In the heart-warming Disney coming of age fable Old Yeller, the doe-eyed protagonist, Travis, gets thrust into adulthood when he’s forced to euthanize his beloved Golden Retriever, Old Yeller, with both barrels of a shotgun. While this unusually cruel method of putting down a beloved pet no doubt left Travis a hollow, broken adult incapable of feeling love, it also taught generations of traumatized tykes the value of making the tough choice of allowing something you love to die with dignity.
It seems that most movie producers either didn’t watch this seminal film or tuned out before the end. There’s no greater evidence for this than Hollywood’s treatment of the film franchise fans love. As long as it can squeeze ever single, solitary drop of profit from the calcified remains of beloved movies series, the Hollywood machine will continue to serve up reheated leftovers of once great films until the dish becomes so putrid even Oliver Twist would spit it out in disgust. The audiences who loved the films in the first place are forced to see their beloved screen icons become wan, weakened shadows of their former selves until everyone involved begs in unison for the sweet deliverance of a piping-hot serving of buckshot to end the pain.
So which film franchises have grown to long in the tooth and desperately need two barrels full of tough love? Read on to find out.
Michael Bay’s racist, sexist, xenophobic and jingoistic Transformers films have been delighting audiences since 2007 and no there seems to be no end in sight. While some (mainly me) would contend that Hasboro released the only worthwhile Transformers film in 1986 with its awesome Transformers: The Movie, the boffo box office of Bays films proved to be catnip for the money hungry toy company who refuses to send the property to franchise heaven.
Audiences seem to have cooled to Bays tedious, insulting films so Bay has graciously offered to reboot the franchise and leave it in the hands of a young up-and-coming filmmaker: Michael Bay. Michael Bay’s protege, Michael Bay, will take Transformers in bold new directions. Instead of the coke-fueled, flop sweat drenched flailing of leading man Shia Labeouf, Bay decided a star performance from The Funky Bunch’s Marky Mark will provide the franchise with some much needed credibility. And, in a move entirely not inspired by his desire to maximize international box office potential, Bay opted to set the new film in China. Some may want to see Bay’s fresh spin on Bay’s previous vision of Transformers, but most of us want Hasboro to cast the franchise out like an unfit Spartan infant exposed to the elements.
This article was first posted on April 21, 2013