Even the greatest directors in the world can’t produce an Oscar winning, critically acclaimed smash with every film. Here is a list of directors forgotten films that should probably stay forgotten, proving that even the industry Gods make mistakes.
New York, New York (1977)
Budget: $14,000,000 (estimated)
Scorsese wanted to produce a homage film to Classic Hollywood musicals, resulting in the just post-WWII New York, New York, starring Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro as musicians and lovers. Originally four and a half hours long, Scorsese’s fall into drug use and overuse of actor improvisation make for an unbalanced film and one of the directors worst.
Worldwide Gross Revenue: $92,455,742
Several days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor hysteria grips California as a group of defenders plan for an imagined Japanese invasion. Though not a flop, it did not hit the same high level of Spielberg’s previous films, and some publications tagged it as “Spielberg’s Christmas Turkey,” an over the top slapstick comedy not in line with his other great works despite heroic efforts by a great cast including John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
The Wicker Man (2006)
Budget: $40 million
Gross Revenue: $38,755,073
A far cry from playwright LaBute’s probing social dramas, this American remake of the 1973 British classic was so terrible that Robin Hardy, the original film’s director had his lawyers force Warner Bros. to remove his name from the promotional material. Just watch the scene of Nicolas Cage punching out a girl in a bear suit on youtube and call it a day.
Francis Ford Coppola
Budget: $45 million
Gross Revenue: $58,586,889
The schmaltzy story of Robin Williams as a boy in a grown mans body was “disastrous” according to Gene Siskel, especially coming from the director of such films as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now.
Jersey Girl (2004)
Part of the film’s failure may be due to public perceptions of Bennifer, Ben Afleck and Jennifer Lopez respectively, but it still remains “full of cloyingly sentimental clichés” and does not stand up to Smith’s other biting comedies.
Budget: $137 million
Gross Revenue: $245.36 million
Sensitive director Lee is mismatched in this muddled superhero blockbuster hampered by its length and according to some its complete mishandling of the material. Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum noted, “a big-budget comic-book adaptation has rarely felt so humourless and intellectually defensive about its own pulpy roots.”
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Budget: $100 million (production) $40 million (marketing/distribution)
Gross Revenue: $362.21 million
Though visually stunning, this is just one of those films that never should have been remade, the ending causing many to leave the theatres saying “huh?” Burton claims it was left open ended to allow for a sequel, which Fox decided not to produce, leaving things on an unsatisfying note.
The Coen Brothers
The Ladykillers (2004)
Worldwide Gross Revenue: $76,747,441
A mysterious Southerner and his crook cronies pretending to be musicians rent a room from an innocent old lady as a hide out, their plans to rob a casino dashed when the woman discovers their plot. The group must kill her to keep her from talking, a task harder than they had suspected. A memorable performance by Tom Hanks and beautiful photography couldn’t keep this Americanized remake from comparison to the superior 1955 film of the same name, and its reception suffered as a result.
Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2003)
Worldwide Gross Revenue: $197,010,779
3D glasses may bring certain objects to the forefront, but they can’t hide a poorly written script. Audiences found the 3D effects wanting and the 2D completely pointless and overblown due to the poor writing, making this one a loser in any dimension.
Gus Van Sant
Budget: $60 million
Gross Revenue: $37,141,130
As a remake that essentially copied the original shot by shot it is absolutely useless and unnecessary. Remakes without a new spin were justifiable in the years before vhs, dvd and home viewing, but now you can just pop over to the local rental store to view the superior Hitchcock original.