In a recent opinion piece, a movie critic raised the question, "How has Universal studios managed to turn a child's game (Battleship) into a major motion picture. What's next - Yahtzee?"
While the critic's question may have been tongue-in-cheek, research shows that he wasn't far off. Due to the lack of originality in Tinsel Town, studios are scrambling to buy the rights to numerous board and family games in an effort to keep production costs to a minimum. Some of the films however, will have nothing to do with the actual game itself, while others will. The idea behind the latter is based on the idea that name recognition will translate into box office success. Here is a list of the films scheduled for production within the next two years:
DOMINOES-Tagline: When black and white fail to get along, we all fall down.
The movie is based on the youth of President Barack Obama (Jayden Smith). Young Michelle (who didn't even know Barack as a kid) will be played by Raven Symone. The plot centers on the idea that as a kid, Obama set out to become President with the sole intention of debilitating the U.S. economy and setting it up for a Kenyan military takeover. Preposterous, yes, but what else can you expect from Oliver Stone?
TIDDLEDY-WINKS (starring Halle Berry)-tagline: Whether she's winking or showing off her 'tiddledies,' The black Mata Hari is too hot to say 'No' to.
The plot centers on the preposterous notion that an alluring exotic dancer can just sashay into the White House and seduce the President, stealing the nuclear codes so that Russia can block them and then attack the U.S. Vladimir Putin: Ed Harris. Then again, a chunky intern seduced a real life President and got him to…well, you get the point. Whoever greenlighted this hopes you do.
SORRY! Tagline: What's the use of going home when you're sorry?
A loser (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) who is not only a failed writer and garbage man, but is dumped by his schoolteacher wife for one of her teenage students, returns home after a ten-year absence. Once he moves back into his old room, he must deal with the taunts and cuffs upside the head from his alcoholic father (James Earl Jones). Some have called this "Affliction in black face."
MARBLES Tagline: You will lose your marbles over Marbles!
Well, it's official: Michael Moore is completely out of ideas. This documentary on "the rotted underbelly of marbles rings" sounds like a bunch of made-up stuff, including what appears to be a faked playground shootout between marbles competitors.
STRATEGO Tag line: If only Vietnam had been so simple…
A muddled film that is essentially a lambasting of the Lyndon Johnson doctrine. Much of the script was ifted from Beetle Bailey comic books. The fact Tim Burton cast Carrot Top as LBJ either makes him a genius so deep he can't be understood, or he has completely lost touch with reality. With him it's hard to tell. Ladybird Johnson: Amy Poehler. McGeorge Bundy (Ed O'Neill).
MONOPOLY Tagline: Go straight to jail…all of you's! A gang film from Martin Scorcese. Two rival gangs-one from the wrong side of the tracks (The Meditteranean Avenue Mad Dogs), do battle with their nemeses the Boardwalk Brawlers in Atlantic City circa 1928. Mad Dogs leader (Keanu Reaves) delivers a stellar performance in his role of Mickey Palooza, who must maintain his tough guy persona while showing his softer side to the girl of his dreams (Jennifer Aniston) from his rival (Matt Damon). The girl is the daughter of the one cop (Danny Aiello) who can stop the two sides from "Engaging in a brawl that threatens to tear the city apart." And as hackneyed as that line is, its one of the movie's best! Even worse, Scorcese filmed this in black and white. Even worse than that, Reaves cannot speak with an Irish nor an Italian accent, and instead delivers his lines in a Scandinavian dialect!
CHUTES AND LADDERS Tagline: Upsy Daisy…then I'll chop off yer head!
After it closes, a group of teenagers are trapped in a theme park based on the board game Chutes 'n Ladders. Intending to find a place to get high, make out and have a jolly good time, the six teens soon find themselves being pursued by an ax-wielding, wisecracking killer named Rufus Savage (Vin Diesel).
S.C.R.A.B.B.L.E. (Secret Committee of Renegade American-Based Bombers and Leftist Extremists) Tagline: Home-grown terrorists spell trouble for U.S. unless one man can stop them!
That one man is Herc Laser (Bruce Willis) who infiltrates a group of terrorists in Idaho hell-bent on a government takeover. Gang Leader: Michael Madsen. Gun Moll: Drew Barrymore; President Cain: Samuel L. Jackson.
GO FISH Tagline: Got any threes?...Oh, man, are you gonna regret not having any threes.
Some have called this muddled piece of schlock The Deer Hunter meets Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, because the story has some tense and well-actes scenes, that are followed by a plot so stupid you wonder how it ever got made. Five camping buddies (Christopher Walken, Bill Nunn, Ray Romano, Chaz Palmenteiri and Kevin Spacey) become bored and angry when they realize Spacey's character has gone off and left their food and their girlie magazines behind. Not only that, but they are snowed in and their car just happens to get ripped apart by bears searching for food. Trapped, irritable and with only a deck of Old Maid cards to occupy their minds, the men begin snapping at one another as fear and hunger gets the best of them.
What's Next, card games? Children's songs? (NOTE: Universal is producing a film titled And Bingo Was His Name-O... Tagline: I 69
The story is about a gunslinger in the old west who would gun down a rival and then shout...yep, you guessed it.