What really scratches my strawberries these days is that Hollywood keeps getting rewarded for making absolute pig-poop, as evidenced by the fact that "Ouija" and "Tonka Trucks" have been greenlit after the rousing success of "Battleship". Oh wait, "Battleship" was a flop? Who could imagine that Rihanna as a tough talking Navy grunt and that prettyboy from "Friday Night Lights" wouldn't be box office gold??? Who, that is, besides even a slow-witted chimp?
Some writers think even weak premises can lead to good movies if lightning strikes just right (like discovering that Bruce Willis could be a winning action star or that Johnny Depp can carry a pirate movie). That may be--something as simple as "bar owner has to endure seeing his ex with a sensitive Euro-trash, gets drunk with his piano player" turned into "Casablanca", and "rich guy dies the way he lived--fabulously!" became "Citizen Kane". But that just goes to prove that it's all in the "how."
So let me propose winning ideas for the next few board games:
1) Hungry Hungry Hippos. Sargeant John Havoc leads an elite squad of Army Rangers into central Burundi to track and kill a dangerous warlord. Instead they land in the midst of a swamp surrounded by--you guessed it!--underfed hippos with a taste for American cuisine! It's the ultimate Man vs. Nature!
2) Stratego. Sir James McVie is a British aristocrat, out to prove his manhood and uphold his family name. Corporal Rufus Malogg is a grizzled Army officer busted down in rank for doing things "his way." Together they have to find out how to defeat the French army and save the world from Napoleonic domination. However, due to some hallucinogenic drugs they accidentally took before the battle, every man they capture may be a simple soldier, a devious spy, a general, or--worse yet--a cartoonish bomb! Hijinks ensue in this comedy-drama.
3) Slinky, the Movie. Mankind has fought beasts, aliens, and each other--but mankind was not prepared for its worst foe ever--staircases. In a world where---okay, this premise is really too stupid.
4) Stretch Armstrong. Melvin Armstrong is a plucky Chicago cop who always gets his man. This time, he is on the trail of the Torture Rack Killer. Unfortunately, he is outwitted by his own prey when he falls into a trap, and then the real torture begins when the Killer puts Armstrong on the rack . . . stretching his arms and legs as far as they can go. Will Armstrong survive the incredible stretching that his body is put through, or will he rip apart and have all that weird plastic goo come spilling out of him?
5) Go-Bots, the Movie. Watch as Michael Bay sues the hell out of the makers of Go-Bots the Movie for ripping off his Transformers franchise! A legal drama up there with "And Justice for All" or "The Verdict."