That premise deserved a better movie

I’m very disappointed with the terrible reviews for Click, as that’s a fantastic premise for a movie. In fact, it’s a fantastic premise for at least three different movies:
(1) A full-on silly comedy with nothing but people doing hilarious things with wacky sfx. The reviews seem to indicate that the only entertaining parts of Click are when it does this, rather than being maudlin
(2) An existential Charlie Kaufmann movie along the lines of Eternal Sunshine
(3) A hardish sci fi thriller

Sadly, Click appears to be none of them.

My other most-noticed wasted premise is anything involving time travel. In recent years, we’ve had Black Knight and Kate and Leopold, both of which take superficially interesting premises and (as I understand it) turn them into totally forgettable, formulaic movies. A few years back, there was Sphere, which featured both an awesome premise (a spaceship is found buried in millenia-old rock at the bottom of the ocean, and when explored, it appears to come from earth’s future) and a fantastic cast, yet blew goats.

Other nominations?

The recent Bruce Willis flick Hostage. From the commercial, I thought he was a hostage negotiator who gets blackmailed by the crooks; it’s the perfect crime, because like always the cops defer to his expertise at haggling over terms and sizing up the criminals and minimizing casualties – though, of course, this time he’s only pretending to bargain, talking 'em out of the stuff they didn’t want and getting 'em to release hostages as planned and otherwise just going through the motions of a tense situation until he tells the authorities to agree to the demand for an airtight getaway.

That’s a movie I haven’t seen before, and it struck me as a fascinating idea.

Slight spoilers, but: the premise gets a half-assed start, such that he’s not, in fact, the local hostage negotiator, and the crooks he’s unofficially bargaining with aren’t in on the act. And from there, the angle eventually gets dropped anyway.

I thought that Clonus, the late-70s cheapie so deservedly savaged on Mystery Science Theater, had a worthy premise: a secret program that grew clones for the wealthy and powerful to use as eventual organ banks. The execution left quite a bit to be desired.

I thought that **Windtalkers **had a fascinating subject for a movie - the Navaho code talkers during WWII. I was so disappointed to find it was a mediocre war movie focused on Nicolas Cage’s angst and having very little to do with code talkers.

You realize that The Island, a major Michael Bay blockbuster that came out last summer, was a straight remake of it, right? And I believe the full title was Parts: The Clonus Horror.

Alien Nation -
Premise: an alien starship crashlands in the deserts outside of L.A. With no means of returning to the world they came from, the extra-terrestrials settle down and adopt terran (American) customs and try to blend in with the native culture. Excellent concept!

Finished product: a third-rate, ham-fisted police procedural with a plot so predictable they may as well have spoiled it in the opening credits. (“Starring James Caan as the racist, surly cop who won’t like his new alien partner, but will come to respect & like him in the end.”)

Mr and Mrs. Smith could have been awesome… I don’t know if the original book is better. The multiple screenwriters show poorly in this.
Its bizarre to me that one of the google ads is for Nightwatch, yet no one has yet mentioned it.

…Y’know I’d say Nightwatch fits as well. The forces of good and evil keeps tabs on each other and try to keep humans out of it.

Yeah, I could give a few:

The Cannonball Run. Turned into glurge. If you want to see this premise done right, go 5 years back and look at The Gumball Rally.

Armageddon and ??what was that other one called?? The one with Tea Leone. You’ve got a classic premise dealing with all the techno-scientific stuff, the end of the world possibility, the political and social upheavals, and what do you wind up with? Urgh.

Not a pit-worthy rant on this, but just IMHO on what I thought was a pretty dang good TV movie that was better than most of the big screen epics that was brought down to merely “good” level by how they handled things…Deep Red. This one could have been great. It came close to breaking out of the glurge and BS.

Sorry for taking up bandwidth, but I meant to mention a similar movie to Click, that I think could have been a lot better, too, but it did have its moments. The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything.

I really liked the premise of The Butterfly Effect, but a better film wouldn’t be hard to make from this premise. For starters, I’d have liked to see someone other than a hot teen heartthrob in the lead role. Ashton Kutcher is cute, in a generic-male-model kind of way, but someone with some real acting chops could have made this a truly memorable movie.

Reign of Fire - Great concept: Fire breathing dragons appear and start laying waste to civilisation.

The film had a few good moments but was otherwise dull.

I want the film promised on the poster dammit!.

Underworld - Now instead of a decent World of Darkness-inpsired movie, we have to settle for this piece of crap.

Lost In Space - Dr. Smith is comic relief, dipshits! He’s not the villain!

Event Horizon - All kinds of good movies could have been made with this premise. Sadly, none of them were.

Alien vs. Predator - Any issue of the comic book, or even the plotline from one of the video games, would have made a better movie than this.

Liquid Sky. Infamously crap movie, which is even more of a pity because the premise was pretty interesting: Drug-seeking aliens get high off the endorphins generated in the human brain at orgasm; their quest for thrills turns “the little death” into literal death for the humans they meet.

The first human to figure out the alien plan is immune to their actions (she never enjoys sex; I think there was also something about the effect of her heroin habit on her brain chemistry), so she decides to use the aliens: she seduces people who’ve been making her life difficult, and the aliens kill them. This could have turned into either a nice grim thriller, or a really offbeat porno; the makers lacked the nerve to choose either path, so all we got was a mess.

Sounds like a pretty good idea for an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Yes, I realize it, though Bay denies the similarities are intentional. The name “Parts: The Clonus Horror” was forced on the filmmakers by the distributor; the recent DVD reissue restores the original “Clonus” title.

Shadow of the Vampire: A director obsessed with creating the best possible vampire movie hires a real vampire to play the lead. It could’ve been great, but it’s still worth watching for John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe at each other’s throats.

[Ed McMahon] I did not know that. [/Ed McMahon]

Seriously, that is interesting, and I had no idea there was a recent DVD reissue. Thanks for the heads-up!

I thought the premise of Godsend was excellent. Pity the movie turned out to be such a mess. There should have been a way of telling a story with this premise without having to invoke the supernatural.

Actually, I thought it WAS great. One of my favorite movies.

The House of the Dead: it was an arcade game where a mad scientist discovered a way to create zombies, who of course go on a rampage. Your guy is a detective whose girlfriend works for this scientist. You get a panicked call from your girl, and then you go out to the house to rescue her. It had a pretty good storyline, and I was quite geeked when I heard that they were making a movie based on HOTD.

But somewhere in the movie-making process, something went horribly awry. Somehow, they ended up making a movie about teens at a rave party which just happened to be held in a zombie-infested house. I’m guessing that the writers were infected with the zombie virus and had to be put down, and the only thing the producers had left to help them was The Big Book of Horror Movie Cliches.