Ideas This Bad Can't Wait

« April 2008 »

Memo to Tom Cruise and Midway: YOU ARE DUMB.

As a webcolumnist of long standing, I reserve, maintain, and in many ways demand the right to come up with ideas, let them lie fallow for years on end, and then resurrect them for no good reason. And it's in that spirit that I'm resurrecting BAD IDEA FRIDAY, a compendium of bad ideas that will, when they reach fruition, torment us all. And I'm doing this even though it's not Friday, because I also reserve the right not to give a damn what day it is.

Making a creationist propaganda film: BAD IDEA. First, a shoehorned-in update on everyone's favorite atheist-communist-nazis-want-to-turn-our-children-into-monkeys-to-kill-God movie, "Expelled". Because in our capitalist society, monetary success equals validity, I thought you'd like to know that Ben Stein's attempt to drop Agent Orange on the forest of reason pulled in $3.2 million over the weekend.

Since nobody involved with the movie can run that math, allow me. That's just over $3,000 per screen. Now, the multiplexes around here showed it around four times on Sunday, so four Sunday, four Saturday, and because I'm feeling kind, two Friday showings means that each showing pulled in around $304. Assuming a very generous six-buck average ticket price, to account for church group discounts, that's fifty asses, literally and figuratively, in each theater.

Now, this next bit is a bit tricky. A vast percentage of those fifty people went into the movie believing in the literal word of Genesis. Let's say 40. A much smaller percentage went so they could make informed rebuttals. Let's say five. That means, in your community, approximately 5 people per theater showing Expelled may have come out dumber than when they went in. Of such numbers are revolutions totally not made. And you know the best part? Even with all the assumptions I made and numbers I pulled out of my ass, this column still has more scientific rigor than the entire Expelled movie.

And speaking of cultists and movies, hiring Ron Moore to write three sci-fi movies for Tom Cruise? AWFUL FUCKING IDEA.

Tom Cruise, the world's most famous Scientologist, has his own movie studio, the resurrected-in-name-only United Artists. And he wants to make a sci-fi trilogy. Now, it's not like we don't know what happens when Scientologists decide to dip their very clear wicks into the high holy nerdgenre. We've read Battlefield Earth. We've even read parts of Mission Earth. And, though those parts of our brains have mostly burned themselves out in protest, I'm pretty sure we've seen the Battlefield Earth movie.

And worse, they've got Ron Moore. "Battlestar Galactica"'s Ron Moore. Now, I like BSG about 70% as much as the next guy, but think about it. The original Battlestar Galactica was balls-deep in fringe religion to begin with - planets named after astrological signs, Von Daniken alien-visitation mysticism, and a dusting of Mormons In Space. And the new Galactica wastes scads of time on mystical visions, weird prophecies, and robot gods*. Put these two powerhouses together and the potential result should terrify us all.

And finally, Mortal Kombat Vs. D.C. Universe: BADIDEALITY.

The truly awful fighting game is, at this point, almost established as a video game tradition. From Shaq-Fu to Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi, to... Bad Ideas past.. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Midway is pairing up the bone-cracking, blood-spewing, viscera-eviscerating fighters from the Mortal Kombat games with the for-truth-fighting, child-friendly, fish-commanding, lasso-wielding, bat-shark-repellent-wielding superheroes from D.C. Comics.

I have to admit, the game will answer the kinds of deep-seated mythological questions we've all held deep within our secret hearts. Like what would happen if Darrius, the messianic resistance leader who is leading a rebellion against Orderrealm, got in a fight with Superman, the alien from Krypton who feeds off solar energy, can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes, and is virtually indestructible. Oh, wait, nobody wondered that.

On one hand, you have the Superfriends, who have never been in a good or entertaining fighting game. On the other hand, you have the Mortal Kombateers, who have, well, never been in a good fighting game. And since I suspect Time-Warner won't let we, the players, take off our hats and cut Green Lantern in half with them, I believe that takes "entertaining" off the table as well. So we've got no compelling story, no over-the-top ultraviolence, and no decent fighting mechanics. Unto every generation, as they say.

*A.K.A. Dyslexic Aibos