sound non-ridiculous.

If Battleship's 2012 release date falls on the same weekend as the new Batman pic, we are all going to have some very, very difficult decisions to make.

Specifically, do we see the new Batman in IMAX or not. I vote for IMAX.



  1. I hope they make all three, release them simultaneously, and make them fight to the death in box office ratings. My money's on whatever has the most explosions (ie option 1).

  2. "'Wild Draw Four.' It's Smokin' Aces meets Uno. Imagine the tie-ins!"