Archive - Jul 22, 2005

Bad Idea Friday: Nostalgia Edition

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Bad ideas are like plastic moles. No matter how many you whack, they'll keep popping up in an endless cavalcade of pogorodentia. But that doesn't daunt us here at You Are Dumb Dot Net, where we periodically end the week by popping a Chuck E Cheese token into society and taking a verbal hammer to what jumps up. In short, BAD IDEA FRIDAY.

The entertainment industry is full of bad ideas. Like a Bad News Bears remake. No, not the Martin Lawrence one. No, not the Will Ferrell one. No, not the CGI pigeon one. The Billy Bob Thornton one that's actually called "The Bad News Bears". On the other hand, at least it's not THE SMURFS.

Yes, proving once again that nostalgia has crawled up its own ass, come out its own mouth, and is heading back towards its bunghole a second time because it enjoyed the trip so much, The Smurfs are coming back, as a 3D CGI-animated movie sometime in 2007. This, of course, is a BAD IDEA.

It's a bad idea because there's only two things you can do with a Smurfs movie in 2007. First, you can play it completely straight, for the kids, with the little blue hippies having an adventure and running from Gargamel. This is a bit of a problem because, well, from a dramatic standpoint, the Smurfs were complete shit. They were brilliant at "selling little blue French things to people with macrame plant hangers". but mythologically, the Smurfs were no Odysseus.

The other idea is even worse - "update" it for modern times. Make it all Shrecky, with poop jokes and knowing, ironic nods to the adults in the audience. The problem with THAT, of course, is that there are ONLY THREE IRONIC SMURF JOKES. Total. Allow me to enumerate them for you.

  1. Three hundred guys, one chick.
  2. Inappropriately-Named Smurf. Usually "Horny Smurf".
  3. "Smurf" instead of foul language, as in "I'm going to smurf you up the smurf."

It's old and tired. Not quite as old and tired as "Scooby and Shaggy smoke DEVIL WEED", but close. Ninety minutes of those three jokes and the audience will be shitting blue turds. There's a reason Robot Chicken only works as a fifteen minute show, folks.

Still, as eighties revivals go, the fine people trying to dig up Papa Smurf's moldering corpse ain't got nothing on Drew Barrymore.

Now, I don't hate Drew Barrymore. She had a tough life, crawled out of it, and you've got to respect her for that. But last year, when Drew was going around promoting her documentary on the meaning of democracy and encouraging young people to vote, I realized something important. She's not that bright.

Not her fault, of course. While the rest of us were in elementary school, learning our ABC's and long division, Drew Barrymore was drunk. While the rest of us were in middle school, learning about the structure and functioning of government, Drew Barrymore was drunk. While we were in high school, learning about Watergate and the sanitized versions of historical ugliness, Drew Barrymore was stoned. And while we were in college, drunk, Drew Barrymore was just starting to catch up.

She is intellectually suspect. Which is why her idea to do an ET sequel is an especially BAD IDEA. It's important to remember that the last time Drew Barrymore had an E.T.-related idea, it was "Let's change all the guns to walkie-talkies!" So now she wants to make a sequel.

According to reports, in the sequel, E.T.'s family would be facing extinction. Don't look at me. That's what they said. Maybe they meant "species", maybe they didn't mean "extinction", I don't fucking know. But we're already off to a bad start.

So E.T. returns to Barrymore's Gertie, all grown up now, for help. Apparently, E.T. was his species equivalent of a 40-year-old HeroClix collector. In the 25 years since he's visited Earth, he's made no new friends despite roaming the galaxy, and when he's facing certain doom, the only person he can think of to help him is someone he remembers as a constantly-screaming child. GENIUS.

And if the reports are true, why, exactly, does Drew want this movie to happen? Because "the world needs a feel-good movie right now, and she's prepared to work with Steven to make it happen."

The world doesn't need a feel-good movie. It needs fewer BAD IDEAS.