The title of a film is not the be all and end all, but it’s pretty darn important. They can be good – Inglourious Basterds – or so bad they’re good – Revenge Of The Tomato Heads. Before you is a list of bad, uncreative and just darn lazy movie titles that belong to some great films and some not-so-great films.
John Carter FROM MARS is a metal sounding title. Subtracting ‘From Mars’ from the classic tale in a bid not to ostracise female viewers makes it sound about as exciting as the John Carter you went to highschool with. You know, he’s probably still living in your hometown working at the Foodworks checkout.
Step Up 2 The Streets
A title so hip it was almost 2 cool for skool. It was also bullshit.
The main character’s name is Justice. She writes poetry. The award for most literal title forever belongs to this film.
Studio Executive 1: So Denzel Washington plays a pilot.
Studio Executive 2: Yup.
Studio Executive 1: Who flies a plane.
Studio Executive 2: Yup.
Studio Executive 1: He literally takes flight . . . .
Studio Executive 2: Bingo!
Studio Executive 1: We shall call it – FLIGHT.
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
This video recreation of the film’s title from the Hollywood Babble On podcast says all that needs to be said.
And the most annoying film title of 2012 goes to V-slash-H-slash-S. The unnecessary use of grammar isn’t quite Step Up level, but it’s annoying enough to move everyone who has had to write out the title more than once into the ‘fuck this film’ camp.
Unlike Out Of Africa or From Russia With Love, Baz Luhrman decided to get rid of the unnecessary words and simply go with ‘AUSTRALIA’. Thankfully this didn’t start a trend of movies being named after the country they were set. Turkmenistan, Eritrea and Uzbekistan never did make their way to cinemas. Put simply, this was lazy titling. I mean, if the film was so Aussie that it needed to embody the country it was set, then ‘STRAYA’ would have been the way to go.
Here Comes The Boom
Remember that terrible scene in The Twilight Saga: New Moon where they discuss – in an Academy Award-worthy piece of dialogue – a new movie out called Face Punch. “Yeah, Face Punch. It’s like face pow pow pow punch pow pow pow.” Kevin James must have been watching because Here Comes The Boom is an almost equally stupid title (for an equally stupid movie, mind you).
The title has no reflection on the quality of the film. None. But Michael Clayton? Really? Bo-ring. Unfortunately Michael Clayton falls into the category of films where studio executives mistakenly think the male lead is interesting enough that they can name it after him. It’s like adapting Matthew Reilly’s series and calling it ‘Shane Schofield’ instead of ‘Scarecrow’. Dishonourable mentions include: Alex Cross and Jack Reacher.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Taking a leaf from the Step Up 2 The Streets naming book, Star Trek Into Darkness ain’t need no grammar. No, the Star Trek franchise is deemed so powerful with this title that they disregard the use of colons, instead making ‘Star Trek’ both a noun and a verb. The biggest question though is why they didn’t follow through after the poster and call it Star Trek Rises like you know they wanted to.
Maria Lewis - follow Maria on Twitter here: @moviemazz