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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Mark Steven Johnson!

Aug. 18, 2014by:

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: Killing Season, When in Rome, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Jack Frost (screenplay), Big Bully (screenplay), Grumpier Old Men (screenplay)

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, screenwriter/director Mark Steven Johnson first found success with his Grumpy Old Men script, however that was over two decades ago, and since then most of his work hasn't been very impressive.

Sure, Daredevil and Ghost Rider did decent numbers at the box office, but neither received great reviews from most critics, and many fans of the comics consider both films to be pretty shitty compared to the source material. The defense will likely argue the director's cut of Daredevil is much better than the theatrical one, but the prosecution still doesn't think it was a great movie. Mr. Johnson provided the scripts for both movies as well, so it's not like he was directing from a bad script written by someone else.

Mr. Johnson is also responsible for the critically panned When in Rome, and the scripts for Jack Frost and Big Bully, two forgettable and awful movies. In addition, Mr. Johnson's script for Grumpier Old Men was very weak compared to the first film, and while some may think he did a solid job turning John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany into a movie, the prosecution didn't care for Simon Birch.

Mr. Johnson's most recent film was Killing Season starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta, and it's obvious his career isn't heading in the right direction. Based on this evidence, the prosecution believes Mr. Johnson should spend at least twelve months in Movie Jail, and must agree to stay the hell away from any future comic book movies.

The Defense: Daredevil, Simon Birch, Grumpy Old Men (screenplay)

Ladies and gentlemen, my client doesn't have the greatest filmography, but the defense still doesn't think he deserves to go to Movie Jail. Daredevil has its moments (especially the director's cut) and at least his Ghost Rider was better than the sequel. Even John Irving thought it would be hard to adapt his A Prayer for Owen Meany into a movie, but the defense actually likes Simon Birch quite a bit, even though it's not exactly like Irving's novel.

Are any of those movies outstanding? No, but the defense also doesn't think they are bad enough to warrant sending my client to Movie Jail. It should also be pointed out Mr. Johnson hasn't been involved with that many film projects, and the defense doesn't believe it's fair to judge him on such a small sample size. It's not like every year there's a new movie or script from Mr. Johnson, and he's been kind of doing his own thing. He's a working director and screenwriter who unfortunately has been involved with a few less than awesome movies.

The defense still thinks Mr. Johnson is capable of writing and directing a good movie, and while the prosecution might believe this is an open and shut case, we don't feel like he absolutely needs to go to Movie Jail. Maybe the jury will disagree (or will be unable to look past what he did to Ghost Rider and Daredevil), but in the defense's opinion, we shouldn't lock up Mr. Johnson.

IN CLOSING...

Should we toss Mr. Johnson in Movie Jail, or do you think we should give him another chance? Have you enjoyed his films, or do you believe it's time we locked him up? Is director and screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson 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

Last week we brought you updates on Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, and all three have been found NOT GUILTY of all charges. The only one the jury really considered locking up was Mr. Emmerich, but they also didn't fully support sending the White House Down director to prison either. Which other previous defendants do you think have committed new crimes, and should be up for Movie Jail for a second time?

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

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 Special), 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

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich

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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11:57PM on 08/18/2014

Feed him to the sharkticons!

I don't ever want to hear that this guy was given a project over a more capable but less experienced director. He's what's wrong with the industry. Lock him up before he offends again.
I don't ever want to hear that this guy was given a project over a more capable but less experienced director. He's what's wrong with the industry. Lock him up before he offends again.
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9:57PM on 08/18/2014

Oh he's GUILTY as all f*ck.

Throw this guy in a max-security facility with no chance of getting out.
Throw this guy in a max-security facility with no chance of getting out.
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9:19PM on 08/18/2014
Not guilty, just because I loved all versions of his DD. enjoyed some of the other movies he has written but the guy seems like an odd choice, as most ppl around here I assume are going to vote guilty.
Not guilty, just because I loved all versions of his DD. enjoyed some of the other movies he has written but the guy seems like an odd choice, as most ppl around here I assume are going to vote guilty.
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4:11PM on 08/18/2014
Yea he's guilty and this is coming from a guy who likes Daredevil. Grumpy Old Men was a good movie but it's sequel is just a rehash of the original.
Yea he's guilty and this is coming from a guy who likes Daredevil. Grumpy Old Men was a good movie but it's sequel is just a rehash of the original.
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4:10PM on 08/18/2014

Movie jail? He should be on Movie Death Row!

This guy sank 2 Marvel superhero franchises, Ghost Rider was just insane, how do you screw up such an easy to translate character? Honestly, this guy is up there with Brett Ratner in my eyes.
This guy sank 2 Marvel superhero franchises, Ghost Rider was just insane, how do you screw up such an easy to translate character? Honestly, this guy is up there with Brett Ratner in my eyes.
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2:06PM on 08/18/2014

Who?

Oh, yeah, guilty.
Oh, yeah, guilty.
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1:25PM on 08/18/2014
Super guilty. For recycling the story pattern. Daredevil and Ghost Rider are very similar in terms of story telling. He didn't even want to change it for the sake of it. The two films are mirror images of each other.
Super guilty. For recycling the story pattern. Daredevil and Ghost Rider are very similar in terms of story telling. He didn't even want to change it for the sake of it. The two films are mirror images of each other.
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2:03PM on 08/18/2014
What makes you say that?
What makes you say that?
1:06PM on 08/18/2014

NOT Guilty

I'll defend the guy because I LOVE the R-rated version of Daredevil. Also Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men are constantly quoted in my house and are classic comedies to me while Simon Birch and Ghost Rider are fun flicks.

NEXT WEEK: Jonathan Liebesman or Mel Gibson been done yet?
I'll defend the guy because I LOVE the R-rated version of Daredevil. Also Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men are constantly quoted in my house and are classic comedies to me while Simon Birch and Ghost Rider are fun flicks.

NEXT WEEK: Jonathan Liebesman or Mel Gibson been done yet?
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1:58PM on 08/18/2014
No, they haven't. I think we should wait until Liebesman makes 2 or 3 more movies. Gibson would be an interesting trial, though. People hate how he is in real life, and THE EXPENDABLES 3 hasn't been doing well.
No, they haven't. I think we should wait until Liebesman makes 2 or 3 more movies. Gibson would be an interesting trial, though. People hate how he is in real life, and THE EXPENDABLES 3 hasn't been doing well.
5:55PM on 08/18/2014
From a critical standpoint, both Daredevil and Ghost Rider are lame and stupid movies.
From a critical standpoint, both Daredevil and Ghost Rider are lame and stupid movies.
+2
1:02PM on 08/18/2014
Ya, I don't care.
Ya, I don't care.
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1:57PM on 08/18/2014
You cared enough to comment.
You cared enough to comment.
3:32PM on 08/18/2014
I did. And that comment is all too original.
I did. And that comment is all too original.
12:39PM on 08/18/2014

Not guilty

Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Elektra, Spirit of Vengence, Punisher, War Zone and the Blade trilogy were all Marvel movies. Marvel got better at making movies. Plus Daredevil was cut to shreds by Fox.
Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Elektra, Spirit of Vengence, Punisher, War Zone and the Blade trilogy were all Marvel movies. Marvel got better at making movies. Plus Daredevil was cut to shreds by Fox.
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4:30PM on 08/18/2014
You mean Marvel started making their own movies, instead of shopping them out to other studios.
You mean Marvel started making their own movies, instead of shopping them out to other studios.
2:31PM on 08/19/2014
Then Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and current Marvel Entertainment Chief Creative Officer was on set during the filming and even had a small role in Daredevil. The director's cut was the cut that Marvel approved before Fox made changes.
Then Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and current Marvel Entertainment Chief Creative Officer was on set during the filming and even had a small role in Daredevil. The director's cut was the cut that Marvel approved before Fox made changes.
+1
11:42AM on 08/18/2014
We can't dole out the death penalty on this one, can we? In that case, GUILTY. Lifetime imprisonment where he has to watch Elektra on a neverending loop.
We can't dole out the death penalty on this one, can we? In that case, GUILTY. Lifetime imprisonment where he has to watch Elektra on a neverending loop.
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1:56PM on 08/18/2014
Yes, we can sentence death penalty.
Yes, we can sentence death penalty.
+0
11:34AM on 08/18/2014

True, he hasn't made a lot of movies. But unlike...

... John Singleton and Gavin Hood, Mark has explored a wide variety of genres. When you do that, you have to add style or trademarks, or it'll feel like you're just copying. That's why he can't be called a "genre director". Anyway, he has yet to direct a good movie in any genre, so the arrest is fair. He's Guilty.

I found DAREDEVIL to be passable, but WHEN IN ROME is pathetic. GHOST RIDER better than the sequel? No, it's less bad (there's a difference). KILLING SEASON was doomed from the
... John Singleton and Gavin Hood, Mark has explored a wide variety of genres. When you do that, you have to add style or trademarks, or it'll feel like you're just copying. That's why he can't be called a "genre director". Anyway, he has yet to direct a good movie in any genre, so the arrest is fair. He's Guilty.

I found DAREDEVIL to be passable, but WHEN IN ROME is pathetic. GHOST RIDER better than the sequel? No, it's less bad (there's a difference). KILLING SEASON was doomed from the start: You can't mix a dialogue-driven drama with a cat-and-mouse chase thriller. But Mark still ruined it because the action sequences weren't exciting enough and the borderline torture porn obscured the historical context.

I saw BIG BULLY, JACK FROST and SIMON BIRCH when I was kid. I don't remember whether I liked them or not, but I do remember them being cheesy and manipulative. At least the first two. I haven't seen the GRUMPY OLD MEN movies, but they seem like remakes of THE ODD COUPLE. If so, can we really say that they're evidence of Mark being a talented writer?
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+1
11:16AM on 08/18/2014

Suuuuuuuuuuuper guilty guys

Anyone who uses Daredevil (theatrical cut or director's cut) to defend this guy is massively in denial. Go watch that back to back with X-Men 3 or heck, even Spider-Man 3, and honestly tell me which is the worse film. The acting is ridiculously, like cringeworthy bad, the dialogue is as stilted and forced sounding as it gets and as unintentionally hilarious as emo-Peter was the playground fight disguised as flirting between Daredevil and Elektra is even worse. Simon Birch honestly, is fairly
Anyone who uses Daredevil (theatrical cut or director's cut) to defend this guy is massively in denial. Go watch that back to back with X-Men 3 or heck, even Spider-Man 3, and honestly tell me which is the worse film. The acting is ridiculously, like cringeworthy bad, the dialogue is as stilted and forced sounding as it gets and as unintentionally hilarious as emo-Peter was the playground fight disguised as flirting between Daredevil and Elektra is even worse. Simon Birch honestly, is fairly bad, too although not as bad as his directorial efforts. I've seen all five films he's directed and they're all absolute junk. I don't think there's any way in heck this guy is anything but guilty.
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9:49AM on 08/18/2014
Guilty. I feel sorry for this guy, he's said many times that he was a big Daredevil fan and that there was a lot of pressure working on the film. Perhaps it's a similar case to Danny Cannon, who loved Judge Dredd but ended up making Judge Dredd '95. Killing Season is downright embarrassing. At least Ghost Rider isn't as bad as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Guilty. I feel sorry for this guy, he's said many times that he was a big Daredevil fan and that there was a lot of pressure working on the film. Perhaps it's a similar case to Danny Cannon, who loved Judge Dredd but ended up making Judge Dredd '95. Killing Season is downright embarrassing. At least Ghost Rider isn't as bad as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
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10:18AM on 08/18/2014
Yeah, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance made the first Ghost Rider movie an Oscar material.
Yeah, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance made the first Ghost Rider movie an Oscar material.
9:39AM on 08/18/2014

Not Guilty

You used Grumpier Old Men as a prosecution case? I loved that movie. Sophia Loren rocked.
Truthfully I don't really know much about Mark Steven Johnson, I have seen his films and never really even considered the director. I found the films had their merits and never seemed to think that what was wrong with them was direction. I just don't see enough of a case for movie jail. Movie jail for me isn't for guys who make average middle of the pack movies, for me movie jail is for guys
You used Grumpier Old Men as a prosecution case? I loved that movie. Sophia Loren rocked.
Truthfully I don't really know much about Mark Steven Johnson, I have seen his films and never really even considered the director. I found the films had their merits and never seemed to think that what was wrong with them was direction. I just don't see enough of a case for movie jail. Movie jail for me isn't for guys who make average middle of the pack movies, for me movie jail is for guys mailing it in, making terrible movies. It is for guys I don't want making movies for a while. This guy isn't lifting cinema to new heights, but he also isn't bringing it down. He's making money for the industry so he has value. None of the films listed on the prosecution case strike me as box office busts.
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9:39AM on 08/18/2014

GUILTY!

Trying to redeem Ghost Rider by saying it wasn't as bad as its sequel is like saying a bank robber is not as bad as a pedophile therefore he shouldn't go to prison. Nonsense!
Trying to redeem Ghost Rider by saying it wasn't as bad as its sequel is like saying a bank robber is not as bad as a pedophile therefore he shouldn't go to prison. Nonsense!
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9:16AM on 08/18/2014

Guilty!

Not a single movie he has made was any good. How is that a defense? Just because he made a directors cut that is better than a shitty sequel? The guy has no talent and no place in show business.
Not a single movie he has made was any good. How is that a defense? Just because he made a directors cut that is better than a shitty sequel? The guy has no talent and no place in show business.
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+1
9:16AM on 08/18/2014

Not Guilty

Daredevil is a pretty good movie, and Daredevil Director's Cut is actually a great movie. I liked Killing Season for what it was, and I hear that Simon Birch is a "pretty good" movie as well. Don't get me wrong, Johnson is not a great director, and he's definitely done some crap (Ghost Rider), but he's shown some flashes of "good", and for that I'm gonna say...not guilty.
Daredevil is a pretty good movie, and Daredevil Director's Cut is actually a great movie. I liked Killing Season for what it was, and I hear that Simon Birch is a "pretty good" movie as well. Don't get me wrong, Johnson is not a great director, and he's definitely done some crap (Ghost Rider), but he's shown some flashes of "good", and for that I'm gonna say...not guilty.
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8:57AM on 08/18/2014

Guilty

Guilty...i mean Ghost Rider...
Guilty...i mean Ghost Rider...
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8:48AM on 08/18/2014

Guilty

He wrote Jack Frost. Enough said.
He wrote Jack Frost. Enough said.
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+1
8:39AM on 08/18/2014

Guilty.

He ruined both Daredevil & Ghost Rider (even the director's cut of Daredevil is a bad movie). He ruined one awesome character, then was given the chance to redeem himself with another, and ruined it again. He did a poor job directing both movies, wrote bad scripts for both movies, and horrible miscast both leads.
He ruined both Daredevil & Ghost Rider (even the director's cut of Daredevil is a bad movie). He ruined one awesome character, then was given the chance to redeem himself with another, and ruined it again. He did a poor job directing both movies, wrote bad scripts for both movies, and horrible miscast both leads.
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+1
8:16AM on 08/18/2014

Guilty As Charged

Although I did like the directors cut of Daredevil, this guy needs to back to directing school.
Although I did like the directors cut of Daredevil, this guy needs to back to directing school.
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8:02AM on 08/18/2014

Not Guilty

Love Daredevil and have watched it countless times.

So it might be a lame excuse, but not guilty for me.
Love Daredevil and have watched it countless times.

So it might be a lame excuse, but not guilty for me.
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7:42AM on 08/18/2014
I hate to say it but he's guilty. He could have made both Daredevil and Ghost Rider to be something really special. However, credit is due for Daredevil's Director's Cut which was a huge improvement over theatrical version. I love both Grumpy Old Man and Grumpier Old Men. However, he's guilty.
I hate to say it but he's guilty. He could have made both Daredevil and Ghost Rider to be something really special. However, credit is due for Daredevil's Director's Cut which was a huge improvement over theatrical version. I love both Grumpy Old Man and Grumpier Old Men. However, he's guilty.
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7:27AM on 08/18/2014
Guilty.

Also,don't drop the soap.
Guilty.

Also,don't drop the soap.
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