Revealed: The 24 greatest unfinished Shiznit articles of 2013

Ali Gray

31st December 2013

The title: Netflix subtitles in caps

The author: Ed

The feature idea: Ed made the astute observation that all subtitles on US Netflix are all in capital letters (which I'm pretty sure isn't true, but that's not the point) which he claimed made it look like everyone was shouting. Wrote Ed: "I'll screengrab a load of famously quiet, sensitive, emotional scenes with the shouty subtitles at the bottom, until it gets old (i.e. after about three)." Solid LOLs in the offing, I'm sure you'll agree.

For illustration purposes only.

Why it was abandoned: Wrote Ed about five minutes after the post was created: "Yeah, except I can't screengrab off the PS3 and the ones on my laptop Netflix (UK) are in sentence case. So that's a shit idea all round really." A nice little self-contained failure from Ed here.

The title: Star Wars: Episode VII rumour generator

The author: Ali

The feature idea: Aeons ago, before this site was even a thing (you know, back when people actually used to use the phrase 'the shiznit'), Luke created a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie generator for the express purposes of, I dunno, alleviating boredom (you can play with it here).

It's quite a neat bit of code and creates a user-made end product, so I figured we could co-opt it so users could create their very own bogus Star Wars: Episode VII rumours, perhaps with the hope of making some of them stick. Because I'm just a dick like that.

Why it was abandoned: It was too ambitious an idea, and besides, the Star Wars: Episode VII rumours you can already find on the web are ridiculous enough as it is.

This is real. Well, it's not real. But someone else published it. I KNOW.
The title: Annoying plot device that needs to die

The author: Ali

The feature idea: I'm hesitant to publish this one because all it'll take will be for one more movie to indulge in the trope and it'll become relevant again, but hey ho. I'm getting really sick of the scenes in blockbusters whereby the hero manages to track down the villain (or maybe just the henchman of the villain) by analysing a trace of the incredibly rare gun/bullet/knife they used against them. You know, the ones that can only be bought from specific vendors in one country on the planet.

Skyfall did it (the special bullet that Ola Rapace pumped into Daniel Craig), Fast & Furious 6 did it (first with a bullet, then a type of paint, for Christ's sake) and if I could be bothered to dedicate one iota of effort into this feature, I'm sure I would have found more damning examples.

Why it was abandoned: I was 80% sure there was an example of this in Star Trek Into Darkness but I'd be fucked if I was going to sit through Star Trek Into Darkness again to find out.
The title: What if other countries had their own Jaegers in Pacific Rim?

The author: Ali

The feature idea: Prepare your sides: splitting is imminent! "I like the idea of being quasi-xenophobic through giant robots," started the aborted idea, in which I intended to make wry comments (read: shit jokes) about what other countries' Jaegers would be like if they had to defend themselves against Kaiju. I actually wrote a few entries before I gave up, so you be the judge as to whether this was a terrible idea or not. (Hint: it was).

United Kingdom - VIRGIN MEDIOCRE

Despite being in a quintuple-dip recession, Britain's gears of industry ground into gear to build a mech to protect the Queen's interests in the Pacific. Designed by Norman Foster, the 100-ft high Jaeger was funded by Richard Branson, who insisted the mech be branded with the Virgin logo and must bear his own likeness. The Jaeger was fitted with a special 'manners' AI routine, where it ensures any opponent is ready and willing to engage in a fair fight, but special attacks include jagged teeth and a 'rage mode' modelled on Millwall football hooliganism. The Jaeger was dedicated to Jeremy Clarkson, whose heart exploded upon first seeing it in action. In true British style, it is expected to last a few rounds before crashing out.

France - SURRENDERBOT 3000

Though they're nowhere near the Pacific Rim, France decided to build their own Jaeger anyway because they're so used to being invaded. Hedging their bets, the French Jaeger is up for a fight but prepared for the inevitable: Surrenderbot 3000 knows when it's beaten and is fitted with special multi-linguistic software to welcome any invading Kaiju should it be defeated. Built with steel reconstituted from the Eiffel Tower, Surrenderbot is handy in a fight, but the French government admitted they only built it to show the English that they could.

Italy - BELLA
Built on the whim of Italian MP and playboy Silvio Berlusconi, who had to siphon money away from his bunga bunga funds,

I think it was wise I left it there.

Why it was abandoned:

To be fair, the idea was improved upon infinitely by Luke, who used it as the basis of his interactive Pacific Rim playset, which I think we can all agree is pretty goddamn fantastic.
The title: Fake French posters thing

The author: Matt

The feature idea: Matt spotted an incredibly insensitive French poster for Hummingbird, which has been retitled 'Crazy Joe'.

Actually, France, the character has PTSD. You assholes.

The plan: reimagine some other famous posters from history with an insensitive Gallic sniff. "Is this something?" asked Matt. I think we all knew even then that it wasn't something. Or anything.

Why it was abandoned: This sobering note from Luke stopped everyone in their tracks: "I saw a tourist stop and take a picture of a homeless person like he was a bit of trash the other day. He gave her the bird in return."

The title: The 10 dumbest bits of GI Joe: Retaliation

The author: Ali

The feature idea: It is impossible to watch G.I. Joe: Retaliation and not have your jaw hit the floor at its utter ineptitude. It is a film that fails on several basic levels, one that practically begs for the 'dumbest reasons' treatment. Here are just a few of the problems with the movie I would have highlighted if the feature were to go ahead:

- Tim from Jurassic Park's bullet camera
- The whole Walt Goggins section
- The mountain scene with the detachable sleeping bag
- RZA the mystical wizard
- Jonathan Pryce as The Prez
- Bruce Willis doing almost literally absolutely nothing except be sexist
- The nuclear disarmament meeting (that everyone brought their nukes to)
- North Korea
- The Rock firing his gun at the end
- Palicki complaining about being treated like a sex object despite her only role seemingly as a flirty distraction
- London explodes and no one fucking cares
- Nukes are 'dropped' from space ("Gravity does the rest")

Also, this line: "Drive like you stole it!" THEY AREN'T EVEN IN CARS.

Why it was abandoned: Making fun of a G.I. Joe movie is a lot like making fun of a special needs child. It might be easy but that doesn't make it okay.
The title: Man who writes funny captions for magazine photos kills self

The author: Ali

The feature idea: "SATIRE"

Why it was abandoned: It wasn't satire.
The title: 9 Robert Redford things that might influence his Captain America 2 role

The author: Luke

The feature idea: This is absolutely fucking bonkers. Luke, I have no idea what mad drug you were on the day you wrote this, but it should be buried 1,000 feet below the Earth and never mentioned again. The idea was to post something about Robert Redford's casting in the Captain America sequel, but Luke took that idea and ran with it, ran so far that by the time he'd finished running, he'd forgotten what he was running for.

The feature was finished but never published. In a Shiznit first, we'll let you see the unpublished article preview and you can make your own mind up why. Here is a picture from it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Why it was abandoned: A dignified silence is best left here, I think.
The title: The Mark Wahlberg matrix

The author: Ali

The feature idea: Save for the truthful posters features, The Nicolas Cage Matrix is the most popular thing we've ever done (to the point where it was actually mentioned to Nicolas Cage in an interview) so it figures we'd do another one. We did, actually: the Adam Sandler Matrix wasn't half as popular. So, it stands to reason that we'd do another, the Mark Wahlberg Matrix, to keep those diminishing returns coming.

To be fair, Wahlberg's career is spread more evenly across the serious/silly/brilliant/shitty quadrants than most - and this idea was conceived pre-Pain & Gain, his career highlight to date.

Click image for full-size picture (you're really not missing much)

Why it was abandoned: I did make a start on plotting the matrix but sadly neglected to label which film each blob represented. Then I lost the bit of paper I wrote them on. Then I lost interest.

The title: Something about the perils of keeping a lit cigarette in your suit pocket

The author: Neil

The feature idea: The clue's in the title.

Why it was abandoned: It wasn't. We just published it in its entirety.
The title: Here is my idea for the most amazing plot twist (that can never happen)

The author: Ali

The feature idea: One day I will write this feature idea up and everyone will read it and go 'Oh my God, that's so brilliant, I can't believe no one has done this before, it's pure genius' and I'll be all, like, 'Yo, I'm just me being me and if you wanna call that genius then that's cool'. For some reason I am speaking in a Sylvester Stallone accent in this fantasy, although that is unrelated to the twist.

Why it was abandoned: I couldn't be arsed to write it up at the time. But I will one day. When the world is ready.
The title: Just how likeable is Hugh Jackman? A scientific analysis

The author: Ali

The feature idea: In the promotional run-up to the release of Les Misérables, Hugh Jackman went on yet another charm offensive, which - for once - actually bordered on the offensive. If you could beat someone to death with nice, then Hugh Jackman would be the world's deadliest killer. I decided I wanted to find out just how likeable he was, on a sliding scale of nicety. This was to be my opening gambit:

"Hugh Jackman: he's a smiling, jovial Aussie, with a range so wide he could hypnotise you with an enchanting song and dance routine before frantically stabbing you to death, and you wouldn't even be surprised. The Les Misérables star really is the complete package: handsome, talented, self-effacing and charming. Hugh Jackman could turn up at your house unannounced at a godless hour on a Monday morning, defecate on your lawn and ask you to pay for the privilege, but he's so nice you'd probably say thank you as you handed over your tenner."

Really, I think all I wanted to do was write a short paragraph about Hugh Jackman shitting on someone's front lawn.

Why it was abandoned: Look, my wife had a baby last year, gimme a break already.

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