C'mon Hollywood #146

... what’s with the recent movie titles?
by Sturdy

Do you think that a movie’s name has any type of impact on the movie’s success? In some cases, I think it has a minor impact, but THE GODFATHER 2 wouldn’t be any less of a movie if it had been called THE STORY OF DON CORLEONE AND HIS RISE TO POWER IN THE NEW YORK BASED ITALIAN MAFIA. However, THE GODFATHER 2 sums it up nicely and is a very easy title to say and remember. You don’t have to explain the film in the title, just give us a quick word or two that has something to do with the movie.

A great movie will be great no matter what you call it

It seems like movies lately have gone overboard with some of these long winded titles. ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD is the perfect example. It was a great film that didn’t get enough attention. I’m not saying it would have been a blockbuster had it been called JESSE JAMES, but I think it would have been at least a little easier to market. But even if long titles don’t have anything to do with a film’s success, they’re still annoying to say and type.

This was a great movie that not enough people saw.

Another bad trend in Hollywood is the naming of sequels. If you’re making a trilogy such as STAR WARS or LORD OF THE RINGS, then sure, you want to name each film after you give the name of the trilogy. But if you’re making a standalone sequel because the first happened to be moderately successful, just put a “2” after the original’s title. I mean, what does AVP: REQUIEM even mean? At least AVP had a sequel before implementing the title and subtitle format. IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE and others just jump right to it as if they’re expecting a sequel. This was a bit presumptuous on their part, especially since the movie tanked.

Long sequel names work when there’s supposed to be a sequel

What’s even worse is when sequels start out one way, and then change their format. Such is the case with the DIE HARD films. It’s bad enough that DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD are bad titles in their own right, but lest we forget that the second one was called DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER? Would it have been that difficult to put a “3” and a “4” after “Die Hard” and before the lame title? And where in the heck do I alphabetize LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD? If I put it in the “L’s” where it technically should go, it just won’t look right.

How exactly does one “die harder”?

I think some movie titles can pull off both a long title and lack of proper sequel numbering. Indiana Jones and James Bond are characters that have “sequels”, but since they’re not really connected and each is their own story, it works. And at least they’re consistent with the naming of the films. However, they make it impossible to order the films on my shelf in both alphabetical and sequential order. Or, maybe I’m just waaaaaayyyyy too anal about my movie collection. Yeah, I’m not going to rule that possibility out.

Anyway, the trend of long titles and bad sequel naming bugs me and I want Hollywood to call a movie what it is. We don’t need a whole sentence when naming a movie and we definitely don’t need cutesy sequel names. So c’mon Hollywood, keep the titles short and the sequels numbered! And 2008 doesn’t look too promising either, with the following films guilty of title brutality: HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CIRUS: BEST OF BOTH, HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANEMO BAY, MADAGASCAR: THE CRATE ESCAPE, THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, THE PIRATES WHO DON’T DO ANYTHING: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE. Ugggghhhh.

Tags: Hollywood



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