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10 Directors Who Should Stop Making Movies

07 June 2016 | Features, People Lists | by Ryan Anderson

michael-bay-explosion

The director. Ever since the French New Wave painted the director as the person with the paintbrush, painting their vision on the screen, everyone has had a serious obsession with the director. No other crew member gets anywhere close to the amount of attention a director does. Even horrible directors can keep making movies if they sell, especially male directors, who already dominate the field.

Here are some example of directors who simply need to stop making movies. They polluted our screens for far too long and will continue to do so in the future, as many of these filmmakers have films coming out this year.

I have left off Uwe Boll and M. Night Shyamalan because Boll takes advantage of European laws towards film and has single-handedly ruined the idea of a video game adaptation, and M. Night Shyamalan could stop making films tomorrow and no one would care anymore. Shyamalan is a lesson for all that one good movie does not necessarily make a legend, at least for a director.

 

1. Michael Bay

michael-bay-director

What can even be said about this guy that hasn’t already been said? He doesn’t care anymore, if he even cared in the first place. He will continue to make his overblown, ridiculous, homophobic and sexist movies for time to come because people go see them.

The only way to stop Michael Bay from making movies at the scale he’s at is to either kill him, or not go to his movies anymore; maybe even a really big scandal. The only “good” movies he made are the first “Transformers” and “The Rock” (the movie, not the person).

Bay has responded to critics by saying he makes movies for teenage boys, what’s the crime in that? Maybe it’s because I am not a teenage boy; maybe that’s why I don’t like any of his movies. However, I was a teenage boy not too long ago, and I hated them then.

So, what Bay means is he makes movies for teenage boys, who are so transfixed and programmed by the overly-masculine messages full of violence towards everyone and everything, and all sorts of other gendered messages around us that turn Megan Fox into a sex object and Shia LaBeouf into an action star.

That might just be the gender studies person in me, or I might be adding to an existing conversation. If Bay is going to make movies for teenage boys, fine, but can he make better movies for teenage boys, where every woman is not a sex object, and maybe has a personality? A film that isn’t filled with so much male insecurity that they have to make gay jokes all the time?

Maybe a movie not about Transformers or soldiers or cops, something with a spirit, something with subtlety. Maybe if he explored those avenues, we would have a different idea for a movie for teenage boys instead of these ridiculous, lazy, literally explosive wastes of time Bay keeps making.

 

2. Adam Shankman

Adam Shankman

A master choreographer who has worked in the business for years for TV, film, and theater, his work in dance extends from working with Paula Abdul in her music videos, to choreographing the “Step Up” movies, to being a judge and mentor on “So You Think You Can Dance”.

I am not arguing that he should stop working in that field and he can produce if he wants to. What I am arguing is Adam Shankman has directed one good movie and the rest of them have been terrible. He should not direct another movie again. His one quality movie is the 2007 version of “Hairspray”, which was a super fun and entertaining adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, based on the classic John Waters movie.

Besides directing, producing and choreographing that gem, the rest of his directing credits have not been successful. His directorial debut was “The Wedding Planner”, which certainly has its fans, but has overall been described as bland and lifeless. Next up was one of the hokiest and overly sentimental films I’ve ever seen, “A Walk to Remember”. Again, some people liked it, but most didn’t.

The very financially successful “Bringing Down the House” was next, full of outdated and racist jokes. Shankman jumped into family fare with “The Pacifier” and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2”, alongside the Adam Sandler vehicle “Bedtime Stories”. The fact that he he made “Hairspray” amidst all this completely boggles my mind.

Since then, the only film he has directed was the musical “Rock of Ages”, based on the Broadway production. Overall, it was disappointing, aside from the work of Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. The script, the bad wigs, and the bland lead actors of the film are to blame. Shankman should know how to make another musical, but unless it’s a musical, I want Shankman to stay away from it.

 

3. Paul W.S. Anderson

Paul W.S. Anderson

No, not the great auteur who gave us “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master”, Paul W.S Anderson is the man who gave us way too many Resident Evil movies and other bombs including “The Three Musketeers”, “Alien vs. Predator” and “Pompeii”.

Basically, the guy makes movies with lots of action, explosions and special effects, but with no plot. He adapted an amazing video game franchise (yes, some of the newer games are not that good), but overall quality franchise in “Resident Evil”; at first it was a guilty pleasure, but now it’s a complete waste of digital space.

Some of his film have been financially successful, particularly the Resident Evil franchise, but he has had his bombs. These bombs, however, have not stopped him from blowing up screens for the last 20 years.

In between these Resident Evil films, starring his now-wife Milla Jovovich, he ruined a classic story that has been put to film too many times to count in “The Three Musketeers”, and gave us a completely unnecessary remake with “Death Race”. He took an awesome concept in “Alien vs. Predator” that had already been translated well into other media and made into a jumbled mess.

Hopefully, his career might end, or at least we won’t get any more Resident Evil movies for another 10 years, until it is rebooted with the release of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”. I certainly wouldn’t trust my franchise with this guy.

 

4. Raja Gosnell

Raja Gosnell

When “Never Been Kissed” is your career high point as a director, you get included on lists like this. There is nothing inherently wrong with that movie, but it’s certainly not that good. Overall, Raja Gosnell has brought us a lot of shitty family fare over the years. He was the guy who made “Home Alone 3”, the first one with the kid who is not Macauley Caulkin. He made “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”; I can pretty leave that sack of weirdness alone, what could be said about it that hasn’t already been said?

He also gave us “The Smurfs”, as well as “The Smurfs 2”, and who the hell asked for that sequel? I know the first movie made some money, but why waste money that could be spend doing anything else on a second stinker of a film? For nostalgic 90’s kids, he directed “Scooby-Doo” and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed”, so if you put on your nostalgia glasses, these films are at least enjoyable and fond to look back on.

Overall, none of Gosnell’s filmography is that newsworthy, and maybe that’s why many of us have never heard of him. He creates generic family films like “Yours, Mine, and Ours”, gets paid, and moves on to the next family friendly film. He doesn’t have an upcoming film on the schedule, so maybe I will get my wish and receive no more family fun time from this guy.

 

5. Brian Robbins

Brian Robbins

This is the man responsible for all of those terrible Eddie Murphy movies of the past several years. From “Norbit”, to “Meet Dave”, to “A Thousand Words”, all starring Murphy and all directed by Brian Robbins, they’ve clearly developed a not-so-great partnership. Robbins started out well directing the documentary “The Show”, which was about and featured some of the biggest names in hip-hop at time, including Dr. Dre, Wu-Tang Clan, and The Notorious B.I.G.

Robbins has been a producer and writer for such shows as “All That” and “One Tree Hill”, which he probably should have stuck with, because the rest of his theatrically-released films received mixed reviews at best. He followed “The Show” with the 90’s kid’s film “Good Burger”, which if you don’t have those nostalgia glasses on, is not very good. “Varsity Blues” was next, which has the honor of being Regina George’s favorite movie, but she’s a fictional character in a comedy, so take that with a grain of salt.

We then got a few forgettable films like “The Shaggy Dog” and “Ready to Rumble”, and then the absolute mess of the Murphy trilogy. His last theatrically-released film was “A Thousand Words”, which definitely earned its 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. He has stuck to producing since that notable bomb, working on “AwesomenessTV” and the upcoming film “Before I Fall”, which might not be terrible since Robbins is not directing it.

 

 

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  • Ross Waters

    Pain and gain was a great movie that Michael bay directed

  • mzungu

    M. Night Shyamalan?

    • Edna Salzburg

      Right…lol

    • Prince Purple

      I think he is on the redemption path with “The Visit”. Let’s hope he continues down that road.

  • CoolAsDan

    The Rock is M. Bay’s only truly good film. Some people praise the first Transformers and I don’t get why. What did the first one do right that the other 4 didn’t? Exactly, I don’t know either.

    • frank mango

      pain and gain is actually pretty good.

      • Maxwell

        Pain and Gain was a lot of bad shit thrown together in a movie that I surprisingly liked. It IS pretty good. If not completely demented and stupid, which is something a giy like Bay should be doing from the get-go.

    • I know. Bad Boys and The Rock are the only films of his I liked. Everything else, they’re no good. His fanboys are morons.

      • lauramoreaux

        You should stop being aggressive with people who don’t agree with you… You can love a film even if it’s not good at all. You’re not a moron because of that.

        • Well excuse me if I actually give a fuck about film and not be pummeled in the head by some misogynist asshole who likes to create a shot from the fucking viewpoint of a bomb dropping down on the fucking Arizona. You call that great filmmaking? You’re sick and obscene.

          • lauramoreaux

            I never said I loved Michael Bay…

    • bleurgh

      Red Letter Media proved that they are all exactly the same movie.

  • Vincenzo Capriotti

    Where is Zack Snyder?

    • Torvendis

      Aw c’mon, Sucker Punch wasn’t that bad! *snort* *chuckle*

      Seriously though, I think his Dawn of the Dead was the best of the Romero universe zombie flicks.

    • Ivan Galić

      Zack Snyder is really the worst. Only remotely good movie he made was 300 and that was under suprevision.

    • sailor monsoon

      His dawn of the dead was better than the original.
      Shots fired

      • CaraLegal

        That’s just your opinion (even though it’s a very, very peculiar one).

  • Brandon Thompson

    I recently watched an interview with Jim Jarmusch talking about the references he put in Ghost Dog. He was saying that upcoming directors were asking him questions like “how much do you get paid” and so on and that he put references in to show his love for cinema and hope that more up and coming directors talk about how beautiful cinemas is. I think these might the people he was talking about.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11682371761

    • José Abel Salazar Lizárraga

      So sad to know that.

  • Jules F. Melo Borges

    I don’t like him, but McG don’t quite deserve to be here. Specially after Brett Ratner.
    There are worse people in the business right now.

  • I don’t entirely agree with Paul W.S. Anderson since I think he knows how bad his films are but there’s an element to them that are so bad, they’re good. Brett Ratner has his moments but he’s shit but I don’t think he should stop. Everyone else well….. they’re shit and they shouldn’t be making films in the first place as I agree with a lot in what you say. In fact, I think the duo of Friedberg/Selzter shouldn’t be in the list because they’re not filmmakers. Calling them that is an insult to the profession. People who make straight-to-video films and porno filmmakers actually put in more effort and passion into their work than Friedberg/Seltzer who just appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    Yet, this list should really be more about those who probably once had it but don’t have it anymore as I think Oliver Stone should be in the list. When was the last time he made a watchable film? Any Given Sunday is the only one I can think of as everything else he’s done is just fucking shit as I don’t think his new film on Ed Snowden will be any good. In fact, I think he should’ve stopped a long time ago as he’s just an old fart that doesn’t have it anymore.

    • José Abel Salazar Lizárraga

      I think Natural Born Killers is pretty damn good.

      • That was the last great film of his that I enjoyed.

        • Mortimer

          Nixon was Ok.

  • Edna Salzburg

    I loved There Will Be Blood.

    • José Abel Salazar Lizárraga

      No, Paul Thomas Anderson directed There Will Be Blood, this guy on this list is Paul W. S. Anderson, he is the director of most of the Resident Evil Franchise movies starring Milla Jovovich, there is no “Thomas” on his name.

  • Patrick Hill

    Well, at least I only knew 2, and thought Anderson had stopped, guess not. leaves the Bay, but frankly, I hated him from the start hehe 😉

  • Joe Montoto

    Steven Spielberg and Bryan Singer.

  • jane

    bad…… like really baaaaaad. stop now. just stop.

  • Kgosi Choene

    Paul Thomas Anderson and Paul W. S. Anderson are completely different people. I read this article thinking M. Night would be at the top of the list

  • shane scott-travis

    Keenan Ivory Wayans should be at the top of this list.
    I’ve had the displeasure of working on two of his films. He’s the worst. Disrespectful and rude to the crew, the cast (including his brothers), and even the people in the neighbourhoods we would film in. He’s a terrible no talent.

  • Gogzilla

    I’d be more than happy if James Cameron never releases another movie.

  • Prince Purple

    You many not like some movies and some directors, but hoping that they die off or get into a scandal is not called for, especially by a reviewer!

  • agreysiren

    I would argue that Michael Bay is more competent at directing action than most. Highly talented directors such as Nolan for example shy away from the action by way of editing. It’s easy to jump on a bandwagon and criticise a director but as a reviewer one must at least give credit where credit is due. His heavy use of CGI special effects etc. hint at how much more the guy has to be affixed to a vision in order to achieve it on camera and one does not achieve that by fluke he must have the skillsets of a director to do this. I’m not a fan of his films but i’m not a fan of Christopher Nolan’s handling of action either.

    • PauLtus B

      “Highly talented directors such as Nolan for example shy away from the action by way of editing.” What? Ever since Batman Begins Nolan’s action has been getting better and better. Apart from Interstellar which just didn’t have any real fight scene.
      Bay is particularly horrible because of his ridiculous editing so I have no idea where you’re getting your thoughts from.

      • agreysiren

        I say Bays direction of action is better than Nolan’s and you’re response is that Nolan is getting better. I’m no huge fan of Bay, but credit is due. The Dark Knight is a prime example. Nolan uses other methods successfully to achieve the shot. But the action and the resulting reaction or consequence is rarely in the same shot/frame. Also, I’m not praising Bays editing but rather criticising Nolan’s. Bay directs the “action” better not the film. As always my thoughts are my own, I usually construct them with the aid of tools such as observation and keeping an open mind.

        • PauLtus B

          I don’t think Bay ever has been good at directing action. It’s pretty hard to tell what’s going on by just constant cutting.
          I really don’t know what action after Batman Begins is not in the shot, and I know these movies very well.
          My point here is that you’re saying that Bay at least can do action and than criticize Nolan on things that Bay does incredibly bad.

          • agreysiren

            I’m getting the feeling that your only criticism of my opinion is that I included Nolan in the comparison. No need to defend Nolan here. I’m defending bays direction of action. If you are able to see that Nolan is getting better, then you should be able to see that Bay is getting better faster if for no other reason than experience with the genre. I seem to have broken a golden rule of not getting into a discussion with a nolanite. News flash! Nolan is not the end all of directing. He has made arguably one of the most successful action films in history. Yet it’s not the action that is memorable. I too hate the fast cuts. But Nolan just doesn’t cut it at all.

          • PauLtus B

            “I’m getting the feeling that your only criticism of my opinion is that I included Nolan in the comparison.”
            Not exactly. I just think Bays directing is a complete headache. It just constantly cuts from shot where a ton is going on to another shot where there’s a ton going on but without any kind of consistency and none of it is memorable.
            I do not like the action in Batman Begins for somewhat similar reasons (It’s pretty unclear what’s going but that’s done) but at least there’s a physicality to it.
            From there on I wouldn’t necessarily say his action directing has been particularly interesting. But you’ll be getting a clear view of what’s going and if the action itself is spectacular enough that’s still great to look at, and honestly I think that tends to be the best way with very few exception (Fury Road). I think you should especially be thinking about the rotating hallway from Inception. I think the camera is just following the action for about 20-something seconds and it’s great.
            One could argue that Bay has quite a clear style but that doesn’t make it any better to actually watch.

  • Red Rackham

    Some former legends who are tarnishing their own legacy with their recent garbage namely John Carrpenter, Ridley Scott and James Cameron

    • PauLtus B

      But then Ridley Scott did make the Martian Recently. Which was good.
      I do hate James Cameron. I honestly do not enjoy anything of what I’ve seen of him.
      And thanks to his Avatar we’re now stuck to 3D…

      • Red Rackham

        I was avoiding the Martian what with the disappointment Prometheus was. Terminator 2. Aliens and True Lies are great movies. Avatar is garbage. And the visuals weren’t really all that great.

        • PauLtus B

          I think Ridley Scott is just good when he has a good script. He just doesn’t consistently get good ones.
          For some reason I’ve never been able to really enjoy any of Cameron’s earlier movies. Big fan of Alien, and I found myself really bored with Aliens.

          • Red Rackham

            True. His grandiose visuals is unparalleled. I don’t know how the Prometheus script turned out so bad though. It was like it was written by a bunch of 8-graders.

  • Ivan Galić

    Unfortunately I would add Peter Jackson. Why, he was a genius. What happend, I dont know. But each new movie he makes is actully worse than previous.

    • Red Rackham

      Over-reliance on technology to wow audiences instead of strong storytelling, both writing-wise and visually. Braindead had a perfect balance. The pacing of The Hobbit series was atrocious and I didn’t care much for the additions in the narrative.

      • PauLtus B

        I do wonder to what degree the Hobbit was HIS fault and not just studios pushing for 9 hour of movies of a tiny book that should surpass LotR in scale.

        • Red Rackham

          True, but he seemed really kicked about the blown-up running time… If I was he, I’d attempt to draw from Tolkien’s vast legendarium to pad things up… Maybe a flashback subplot for every movie (ala Godfather Part 2). For instance, the rise of Sauron and the downfall of Numenor, which is pertinent to Aragon’s story in the LOTR trilogy but not really referenced in the movies

          • PauLtus B

            In a sense I feel like there has been a point where with all the demands he just went: “to hell with it, than just let’s have stupid fun”.
            The Hobbit book is basically a fairy tale which you could probably easily fit into one movie. I think the result we have now is sort of entertaining but it just isn’t the Hobbit, nor something that fits with the Lord of the Rings.

          • Red Rackham

            It had the potential to be really something. Shame it misses the mark so much.

          • PauLtus B

            I guess they didn’t really know what mark they were aiming for.

          • Red Rackham

            I wonder what Del toro had in mind. One of the what ifs for history…

          • PauLtus B

            I still really want to see Edgar Wrights Ant-Man as well…

          • Red Rackham

            That would be crazy. Also, Josh Trank’s cut of Fantastic Four. I really liked Chronicle. I’m certain Fox screwed it up

          • PauLtus B

            It’s actually quite depressing that these movies will never be made.

  • Michael Geesink

    These must get mentioned as directors that should stop: M. Night Shyamalan and Zack Snyder

  • Jose Santos

    This articls it really offensive. I’m studying directing can only Imagnine how I would feel if I were on this list…

  • Zack Snyder !!!
    Please give other really talented directors a chance!

  • Filo

    After watching The Neon Demon, I think we can survive with Nicolas Winding Refn not doing films anymore. He had a few good ones, now he’s fooling us and making a living out of great visuals in useless films.

    • HLLH

      Is it really that bad? I had my hopes up…

      • Filo

        well it succeeds in being as empty as it tries to look. i am sure some people will appreciate it, but i felt fooled this time.

    • José Abel Salazar Lizárraga

      Yeah, me too I was hoping it to be really good.

  • Ayuj Consul

    Although you really need to know terrible cinema to truly appreciate good films. I don’t really see why this list is necessary on a site like this one which I appreciate always for great film related lists introducing me to new films and ideas. Many a times films I’d never heard about.
    I don’t see why a list like this was needed on this site.

  • Voljox Too

    when desperate shitty blog site want some money from ad visitor traffic.

  • Aitor

    And I’d be more than happy if JJ Abrams never make another movie. He already turned Star Treks and Star Wars to a farce of a legend… (and yes, I’m so happy that he didn’t make the last Star Trek)

  • Alice Olivia

    I thought Zack Snyder would be on the list but I think he is still good, or reasonable

  • Ted Wolf

    great list!

  • Jardel dos Santos

    I can’t believe you guys didn’t mention Uwe Boll. Every single movie he shot was a total shit, he never got the slightest notoriety these ones achieved and there has been a petition asking him to retire! Uwe Boll should be #1 in this list…

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    This list is mean. Not wrong, but mean.
    Maybe too mean for a website that’s supposed to celebrate cinema, instead of tearing it down.

  • Relf

    Tarantino

  • Paesito “Martin Paez” Paez

    I liked Bad Boys way more than the first Transformers

  • Jason Siegel

    I’m surprised that Uwe Boll wasn’t included on this list.