Remakes (of classics AND “foreign” movies). They NEVER recapture the essence of the original.
Prequels. When your star gets too old (or expensive) go “back in time” to when they were much younger – then you can replace them with a younger (and cheaper) actor.
Spin-offs. Movies inspired by video-games, toys – even theme-park rides. Gimme a break! (Okay, the “Pirates Of The Caribbean” trilogy was pretty good, but the rest – uurgh!)
No-brainer Actioners. Guns, guns and more guns.
Effects movies. I have nothing against CGI if it’s used to move along the story. But when it IS the story, I object. I don’t want to see a piece of work where the director plonked his actors in front of a green-screen for three weeks, then let a bunch of computer-nerds make his movie.
All of the above are obvious catagories of movies worth giving a miss.
But there is a seventh which may be less apparent. The film directed by its writer (or written by its director – whichever).
The problem lies with the director. Normally, having glommed a property, the LAST person he wants on his set is its AUTHOR. Why? Because the director’s medium is VISUAL. Once he has his story, he can strip it of all its literary baggage and paint a PICTURE of the events.
But if he WROTE it, he can’t DO that. And the end product becomes a piece where, since the director knows what’s going on – he wrote it, after all – he assumes the audience knows also. But anything they’re not SHOWN, they just won’t GET.
And since these days, the director is King – no-one wants to TELL him his suit is invisible.
So the next time you see “written and directed by…” – FORGET it. Unless it says “…by Nancy Meyers” – every rule has an exception.