Sharing Day, Disillusionment Edition

When I was a kid, watching the original "Star Wars" trilogy was practically a religious experience. Those movies flamed the geeky fires of my nerdy little heart. I was already a big sci-fi and comics fan, but that first movie was like nothing I'd ever experienced. For a long, long time, those movies were my favorites, setting the standard by which everything else was measured.

Then I saw "Phantom Menace", a movie so bad (in my opinion) that it tainted the earlier movies, almost ruining them.

Today's Sharing Day is about that kind of experience:

Have you ever loved a geeky franchise or product -- a movie or series of movies, a novel or series of novels, etc. -- only to have a subsequent installment that's so bad, it ruined the entire thing for you?

I'd love to hear if you've had an experience like that. If you respond with your own story in the comments to this post, you can (if you wish) ask me a question about whatever you like, and I'll answer honestly.

Alternatively, I'd also accept answers along the lines of some geeky thing you used to think was awesome, only to revisit it years later to discover that in fact, it blows. For instance, I used to love "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV show when I was a kid. But a few years back I tried to watch an episode and wow, was it horrific. Virtually unwatchable. It was so bad, it reached back in time to taint my feelings of joy as a child.

78 Responses to Sharing Day, Disillusionment Edition

  1. Wow, this discussion should be fun, I’ll get the popcorn πŸ™‚

    I won’t touch the Star Wars discussion right now, I’ll wait until it heats up some πŸ˜€

    I have yet to come across an installment of something that made me hate all of it. For example, I don’t hate the Highlander movie becuase they totally wrecked the story in the second one. I just ignore the pieces I don’t like, and continue to enjoy those that I do, whether it’s movies, books, tv shows, video games or RPG’s.

    As far as going back to somehting I loved as a kid, and not being able to watch it now….I Loved Robotech as a kid – thought it was the best thing on. I tried watching it recently on Netflix, and was unable to. It was a bit to cheesy. I still like the over all story, and still dive into the novelizations every once and awhile, but I just can’t sit and watch the cartoon any more.

    Sometimes, I miss being a kid πŸ™

  2. Mad max, if it counts, the first one was good, a solid revenge movie, damn near no sign of post apocalyptic though, which incidentally was the base of the rest of the series. Because of the mad max sequels, he seems ridiculous to me now. Screw the thunderdome, he was an aussie cop that was cool enough for me.

  3. I used to be a huge Piers Anthony fan. Back in the early 90’s I read everything I could get my hands on. The Xanth series, the Apprentice Adept series, the Bio of a Space Tyrant series, his anthologies of short stories. I read “Bio of an Ogre”, his autobiography. I once even based the pantheon of a D&D game on the Incarnations of Imortality series. I was a seriously geeked-out fanboy.

    Then I got my hands on 1995’s “Virtual Mode”–the first book in the new Mode series. I remember that I was excited to start a new series as it was being written rather than catching up with series that had been completed years before. The protagonist was a suicidal 14 year old girl. To keep it short and clean, Anthony spent way too much time writing about her underwear. Virtual Mode shined a light on Anthony’s obsession with under-aged girls, and it made me see all of his previous work in a whole new light (or darkness rather).

    I couldn’t read Piers Anthony any more after that. Once I became aware of the author’s fetishes, I couldn’t NOT see them permeating all of his work (even references to his daughter in his autobiography) and it made me deeply uncomfortable. Although in retorspect, I suppose the Xanth novel titled “The Color of Her Panties” probably should have been a dead give away.

  4. I had a similar Piers Anthony experience, Mark. Kinda creeped me out, too.

  5. @gene
    try watching the original shows that robotech is based on:
    SDF Macross
    SRC southern cross
    Genesis climber mospeada
    All three blow the robotech versions out of the water. The cheesy voice acting in the rt dub really kills them and the changes tongue stories really hurt them as well.

    Also I agree about piers anthony though he is still a great resource for new writers.

  6. Have you read my rant against Michael Bay’s treatment of Transformers? Wait, maybe you have Jeff, and that spurned this Sharing Day topic. But, yeah, I’d have to say my love of Transformers pretty much got “transformed” into complete apathy somewhere in the middle of the second movie. To be fair though, around the time the first Transformers movie came out, I also picked up the first season of the classic Transformers cartoon, and it seems it was a little corny in retrospect.

    Mark (3): I don’t remember when Piers Anthony moved from being beloved author to creepy pervert in my perception, but I know what you mean.

    No question yet Jeff, just a concern. I’ve been having connectivity issues with HeroMachine today. Not just the program, but the entire site. Hoping it clears up soon.

  7. GtaMythMaster43

    Well, since you brought up how your mind makes you think something better then it was…..

    I have had entire experiences ruined, I used to watch my dad play on the old PS1, and when I was bored last summer I popped it out of it’s dusty grave and boy oh boy, I was just like “WTF is this? What? When did that get there? Wasn’t this shorter?” It was odd to say the least… not a single boss fight in Quake II was how I remembered it.

    Oh, and while I was watching some various idiotic things on Netflix I noticed jokes in shows I used to watch that slipped past me…

    I’ve had to many experiences like those.
    I can’t even count or describe them all. Eveb the good ones πŸ™

  8. GtaMythMaster43

    Oh and speaking of Transformers….
    From a writers view point some things about that film would have made more sense if it where a book. As a movie, it was a mess, but, from a writer’s standpoint, it’s really a good flick, in my opinion.
    [And since when does being a Director make them a writter? Seriously, how can you blame the director for writting?]

  9. GtaMythMaster43

    Sorry, typos….

  10. For me, it was growing up thinking some of the 80’s cartoons were absolutely great. The original Transformers, ThunderCats, He-Man, etc. Then, as an adult, finding them on TV or DVD and thinking “man, I loved watching these as a kid. Let’s give them a spin!”

    Dear God, I almost drowned in cheese watching those…

    So far, in my opinion, the only cartoon from my childhood to hold up to my memories has been DangerMouse.

    As for my question, Jeff, I was wondering if there is any sort of set timeline where HeroMachine 3.0 is going to transition from Alpha to Beta testing. Or is that something you can’t/don’t want to share with us yet?

  11. Oh, I don’t really have a timeline. As far as I am concerned it’s pretty much ready now, but it’s up to IGN/UGO, and they kind of have their hands full at the moment.

    In my mind, the switch to open beta means UGO will host it on their servers instead of on mine. But I honestly don’t know when that will happen.

  12. I’m having troubles connecting to the site consistently today, too, though the provider doesn’t show any persistent problem … I don’t know quite what’s going on.

  13. Danny Beaty

    When I was a boy (way,way back in the mid Sixties) I thought Lost In Space was one of the coolest shows on TV, second only to Batman. Later in the late Seventies I tried watching LIS and thought to myself “This is so stupid!”. I would, however, love to have one of those life-size replicas of robot B-9.

  14. Yeah, been having problems connecting to the site today too.

    Hey, instead of asking a question of you Jeff, how about having you post us a picture of your work area/Desk/Computer set up……

    Let’s see whats under the hood here so to speak.

    And take it now, no fair cleaning it up πŸ˜›

  15. The Sword of Truth series of books written by Terry Goodkind. Then along comes this little tv series called Legend of the Seeker based off those books, and let me tell you that, that TV series SUCKS!!!!!!

  16. Nick Hentschel

    I must be the only man alive who DOESN’T make a show of hating Jar Jar Binks. In fact, considering that hi major appearance was fully a dozen years ago, I’m inclined to think that bitching about him is just posturing.

    IF anything, I feel sorry for Jar Jar. To be honest, after a lifetime of social, professional, and personal bungling and mishaps (precipitated by a combination of AD/HD and Asperger’s Syndrome), I see far too much of myself in him to hate him. At worst, I ignore him. And since it seems to me that the latter two Clone Wars films did, too, I don’t believe that he has much importance to SW at all… and neither do his detractors.

    Jar Jar’s been and gone. Get over it, world.

  17. @Kaldath: It totally ruined it for me too, even if the sword of truth books were really a complex, fantasy-setting twilight copy, they were actually pretty decent. but giving the show the hercules/xena treatment was the ultimate bad decision. the only good thing about the show was how hot Bridget Regan was in that corsette.

  18. Sutter_Kaine

    I’ve lost my ability to suspend disbelief in a big way. As a result I can no longer enjoy the vast majority of things I used to. This includes martial arts movies, Godzilla movies, superhero comics, and vintage science fiction and horror movies (most of the modern ones sucked to begin with). When I decided to try writing stories of my own, I worked hard to develop my writing skills and my own writing style, including taking a class on creative writing. Now whenever I read a new book/anthology or go back and read some of the stories and writers I used to love, I can’t help but critique their style. As a result I can no longer enjoy them the way I used to. I hate to say it but there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s just plain bad. Being a grown up sucks.

  19. I used to watch “The Greatest American Hero,” and thought it was a pretty decent show at the time. Fast-forward 30 years…I caught a couple of episodes of it on Syfy yesterday. My wife and I had fun comparing Mr. H’s students to the Sweathogs, and making all sorts of “Carrie” references.

  20. Nick, I’m going to write off your condescending post as an unfortunate side-effect of your Asperger’s. But in the future, I’d appreciate it if you’d avoid phrasing things in a way that comes off as you saying “The only reason you have that opinion is because you’re a douche. And also, you don’t matter at all to anyone due to the aforementioned douchery.” Thanks.

  21. Gene, ironically I just spent the last two hours cleaning up!

  22. Hm. This is something of a tricky one for me, mostly because I haven’t really been around long enough and the shows that I watched when I was younger I still find enjoyable. Like after not having watched Thunderbirds for a few years I decided to re-watch one of my favourite episodes. I found it just as enjoyable.

    But, I guess an example could be one regarding the Star Wars prequels.
    When I was 3, I first saw The Phantom Menace and loved it. I even loved Jar-Jar. I also loved Attack of the Clones. But going back to episode 2 a few years later I’ve found it’s not really as enjoyable as it was when I was about 7. Anakin seemed really annoying and whiny, and on the whole not as likeable. When I re-watch episode 1 now, I’m starting to find certain aspects a bit annoying. Maybe I should just try to get back into the mindset of a 3-year-old or something when I watch it again.

    My dad does have something similar regarding the 70s/80s British comedy The Goodies. He says he loved it when he was a kid, but now he just finds it awful.

    Now, question… What’s the next set of female items that you’re working on now and will next be added?

  23. @Kaldath: I never read the sword of truth series, but I can tell you that watching that series has totally put me off of ever opening the books. The only thing that kept me going were the ladies. Both Bridget Reagan and Tabrett Bethell were hot. (can’t let my wife read this now) πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

  24. I had to stop reading the “Sword of Truth” books as well, since they essentially all turned into rewrites of the exact same “Everybody gets tortured all the time and thinks their lover’s unfaithful.”

    Currently, I am working on Pants-Female-Standard.

  25. @Trekkie: Maybe you HAVE to be a 3 year old to thoroughly enjoy Phantom Menace. I shall try that with my nephew next year.

    @Nick Hentschel: Jar Jar is not important? He managed to not only screw a whole movie (Phantom Menace) but also the old republic. He singlehandedly introduced the resolution that created the empire.

  26. Man, I wish I had a job where I could say ‘I am working on Pants-Female-Standard.’
    πŸ˜‰

    You know, I Watched the Legend of the Seeker and found it to be a descent show- it was what it was, just simple fun. It lead me to the Sword of truth books, of which I’ve only read the first one and liked it a lot, but it didn’t make me hate the series. I have found that on Book to Movie conversions, if I haven’t read the book, I tend to enjoy the screen version more than if I read the book first. The Dresden files is a prime example of that for me.

    And yes, JAr-Jar was put in the movie for the kids, just like the Ewoks were in the original trilogy. When Jar-jar is on the screen, I just kind of gloss over it. Star Wars appeals to a large age bracket, and there needs to be stuff in there for everyone. I was fortunate enough to have kids when the prequels came out, and everyone in my family likes and appreciated all 6 movies.

    There is no reason to hate the entire franchise becuase of one character.

    So okay Jeff, make with the pictures, let’s see this mad science lab where Heromachine is birthed…..

  27. Me, Myself & I

    I would have to say the biggest disapointment for me was the highlander movies. The first one was great and even the TV series after it was neet. After the bomb that was the second movie I wasn’t sure if I would even bother watching the third one. Well I did eventually and while it was definately better than the second movie it wasn’t what I’d hoped. Don’t even get me started on Highlander: The Source (Downright Fuggly!!!)

  28. I have to say, I loved the first Batman movie (Michael Keaton/Jack Nicholson), and while the three sequels didn’t quite ruin it for me (although I still can’t watch them without pointing out every single detail that doesn’t correlate with the comics), the Batman Begins/Dark Knight movies have thoroughly ticked me off.

    It’s bad enough that they’ve messed up Batman’s history for my naive generation (Rachel Dawes? Who the Heaven is she?), but I might have been able to get over that if they hadn’t totally screwed up the Joker (not that he wasn’t already)! Apparently, no one involved with the production of the movie had ever read a single Batman comic that involved the Joker, because last time I checked, the Joker didn’t wear make-up and his “smile” wasn’t from knife scars; he looked that way as a result of falling into a vat of acid as the Red Hood.

    But I should probably stop ranting now, or I’ll end up with a huge wall of text explaining in detail why the newest Batman franchise is so inaccurate (because there are a lot of reasons!!).

  29. The Phantom Menace (and the prequel trilogy in general) was terrible, but it did give us Qui-gon Jinn and Mace Windu, who are my two favorite Star Wars characters out of the entire franchise. As for the question, I had something that was almost the opposite. There’s a book series by Anne Rice called the Vampire Chronicles that starts with the book Interview With The Vampire, which to this day is still one of the worst books I’ve ever read in my life. I hated it so much that for years I refused to read more of her books. But, eventually I ran out of other things to read, and was still friends with the guy who recommended Rice in the first place, and he said to give the series another try. So I read the second book, The Vampire Lestat. The book was great, and so were the rest that followed it. The Vampire Chronicles has since become my second favorite book series (after Stephen King’s Dark Tower), and I re-read it about once a year (skipping the first one of course)…

  30. No one is saying they hate the entire franchise because of one character — that’s an exaggeration made for humorous effect by whoever put the graphic together. Yes, he was (and is) a HORRIBLE character, but there was plenty about “Phantom Menace” that ruined the franchise for me. Aside from the atrocious acting, horrific direction, and pedestrian, boring plot full of cardboard characters about whom nothing was even vaguely interesting, if I had to pick just one moment that really felt like a betrayal, it was the casual, off-handed transformation of The Force as one of the coolest things in the history of forever to something that’s no more exceptional than a routine pre-employment drug-screening urine test.

    In that one off-handed scene, Lucas destroyed everything mysterious and awesome and mystical about the central animating tenet of the original trilogy. And for what? Mitochlorians as an explanation added nothing, enhanced nothing, expanded nothing.

    The matter-of-fact introduction of the mitochlorians was the dagger through the heart of my love for “Star Wars”. I just can’t take it seriously any more, aside from all the other things I mentioned earlier that took it from being just a dreadful movie to something so egregious it tainted everything else in the franchise.

  31. Also, Han shot first!

  32. Also also, IT’S A TRAP!

  33. Nick Hentschel

    @ Gene: Well said. I enjoyed “The Phantom Menace,” and still do. Thanks for the support.

    And Jeff, with all due respect, your response to my comment is far harsher and more personal than my own. I deliberately tried NOT to mention you personally, precisely because I didn’t want to start a flamewar. I also attempted not to use vulgarisms like, “douche,” and I’m sorry that you are unwilling to return either courtesy.
    I also feel that your dig at my having Asperger’s was hurtful and totally unnecessary. I was trying to show a little *compassion* for someone, when I mentioned it (something that you might try), not to lay myself open to a direct and personal insult. Frankly, I expected better from you, after all of your professed intent to be a moderating influence hereabouts. To attack my opinion as an “unfortunate side-effect,” and accuse me of being “condescending” for expecting maturity of people, is absolutely the most hurtful thing I’ve ever experienced here, as if I’d been physically slapped in the face.

    I expect an apology.

  34. I never heard of the Sword of Truth tv series. If it is as bad as everyone says it is I am glad to have missed it. Lets hope the same thing doesn’t eventually happen to George R. R. Martin’s tv series. I read all the book and thought most of it was fantastic.

    As for my weigh in on the question… it would have to be the Transformers movies. I wanted to like the 1st movie but in the end I just couldn’t take it. I didn’t even bother with the others. The previews were enough to turn me away.

  35. Nick, whether you meant me personally or not is irrelevant. You said “bitching about him is just posturing” and “I don’t believe that he has much importance to SW at all… and neither do his detractors.” So basically, people who disagree with are lying about why they’re saying it, and they don’t matter at all. It’s that last part that really irks me.

    The Asperger’s comment wasn’t intended as a slam, and I apologize if it came off that way. I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt as to why you would dismiss everyone who disagrees with you as not mattering and as basically being liars — I thought maybe you were not aware that’s how what you were saying was coming across. Because that’s exactly how it came across.

    I hate that kind of “you don’t matter” line of thinking that infests the geek sub-culture. We’ve all had to deal with being marginalized as irrelevant outsiders and I will not tolerate it being done here. That is directly inimical to the kind of supportive, positive community I want to encourage here.

  36. So I’m a big fan of more golden age/silver age comic book characters as well as more obscure characters. That being said I liked the classic Will Eisner Spirit comics, I was excited to see Frank Miller’s live action take on it. Well it turned out to be more like Sin City with a more mature, edgy Spirit. The Spirit was never edgy or gritty, and he was not a ladies man, while women through themselves at him, he never gave in. The movie made his origin revolve around a spirit of death waiting for him to actually die since The Spirit escaped death. Overall it was a disappointing and dull movie

  37. Nick Hentschel

    Allow me to clarify: I really have noticed in fandom, particularly where Lusafilm is concerned, a certain kind of people who will aggressively adopt an “I hate…” position, not pout of any real love of sci-fi, but simply to promote themselves as being “truer-than-thou” fans. There are people who think that they are true fans, but are actually poseurs. And unfortunately, Jar Jar-haters, midi-chlorian-haters, and many of the critics of the Clone Wars Trilogy fall, too often, into this category.
    This “hardcore poseur” mentality has upset me for a long time, and has frankly driven me away from SW fandom: not only has the continuity become so convoluted that I’m embarassed to explain it to people, but the sheer animosity I find among George Lucas’s fans has made me ashamed to associate with them. Really, they scare me: comments like “I think they should take Geroge Lucas’s pen away, and break his fingers,” after seeing “Crystal Skull.”

    Your original post, I’m sorry to say, made me afraid that I was going to be subjected to another round of listening to this very scary branch of fandom. And so I decided to nip it in the bud… perhaps carelessly. I needed, I now see, to make it more clear that I was attacking a certain kind of fringe fandom, and not you. But that Asperger’s comment was at least as hurtful as anything you accuse me of saying, esp. considering the risk that I ran in revealing something like that about myself.

  38. Then I apologize again for that remark, and retract it. I have friends and family with Asperger’s and would never use it intentionally to hurt anyone.

    With that, this Sharing Day is done. I have friends coming over in a bit and need to start cooking.

  39. Nick Hentschel

    Thanks, Jeff; apology accepted. BON APPETIT!

  40. This is a tough question, since I usually end up repressing the things or events that ruin an experience like that. I have to say though, seldom have I been as disappointed as when I bought The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages.

    I absolutely loved the early Zelda games. They were groundbreaking, beautiful, long and had wonderful music. In fact, A Link to the Past is still one of my favorite video games, and I’ll gladly play it over many new titles.

    If memory serves, Oracle of Ages was released shortly after Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, which most would argue is the peak of the Zelda series. And the game was awful. I found it positively dreadful, with no innovation or redeeming qualities. I tried finishing the game to be done with it, but I just couldn’t. I recall getting stuck on some stupid dancing minigame, turning it off and then never picking it up again. It was so bad I stopped buying Zelda games, and I’ve never bought one since.

    The cartridge still lies in the bottom dresser drawer right next to me – probably with an unfinished save file unless the battery has died – and there it will remain until I have lost all memory of it. When that time has come, I shall find it in its resting place and be reminded of and smile at my stubborness. I will start that old game up once more, and perhaps I will find that old enemies can become the best of friends.

  41. Yeah, I gotta go with The Phantom Menace too.

    It wasn’t just that they were bad. Every franchise has its low points. But what TPM did was change how the entire Star Wars franchise was viewed by the entire popular culture. You can’t even talk about Star Wars any more without the prequels coming up. I’ve actually had people make fun of me for being a Star Wars fan just because of that damn movie, that’s how much TPM has overshadowed the rest of the franchise.

    And my God, don’t even talk to my best friend about the Highlander series.

  42. I liked the Heros series that was on tv and still like the idea, but it seemed that it got hard to follw in later episodes like even the writers lost where they were and parts weren’t making much sense. There is a new show called Alphas that I think that is trying to revitalize the idea. Hey Jeff, would it be possible to make a Predator mask for HM? I was thinking the other day it would be cool. I guess I should say, what new items are you working on now for HM?

  43. Corran Horn

    Even though Jeff has said that Sharing day is done, I’m going to share anyway, because the topic actually pertains to my name.

    My name comes from a Star Wars EU series, the X-Wing series, which I read about 6 years ago (when I was around 12). Corran Horn is a pilot in the reformed Rogue Squadron, and was pretty cool. The books dealing with the Rogues were awesome. Then the series changed writers, who introduced a new series. I bought the next two books in the series, and when I first read them, I found them enjoyable. Flash forward to spring of this year, and I started to reread them. I made it through the Rogue books, and then started the next squadron. I made it about 40 pages into it before I had to give up. I will never be able to pick up those two books ever again…

  44. I am a HUGE Superman freak, the biggest in my family and group of friends. I especially enjoy the old Christopher Reeve movies. The killer was Superman III (Superman 3 for those that don’t know, no offense). The movie was more of a comedy than anything! I won’t ruin anything if you have not seen it, but it’s something you have to see yourself to believe. I am still a huge Superman freak and can answer almost any question about him and I proudly own all 5 movies on DVD.
    As for my question (or suggestion, depending on how you look at it), when will you even out some menus by giving the right items (ex: itemright-blades, blades2,etc.) to the left menus? It has been a huge inconvenience for me to copy and move an item from right to left and i’m sure i’m not alone in this.

  45. @TOOL: Actually, “Heroes” was supposed to be a limited run filler. So was “Lost.” Perhaps the major reason surprise hits like these two get lame and / or weird is because the writers either a.) already used up their best material or b.) so surprised by the show’s popularity that they scramble to meet the network’s demand.

    My killer had to be the original Transformers movie. In the first five minutes, they destroy almost all of the original Autobots. Then the toys themselves became cheaper in quality and design but not in price.

  46. I know Sharing Day is officially over but I just have to share my pain. A few disappointments through the ages…

    Starting with Highlander 2. I learned what true disappointment was with this stinker. No sequel has been so horrendous as this terrible milestone in my life. Now I understand this was a foreshadowing of the dreaded “Rework Plague” that would rear its ugly head in such travesties as the Midiclorians and even the relaunch of ET (guns=phones).

    Only after suffering through this mythology ruining piece of trash did I realize why I had to drive an hour out of town to watch this movie. My college town was smart enough not to allow it into its borders.

    Then came Alien 3. After the awe-inspiring Alien 2 I was really looking forward to this sequel. While not quite Highlander 2 bad it left me cold and unsatisfied. And killing Newt in the opening scenes was unforgivable.

    Skip ahead to Matrix 2. I loved Matrix. Yes. Loved it. The best kung fu movie I had ever seen. I thought the directing brothers could do no wrong. Than Matrix 2. A dull opening dream sequence, extended music video orgy, boring multiple Smiths fight and convoluted story slapped some reality upside my head. I couldn’t even bring myself to go see Matrix 3 that year. I finally watched it a few years ago just to complete the journey. I wish now that I would have just avoided 2 and 3 all together and relish the untarnished wonder that was Matrix 1 for the rest of my life.

    Then Phantom Menace came. I hated it. Enough said.

    These 4 experiences left me pretty careful about what I gave my heart to and for awhile I happily avoided any pitfalls. I always tried to keep my expectations low.

    But recently I stumbled.

    Enter Lost. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, even the seasons that some other viewers might not have enjoyed as much. I loved the ride up until the last scenes of the show where it revealed what the Sideways reality was. I think I mentioned it elsewhere but I was actually building up a theory in my head as I watched that last episode. What I thought was happening was blowing me away with the implications and made the emotional epiphanies of the Sideways characters a very powerful viewing experience. When the true explanation came it ripped out that wonderful glow I had and I flashed back to the emotional wasteland that was post-Highlander 2. I don’t think I could ever go back and watch the show knowing those last minutes are waiting at the end ready to pull me down into the abyss. I think this one affected me the most because I thought I was knocking on heaven’s door and instead it was a crackhouse owned by Jar Jar Binks (I had to throw him in somewhere).

    There are other disappointments but these are the primary moving picture examples for me.

  47. @MMI: Just remember, you’re the one who brought up Highlander: The Source. Man was that a bad movie. I’m just happy I found it so long after anything highlander related that I can relegate it to a dust ridden, dark corner of my mind. Had I watched it when it came out It would probably color all my memories of highlander.

    @dblade: O.M.G….Lost. I had purposely erased most of that last episode from my head…. I can still fell my wife’s eyes in the back of my head after I got her into Lost… and then that final episode… it was like “I’ve spent 6 years on this for THAT?” What a letdown.

  48. TV:

    X-Files Season 9 – Not even the UST between Gillian Anderson and Annabeth Gisth (Did Monica Reyes ever actually set foot in her apartment after she got it? Seemed like she practically lived with Scully.)could redeem the “plot” and the questions they never answered.

    Buffy Seasons 6 – I loved Buffy up through Season 5, particularly Faith, but it seemed like Season 6 was consumed by buffy-related-ignorance mixed with tearing apart willow and bashing dawn (she lost a father, a mother, and two mother-figures – of course she whined!). I refuse to acknowledge the existence of any subsequent seasons or comics.

    Charmed Season 8 – Ultimate Power.

    Movies:

    Star Wars – I loved them as a kid but in hindsight the only reason I’d watch them now is because the guy who play Obi Wan is hot.

  49. @Punk 45: Lost became lame because most of the early (re: good) ideas came from J.J. Abrams and his writing staff, almost all of which left in the middle of the second season to work on Star Trek, and then just never came back. The few guys left and the new guys that joined them then had to try to continue on not really knowing anything about where the plot was going. That’s why so many of the “mysteries” never got explained; the guys that knew them left, and the ones who took up the torch just had to wing it…

  50. So, I’m totally late to this because my interwebs took a giant crap yesterday, and wouldn’t let me on, but I’m amazed no one said Highlander. It’s the epitome of taking an awesome idea and repeatedly flushing it down the toilet. The first movie was great, even though the soundtrack dates the hell out of it. Then the abortion know as Highlander 2 was thrust upon us. Really, all these years later, and I still have no idea what the hell they were thinking.

  51. @Dan: You kidding? The Highlander soundtrack is still awesome. Queen adds to the feel and vibe of the movie’s originality. Freddie Mercury left us too soon.

    Highlander 2 might have been a decent movie if it had been about Virginia Madsen and her band of eco-saboteurs sans the Immortals.

  52. @Atomic Punk, I actually ment the musical score. It’s all sythesizers and 80’s cheese. The end scene when MacLeod is getting the Quickening is ruined for me by the horrible music. Highlander 2 is great, if you don’t watch it as a Highlander movie. The fact that they just deceided to make them aliens still baffles me.

  53. @Dan (50): Actually a few of us mentioned Highlander.

    While the score (not the awesome Queen music) might be slightly dated at least it fit the times that the story was set in. Nothing like the atrocity that is the Ladyhawke soundtrack. Still, in my opinion, the worst music score ever in an otherwise good movie.

    I do agree that the end scene music of Highlander could be reworked to make the moment more powerful.

    On a related note: Does anyone know whether the original theatrical release of Highlander can be found on DVD? I like it a lot better than the Director’s Cut that can be found on all of the DVDs I have encountered. I wish they would have just put both of them on the disc so the viewer could choose his or her preference.

  54. @Dan: Not only are the Immortals aliens, but they don’t even follow the timeline! Ramirez is supposed to be an Egyptian from Antiquity. In H2, he’s an alien from 500 years ago? Was he in a coma circa 8000 BC then one day woke up on Zeist? Ugh…

    @dblade: No, the majority of DVDs are Director’s Cut anymore. With the exception of Bladerunner, I don’t care for the “bonus footage” and extras. There have been a couple of movies that I thought were ruined by the Director’s Cut.

    Only one movie that I saw the DVD D’sC and thought “Well, that would have explained alot if I saw that the first time in the theater.” That movie was “Avatar.” And it still sucked.

    * D’sC = Director’s Cut. I coined a new word today! Let’s use it in a sentence:

    “I had the unfortunity to watch the D’sC of ‘Avatar.’ I want those 3 hours of my life back!”

  55. I agree. Sometimes Director’s Cut means throwing in a bunch of extra crap because of the strange notion that “extra equals good”. A good director knows what needs to be trimmed and to walk away when its finished (Mr. Lucas, you listening? I don’t mind some digital touch-up, but cut scenes that add nothing to the movie is just plain silly. I will admit I didn’t mind the extra celebratory montage at the end of Return of the Jedi. These weren’t ruining the flow of the original narrative though.). Even Aliens had extra footage that was rightfully left on the cutting room floor (Sigourney Weaver mourning her long dead mother, meeting Newt and her family before the aliens destroyed the colonists).

    I loved the vibe and mystery of Highlander’s beginning where the viewer wasn’t quite sure what was going on. And the reveal of olde timey Scotland after the garage battle catapulted your imagination into overdrive. The Director’s Cut with its flashback to olde timey wrestling was a premature narrative device that ruined the flow and mystery of the introduction that was so wonderfully executed in the theatrical version. I have a VHS tape of the theatrical version that I am saving just in case it is never released digitally. Pathetic. I know. πŸ™‚

  56. @dblade, sorry, I totally missed your post about Highlander 2. I was scanning the posts to get caught up, and I must have just passed right over yours! About the theatrical cut, I’m sure it will come out, someday. These thing tend to cycle. I actually don’t mind the directer’s cut of 1, mostly b/c of the Rachael scene, which actually explains who the hell she is.
    @Atomic Punk, I spent years trying to figure out a way to justify the Zeist story line, just for my own sanity. The best I could come up with was that when they got banished, they got separated in time, and re-born. That’s why MacLeod didn’t know Ramirez in the first one. After I saw the directer’s cut of 2, where they remove all references to Zeist, I still feel that it’s a somewhat viable explanation. Really, the best resolution is to not watch 2 at all. Not the 3 was any better. Or 4. UGH. DAMN YOU HIGHLANDER!!!!!

  57. Most disappointing to me…

    Dune. Kevin J. Anderson.

  58. @Imp,I never read his Dune stuff, but if was half as bad as what he did to Star Wars, I feel for you.

  59. Perfect Dark, Ruined by Perfect Dark 0. The original was my favorite game of all time, and I was so excited when I bought Perfect Dark 0. I ended up returning it 3 hours later.

  60. I loved the campy batman and robin film when I saw it. I still do. BAT NIPPLES!!!!!!

  61. And I definatly wont be seeing the new one. Catwoman never did it for me anyway, bane was ruined by the old animated series and the prospect of a villain called holiday doesn’t excite me too much. The fans asked for riddler!!!! rant over.

  62. Corran Horn

    @Imp: I stopped the Dune series with the first book. It was good, but it wasn’t really my thing. And now that I see that name, I’m glad I didn’t keep reading.

  63. @Dan: that’s the main reason I’ve never read any Star Wars books except that first trilogy by Timothy Zahn.

  64. @Imp there’s a fair amount of really good Star Wars books, most of which came out in the 2000’s. Most of the 90’s books except for the first 4 X-Wing books were pretty bad. Oddly enough, it’s seems that was about the time that Anderson stopped doing any Star Wars books. Funny little coincidence, huh? If you ever feel like punishing yourself, try reading his Young Jedi Knights series. They could seriously be some of the worst stories ever written.

  65. Vorpal Laugh

    Regarding Highlander 2, I remember reading that the script was originally for an unrelated science fiction movie and it was changed to be a Highlander movie.

    X-men 3 kinda ruined the first move for me. Luckily it didn’t diminish the comic books in my mind.

  66. Dan (56)

    I figured that when they were sent to Earth they were also sent back in time scattered across different historical eras and had their memories wiped. Perhaps as part of some complicated plan to ensure they had no access to the technology to travel back to Zeist on their own.

    If you think about it, that actually solves a lot of plotholes.

    Why do the bad guy look exactly the same when Macleod and the other Immortals are hundreds of years old? Because from his perspective, they were only just banished from Zeist.

    Why does the bad guy send his minions to Earth to kill Macleod instead of letting him drink himself to death in a few more years? Because, again, from his perspective Macleod just left. He doesn’t know Macleod won the Prize and is now an old man, he thinks Macleod could show up any second. So by sending those two goofy henchmen to Earth he’s trying to rig the Game in his favor.

    The only plothole I can think of that this theory doesn’t solve is why Ramirez was so gobsmacked at the concept of flight when at this point he knows he’s an alien from the planet Zeist.

  67. Every time I think of Highlander 2 (or any of the other sequels), I have to watch the bad taste out of my mouth by watching a couple episodes of the series, which was actually pretty darn good.

  68. @Doornik (66) yeah, you’re right, but I feel like we shouldn’t have to create our own scenarios just to explain away faults in the movies. Plus, it still doesn’t explain why the MacLeod’s would have taken Conner in, and why after the big reveil of being immortal, he would then lie to Brenda and say he was born in Scotland, and not from another planet.

    @Imp, the show had it’s moments, but all it did was further confuse an already wacked out timeline. How did Conner win the prize in 1985, yet in 1992 Duncan is cutting off heads every week? I know it’s supppsed to be two diffrent words or some nonsense like that, but how easy would it have been to make the show happen in the 70’s, and it would all be good? Then in Highlander 4, which was basically a TV movie put in theaters, did they try to say that everything that happened to Conner was some VR simulation? I was so annoyed at that point that I just said enough.

  69. Let’s all agree to treat the Highlander sequels as bad Twilight Zone episodes. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

  70. dblade, ABSOLUTELY. Ya know, until the re-make comes out. Ugh, here we go again.

  71. @ Vorpal Laugh (65): Oh yeah, I forget to mention X-men 3. Fortunately I went in knowing that it was going to be a letdown so it didn’t hit me as hard as the others. Still many of the choices they made with the story were terrible. If I could have sat in on the writing of this with veto power I could have saved a nation of fans a lot of heartache. πŸ™‚

    I can’t help but blame Superman Returns for taking Bryan Singer away from the project. And since Superman Returns was lame too, we lost out doubly. I wonder if things would have been different with Singer at the helm of Xmen 3. Xmen 2 is still my favorite superhero movie of all time so I have a strong feeling that Singer would have hit a homerun with 3 as well. But what do I know. I thought Matrix 2 and 3 were going to be masterpieces before I actually saw them.

  72. Dan (68)

    I think in the tv series it’s established that all the Immortals are foundlings. Connor could have been adopted by the Macleod Clan and just assumed (since his memory’s been wiped) that he was always a member of the Clan. He didn’t tell Brenda about being from Zeist because he didn’t remember it until after he won the Prize. The flashback from Highlander 2 was his memory flooding back to him.

    You’re right though that the very fact we have to dream up these complicated theories to explain away the plotholes pretty much proves the movie failed to properly tell its story. The movie should make sense on its own. We shouldn’t have to make it make sense.

  73. I also saw this theory on TV Tropes:

    Highlander II the Quickening was just a weird reality that Connor MacLeod made after he got the godlike power that the prize provided him.

    It explains quite a bit.

    He essentially became a reality-warping deity who then changed the current world into a construct where anything he desired would come true. He wanted a world where he saves everyone by building a sun shield and so it occurred. Then after living in that fantasy for 25 years he got old and senile and then remade reality so that immortals are now from the planet Zeist.

    Connor longs for the days of his youth so he makes himself young and immortal again, and then conjures up some villains to fight such as General Katana, a construct of Connor’s imagination given form through Connor’s use of the Prize’s power.

    He missed Ramirez so he brought him back as well.

    And there you have Highlander 2 explained.

    Basically, Connor is a reality-warping god who sucks at telling coherent stories.

  74. Star Trek: the Reboot.
    Abrams should die from colorectal cancer for what he did.

  75. @Doornik, (73)wow. Just, wow. That’s one hell of a theory. I gotta admit, I never even thought to take it that way. I guess that makes as much sense as any other idea I’ve heard. The real question is why do the creators of Highlander hates us fans so much?

  76. @ skybandit (74): Wow. That’s kind of rough on Mr. Abrams. I respect your passion but since I loved the Star Trek reboot I can’t get behind the sentiment. πŸ™‚

  77. @ Doornik1142 (73): That explains it all right. I’m going to use that theory to explain all crappy sequels to good movies. Connor wished it into existence!

    Now I’m trying to figure out if the writer of Highlander 2 hated the first movie so much that he tried to ruin its legacy. That’s the only logical way I can accept its existence.

  78. Me, Myself & I

    Worf (47), yah, it looks like I started a real mess here with the whole Highlander thing. As far as I see it, there should have never been a sequel (the whole, “There can be only one!” phrase and all). I was willing to ignore the date discrepancies.