Toys, candy, and board games? Whoop-doo!
In the last few weeks, a ludicrous number of generic sounding movies have been greenlit on the backs of well-known toy store properties. Battleship, Bazooka Joe, and Barbie are just some of the many weird, bland, go-nowhere flicks that have been announced for production. Soon, we'll be inundated with these lame brained franchises, and it's all because of the box office success won by Transformers and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In this new age of socioeconomic depression, a filmmaker has to arrive in his pitch meeting with some sort of name recognition. Otherwise his epic masterwork will forever languish in the recesses of his brain like a trapped prisoner.
It won't be too long before high-minded folks figure this out, and start using household items to sell their unique and interesting art house flicks or high concept action comedies. There's a wealth of interesting toys, board games, candy bars, and appliances out there ripe for the pillaging. That's why I present to you the next wave of Branded Franchises. What will our Cineplex look like in 2013? Here are the top five at the box office:
Rosie the Riveter: Reuniting with some of her Whip It! co-stars, Drew Barrymore will direct this ode to staunch feminism starring Ellen Page, Kristin Wiig, and Taraji P. Henson. During World War II, Rosie became an American icon, representing the women that worked in War factories producing munitions and other iron materials while their men were out fighting for our country. This factual action drama will find Page playing Rosie Monroe, a young woman who, against her parents' wishes, takes a job in an Aircraft factory after her beloved boyfriend Jimmy is shipped off to the South Pacific. There, she helps build B-29 and B-24 bombers. When her small town of Ypsilanti, Michigan is overthrown by a band of Japanese insurgents the day after Pearl Harbor, Rosie must work in thwarting the hostile takeover. Joining her crusade will be "Wendy the Welder" (Kristin Wiig) and "Josephine the Plumber" (Taraji P. Henson). Its one adventure you won't want to miss.
The Hoveround Gang: A team of senior citizens will use their Murder, She Wrote and Matlock sleuthing skills to uncover a deadly conspiracy happening in their old folks home. Rob Schneider directs this octogenarian comedy, which follows four new best friends who form an exclusive "Hoveround" (the electric wheelchair) club to pass the time and create a hierarchy at their Heaven's Half-Acre residency. When one orderly goes missing, and another is found dead in the parking lot, Matey (Burt Reynolds), Liam (James Cromwell), Davis (Harry Dean Stanton), and Shipley (Creed Bratton) decide its up to them to solve this mystery before they befall a similar fate. Schneider will play the only male nurse that believes something shady is going on. In his infinite wisdom, he decides to help these seemingly crazy old coots on their mission. It's a wacky action comedy that will definitely work in the "Hoveround" theme song at some point during its run time. Rumor has it that Jay-Z will be doing a rap rendition of the humable ditty.
Hangman: Based on the old Milton Bradley board game which utilized the presence of Vincent Price to sell its product, this new big screen version will find Bill Hader impersonating the late horror icon in an Old West comedic take on the Saw franchise. Jonathan "The Hangman" Hangston the Third (Hader) is a Wilhelm City Sheriff with a very weird method of punishing his captors. When someone does wrong in his town, the sheriff sets up an unusual game of play that could see the wrongdoer living or dying. Mad with power and seemingly unstoppable, Hangston starts capturing and torturing innocent locals. When his sister (Christina Ricci) becomes worried that she may be next on his list, the woman enlists a nearby bounty hunter named Clifton Stranger (Damon Wayans Jr.) to take him down. Soon, a new game is set, and to escape the city of Wilhelm with their life in tact, Stranger and Jill Mary Hangston must solve the biggest "Hangman" puzzle of all time.
Bop-It: Based on the once discontinued (but now back in stores) game of insanity, Hasbro's Bop-It gets a big screen adaptation directed by District 9's Neil Blomkamp. In this sci-fi horror comedy aimed at teens, a mysterious gadget is found in the woods, and it seems to have rather peculiar qualities. Once you pick it up, you must follow its instructions exactly, or you will be blown into a million bloody chunks. It is found by two teenagers, one of which doesn't make it past the first stage before being turned into a gooey heap of flesh against a tree. In a race to save his life, Jordan Flailgale (Angus T. Jones) must comply with each rule. There is a catch, though. The device can be given to another individual if the Bop-It demands a "fast pass". This would be great if the horrible toy didn't keep winding up back in Flailgale's hands. Sharlto Copley plays a scientist named Nate Sylvain who discovers the device may be of extraterrestrial origins. And that it could be the toy of a missing juvenile alien that has rigged the contraption to torment and destroy humans.
Trouble: In this college road trip comedy based on the popular Trouble Bubble popping board game from Milton Bradley, a billionaire board game heir (Owen Wilson) sets out a yearly summer challenge that finds four broke college students competing to win their senior year tuition. Hand-picked by Milton Jr. himself, these four individuals are down and out, looking to make good on the promises they made to themselves long ago. There's Jerry (Jay Baruchel), an wannabe doctor that has lost his tuition on gambling. If he doesn't make it back, his Dad is going to have him arrested. Robyne (Christina Milian) is n aspiring art student looking for new experiences. For the past three years she has struggled to collect the cash it takes to stay in school through some quite nefarious methods. This may be her only hope to graduate. Dirk Terrell (Angus T. Jones) is a small town child prodigy who has lost his City grant for Tuition. Joining him on this cross country journey is his lonely yet horny dad Kirk Terrell (Jeffrey Ross). Last, and certainly least, is the loafing buffoon Jeremy Miller (Drake Bell) who's afraid that his free ride at college might be coming to an end, and he hasn't even asked out the most beautiful girl in school, Wryder Dawn (Taylor Momsen), yet. Each student is given a color-coded car (red, yellow, blue, and green) and must perform tasks as set out by Milton Jr. (which he decides on using his own special popping trouble bubble). The goal is to be the first one back to Vanderbilt College from Los Angeles California. In their quest to be first, it is manditory that they eliminate each other in the process. Friendships will be made, relationships will blossom, and this will be one trouble bubble popping summer these aspiring young adults will never forget.
These are just five of the awesome new Name Branded franchises set to hit our theaters in the next couple of years. As we hear-tell of more, we will make sure to alert you. It all depends on how trustworthy our time traveling Coleman beer cooler continues to be. Eat food! Kill Grandma! Whoop-doo!