A few months ago, we here at NerdBastards let you know about the train-wreck that was Allegiant. This film was plagued by an awful script, pointless CG effects, and an overall dull experience. This came as no surprise to many of you, as most YA movies are notorious for being bland and unappealing outside their pre-teen audience. In addition, Lionsgate, the studio that behind the Divergent films, hasn’t exactly had a good year. From the notoriously awful animated film Norm of the North to the bloated mess that was Gods of Egypt, all of their 2016 wide releases so far have received scathing reviews from critics and audiences. One could easily blame Lionsgate’s CEO for letting these movies happen in the first place, but apparently, he feels the same way we do. (more…)
If you grew up reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Fear Street YA horror novels like I did, the thought of one of the author’s career defining series finally being made into a movie probably seems like a strange proposition. It’s not that the books are bad or unadaptable (quite the contrary), but instead are simply old; an anthology that has been continued long enough that the stories have become multi-generational (to give you and idea —Welcome to the Dead House, the first Goosebumps title, was published twenty-two years ago!). Goosebumps has already been turned into a Canadian TV series (which ran from 1995 to 1998) and Tim Burton first attempted to get a film adaptation off the ground fifteen years ago.
So here we are, with a Goosebumps movie finally going into production, only to find that it stars Jack Black as R.L. Stine. Yes, that Jack Black. Where most nerd-boys get themselves worked up into a furor over Michael Bay messing with their precious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I choose to fret over a long-gestating YA adaptation of silly horror novels aimed at children. We all have our defects, it seems.
There was a time when Doug Liman was an interesting filmmaker, but it seems so long ago that I can barely remember why I enjoyed his early movies. Swingers and Go belonged to the stable of ’90s indie “dramedies” that the decade became so synonymous for. Then came The Bourne Identity, which was slightly better than competent and helped launch the Matt Damon/Robert Ludlum franchise, only to be overshadowed by Paul Greengrass’ superior entires. After that, Liman seemed to run out of gas, churning out vanilla PG-13 action fare like Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Jumper, both of which I know I saw yet couldn’t describe a scene from either to you in order to save my life (there was an elevator in Mr. &. Mrs. Smith? Maybe some cake?). The rest of the aughts found Liman Executive Producing TV shows like Suits and I Just Want My Pants Back, the latter of which sounds like a serialized Nick Nolte biopic.
Now comes Railhead, an adaptation of a yet-to-be-released children’s novel for Warner Bros. which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is set in “a futuristic world where trains run through space via portals.” I guess that sounds like a Doug Liman joint. Then again, a live-action Care Bears adaptation sounds like a Doug Liman joint at this point.