Movies that Overreached

I just saw The Ladykillers. I’ve loved every other Coen Bros. movie I’ve ever seen, but just felt like they’d taken all the tricks they learned in earlier movies and took them too far in this one, just pushed the limits until it stopped resembling anything in real life any more. I felt the same way about Spielberg’s Hook.

What are some other movies where a previously-good director got too cocky and ruined it by overreaching?

Though it didn’t overreach to the point of ruining the movie, the finale of *Secretary * was a definite overeach -

The whole movie up to that point had been a series of two person, private, intimate scenes. But the finale blows it all out of the water by having every single member of the cast including news reporters showing up while Gylennal does the hands on the desk endurance thing. Totally unnesscessary.

Sorry if this is a mini-hijack. I beg to differ with Leechboy.

They were stuck. Things weren’t working. They had to do something very different. She took the first step. He finally took the second step. Note: they both sucked it in and did what would “normally” be undoable. Otherwise the movie wouldn’t have an ending.

As to overreaching: Anything by Kevin Smith with a big budget. He works better with less money.

Okay, I’m not disagreeing with you but I think you may have missed my point.

The Endurance test was avery good way of finishing the film, I’m not debating that part, it was exactly what they needed to do. The overreach came in the form of everyone else in the film showing up, including news reporters, it just felt like the writer got over excited. They could have just kept it as Spader and Gylennal out-waiting each other and it would have been just as satisfying. The whole running through the crowd to get the girl thing is the kind of cliche reserved for Drew Barrymore flicks, and Secretary was just too damn good up to that point to cop out like that.

Leechboy, I agree with you; but when I saw Secretary

I was never sure whether it was supposed to be really happening (all those people coming to see her as she sat with her hands on the desk) or imaginary. I still liked the movie, but that was a bit confusing.

Maybe sometimes a director falls in love with his own style and forgets that the traditional elements of a good movie – strong story, interesting characters – are still necessary.

I figure that the people visiting her at her desk during the finale were hallucinations, but the people outside were real. Why on earth would her father visit her and read to her? Had to be an hallucination.

Heckuva strange movie. A little surprising that it got made at all.

If I understand what you mean by “overreaching”, I would nominate Forrest Gump. Half the crap in that movie didn’t need to be there. I recall saying to myself as I watched it, “Oh Christ! What’s next?” and I’ll be damned if soon enough something equally preposterous came along.

Shit doesn’t just “happen”. Someone has to actually go out of thier way to make it.

I nominate Charlie’s Angels II. I liked the first movie, but I think they painted themselves into a corner for the sequel. The first movie took the action as far as it could go without becoming a self-parody. But this meant that the second movie was doomed; by going beyond the level of the first, it just became silly, loud, and pointless. The only alternative would have been to deliberately diminish the action level, in which case the movie would have failed anyway.

I also think The Thin Red Line might qualify. If I understand it right, I think Terrence Malick’s message was that the actions of individual soldiers, heroic or otherwise, are meaningless on the scale of global war. But if this was his intended message, it’s one that’s almost impossible to communicate in a movie.

“Donnie Darko” seemed to me to over-reach by about a mile. The main premise of the movie (which I won’t reveal) was a bit too convoluted to begin with. Then added to that are numerous subplots that seem only vaguely related to the main story and seem to go nowhere: the scientology-type guy played by Patrick Swayze, and Drew Barrymore as the teacher who gets fired for assigning her students to read D.H. Laurence in particular seemed just to be distracting from the main story.

I’ll agree about Donnie Darko. I enjoyed it, convoluted though it was. I actually liked it when I read the 8,246-page explanation.

I like the story, but I think it would work best as a novel. Or a trilogy of novels, actually, to get the entirety of the necessary information out there.

Many of the subplots of Donnie Darko was to paint him into a corner so he ‘had’ to collapse the alternate dimension made by the rip in space time. Whoever was directing him wanted NO chance he would try to continue in the new time line so tried to make his life unbearable as possible. If he didn’t collapse it the world truly would end and we’d all vanish.

As for overreaches any video game/movie cross over. They either have to jettison the plot and piss off fans or adapt the plot into a complete an utter mess.