Movie studio executives are not known for carpet-bombing their own films—not in public, anyway—so it's something of a shock to hear the way Universal's Ron Meyer described some of the flicks his outfit is responsible for, from Cowboys & Aliens to Land of the Lost. In a word: s***ty.
Talking to a crowd at the Savannah Film Festival, Meyer took aim at some recent Universal films and unloaded with both barrels.
"We make a lot of s***ty movies," he said. "Every one of them breaks my heart."
On Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford:
"Cowboys & Aliens wasn't good enough. ... Forget all the smart people involved in it, it wasn't good enough. All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it ... I have to take first responsibility because I'm part of it, but we all did a mediocre job and we paid the price for it. It happens. They're talented people. Certainly you couldn't have more talented people involved in Cowboys & Aliens, but it took, you know, ten smart and talented people to come up with a mediocre movie. It just happens."
On Land of the Lost, starring Will Ferrell:
"Land of the Lost was just crap. ... I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong ... Cowboys & Aliens didn't deserve better. Land of the Lost didn't deserve better. Scott Pilgrim did deserve better, but it just didn't capture enough of the imaginations of people."
Meyer saved his real ire for The Wolfman, directed by Captain America's Joe Johnston and starring Anthony Hopkins and Benecio Del Toro:
"One of the worst movies we ever made was Wolfman. ... It's one of those movies, the moment I saw it I thought, 'What have we all done here?' That movie was crappy. [The cast] was awful. The director was wrong. Benicio stunk. It all stunk."
Well, this year's company picnic should be a hoot.