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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Jerry Bruckheimer!

09.23.2013

Movie Jail

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

The Case

The Prosecution:  Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, Bad Boys II, Kangaroo Jack, National Treasure, King Arthur, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, G-Force, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Lone Ranger

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney parting ways, the prosecution feels this is a perfect time to levy charges against the super producer. Now, when it comes to producers it can vary how much impact they have on a project, and sometimes with them it's more about how much a film will make than its quality. However, it's obvious Mr. Bruckheimer wields quite a bit of power, and of course with great power comes great responsibility, so the prosecution believes the defendant should be held accountable for the recent less than stellar films that have have carried the Bruckheimer name.

Mr. Bruckheimer is known for producing high-grossing crowd pleasers. But his movies haven't performed as well as pervious ones, nor have they been well received by critics or movie goers. Why do you really think the union between Disney and Mr. Bruckheimer dissolved? Disney can say part of the reason was because of Mr. Bruckheimer's wish to go back to producing adult orientated film, but if the studio had any faith in Mr. Bruckheimer, do you really think Disney would have let him go? The prosecution is fairly certain that Disney could have still released films by Mr. Bruckheimer without sullying it's family friendly image, especially if it meant more money in their pockets.

Some have said that Mr. Bruckheimer and Disney ending their partnership could be a return to form for the producer. But are you really that confident in Mr. Bruckheimer? Has he produced anything in the past decade the makes you think he'll be working on films like Con Air, The Rock, or Black Hawk Down? Let's take a look at some of the "highlights" of his filmography from 2003 on: the Pirates of the Caribbean series, two National Treasure films, G-Force, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Lone Ranger, and Kangaroo f*cking Jack. Yes, many of those films were blockbusters and it's not like Mr. Bruckheimer was hunting for Oscar nominations with these movies. But his films just aren't as fun as the ones he produced from the 80s and 90s.

Maybe part of the reason was because of the tragic passing of his producing partner Don Simpson in 1996, but it's obvious Mr. Bruckheimer moved away from the types of movies that made him such an in-demand producer in the first place, and has instead focused on unimaginative potential tent-poles. One or two Pirates movies is fine, but four with another on the way? And both Prince of Persia and The Lone Ranger were both bad ideas that were also poorly executed.

The question is do you think we should wait and see what Mr. Bruckheimer will do next, or has the damage been done and he should go to Movie Jail? The prosecution believes prison is the right answer, and I am positive that the jury will come to the same conclusion.

The Defense: Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, The Ref, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Armageddon, Remember the Titans, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Black Hawk Down, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Veronica Guerin, Déjà Vu, Glory Road

Ladies and gentlemen, my client has produced some of the biggest hits of all time and helped launch the careers of numerous actors. But let's be honest: usually you know what to expect in a film produced by Mr. Bruckheimer. He might not be known for producing highbrow films, but that has never been his goal. Mr. Bruckheimer's goal? To put butts in seats and make the audience happy, and for the most part that's exactly what my client has done for over twenty years.

The past decade might not have been the best for Mr. Bruckheimer, but it certainly hasn't been a bad decade, not with the success his Pirates of the Caribbean films have had. Yes, critics disliked the later entries and movie geeks enjoy using the series as toilet paper, but you ask almost anyone from the general public and they'll tell you that they loved these films. Same thing with National Treasure, and yes, even Kangaroo Jack. My client once said "If I made films for the critics, or for someone else, I'd probably be living in some small Hollywood studio apartment," and the defense completely agrees with his comment. It's impossible to call this past decade a failure for Mr. Bruckheimer when in all honesty, he's had a tremendous amount of success.

Many are pointing at The Lone Ranger as to why my client and Disney have separated, but would the studio really drop such a big name producer because of one film? And even if Disney didn't get the return they were expecting for films like Prince of Persia or The Sorcerer's Apprentice, it's not like these films were complete bombs, especially when you take into consideration their international totals and DVD sales. To the defense, it just sounds like both parties realized it was probably time to explore new options. It's not as if Mr. Bruckheimer was "fired" by Disney and if my client is interested in going back to more adult themed films then he should.

But like the prosecution said, the real question is does the jury have any confidence in Mr. Bruckheimer? Will and can he produce movies that are on par with some of his well known hits from the 80s and 90s? The defense believes in Mr. Bruckheimer, and so should the jury.

IN CLOSING...

So what do you think? Should we give Jerry Bruckheimer a chance or has he burned you one too many times? Does Disney not renewing their first-look deal with the producer mean we should also give up on Mr. Bruckheimer, or is the prosecution reading too much into it? Is Jerry Bruckheimer GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR VERDICT!

*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. Anyways, 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?

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

I learned three things from last week's case against Brian De Palma: 1. the director is NOT GUILTY, 2. no one likes The Black Dahlia and 3. don't ever, EVER call Scarface overrated. The consensus from the jury was that although it has been a rough few years for Mr. De Palma, he's directed enough classics to keep him out of Movie Jail and a bad movie from Mr. De Palma is still better than most films. Except for the previously mentioned The Black Dahlia, of course.

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

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

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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5:04AM on 09/25/2013

not guilty

although many of his later films have been some of his worst, this guy can never go to movie jail.
although many of his later films have been some of his worst, this guy can never go to movie jail.
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12:03PM on 09/24/2013

Guilty

Bruckheimer's hiding behind the "they're fun, not art" excuse, as opposed to trying to strike a balance. Sure, he's not directly responsible for the terribleness of 'National Treasure', 'The Lone Ranger', or the last 'POTC' debacle, but that's all he's been producing for the last decade, give or take a few years. He's not interested in doing anything else, and that's the issue.
Bruckheimer's hiding behind the "they're fun, not art" excuse, as opposed to trying to strike a balance. Sure, he's not directly responsible for the terribleness of 'National Treasure', 'The Lone Ranger', or the last 'POTC' debacle, but that's all he's been producing for the last decade, give or take a few years. He's not interested in doing anything else, and that's the issue.
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+0
9:42AM on 09/24/2013

Not Guilty

and Bad Boys 2 should not be on the prosecutions list, I love that movie especially they guy who comes to date his daughter!!!
and Bad Boys 2 should not be on the prosecutions list, I love that movie especially they guy who comes to date his daughter!!!
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12:04PM on 09/24/2013
'Bad Boys 2' is unbearably awful.
'Bad Boys 2' is unbearably awful.
12:45AM on 09/24/2013
He is not gulity but damn he goes in streaks of good and bad quickly....Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, , Kangaroo Jack, National Treasure, King Arthur,, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, , G-Force, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, , The Lone Ranger were definitely bad...I would put him in Movie rehab for a while. He has helped make classics like Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State,
He is not gulity but damn he goes in streaks of good and bad quickly....Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, , Kangaroo Jack, National Treasure, King Arthur,, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, , G-Force, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, , The Lone Ranger were definitely bad...I would put him in Movie rehab for a while. He has helped make classics like Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Remember the Titans, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Black Hawk Down, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and that is what is going to keep him out of movie jail.
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9:30PM on 09/23/2013

Guilty

I will usually dismiss a project with the Jerry Bruckheimer name on it. His wrap sheet has some serious turds on it. I feel The prosecution makes a much a stronger case on this one. Guilty.
I will usually dismiss a project with the Jerry Bruckheimer name on it. His wrap sheet has some serious turds on it. I feel The prosecution makes a much a stronger case on this one. Guilty.
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+2
9:18PM on 09/23/2013

GUILTY.

It's tricky with producers since they don't have much to do with the artistic side of film. When you judge each film, you don't evaluate the producer's individual work. However, there are many producers who have produced mostly good films, like Scott Rudin. And say what you want about Harvey Weinstein (like him cheating to win Oscars), but he does make mostly good movies too. It's because they see the true potential of the projects. But Jerry clearly cares more about making money. Even when he
It's tricky with producers since they don't have much to do with the artistic side of film. When you judge each film, you don't evaluate the producer's individual work. However, there are many producers who have produced mostly good films, like Scott Rudin. And say what you want about Harvey Weinstein (like him cheating to win Oscars), but he does make mostly good movies too. It's because they see the true potential of the projects. But Jerry clearly cares more about making money. Even when he produces a good movie I'm sure he's surprised they get good reviews.

He's a sell-out who uses the "I'm not making art; I want people to have fun" excuse. Sorry, but that stopped being valid years ago. We realized that movies can be fun AND well-made. Some of his movies are well-made (ENEMY OF THE STATE; PIRATES 1 & 2), but a lot of them aren't (FLASHDANCE; THE ROCK; ARMAGEDDON; PEARL HARBOR; PIRATES 3 & 4; G-FORCE; LONE RANGER). And I don't know if leaving Disney will change things. He'll make more R-rated movies, but there's no guarantee they'll be good.

I know I'm the minority, but TOP GUN is literally one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
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8:14PM on 09/23/2013

NOT GUILTY

He does his job well...make entertainment that people will pay to see. They may not all be winners but most are entertaining to say the least, and many are classics.
He does his job well...make entertainment that people will pay to see. They may not all be winners but most are entertaining to say the least, and many are classics.
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6:18PM on 09/23/2013

Not guilty

Bad Boys II is the best movie to get drunk to.
Bad Boys II is the best movie to get drunk to.
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6:16PM on 09/23/2013
Guilty
Guilty
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-1
4:52PM on 09/23/2013

Not Guilty

Top Gun alone saves him, best film of the 80's!!
Top Gun alone saves him, best film of the 80's!!
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1:15PM on 09/24/2013
That's one BOLD statement.
That's one BOLD statement.
3:38PM on 09/23/2013

Guilty

Even the movies on the defense side are guilty pleasures or so bad that they good drinking flicks.
Even the movies on the defense side are guilty pleasures or so bad that they good drinking flicks.
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1:45PM on 09/23/2013

Nope

Why did you put Bad Boys II as an offense and yet you put the boring Gone In 60 Seconds remake as a positive? Makes no sense.

He's got time to turn around the last 10 years of family friendly garbage.
Why did you put Bad Boys II as an offense and yet you put the boring Gone In 60 Seconds remake as a positive? Makes no sense.

He's got time to turn around the last 10 years of family friendly garbage.
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1:05PM on 09/23/2013
Definitely not guilty he makes such a vast variety of entertaining films. And Con Air & The Rock are 2 of my favourite action movies
Definitely not guilty he makes such a vast variety of entertaining films. And Con Air & The Rock are 2 of my favourite action movies
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+2
12:55PM on 09/23/2013

NEVER GUILTY

American Gigolo, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and The Rock are all get outta jail cards, as far as I'm concerned.
American Gigolo, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and The Rock are all get outta jail cards, as far as I'm concerned.
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12:19PM on 09/23/2013

Guilty!!!!!

Most of his best films were when he was partnered up with Don Simpson. Sure Curse of the Black Pearl is one of my favorite movies but the sequels sucked. Most of his movies have been major let downs as of late. They are just so over blown. His films are pretty much synonymous with every thing that is wrong with Hollywood now a days. I really wish we could have gotten a Bad Boys trilogy. I also must say I did like King Arthur.
Most of his best films were when he was partnered up with Don Simpson. Sure Curse of the Black Pearl is one of my favorite movies but the sequels sucked. Most of his movies have been major let downs as of late. They are just so over blown. His films are pretty much synonymous with every thing that is wrong with Hollywood now a days. I really wish we could have gotten a Bad Boys trilogy. I also must say I did like King Arthur.
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10:36AM on 09/23/2013
Not guilty, though his best work will always have been when there were two lightning bolts striking the tree instead of just one. And the Amazing Race is pretty much the ultimate reality TV show. It's not just people bickering and being dramatic; its that with a ticking clock on a global scale!
Not guilty, though his best work will always have been when there were two lightning bolts striking the tree instead of just one. And the Amazing Race is pretty much the ultimate reality TV show. It's not just people bickering and being dramatic; its that with a ticking clock on a global scale!
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9:40AM on 09/23/2013

Not Guilty

Admittedly, I'm being overly forgiving with this one. The guy mostly produces tentpole crap and WTF projects, like Prince of Persia and G-Force, respectively. Sidenote: I don't give a crap about his television work. I'm giving him the pass, however, simply because he continues to adamantly believe in Gore Verbinski, who is THE preeminent blockbuster filmmaker today - seemingly one of the very few who still understands what a "BLOCKBUSTER" film is capable of doing. That Bruckheimer remains
Admittedly, I'm being overly forgiving with this one. The guy mostly produces tentpole crap and WTF projects, like Prince of Persia and G-Force, respectively. Sidenote: I don't give a crap about his television work. I'm giving him the pass, however, simply because he continues to adamantly believe in Gore Verbinski, who is THE preeminent blockbuster filmmaker today - seemingly one of the very few who still understands what a "BLOCKBUSTER" film is capable of doing. That Bruckheimer remains behind Verbinski despite such strong backlash for his last three exceedingly ambitious live-action Johnny Depp films is enough for me to let the guy stay on this side of the bars.
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9:36AM on 09/23/2013

Not guilty

This is tough one. Sure Bruckheimer has made some garbage. He is very much like Michael Bay in their over-the-top films. But when I think about it, I have seen just about every one of the films listed up there (except the Lone Ranger, which I haven't bothered to see). I have to say even the crappy films end up entertaining me to some degree. He is really quite prolific, so he is bound to have a few duds. Usually he gets tabbed for some Summer block buster. For example, Armageddon, it
This is tough one. Sure Bruckheimer has made some garbage. He is very much like Michael Bay in their over-the-top films. But when I think about it, I have seen just about every one of the films listed up there (except the Lone Ranger, which I haven't bothered to see). I have to say even the crappy films end up entertaining me to some degree. He is really quite prolific, so he is bound to have a few duds. Usually he gets tabbed for some Summer block buster. For example, Armageddon, it was pure crap but it was FUN crap. All his films still have some element of fun that make them watchable. Even the stupid Pirates sequels. I have to say that I LOVED the National Treasure movies. I'll cut Jerry a break here. He can just keep doing what he's doing. I don't expect every movie to be great. But he is a professional and gives it a good effort and does the best he can with his material. Maybe I'm the only guy who liked Pearl Harbor. I don't know.
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9:30AM on 09/23/2013

Really?

This column needs to get more creative...I can think of 40-other people that they can write about.
This column needs to get more creative...I can think of 40-other people that they can write about.
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8:16PM on 09/23/2013
Then name them and maybe they'll be picked for next time.
Then name them and maybe they'll be picked for next time.
9:16AM on 09/23/2013

Guilty

Notice most of the movie listed in the defense are form the 90s. Anymore its like 1 out 5 movies he produces he has a good one.
Notice most of the movie listed in the defense are form the 90s. Anymore its like 1 out 5 movies he produces he has a good one.
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9:06AM on 09/23/2013

NOT GUILTY

Even though I don't agree with Bad Boys 2 and the first National Treasure being on Prosecution, some of the movies mentioned by the Defense are pure gold.
Even though I don't agree with Bad Boys 2 and the first National Treasure being on Prosecution, some of the movies mentioned by the Defense are pure gold.
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8:56AM on 09/23/2013

Guilty

I suspect I'm in the minority here but the quality of Bruckheimer's films has taken a tumble in recent years. Sure, there was never any Oscar bait among his flicks, but they've gone from cheerfully dumb shoot-em-ups to bad ideas badly executed. A stretch in Movie Jail might help.
I suspect I'm in the minority here but the quality of Bruckheimer's films has taken a tumble in recent years. Sure, there was never any Oscar bait among his flicks, but they've gone from cheerfully dumb shoot-em-ups to bad ideas badly executed. A stretch in Movie Jail might help.
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+1
8:47AM on 09/23/2013

Hmmm

Not guilty...he may be a sell out, but the fact is, he knows what makes money. I think it's hard to find a producer guilty. At worst, it just shows how stupid the average movie goer is, and he's simply exploiting that. This isn't Wallstreet people, this is movie jail

NOT GUILTY
Not guilty...he may be a sell out, but the fact is, he knows what makes money. I think it's hard to find a producer guilty. At worst, it just shows how stupid the average movie goer is, and he's simply exploiting that. This isn't Wallstreet people, this is movie jail

NOT GUILTY
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8:40AM on 09/23/2013

If he's guilty....

Then we need to put Nic Cage, Will Smith and Johnny Depp back on trial as his co-defendants. Not Guilty.
Then we need to put Nic Cage, Will Smith and Johnny Depp back on trial as his co-defendants. Not Guilty.
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8:29AM on 09/23/2013
Not guilty....the pure classics alone grants him a reprieve
Not guilty....the pure classics alone grants him a reprieve
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8:14AM on 09/23/2013
Not guilty. He has so many hit movies to outweigh crappy ones.
Not guilty. He has so many hit movies to outweigh crappy ones.
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8:13AM on 09/23/2013

Not Guilty.

While I don't understand how Gone in 60 Seconds made it on the defense (I'd also argue Bad Boys 2 could be used in the defense due to its cult following), I don't have anything against him really. I will say it's kind of scary that most of the movies in the prosecution were made in the last ten years, but that's what makes his departure from Disney such an attractive proposition.

I'm still not expecting anything on the level of Crimson Tide or The Rock, (I've yet to se Black Hawk Down) but
While I don't understand how Gone in 60 Seconds made it on the defense (I'd also argue Bad Boys 2 could be used in the defense due to its cult following), I don't have anything against him really. I will say it's kind of scary that most of the movies in the prosecution were made in the last ten years, but that's what makes his departure from Disney such an attractive proposition.

I'm still not expecting anything on the level of Crimson Tide or The Rock, (I've yet to se Black Hawk Down) but time will tell. Many of his films are at the very least enjoyable, though the last I saw was Veronica Guerin, which wasn't too bad.
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7:51AM on 09/23/2013

Not Guilty

When you pump out as much quality material as he has you have to expect some crap as well.


So is Arnie being done next week?
When you pump out as much quality material as he has you have to expect some crap as well.


So is Arnie being done next week?
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7:42AM on 09/23/2013

Not Guilty

He's just produced too many hits, grossed too much money from the masses, and generally been responsible for too many personal favorites of mine (Crimson Tide, The Rock, Black Hawk Down, etc) for me to say guilty. As much as I hate the dumbed down style of film that has completely pushed good writing to TV, I can't rationalize a guilty verdict.
He's just produced too many hits, grossed too much money from the masses, and generally been responsible for too many personal favorites of mine (Crimson Tide, The Rock, Black Hawk Down, etc) for me to say guilty. As much as I hate the dumbed down style of film that has completely pushed good writing to TV, I can't rationalize a guilty verdict.
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