I did not watch the Super Bowl. I did not care who won or lost. I did not even care about the funny commercials. Doritos are delicious. You do not need to spend a million dollars to convince me. The reason I might watch the Super Bowl or surf YouTube the next day is for the latest movie previews.
I watched “The Avengers” preview a few times, and then moved on to others. “GI Joe: Retaliation” was compelling, but I still was not sure I could take another movie about Barbie’s male doppelganger seriously. What followed was a mixture of literary adaptations, another unbearable comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen and “Battleship.”
“Battleship,” as you might have guessed, is a film adaptation of the classic game of plastic laptops and pegs. It is now a sci-fi robotic adventure film. Worse, it managed to rope in Liam Neeson. Welcome to the age of merchandise cinema.
The game, toy and puzzle company, Hasbro, has been leading the way in merchandise cinema. Rather than selling products after the film’s release, they decided to focus on turning their merchandise into film plot material. Their assumption is that money will come flowing in.
Hasbro has been in trouble the last few years in the game and puzzle department. Their revenues fell 11 percent last year. But the company is not worried. It has something bigger up its sleeve.
Hasbro will not fail because it intends to turn all of your favorite games into feature films. The only problem is they’re putting a little too much faith into these adaptations. “Battleship” cost $200 million dollars to produce. It is a very risky project. Hasbro better watch out because Batman, Spidey or The Avengers all could easily sink this battleship.
I never thought that I would see the day three Transformers films had already come and gone. It seemed ridiculous even to a seven-year-old boy playing with a purple semi-truck Transformer. I was content creating my own stories with my Transformer action figures at Grandma White’s house.
I did not need a big screen adaptation of the Transformers and it certainly did not need to be in 3D. When I was younger, 3D was only used for movies such as “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” or “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl” starring a young Taylor Lautner.
Gone are the days of original ideas and interesting properties being adapted into big screen epics. We are in a new era. Imagine a big-time movie producer goes into his childhood attic and whatever he pulls out will be adapted into the latest blockbuster.
Adapting toys, comic books and eighties television shows is nothing new, but Hasbro has taken it to the next level. They want all of their hot commodities to be adapted into feature length motion pictures.
In Hollywood headlines is “Candy Land.” The minimalist, sweet sensation board game is coming to the big screen.
The film is intended to be a “fantastical, live-action family adventure film with a larger than life part for Adam,” said Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. The aforementioned Adam is Adam Sandler. Sandler managed to ruin a classic nursery rhyme last summer, so the logical next step for Sandler is to ruin your favorite childhood game. The writers of “Kung Fu Panda” were in charge of this destined failure before Sandler came on board. They intended it to be a candy based “Lord of the Rings.”
Gone are the original ideas, gone are the days when Adam Sandler was funny and gone are my hopes for Hollywood. Movie studios have opened a Pandora’s box of unwanted and unneeded merchandise movies. Shut it fast on them, moviegoers, or soon enough you’ll see all of your childhood memories on screen.