The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Filmmaker Chris Columbus

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

As a child, my list of favorite films was simple and current.  There were the easy ones: Star Wars, E.T., Back to the Future, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Some of the others… not so easy: Gremlins, The Goonies, and Adventures in Babysitting.

What do those works have in common?

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Steven Spielberg’s protégè, nay, discovery (hah!),  Chris Columbus wrote Gremlins and The Goonies, and directed Adventures in Babysitting.  For me, he could do no wrong, and let’s be honest: as kids, our taste is horrible.  But I feel all three of these films have stood the test of time.  Some of his other works?  Eh, not so much:

  • Young Sherlock Holmes (noted as the first film with an entirely CG character)
  • Heartbreak Hotel (a kid kidnaps Elvis… anyone else but me remember this?)
  • Only the Lonely (made me thankful I wasn’t a mama’s boy… sorry mama)

Now grant it – he had other hits through the 90’s: Home Alone 1 & 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, and, um, Nine Months?  Jingle All the Way?  Stepmom?  Bicentennial Man?

And to most Potter fans, he directed the weakest films in the series (Harry Potter and the Stuff in the First Movie and Harry Potter Rides Again), but I don’t watch those films, so I don’t hold it against him.

Like his compatriots I will be attacking in future The Shit to Just Shitty’s, it’s about the fall from what imagination, vision, and drive they once exhibited, to the money grubbing, the disillusionment, or the detachment from the public they display in recent works.  Is it the state of the studio system?  Is it the movie going public’s demands?  I offer no answers, only martyrs.

Here’s hoping *hold your breath* *cross your fingers* Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (that’s the title folks), contains some of the gritty charm of his earlier works, and not the glossy finish of his latest offerings:

Hrm.  Looks glossy…

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