TV Recappers Anonymous Plays the Less Ambitious Movie Titles (and Taglines) Game!

Oh, the games we play when we’re bored . . .

While getting my daily “news” dosage for the day, I came upon a fun little article in Entertainment Weekly.  It was about this game everybody has apparently been playing on Twitter lately, called #lessambitiousmovies.  Here’s how you play:  (1) Find an “exciting” movie title; (2) change the words around a bit, to make it into a completely mundane (and stupid)  one.  It’s THAT EASY!

Or is it?  You see, I was playing this game with my friends today, when it simultaneously occurred to all of us that most modern day movie titles are already pretty unambitious.  This is even the case for genuinely good movies, with decidedly intricate plotlines.  Think about it.  How could one POSSIBLY further dumb down titles for movies like The Town, Black Swan, Toy Story, Tron and How Do You Know?  Is it just me, or does Hollywood need to take a SERIOUS crash course in creativity?

Gee, I wonder what THIS movie is about!

Nevertheless, my friends and I did come up with a few Less Ambitious Movie Title ideas, which I’ve decided to share with you today because there’s been nothing on TV lately, and I have absolutely NOTHING ELSE TO WRITE ABOUT.  What I’ll do is give you a little intel on the original film first, and then share my “New and Improved” Less Ambitious Version.  Sound good?   OK, here goes . . .

1) Ghostbusters

What it was about:  A bunch of out of work comedians (most of whom used to be on Saturday Night Live) wear khaki jumpsuits, carry around what look like vacuum cleaners, and suck up goblins and ghouls, on the streets of New York City.

Less Ambitious Version: “Roastbusters”

What it’s about NOW:  Ummm . . .  vegetarians, maybe?

New and Improved Tagline:  “I ain’t afraid of no ROAST!” 

2) The Sixth Sense

What it was about:  Little Haley Joel Osment sees dead people (SPOILER ALERT:  Bruce Willis may be one of them.)

Less Ambitious Version: “The Six Cents”

What it’s about NOW:  The pocket change you always have on hand, but are perpetually forgetting to use . . .

New and Improved Tagline:  “The heartwarming tale of Nickel and his good pal, Penny (based on a true story).”

3) Die Hard

What it was about:  Bruce Willis, again!  This time he’s battling terrorists, shooting people, and blowing sh*t up for two hours, all the while making snarky comments, and flexing his muscles to show us how cool he is.  (In other words, if you are watching this film, and you are female, you may grow a weiner, as a result . . .)

Less Ambitious Version:  “Diet Hard”

What it’s about NOW:  Bruce Willis is really cranky, because all he’s eaten all day is a salad and two peanuts.  So, he starts blowing sh*t up . . .

New and Improved Tagline:  “Twelve extra pounds.  One cop.  The odds are against John McClane.  And he’s STARVING for a donut!”

4)  127 Hours

What it was about:  A hiker gets his arm stuck under a rock for 127 HOURS.  So, he chops it off . . .

Less Ambitious Version: “127 Seconds”

What it’s about NOW:  Do the math.  That’s just a little over two minutes.  It doesn’t really have time to be about anything.  But it WILL star a hot guy . . . because I say so . . . and it’s my movie, dammit!

New and Improved Tagline:  “By the time you finish reading this, the movie will be almost over.”

5) Field of Dreams

What it was about:   A bunch of dead baseball players (including the voice of Darth Vader) tell Kevin Costner to build a baseball field in his backyard.  He does . .  .

Less Ambitious Version:  “Field of Streams”

What it’s about NOW:  Running water, running water, and more running water.

New and Improved Tagline:  “This movie is so good, it will make you pee.”

6) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What it was about:  Jim Carey had a bad breakup with Kate Winslet.  So, he had her surgically removed from his brain.  I’m not kidding . . .

Less Ambitious Version:  “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Kitchen”

What it’s about NOW:   Jim Carey is a compulsive neat freak, who is obsessed with keeping his kitchen clean . . .

New and Improved Tagline:  “His floors are so clean, you can eat off them.  (But if you do, he’ll KILL YOU!)

7) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie)

What it was about:  A perky cheerleader battles vampires in her California high school.  She also says the word “like” a lot . . .

Less Ambitious Version:  “Buffy the Violin Player”

What it’s about NOW:  It’s kind of self explanatory.  Don’t you think?

New Tagline:  “For all the tools who like to get played, and the girls who like to play them . . .”

8)  Flashdance

What it was about:  A factory working teen tries to become accepted into a prestigious dance school.  She falls in love, in the process (SHOCKER!).

Less Ambitious Version:  “Flashy Pants”

What it’s about NOW:  Hot pink sparkly pants, and the girls who wear them . . .

New and Improved Tagline:  “It’s kind of like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants .  . . except without the ‘sisterhood,’ or the ‘traveling.’  Oh . . . and the pants are WAY sluttier!”

9) The Forty-Year Old Virgin

What it was about:  Steve Carell is a middle aged salesman of electronic equipment, who can’t seem to get himself laid.  Hijinks (not to mention, some REALLY NASTY BACK WAXING) ensue.

Less Ambitious Version:  “The 40-Year Old Merchant”

What it’s about NOW:  Steve Carell sells paper for a company called Dunder Mifflin.  He doesn’t get laid all that often (because he’s kind of a jackass).  But at least he’s not still a virgin!

New and Improved Tagline:  “It’s kind of like Death of a Salesman . . . except nobody dies at the end.”

10)  The King’s Speech

What it was about:  Colin Firth is going to be King, but he stutters like crazy!  Geoffery Rush to the RESCUE!

Less Ambitious Version:  “Larry King’s Speech”

What it’s about now:  It’s not really a movie, per se . . . more like every episode of Larry King Live ever aired .  . . back . . . to back . . . to back.

New and Improved Tagline:  “He may be retired, but he’s still not shutting the hell up . . .”

So, there you have it:  Ten Less Ambititous Movie Titles and Taglines.  Now it’s your turn to play!  (Feel free to leave your “new” film suggestions in the comment section below  .  . .)

[www.juliekushner.com]

9 Comments

Filed under Less Ambitious Movies, movies, Twitter

9 responses to “TV Recappers Anonymous Plays the Less Ambitious Movie Titles (and Taglines) Game!

  1. Amazon Annie

    How about TRUE SPIT….a grissly old cowboy teaches a 14 year old girl to spit just like her poor dead daddy did.
    FATAL CONTRAPTION: Michael Douglas meets Glenn Close in an elevator which proceeds to plummet 20 stories, killing both of them before they get to “get it on”.
    Hey it saves the pet rabbit!

    • These are so AWESOME, Amazon Annie! Thanks for playing! By the way, I would TOTALLY support a Fatal Contraption movie, if it meant even ONE bunny was saved from becoming Rabbit Stew, as a result . . .

      Bunnies are just too cute to die . . . unless, of course, they are rabid bunnies . . . because those are just plain scary!

  2. I’ve been watching this game play out on Twitter, and my favourite by far is The Day the Earth Kept Rotating at the Same Pace (@Baughler). It is a fairly accurate way of describing Keanu Reeves’ acting in the film this title is a parody of, and one I had the misfortune of watching with some friends lately. Sorry Keanu fans!

    You’re right about a lot of modern movie titles being unambitious. The Road, based on the Cormac McCarthy book of the same name, is a pretty pedestrian title, but it was one of the most gripping post-apocalyptic movies I’ve watched recently. Maybe someone should start a game of making titles MORE ambitious!

    • Good point about Keanu Reeves. I think you could actually make up a whole game of Less Ambitious Movie Titles just to describe HIS performances in ALL movies. For example, “Speed” could be “Slow.” The “Matrix” could be, “The Mattress.” Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure could be Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey . . . oh wait . . . they did that one already ;).

      As for a more ambitious title for “The Road,” might I suggest, “Apocalypse Tomorrow?” 🙂

  3. imaginarymen

    These taglines are brilliant! I’ll never hear the “Ghostbusters” theme the same way again!

    OMG “Apocalypse Tomorrow”!! BWAH!!!!!

    • LOL. Thanks Amy! What can I say? “Roastin’ Makes Me Feel Good.” 😉

      With Hollywood’s love of unnecessary sequels, I predict “Apocalypse Tomorrow” will one day be a real movie. You heard it here first!

  4. Here are some lessambitiosumovies we came up with –

    XXX Files : I Just Can’t Believe
    Lawrence Of Suburbia
    My Fair Weather Lady
    Who is afraid of Wolf Blitzer?
    The Dearly Departed
    Desperately Googling Susan
    No Countrywide Loans For Old Men
    The Devil Wears Me Out
    Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Tights
    Tweeting In the Rain
    The Sound of Muzak
    Casino Royale Pain in The…
    They Shoot RSS Don’t They
    American 3.14159
    Tweet Caroline

    We liked the idea of #lessambitiousmovies so much that we set up a whole website to preserving and perpetuating this crazy meme – at http://lessambitiousmovies.org (there are over 400 movie titles there now !) You can add your own and also vote on the funniest ones.

    • These less ambitious movie titles are TRULY awesome! Thanks so much for sharing them with me and my blog! Who knew lessambitiousmovies had its own website? What a great idea! I’ll definitely have to book mark your site.

      I think I’ve just found my new obsession . . . 🙂

      • Thank you – we had a lot of fun coming up with these – and I am glad you liked them 🙂
        We set up the website for lessambitiousmovies just for dedicated fans and addicts of this mad and fun idea. So would love it for you to visit it and add your own titles. and vote up your favorites. Also please do spread the word – we can never have too many less ambitious movies !
        (we also have a twitter account @lessambitmovies and a facebook page )

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