During the 1990’s Tim Burton helped to revitalise the Batman series. He created two live action movies that had a dark and gothic tone. Unfortunately soon afterwards, a new director took the helm and changed the tone to a more childish and campy one.
This is the main failure of Batman and Robin. Director Joel Schumacher revised the look of Gotham city. Instead of foreboding architecture there was a high level of neon and distracting sculptures of the human form. The new costumes were also negatively criticised by viewers.
This tonal shift can also be seen in the way that the characters interact with each other. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the villain Mr Freeze. Throughout the film he talks to Batman and Robin through ice themed puns. This lessens his intimidating effect even as he kills innocent people.
There was also a backlash due to the change in audience appeal. The makers were clearly aiming this movie at younger viewers. Because of this much of the more disturbing elements of the series were toned down. It has been speculated that this was in order to market Batman themed toys.
The 1986 sci fi action film Highlander was an unexpected hit when it was released. It centres on a man who discovers he is immortal and must battle others of his kind in order to win a cosmic prize. It ends in a satisfying way with the hero triumphing over evil.
It was unnecessary for a sequel to be made. Despite this, Highlander 2 hit theatres in 1991. The story was seen as a betrayal of what made the original popular. It introduces aliens to the Highlander universe, a decision that added to the movies angry reception.
The key lesson to learn from Highlander 2 is to know when to end a story. Not every successful film needs to have a sequel made. This lesson is further emphasised by the fact that it is often called the worst sequel produced in the history of Hollywood.
Highlander 2 also shows us that the second movie in a franchise needs to continue the things that made the first one popular. If it veers into completely different territory then this can alienate potential fans. This can kill a film series before it has a chance to begin.
If made correctly, Troll 2 could have been a fairly standard low budget horror film. Instead it is a notoriously terrible one. The main reason for this is very specific. Troll 2 was a consequence of several communication breakdowns between the cast and those behind the camera.
The director and rest of the crew were all native Italians. They spoke to each other in the Italian language. However, the film was being made with English speaking actors. This meant that the cast were often left confused while being instructed on set. They were unsure of how to perform and as a consequence did a poor job at representing the characters.
This language issue also severely affected the script. It was written by someone who spoke Italian as their first tongue. The various nuances of this language were lost in translation. This also made the dialogue seem stilted, strange and at times incomprehensible.
The issues around the making of Troll 2 are very unique. For all intents and purposes the film is made by professionals. They were specifically brought into the US due to their technical skills. This can be seen in the formal aspects of the film. The sound and camera work are performed to a proficient degree.
Troll 2 shows us that language is an important part of the film making process. Communication is an essential part of production. If the cast are not given the right instructions they can have difficulty bringing their characters to life. Up and coming film directors should take heed of this lesson and make sure that they do not make the same mistakes in their own work.
Manos: The Hands Of Fate is a strange film from the 1960’s that was created by someone who had no idea how movies work. It was lost for decades but has since been rediscovered. It has gained an audience due to the fact that it is “so bad it’s good”.
It begins with an overly long sequence establishing the setting for the story. This could have been done with a few short shots. Instead it takes up a significant amount of screen time. The effect that this has is to make the viewer bored.
The main source of tension is a character called Torgo who invites a family into a dangerous house. Unfortunately, Torgo is not presented in a scary way. Instead the costume, characterisation and cinematography make him seem ridiculous to the point of being comical.
This film shows us that in order to create a motion picture the people behind it need to have an understanding of form. This can be done by studying what makes the best movies work. Manos: The Hands Of Fate is a prime example of amateurs doing a poor job.