This Is It – The 5 Most Shocking Cash-Ins In Film History

October 29, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

this-is-it-headerFor fans, the untimely passing of Michael Jackson meant the title of his “final curtain call” show took on a whole new meaning.

And so it did for the corporate piggies at Sony. No longer could it mean fifty gigs in London or the return of the King of Pop™, but it could still be a great title for a film that gives us one last chance to see the man doing what made him famous, right?

On 28th October This Is It was released, promising a look back at the rehearsals and build-up to Jacko’s final gigs. There is more than a vague whiff of cashing in on a legacy here, but for many fans this will be irrelevant if the film reflects the legend and lives up to the standards of which we know he was capable.

Whether this is possible remains to be seen, but here at OTB we ask you to be wary. For every biopic that truly captures the essence of its subject matter there are hundreds of absolute shockers, and then there are some that are so poor they should never be forgotten…

I’m Not There (2007)

Inspired by the life and songs of musical icon Bob Dylan and boasting a multitude of talent in the cast, this film should be a classic – it isn’t.

The movie takes an abstract approach to his life, with six actors playing different parts of his character. From there it all gets a bit confused.

It’s hard to follow, largely because none of the stories relate to each other, and annoyingly, most of the film is dedicated to Cate Blanchett walking around muttering something vaguely philosophical, largely unintelligible and definitely not about Dylan.

Even with a great soundtrack the conceited nature of this film leaves us so frustrated that by the end you just want something, no matter how trivial, that’s actually about Bob Dylan.

Tyson (2008)

If you want to watch a film that looks like it was made on Windows Movie Maker, Tyson is the film for you.

There are scenes included which don’t seem to tie in with the rest of the film – what on Earth is he doing on a beach?- and shots which give the impression that they were included because the director was experimenting with his new fade-out option.

There are some great knockout montages and all the infamous quotes included, “I want to eat your children,” but this film packs all the punch of a one-armed featherweight.

The best way to watch Tyson is with the fast forward button close to hand so you can watch him knock the hell out of anyone put in front of him and then skip straight to the end.

Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990)

With more drama than an East-end soap opera family, one would think the Wilson brothers’ story is perfect for the movie treatment. Cue made-for-TV effort Summer Dreams.

But this film is a nothing but a comedy of errors.

There are mistakes in the biography, songs are introduced to the film in the wrong order and some events crucial to the Beach Boys’ story are totally overlooked – the rivalry with the Beatles being a key example.

As if this was not enough, there’s the rather annoying factor that Mike Love is the only character Summer Dreams gets bang on. Still, the soundtrack is quality and the film is worth watching just to see Brian (Greg Kean) wandering around all worried looking before snapping out of it and breaking into an absolute classic tune.

The Conqueror (1956)

The Conqueror is such a bad film that it could win awards for best comedy even today.

By inexplicably casting cowboy John Wayne as Mongol warrior Genghis Khan the feature is destined for infamy right from the off.

The actor has a comic inability to speak in an accent that’s anything other than his American drawl and when this is coupled with a script that would be better suited to a play by Shakespeare, Wayne is left looking very uncomfortable.

The film is also littered with some brilliant mistakes, the soundtrack is way over the top, and the acting is shocking. The Conqueror is the perfect blueprint for a parody of the Epic genre; this may not be what it was intended for, but it’s made all the more funny because of that.

Genghis Khan would be spinning in his grave.

The Aviator (2004)

From a bad film by Howard Hughes to a massively overrated one about him. For some reason The Aviator won five Oscars, but at nearly three hours in length the only acclaim it actually deserves is that it’s the biggest waste of time ever. It’s a long, drawn out affair and suffers some terrible overacting from Di Caprio and Blanchett.

The movie tries to paper over cracks – like a non-existent story line – by plowing in the money and so we get hours of pointless aeroplane footage, grandiose settings and, ultimately, a staggering $100 million plus budget.

For a film that revolves around planes, and such a long one at that, the most amazing feature of this film is that it never actually takes off.

Wayne Storr

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  1. joe says:

    This is perhaps the worst list I have ever seen based on anything. None of these films are cash grab films. Furthermore, I’m Not There obviously wasn’t made for people like you. You need to have an attention span of longer than 3 seconds to understand what’s going on. Then again, I shouldn’t except more than that from a guy who watches Tyson just for the knockouts.

  2. Joe Marni says:

    The Conqueror isn’t just a terrible film, it’s a tragic one – the film was shot either near or on the site where the US military conducted nuclear weapons testing. Many cast members developed cancer in later life (including John Wayne) at a much higher rate than average. All for a really terrible film.

  3. Boodie says:

    I think you have mis-interpreted exactly what a cash-in movie means, This Is It probably ranks as a cash in movie, but by all accounts and reviewed by people I trust it is a rather spectacular tribute to the genius of Michael Jackson.

    I’m not sure how you have decided that The Conquerer was a cash in movie, cashing in on what? Was there a sudden upsurge in interest about Genghis Khan at that point in time, same thing with The Aviator, was Howard Hughes suddenly more in the news than normal?

    Mike Tyson is just a train wreck and that was obviously a “I need to make some money” movie rather than cashing in on some sudden public interest in Iron Mike.

    Your whole post is posited on an erroneous assumption of just what cashing in means.

  4. McLovin says:

    Whoa. Theres a fair bit of anger here and most of it pretty much uncalled for. (Surely the whole point of the article is that the authors tongue is very much in his cheek). Maybe the conqueror is a stretch but the rest of the films are pretty much dead-on, especially the Mike Tyson one. He was awesome back in the day though!