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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Simon West!

04.06.2015

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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

The Expendables 2 Simon West

The Case

The Prosecution: Wild Card, Stolen, When a Stranger Calls, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The General's Daughter

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Simon West has only directed eight feature films, but the prosecution feels he's been around long enough to be considered for Movie Jail. Mr. West's movies have never received glowing reviews from critics, with 2012's The Expendables 2 being his only fresh rated film at Rotten Tomatoes, and his most recent project Wild Card is sitting at 28%.

Mr. West is also responsible for the negatively reviewed video game adaptation Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the lame John Travolta-led crime flick The General's Daughter and that shitty When a Stranger Calls remake from 2006. While those films at least performed well at the box office, the director's Taken rip-off Stolen was a critical and financial failure.

Look, the prosecution loves Con Air as much as the next guy, but Mr. West has a very weak filmography, filled with low rated movies. Mr. West has a film based on Duncan Falconer's John Stratton book series in the works, as well as a remake of The Blob, and many people have said they would rather see someone else behind the camera for those upcoming projects.

If Michael Bay, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen and McG belong in prison, then so does Mr. West, and the prosecution believes the jury will agree that the director needs to spend significant time behind bars.

Simon West

The Defense: Wild Card, The Expendables 2, The Mechanic, Con Air

Ladies and gentlemen, although there's no denying that my client has helmed several mediocre (at best) movies, the defense believes Mr. West has actually improved as a director.

Mr. West directed the best installment (in the defense's opinion) in The Expendables series with the first sequel, and while his latest effort Wild Card didn't score rave reviews from most critics, there are some who enjoyed the film. JoBlo.com's very own Chris Bumbray gave it a 7, and the defense agrees that it's a pretty solid movie. Like Wild Card, The Mechanic isn't a particularly memorable flick, but it's still a decent action thriller.

Mr. West is kind of a journeyman, point-and-shoot director, and there's nothing wrong with that. If a studio needs a fairly reliable director who can handle action heavy scenes, they give my client a call. The defense does wish Mr. West would stay away from remakes (if The Blob moves forward it will be his fourth) and perhaps he's a little guilty, however overall we don't believe his movies have been so awful we need to lock him up.

The Mechanic Simon West

IN CLOSING...

What should we do with the Con Air and The Mechanic director? Is Mr. West a bad filmmaker who deserves to go to Movie Jail, or just a very average one? Is Simon West 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?

The Expendables 2 Simon West

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

David Goyer

David Goyer was found GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, with most of the jury saying they haven't been impressed by his solo work, and many also said they didn't care for his Man of Steel script. While Mr. Goyer did help pave the way for comic book movies by writing the screenplay for the first Blade, his subpar CBMs (Blade: Trinity, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) and directorial efforts are what landed him in jail.

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

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

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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1:25AM on 04/07/2015

Not guilty

Guy stated on a hot streak with Con Air, The General's Daughter & even Tomb Raider. Seriously this column is becoming a parody of itself. No shock virgin fanboys would put Goyer in jail also.
Guy stated on a hot streak with Con Air, The General's Daughter & even Tomb Raider. Seriously this column is becoming a parody of itself. No shock virgin fanboys would put Goyer in jail also.
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1:09PM on 04/07/2015
"Guy stated on a hot streak with Con Air, The General's Daughter & even Tomb Raider"
For the love of god please tell me that sentence was an ironic joke!?! (or that you're talking about a streak of steaming hot diarrhea)
"Guy stated on a hot streak with Con Air, The General's Daughter & even Tomb Raider"
For the love of god please tell me that sentence was an ironic joke!?! (or that you're talking about a streak of steaming hot diarrhea)
2:53PM on 04/07/2015
Like others have said he is now a B-movie director, he really isn't relevant enough or made an impact in about a decade, so there was no need to put him on trial.
Like others have said he is now a B-movie director, he really isn't relevant enough or made an impact in about a decade, so there was no need to put him on trial.
8:15PM on 04/06/2015

Guilty

Put him away
Put him away
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8:15PM on 04/06/2015

Not Guilty

Not Guilty
Not Guilty
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5:56PM on 04/06/2015

Not Guilty

The Prosecution is very weak. The General's Daughter is also not a bad movie. It is very good.
The Prosecution is very weak. The General's Daughter is also not a bad movie. It is very good.
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1:15PM on 04/07/2015
You can't be serious?!?! (this goes for all the folks in here who seem to think the General's Daughter was actually good, not just you) I understand it if you're young. I was seventeen when it was originally released and at the time I thought it was alright. But in the years since I came to realize my own young folly. I somehow suspect you and all the other people claiming the same thing either never rewatched it since then or are still too young to see how bad it actually is.
You can't be serious?!?! (this goes for all the folks in here who seem to think the General's Daughter was actually good, not just you) I understand it if you're young. I was seventeen when it was originally released and at the time I thought it was alright. But in the years since I came to realize my own young folly. I somehow suspect you and all the other people claiming the same thing either never rewatched it since then or are still too young to see how bad it actually is.
2:04PM on 04/06/2015
Not guilty. Expendables 2 was the best film in the trilogy. Also, The General's Daughter was a damn good film.
Not guilty. Expendables 2 was the best film in the trilogy. Also, The General's Daughter was a damn good film.
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+1
1:58PM on 04/06/2015

Not Guilty

Simom West has done some crap, but I think his good movies far outweigh his bad ones. I really love Expendables 2, The Mechanic, and Con Air. Not Guilty!
Simom West has done some crap, but I think his good movies far outweigh his bad ones. I really love Expendables 2, The Mechanic, and Con Air. Not Guilty!
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1:39PM on 04/06/2015
Wild Card is the boredom of the year, not even Statham can save it! and for me EX2 is the worst of the series. He was good in his early years (CON AIR, GENERAL'S) but now he is GUILTY !!
Wild Card is the boredom of the year, not even Statham can save it! and for me EX2 is the worst of the series. He was good in his early years (CON AIR, GENERAL'S) but now he is GUILTY !!
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1:13PM on 04/06/2015
The General's Daughter does NOT belong in the prosecution. It's one damn entertaining flick. That being said, he is still guilty.
The General's Daughter does NOT belong in the prosecution. It's one damn entertaining flick. That being said, he is still guilty.
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10:46AM on 04/06/2015
Not guilty. True, the movies in the prosecution may not be good but they're entertaining enough, especially The General's Daughter.
Not guilty. True, the movies in the prosecution may not be good but they're entertaining enough, especially The General's Daughter.
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10:28AM on 04/06/2015

Guilty as charged

I don't think he's ever made a good movie. I like Con Air, just like most people commenting here. But I'm not blind either. The only reason I love Con Air is because I loved it as a (90's) kid and it has the nostalgia factor now. But apart from the nostalgia, when I watch it now I fully realize it's a bad movie. Most people that watch it for the first time now, tend to not like it. And that was without doubt his best movie to date. So straight to movie jail if you ask me.
I don't think he's ever made a good movie. I like Con Air, just like most people commenting here. But I'm not blind either. The only reason I love Con Air is because I loved it as a (90's) kid and it has the nostalgia factor now. But apart from the nostalgia, when I watch it now I fully realize it's a bad movie. Most people that watch it for the first time now, tend to not like it. And that was without doubt his best movie to date. So straight to movie jail if you ask me.
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-4
10:16AM on 04/06/2015

Career average: 4/10.

If he was just another hack for hire, maybe I'd go easy on him. After all, STOLEN was bad but forgettable and THE EXPENDABLES 2 was a sequel, so he was obliged to match the style and tone of the 1st one. Not to mention that I liked THE MECHANIC. But then there's WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. The script did have certain improvements over the 1st one, but directing-wise... You know how THE CORE is shown in universities to teach students what science is NOT? That movie should be shown in film schools to
If he was just another hack for hire, maybe I'd go easy on him. After all, STOLEN was bad but forgettable and THE EXPENDABLES 2 was a sequel, so he was obliged to match the style and tone of the 1st one. Not to mention that I liked THE MECHANIC. But then there's WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. The script did have certain improvements over the 1st one, but directing-wise... You know how THE CORE is shown in universities to teach students what science is NOT? That movie should be shown in film schools to teach students how NOT to direct horror. The girl walks around the house slowly, there seems to be someone or something dangerous, the score gets louder and then it turns out to be nothing. A lot of horror movies follow that formula, but this movie does that in nearly every scene. And now he's going back to the genre with a remake of THE BLOB? He's Guilty.

For those who want to defend them, you might want to use BLACK HAWK DOWN (he executive-produced it) as Defense too. I won't, because I didn't like that movie.
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9:34AM on 04/06/2015
Let's be honest. At his absolute best, Simon West is only capable of fun and stupid. See also: Rob Cohen, Michael Bay, Renny Harlin, Stephen Sommers, et al.
Let's be honest. At his absolute best, Simon West is only capable of fun and stupid. See also: Rob Cohen, Michael Bay, Renny Harlin, Stephen Sommers, et al.
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9:30AM on 04/06/2015
Not guilty. The man made Con Air, you're arguement is invalid
Not guilty. The man made Con Air, you're arguement is invalid
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9:27AM on 04/06/2015

Next week - Uwe Boll!

Think this feature is nearing the end of its usefulness if we're getting to little directors like Simon West.
Think this feature is nearing the end of its usefulness if we're getting to little directors like Simon West.
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10:16AM on 04/06/2015
You know something, I'd actually defend Uwe Boll. I used to think he was the worst director too, but I had never actually seen any of his films. But in the last couple of months I've started watching them and I have to say even though they are stupid most of the time, his movies are always entertaining and hardly ever dull. Also since he stopped making video game movies he's actually become a better filmmaker (and a very unapolegetic one. You see everything in his movies!) and made a couple of
You know something, I'd actually defend Uwe Boll. I used to think he was the worst director too, but I had never actually seen any of his films. But in the last couple of months I've started watching them and I have to say even though they are stupid most of the time, his movies are always entertaining and hardly ever dull. Also since he stopped making video game movies he's actually become a better filmmaker (and a very unapolegetic one. You see everything in his movies!) and made a couple of movies that are genuinely decent (like Darfur) and even one pretty damn good one (Rampage). So as weird as this may sound, I think Uwe Boll has an unfair reputation, based on his early (terrible, yet entertaining) video game movies.
10:20AM on 04/06/2015
Latex Zebra: The problem with Boll is similar to what Baronweazle said: None of his recent movies have been seen my many people. It would be pointless to arrest him now.
Latex Zebra: The problem with Boll is similar to what Baronweazle said: None of his recent movies have been seen my many people. It would be pointless to arrest him now.
1:16PM on 04/06/2015
Calling Uwe Boll a good director is like saying Tommy Wiseau is an excellent actor
Calling Uwe Boll a good director is like saying Tommy Wiseau is an excellent actor
8:54PM on 04/06/2015
"Calling Uwe Boll a good director is like saying Tommy Wiseau is an excellent actor"
Or an excellent director, writer and producer.
"Calling Uwe Boll a good director is like saying Tommy Wiseau is an excellent actor"
Or an excellent director, writer and producer.
7:44AM on 04/07/2015
Tommy Wiseau "I am America"
Tommy Wiseau "I am America"
1:23PM on 04/07/2015
I never called him good (although he has made one good movie at least) but he's definitely not as bad as people claim him to be. And I am very interested to hear what Boll movies you guys have actually seen?
Because like I said in my original reply I have the feeling most people just assume he's the worst, because that's his reputation, not because it's their own opinion based on films they've seen. I understand because I used to be like that myself. But I can honestly say that every
I never called him good (although he has made one good movie at least) but he's definitely not as bad as people claim him to be. And I am very interested to hear what Boll movies you guys have actually seen?
Because like I said in my original reply I have the feeling most people just assume he's the worst, because that's his reputation, not because it's their own opinion based on films they've seen. I understand because I used to be like that myself. But I can honestly say that every opinion(as blunt as they can be sometimes) about an actor/director etc. I've stated on these message boards for the last couple of months are all purely my own based on the movies of that person that I have seen.
9:19AM on 04/06/2015

NOT GUILTY

It's not like he's stinking up theaters with big, bad mainstream flicks. He's a B-movie director. Some of his movies are good, some are bad. He's not hurting anyone.
It's not like he's stinking up theaters with big, bad mainstream flicks. He's a B-movie director. Some of his movies are good, some are bad. He's not hurting anyone.
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8:14AM on 04/06/2015

Not Guilty

He's a plug director... I doubt he makes any of those movies any worse by his talent.
Also, Expendables 2 was horrible
He's a plug director... I doubt he makes any of those movies any worse by his talent.
Also, Expendables 2 was horrible
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7:47AM on 04/06/2015

Not Guilty...

The man directed Con Air, he has immunity. He also directed Angelina Jolie in a hot shower scene so he's also my hero.
The man directed Con Air, he has immunity. He also directed Angelina Jolie in a hot shower scene so he's also my hero.
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