There was a time not long ago, say 2008, when despite the continued existence of goodness assassin Michael Bay, jokes about Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy were still sort of funny. I mean, they wouldn’t really make a Candyland movie. No way! Even the least artistically-minded schlock-king in Hollywood (read: whoever made Beverly Hills Chihuahua, a name I refuse to look up) would turn up his nose at the prospect of “adapting” a board game designed for three- and four-year-olds, with characters like “Lord Licorice,” into a movie of ANY stripe. It’s too dumb; spits on the graves of cinema’s pioneers with maybe too much malice. Three years ago, we could still laugh at the utter ridiculousness of the possibility. Hahahahaha!
The time for laughter is OVER. Candyland is now a very real movie, being written with very real words. Rapture false alarms be damned, we are clearly in for a very real End of Days.
Entertainment Weekly spoke to the movie’s screenwriters, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who had this to say:
“We don’t see it as a movie based on a board game, although it has characters from that world and takes the idea of people finding themselves in a world that happens to be made entirely of candy where there are huge battles going on…We are going for real comedy, real action, and real emotions at stake.”
I…it’s like…I mean…you can’t…
“We envision it as Lord of The Rings, but set in a world of candy.”
…Okay. The worst thing in pre-judging entertainment, I’ve learned many times on this very site, is that even the most awful log lines and lamest interviews do not necessarily consign a project to the depths of hell. Sometimes things are lost in translation, or poorly sold. I myself am not a great interviewer! Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be your best-ever pool boy. Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one) was based on a THEME PARK RIDE and somehow emerged a clever, refreshing adventure movie. Final judgment, in movies and TV especially, should always be reserved for the finished product.
And Aibel and Berger? Blasphemers, TOTALLY, for the LOTR comparison, but they know not what they say. They’re just two nice screenwriting boys who got hooked up with the wrong/right people, tasted the sweeter side of life (“Forget it Jake, it’s CANDYLAND”), and were already too far along the Gumdrop Road before they realized they were comparing their script to LORD OF THE FLIPPING RINGS. They’re innocents, caught in a game more deadly than they could have ever imagined.
But f*ck their movie. F*ck the utter deal-making, bean-counting turpitude with which this whole “project” was conceived. That something like this can exist alongside The Tree of Life (or even, like, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure) with both bearing the stamp of “feature film” is a flagrant insult to the entire medium, and a dire harbinger of further cultural spiraling to come. It’s not funny. It’s honestly sort of scary. Are you reading this on your phone, in a supermarket? Good — stock up on canned goods and water. Get your bunker (you did start building it already, right?) Apocalypse-ready. IT’S COMING.
…But who knows, maybe Candyland turns out to be a lot of fun? Lifting Fog’s reviewing team waits with bated breath!