Our Two Cents on Big Budget Productions

October 23rd, 2012 by Barak

Cloud Atlas is coming out this week – It’s an epic, stylized and world spanning movie that looks and sounds extremely ambitious. Maybe a bit too ambitious ($100 million budget, a tagline that says “everything is connected” and an even more pompous synopsis). We’ve listed 10 of the most overly ambitious movies/TV shows that probably needed to display a bit more modesty, as there possibly could have been a much better use for the money spent on their production:

10. The Golden Compass

Budget: $180 million

There’s so much going on in this movie and at such a fast pace, that there’s hardly time to appreciate the impressive special effects. Although there are a lot of events during the movie, none of them are really dramatic or engaging.

What could have been done with the money instead: 180 pandas could have been purchased from China and be at your disposal for a period of 10 years. Needless to say, if the pandas give birth during that period, the newborns belong to China.

9. Inception

Budget: $160 million

Inception was overrated and overbuzzed. It’s a dream within a dream within a dream, or is it a dream? I don’t care! The movie might be mind-bending, but it’s definitely not thought-provoking. It’s completely empty of substance.

What could have been done with the money instead: 53,333,333 starving children could have gotten a happy meal.

8. The Last Airbender

Budget: $150 million

A major contributor to M. Night Shyamalan‘s downfall, The Last Airbender suffers from awful acting, an insulting script, and a pace that makes the movie’s 103 minutes seem like an eternity.

What could have been done with the money instead: 15 million cashmere sweaters could have been purchased and given to homeless people who are freezing at night while they sleep in the cold.

7. Terra Nova

Budget: $44 million

The most obvious thing about Steven Spielberg‘s Terra Nova is that a lot of time and effort were put into creating convincing looking dinosaurs, but not nearly enough time was spent on the script. This is a show that redefines the term cardboard characters.

What could have been done with the money instead: 440 hospitals could have been built in Africa.

6. FlashForward

Budget: $44 million

The show had a promising and interesting premise, but really nothing else. While Lost didn’t make sense, but at least gave you the motivation to try and make sense of it all, in FlashForward you just stop caring after a few episodes.

What could have been done with the money instead: 146,666 Lavazza coffee machines could have been bought for homes and workplaces, which don’t own a machine of this sort, thus forcing their dwellers to drink plain coffee.

5. The Fountain

Budget: $35 million

The Fountain can be referred to as New Age mambo jumbo. This movie has no character development whatsoever, it tries to raise ideas about the meaning of life, but it only succeeds in raising ideas about the meaning of being bored.

What could have been done with the money instead: the money could have been used to finance a college education for 1,166 young men and women, who grew up in poor families.

4. The Tree of Life

Budget: $32 million

Once you have rejoiced at the sight of people after 10 minutes of looking at solar systems, you realize that you don’t really have much to be joyful about at all. What follows the solar systems is a simple and depressing story about a family with young children, who are suffering under the hand of their abusive father.

What could have been done with the money instead: 4 million tickets could have been purchased for people who deserve to see less pretentious and more coherent movies.

3. Touch

Budget: $30 million

The concept of a mute child (by choice?) doing the narration for the series is a bit weird. But the main problem of the show is that it doesn’t live up to its name – its pretentiousness doesn’t really allow it to be “touching”.

What could have been done with the money instead: 42,857 poor people, who are still using the iPhone 4s, could have gotten an iPhone 5.

2. 2001: Space Odyssey

Budget: $10.5 million

This odyssey is regarded as a masterpiece by many, but also as an incredibly boring and very (very!) slow movie by a chosen few. In Hans Christian Andersen’s short story “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” two weavers promise the Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” What I’m trying to say is that 2001: Space Odyssey is actually rubbish.

What could have been done with the money instead: The money could have been given to Bono, he knows best who’s really in need in this world.

1. It’s All About Love

Budget: $10 million

When you go to see a movie that’s titled It’s All About Love, you have certain expectations regarding what the movie is about – and in this case your expectations would probably be wrong. It’s an incoherent movie with an unclear message that makes you wonder why the hell they gave the movie its (unrelated) title and also why it was made in the first place.

What could have been done with the money instead: The money could have been divided between Jinni employees who have the same first name as important politicians.

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