Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday Question: Movie Math

(note: this was originally posted not as a Friday Question but then I realized it was Friday and that it made a pretty good question. So some of the comments might be a bit out of context, like the one where Glenn Fleishman berates me.)

If you remove Minnie Driver from Good Will Hunting, a good movie becomes great. If you remove Minnie Driver from Grosse Pointe Blank, an uneven movie becomes very solid indeed. So then if you take the remaining Driverless parts of those two movies, you get a crazy fantastic movie that could take over the world. And you'd have a double Driver movie of such intense annoyance it would threaten the existence of goodness itself.

These are facts!

What kind of addition or subtraction or multiplication can you suggest to make a bad movie good or a good movie great? I encourage you not to just use this as a diatribe to rail against least favorite celebrities. Don't hate, additionate!



Glenn Fleishman said...

Okay, so Grosse Pointe Blank is essentially a Perfect Movie, so removing Minnie Driver is just insane. Why are you insane? Are you on the drugs?

But if you took Big Night and removed Minnie Driver, and then mashed together Big Night and GPB, I'd be fine with that.

srah said...

If you removed Andie MacDowell from every movie she's ever made, the world would become a happy and peaceful paradise without war or strife.

Scott Chicken said...

I've got to go with srah on this one. Andie is waaaaay worse than Minnie. At least Minnie can act.

If you took Andie out of 4 Weddings and a Funeral and replaced her with Elizabeth Berkeley's character from Showgirls, though, you'd have a way better film. And much closer to Hugh Grant's actual life.

kyano said...

Batman Begins - Katie Holmes = so much better.

They were right to replace her with Maggie Gyllhrdylenthal.

Lindsay Evelyn said...

Just this morning I was thinking about how much I hate Minnie Driver in "Return to Me," but if you took her out of that, you'd just have a very upsetting short about David Duchovney losing his wife in a car accident and then bowling with old people.

I think taking Helen Hunt out of "As Good As It Gets" would greatly improve the quality of that movie. Although it's sad that every movie we think of, we're taking a woman out.

Glenn Fleishman said...

"Although it's sad that every movie we think of, we're taking a woman out.": True. Although, these are all women who give Performances -- they all have a kind of shtick and facial expression they repeat in every film. Think about Meg Ryan. There's the 10 Meg Ryan expressions you will see in every movie.

Men, on the other hand, are mostly present by their absence. So sometimes you think, this movie would be great if John Cusack were in it. And he's in the movie.

Helen Hunt should also be removed from Cast Away.

john said...

Well, all movies would be improved by Joan Cusack. I think a lot of movies are written by men, due to old fashioned sexism in society. So they write parts they understand but then feel compelled to toss in a love interest or are asked to toss in a love interest. But it's still tossed in. Male character tend to fare better in screenplays written by women, proving women are probably better screenwriters. Or at least the ones who are so good that they overcome the sexism tend to produce good screenplays.

Scott Chicken said...

I'll throw in another to even out the sexism: Virtually any movie will be better if you remove Rob Schneider. You don't even have to remove his lines, just him. Replace him with a small fern or possibly a Koala bear with CGI-animated lips saying "You can do it!!!!".

You could also pull Richard Lewis out of his films and they would be better. Unless there's one where he and Rob Schneider are both beaten to death with a baseball bat during the opening credits...

bonnie said...

Gangs of New York minus Leonardo di Caprio plus 25% extra bonus Daniel Day Lewis equals there, now THAT's ten bucks' worth of movie.

dup said...

Remove Michael Douglas from Wonder Boys and add Jeff Bridges and I think maybe a decent movie can be made. Again, you run into a Katie Holmes problem.

I haven't seen Good Will Hunting since it came out but I vividly remember hating every scene that Minnie was in. I was much more tolerant of her in The Riches which is weird because she's doing the craziest accent.

Paige said...

I heart math! Thanks, Professor Moe, for the awesomest homework assignment ever!

"Horton Hears A Who" - the last ten minutes of the movie = "Shrek" - all the music in the movie = bearable.

If "Bull Durham" = Kevin Costner + Susan Sarandon + Tim Robbins = A, where A is a very large, positive, whole number, then "Bull Durham" - Kevin Costner + Susan Sarandon + 2(Tim Robbins) = A to the tenth power.

"Iron Man" - special effects = Robert Downey Jr. Therefore, "Iron Man" - special effects - Robert Downey Jr. = 0

Oh-- and yeah--
Andie MacDowell = -7,000,000 in any equation. That's a given at the beginning of any problem.

nancymcjensen said...

Ocean's Eleven - Otherwise a perfect film, but man Julia Roberts is miscast. Sub her out for someone you actually believe could curate an art gallery and offers some sexual counterpoint to George Clooney and OMG Andy Garcia. Say Julianne Moore?

Tina Rowley said...

If you take The Piano and remove the tinkly New Age Wyndham Hill score and replace it with one that isn't totally oh my god so anachronistic it makes me want to scream, then you will have a very fine movie, indeed.

Take Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and remove the choice Jennifer Jason Leigh made to model her character's voice on a tape of Dorothy Parker when she was in her 70's and drunk, Mr. BENCH-LAAAAY RRARRGLE RRRARGL GRAAAHHHH. Just do that and then we'll see.

Add Christopher Walken to any movie with a monologue like the one he did in Pulp Fiction about the watch. Put something like that in, like, Maid in Manhattan or Rumor Has It and suddenly everyone's awake again.