Monday, November 8, 2010

A trio of thefts

In terms of reveals of sequel titles, the biggest recent news out of Hollywood was the name of the third Batman movie, due out in July of 2012: The Dark Knight Rises. For those who didn't like the similarity of that title to 2008's The Dark Knight, use the Indiana Jones movies as your reference point. The first movie had its own kind of title (Raiders of the Lost Ark), then a different naming convention took over and continued to rule (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). (And let's ignore the fact that some people have tried to go back and retroactively rename Raiders so it fits the formula: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

Anyway, before I get lost in one of my famous tangents ... my own biggest recent sequel title news, in terms of giving me a blog topic, was yesterday, when I learned about the title of the new Transformers movie:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon.


I laughed, just as I had laughed over titles like The Phantom Menace and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It sounds a bit goth, doesn't it?

When I watch Transformers movies, I don't pay much attention to their mythology. For example, even though I watched (and liked) Transformers, I had no idea who "the fallen" were supposed to be when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came out last year. So Dark of the Moon could really mean something within the context of this mythology that I don't pay attention to.

However, to me it just sounds like an attempt to borrow the name recognition of a number of other successful properties. Not that the Transformers franchise should need that, but it seems that way all the same.

First and most obviously, there's Pink Floyd's seminal album Dark Side of the Moon. I didn't find any poster images that have been made public for the actual Transformers movie (which is due out next summer), but I did find several pieces of artwork made by fans and satirists to poke fun at the title's similarity to Pink Floyd's album. One of those is the one you see above.

But then there's also a seemingly intentional shout-out to another popular recent usage of the word "moon": Twilight: New Moon. (Or The Twilight Saga: New Moon, or however you're supposed to write it.) Should we expect to see robots who transform into vampires and werewolves in the new movie?

And finally, to bring us full circle in this discussion, the word "dark" gives us that Dark Knight feeling we all know and love. And The Dark Knight was the third highest grossing film of all time in the U.S., at $533 million.

Of course, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is 11th on that list. So Michael Bay's formidably craptastic series really doesn't need the help.


Theis said...

And then there is M:I4 that has been named: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Vancetastic said...

Oh man, I hadn't heard about that. I don't use this acronym very often, but that got a genuine LOL from me when I read that.

What's also stupid about that is that they already have two Mission: Impossible sequels that just got were just named numerically. I guess it goes to show you how sequel numbers are the kiss of death these days, or at least that's how studios perceive it.