I – THOU SHALT TREATITH THINE AUDIENCE WITH RESPECT
Blessed: The Dark Knight
SINNER!: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
Your audience is the most important part of your movie. They are smart, observant, easily put-off, and–most importantly–not babies. Do not assume that a plot hole will go unnoticed or that poop jokes are funny.
II – THOU SHALT TREATITH THE SOURCE MATERIAL WITH RESPECT
Blessed: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
SINNER!: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
If the source material is well-respected enough to be made into a movie, then the source material is more important than your “artistic vision.”
III – THOU SHALT NOT DISTRACTITH THINE AUDIENCE WITH POINTLESS VISUAL STYLIZATION
Blessed: Sin City
I do not want to watch a comic book. I want to watch a story that was told in a comic book.
IV – THOU SHALT ADHERITH TO THINE OWN ESTABLISHED LAWS OF PHYSICS AND REALITY
Blessed: The Matrix
SINNER!: Superman: The Movie
The rules of reality have to be rewritten for any nerd movie, but this is not carte blanche. Just because I’ll buy that a human-looking alien is invincible and can fly doesn’t mean I think reversing the Earth’s rotation causes time to move backwards.
V – THOU SHALT ADHERITH TO THINE OWN ESTABLISHED CANON
Blessed: Iron Man 2
SINNER!: Highlander 2: The Quickening
It is insulting to watch a sequel and be told by the filmmakers that something or everything in the previous film had no significance. Now please refer to Commandment I.
VI – THOU SHALT RELYITH PRIMARILY UPON STORY
Blessed: The Bourne Trilogy
SINNER!: G.I. Joe
I don’t go see movies to be presented with some computer animator or choreographer’s portfolio. If the plot isn’t front and center, it’s worthless.
VII – THOU SHALT NOT FLOODITH THY MOVIE WITH TOO MANY LEAD CHARACTERS, NOR SHALL YOU GIVITH THY TITLE CHARACTERS A SUPPORTING ROLE
Blessed: Spider-Man 2
SINNER!: Spider-Man 3
We love to see our favorite characters make appearances on the silver screen, but dedicating too much of the story to too many of them results in a nasty, thin, filmy feeling reminiscent of that time in 7th grade I didn’t rinse off in the shower well enough.
VIII – THOU SHALT NOT MAKITH THY LEAD CHARACTER A WHINY TOOL
Blessed: Casino Royale
SINNER!: The Star Wars prequels
Nobody likes a whiner. If you want your lead character to be strong but conflicted, make sure he has a pair.
IX – THOU SHALT PLANITH AHEAD WITH THY SUPPORTING CAST
Blessed: The Harry Potter series
SINNER!: X-Men 3: The Last Stand
If you’re going to tease me with a cameo of a character of whom I want and expect to see more in a sequel, be prepared to stick with the casting decision.
X – THOU SHALT REBOOT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY
Blessed: Star Trek
SINNER!: Superman Returns
If you’re going to reboot a franchise, then reboot the franchise and start completely over. That is not the same Clark, that is not the same Lois. Don’t try to tell me they are.