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
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
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
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
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 RobbinsThis 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.