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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Avi Arad!

05.18.2015

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This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

Avi Arad

The Case

The Prosecution: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Bratz, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, X-Men: The Last Stand, Fantastic Four, Elektra, Blade: Trinity, Hulk

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Avi Arad is known for producing comic book movies such as Spider-Man and Iron Man, and while many of his films have been big hits at the box office and with critics, he also has quite a bit of garbage on his filmography.

Mr. Arad feels he deserves a lot of the credit for saving Marvel, but many people blame him for the problems with Spider-Man 3, and he's responsible for other poorly received comic book movies like Tim Story's Fantastic Four films, the Ghost Rider movies, and Elektra, one of the worst CBMs of all time. The filmmaker grew up reading comics, but does he actually get them, or does he just see dollar signs? This is the same man who wasn't down for a Spider-Man/X-Men crossover, but thought a Sinister Six spinoff was a good idea.

The prosecution isn't looking for a life sentence, however we do believe that Mr. Arad needs to spend a significant amount of time behind bars for his crimes against comic book movies.

Avi Arad

The Defense: The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, The Punisher, X2: X-Men United, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Blade 2, X-Men, Blade

Ladies and gentlemen, the defense knows some jury members would love to see Mr. Arad cooling his heels in Movie Jail, but why exactly is there so much hate for my client? Fans like to bash Mr. Arad, however he did help bring comic book characters like Spider-Man, Blade and the X-Men to the big screen, and we believe there's been more good movies than bad ones from the producer.

Although Mr. Arad didn't write the Spider-Man 3 script or direct Ghost Rider, fans act like he's 100% responsible for those film's failures, which is incredibly unfair. And if it wasn't for my client, there's a good chance we wouldn't be enjoying the current golden age of comic book movies. The prosecution wants to lock my client up because of his CBMs, but Mr. Arad should really be applauded for his work. Have they all been winners? No, but he did produce arguably three of the best comic book adaptations with Iron Man and the Spider-Man and X-Men sequels, which should be more than enough to keep my client out of prison.

Fans may not like Mr. Arad because he's a business man first and a comic book fan second, but that doesn't mean he belongs in Movie Jail.

Avi Arad Ang Lee

IN CLOSING...

Does Mr. Arad deserve jail time, or a stern warning? Do you believe the producer's well-received comic book movies outweigh his awful ones, or have you been unimpressed with most of his projects? Is Avi Arad GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

Avi Arad

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Falcon Rising Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, and most of the jury wasn't happy that he was up for Movie Jail. Jury members said although Mr. McDonough has appeared in critically-panned films like Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, he's still a talented actor who doesn't deserve to go to prison.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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5:55PM on 05/19/2015
GUILTY
GUILTY
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-2
9:30PM on 05/18/2015

SM2, Blade 2, XM2

ALL SUCKED
ALL SUCKED
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8:26AM on 05/19/2015
Spider-Man 2 (non Amazing) and Blade 2 are my favourites from those franchises so far, and X2 was the best X-Men film 'til First Class came along. Still, to each their own.
Spider-Man 2 (non Amazing) and Blade 2 are my favourites from those franchises so far, and X2 was the best X-Men film 'til First Class came along. Still, to each their own.
8:43PM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

While yes, Mr. Arad did have a hand in helping to craft the current comic book movie trend (and thus helped create the MCU), in the case of "Spider-Man 3" he is almost directly responsible for how it turned out; he rejected the initial story (unsure if it was a full script or not), and forced Venom in the movie, thus creating the emo stuff everyone hates. And for someone that loves comics so much (and I do believe he does), he can't properly figure out how to make that translate to the screen,
While yes, Mr. Arad did have a hand in helping to craft the current comic book movie trend (and thus helped create the MCU), in the case of "Spider-Man 3" he is almost directly responsible for how it turned out; he rejected the initial story (unsure if it was a full script or not), and forced Venom in the movie, thus creating the emo stuff everyone hates. And for someone that loves comics so much (and I do believe he does), he can't properly figure out how to make that translate to the screen, and seems (or seemed to back then) just greenlight everything, solely because it was comics. Guilty, but a short sentence is recommended; just long enough for him to figure what does and doesn't translate.
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8:01PM on 05/18/2015

Probation

without him, we wouldn't be getting the golden age of comics that we are enjoying now. He sees the potential, but doesn't see the BIGGER picture.
without him, we wouldn't be getting the golden age of comics that we are enjoying now. He sees the potential, but doesn't see the BIGGER picture.
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7:59PM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

Give him 20yr sentence with 19 & and a half suspended
Give him 20yr sentence with 19 & and a half suspended
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6:28PM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

No words express how terrible this guy is with comic franchises.
No words express how terrible this guy is with comic franchises.
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5:22PM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

Most of his good movies ended up being good thanks to the director getting extremely involved with the movie (X-Men had Singer, Spider-Man had Raimi, Iron Man had Favreau). He did help bring in the golden age of CBM, but if it wasn't for Marvel (and DC) putting out great product he would probably have killed the CBM genre with all the crap he made.
Most of his good movies ended up being good thanks to the director getting extremely involved with the movie (X-Men had Singer, Spider-Man had Raimi, Iron Man had Favreau). He did help bring in the golden age of CBM, but if it wasn't for Marvel (and DC) putting out great product he would probably have killed the CBM genre with all the crap he made.
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3:36PM on 05/18/2015

guilty

I'm not a hateful person but give this piece of shit prick the fucking death penalty! I hate this guy with the passion. He ruined the Spider-Man franchise & so many other comic book films. I know I give alot of grief to fanboys but this guy just sucks & I am on their side on this one.
I'm not a hateful person but give this piece of shit prick the fucking death penalty! I hate this guy with the passion. He ruined the Spider-Man franchise & so many other comic book films. I know I give alot of grief to fanboys but this guy just sucks & I am on their side on this one.
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+1
3:06PM on 05/18/2015

This SOB...

Has ruined, hindered, or just stood by and let studios ignore the comic books he's supposed to be all about for DECADES. This man, for so loooong is why we could not have nice things. No trial, no jail cell. Execute him immediately.
Has ruined, hindered, or just stood by and let studios ignore the comic books he's supposed to be all about for DECADES. This man, for so loooong is why we could not have nice things. No trial, no jail cell. Execute him immediately.
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-2
2:36PM on 05/18/2015

Not Guilty

This is a tough one. I think ultimately not guilty, and here's why. He was on the front of the comics to film transition. When they first made Spider-Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, I thought these films are ok, because the industry hadn't yet been exposed to what the industry could really be. What he is guilty of is not maturing along with the industry.
This is a tough one. I think ultimately not guilty, and here's why. He was on the front of the comics to film transition. When they first made Spider-Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, I thought these films are ok, because the industry hadn't yet been exposed to what the industry could really be. What he is guilty of is not maturing along with the industry.
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+1
2:04PM on 05/18/2015
Who the fuck put Daredevil down as part of the defense? He also produced X-Men Origins: Wolverine and that awful Ang Lee Hulk movie. There's a reason Kevin Feige and not Ari Avid is running the MCU show these days. Arad is a throwback to the days when Marvel pimped every IP they had out for the quickest buck possible. Get rid of him.
Who the fuck put Daredevil down as part of the defense? He also produced X-Men Origins: Wolverine and that awful Ang Lee Hulk movie. There's a reason Kevin Feige and not Ari Avid is running the MCU show these days. Arad is a throwback to the days when Marvel pimped every IP they had out for the quickest buck possible. Get rid of him.
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12:17PM on 05/18/2015

GUILTY

He may have been responsible for the onset of super hero movies to begin with but whenever he is allowed to make decisions it turns out terrible. Raimi has said before in interviews that it was Arad that forced Venom into Spider-man 3 and while Venom is one of my favorite Marvel characters, that portrayal was awful. I say throw him in Movie Jail for life and just let him be an executive producer. I don't care if he profits from these films just as long as he has ZERO input on the creative.
He may have been responsible for the onset of super hero movies to begin with but whenever he is allowed to make decisions it turns out terrible. Raimi has said before in interviews that it was Arad that forced Venom into Spider-man 3 and while Venom is one of my favorite Marvel characters, that portrayal was awful. I say throw him in Movie Jail for life and just let him be an executive producer. I don't care if he profits from these films just as long as he has ZERO input on the creative.
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11:10AM on 05/18/2015

Guilty.

You forgot about Generation X and that Nick Fury TV movie that starred The Hoff.
Sure, Arad had a few good hits and underrated movies but when he meddled in development and shown his money grubbing ways, it went up the creek.
You forgot about Generation X and that Nick Fury TV movie that starred The Hoff.
Sure, Arad had a few good hits and underrated movies but when he meddled in development and shown his money grubbing ways, it went up the creek.
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11:06AM on 05/18/2015

Not Guilty!

I liked the Amazing Spiderman 2. Plus I don't see why we put Producers on the stand. They're just doing their jobs. Theyre not on set. its usually not their fault if a movie turns out bad.
newxt week: Timur Bekmambetov.
I liked the Amazing Spiderman 2. Plus I don't see why we put Producers on the stand. They're just doing their jobs. Theyre not on set. its usually not their fault if a movie turns out bad.
newxt week: Timur Bekmambetov.
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-6
10:05AM on 05/18/2015

Career average: 5.4/10.

Before the trail continues, keep in mind that some of those movies were produced by him and others were executive-produced by him. Big difference. Personally, I'll only count the ones he's produced: DAREDEVIL (passable) & ELEKTRA (average), HULK (I don't remember) & INCREDIBLE HULK (passable), PUNISHER (decent), SPIDER-MAN 2 (excellent) & 3 (good), MAN-THING (never heard of it), F4 1 & 2 (both good), X-MEN 3 (average), GHOST RIDER 1 (awful) & 2 (all-time worst), BRATZ (haven't seen it), IRON
Before the trail continues, keep in mind that some of those movies were produced by him and others were executive-produced by him. Big difference. Personally, I'll only count the ones he's produced: DAREDEVIL (passable) & ELEKTRA (average), HULK (I don't remember) & INCREDIBLE HULK (passable), PUNISHER (decent), SPIDER-MAN 2 (excellent) & 3 (good), MAN-THING (never heard of it), F4 1 & 2 (both good), X-MEN 3 (average), GHOST RIDER 1 (awful) & 2 (all-time worst), BRATZ (haven't seen it), IRON MAN (good) and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 (great) & 2 (decent).

Although most of his movies are super-hero films, I don't see a pattern from a creative point of view (unlike other producers that have been up for trial here). Is he more concerned with money than quality? Maybe, but that doesn't mean he doesn't care about quality at all. Why else would he risk himself by producing serious super-hero films? At the time, you could only do that with characters that were already dark (like BATMAN and SPAWN). Not to mention that the M.C.U. producers aren't that different. Their movies are better in quality than half of Arad's, but they're also very concerned about money. Their movies stick to a formula (which is why Edgar Wright quit). They can delve into deep themes, but they move away from truly dark stuff if it'll prevent the hero from winning.

He's Not Guilty. There are worse producers out there. Also, he helped to bring my favorite super-hero (SPIDER-MAN) to the big screen.

Next week: Dennis Dugan, Kelsey Grammer, Roland Joffe, James Marsden or Reese Witherspoon.
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9:26AM on 05/18/2015
Guilty as hell. The movies that actually managed to be good under his watch happened in spite of him, not because of him, ask anyone who was involved.
Guilty as hell. The movies that actually managed to be good under his watch happened in spite of him, not because of him, ask anyone who was involved.
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9:16AM on 05/18/2015
Not Guilty
Not Guilty
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9:09AM on 05/18/2015
NOT GUILTY. Arad may have run his course, as a new crowd has taken over the Super Hero genre. With Feige in MCU and Goyer kinda running the DC show, there's a new approach. But let us not pretend that the Arad produced films are Joel Schumacher Batman films. I am still amazed that it is general perception that The Incredible Hulk is considered "good" and Ang Lee's Hulk is considered "bad". I despised the Edward Norton snooze fest and loved the Eric Bana Hulk. Nonetheless, his films are
NOT GUILTY. Arad may have run his course, as a new crowd has taken over the Super Hero genre. With Feige in MCU and Goyer kinda running the DC show, there's a new approach. But let us not pretend that the Arad produced films are Joel Schumacher Batman films. I am still amazed that it is general perception that The Incredible Hulk is considered "good" and Ang Lee's Hulk is considered "bad". I despised the Edward Norton snooze fest and loved the Eric Bana Hulk. Nonetheless, his films are huge money makers and everybody commenting here has seen his films probably multiple times. How can you put the guy in movie jail if you keep watching his films over and over? It is almost an arrogant criticism that "you suck" and it is almost a tyranny of group think.
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9:06AM on 05/18/2015
Guilty. Just two Ghost Rider movies should be enough to bury him.
Guilty. Just two Ghost Rider movies should be enough to bury him.
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8:57AM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

Elektra. Nuff said.
Elektra. Nuff said.
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8:56AM on 05/18/2015
He's a superhero-wrecking SON OF A BITCH!
He's a superhero-wrecking SON OF A BITCH!
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8:49AM on 05/18/2015

(NOT GUILTY, KINDA) If I may play devil's advocate for a moment...

Really depends how much you think you can blame the guy for the quality of the movies he was a producer for.
Fact is, he was making superhero movies happen before they were the flavour of the month - in many ways he was a pioneer for what some might consider the current golden age of superhero movies. Now perhaps Nolan made them critically credible, and Marvel hit upon a formula for building a popular cinematic universe for their characters, but whether that would have happened without Arad's
Really depends how much you think you can blame the guy for the quality of the movies he was a producer for.
Fact is, he was making superhero movies happen before they were the flavour of the month - in many ways he was a pioneer for what some might consider the current golden age of superhero movies. Now perhaps Nolan made them critically credible, and Marvel hit upon a formula for building a popular cinematic universe for their characters, but whether that would have happened without Arad's influence is open to debate. Now, the Fantastic Four films were unsatisfying and not especially-well realised, but maybe they're not the easiest superheroes to get right as we may learn with Trank's upcoming movie, but at least there was a decent stab at getting those characters up on screen in the Arad-produced movies. Spider-Man 3 was pretty bad, and many suggest studio interference led Raimi to scupper the film - but did Arad insist upon stupid dance sequences and emo-douche Peter?
Now if you look at the films in the defence you have the best Hulk movie, the best Iron Man movie (which was the best movie based on Marvel's characters until Winter Soldier in my opinion but many would disagree) I'm not so sure he does deserve movie jail, plus I'm a fan of Ang Lee's Hulk - it's odd but there's a lot to love about it.
I would say as a producer his influence in getting Superhero movies made possibly outweighs the fact he's produced some bad ones along the way. For better or worse, he's played a major part in the current cinematic landscape where comicbook movies are a viable proposition. Maybe his influence will fade now all the other rights holders have got their game on, but Arad helped it all happen, for better or worse.
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8:04AM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

I was about to say not guilty because many of his films have been strong but the man just had too many misfires. His sequels have been really bad, point in fact most of them have been down right shit. He's probably not 100% responsible for his films successes or failures but as a producer he has an incredible amount of power in how his films turn out. He lives by the same old problem that has gotten Hollywood in trouble with sequels for years; the idea that a sequel has to top it's predecessor
I was about to say not guilty because many of his films have been strong but the man just had too many misfires. His sequels have been really bad, point in fact most of them have been down right shit. He's probably not 100% responsible for his films successes or failures but as a producer he has an incredible amount of power in how his films turn out. He lives by the same old problem that has gotten Hollywood in trouble with sequels for years; the idea that a sequel has to top it's predecessor in scale, spectacle and action. Sure there's X2, Spider-Man 2 (which I don't like but most do) and Blade 2 but the other sequels he has given us have been shit. Then he tried halfassedly to create a shared universe. So yea the barrage of shitty sequels and stupid mistakes (did any one really think an Electra spin-off was a good idea?) he has thrown our way is enough to send him to Movie Jail.
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+0
7:42AM on 05/18/2015

Punisher war zone

GUILTY SO VERY VERY VERY VERY GUILTY
GUILTY SO VERY VERY VERY VERY GUILTY
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7:21AM on 05/18/2015

Guilty

Wasn't he against the whole shared universe model and then made his own failed attempt at it after Avengers?
Wasn't he against the whole shared universe model and then made his own failed attempt at it after Avengers?
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