Monday, March 29, 2010

Scientology Movie Battlefield Earth gets Suckiest Movie Ever Award

How do you make the suckiest movie in the world? Why, by mixing committees and religion, of course! Take the screenwriter's masterpiece, let a bunch of religious executives chop out key scenes, add irrelevant subplots, change characters and design stupid sets.

That makes a bad movie. But to really make it the worst movie of the decade, use Scientologists, who are gullible and irrational to begin with, then throw in John Travolta, their famous mouthpiece (and a good actor), and let him suck in the big Hollywood money so that you can REALLY screw up.

This year the Razzi for the "Worst Movie of the Decade" went to J.D. Shapiro, author of Battlefield Earth, the mega-blockbuster based on the novel by Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard. Not one to duck, Shapiro accepted the award in person, and his speech is a real hoot.

Just to put it in perspective, this is the same guy who wrote Robin Hood: Men in Tights, one of my all-time favorite comedies. It's a total masterpiece. Contrast that with Battlefield Earth: to call it a flop barely scratches the surface of its failure. It tanked so badly you'd have to swim to the bottom of the ocean to find it.

There may be a lesson in here somewhere ... like if you want to blow a couple hundred million bucks, just take a bunch of people capable of believing utter nonsense (that would be Scientology) and then give them creative control (as a committee) over something they know nothing about (screenwriting and science). To seal the deal, give them permission to ignore the expert (the screenwriter), just like they ignore all other experts (psychologists and scientists) who say their religion is utter bullpucky. That should dispose of your money quite nicely.

To Shapiro's credit, he refused to make the changes they wanted and was fired. He wanted to take his name off the movie, but there was a lot of money involved. So he stayed on as screenwriter, took the money, and now enjoys lampooning his own movie with good grace and humor.

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Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

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