By Mark Reilly
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Moving on to what you are here for – the latest movie news and this week’s article du jour… um, wait, does that make sense? Frak it, this week is about Ridley Scott’s return to two of his most famous movies.
You see Sir Ridley is showing no signs of slowing down. The guy is a HUGE part of cinemas’ past having created ALIEN, BLADE RUNNER and GLADIATOR, among others; I could list the rest of his movies but instead for those of you “movie fans” living under a beached whale, here’s a link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000631/
Now, we have all known about his return to the ALIEN universe. Known as PROMETHEUS, Sir Rid (as he’s known in his hood) has said that it isn’t a direct prequel to ALIEN rather it shares the same DNA and is a self-contained sci-fi story. Most fans believe it will shed some light on the “Space Jockey” they found in the first movie:
If that is the case Sir Rid (fist bump), then I am really excited for the movie. Because when I first heard about the revival er, remake- er, prequel er- re-imagining—whatever it is – I had mixed feelings.
Mixed feelings? You Reilly? But ALIEN is one of the greatest horror/sci-fi films of all time!? Sir Rid (more fist bumps) is the reason why there was a franchise of aliens (and predators for that matter) to begin with!
Yes, I had mixed feelings. It seemed obvious to me that this was either a studio move or a move by the director himself to pull the franchise away from the ledge after AVP.
Perhaps FOX backed a truck full of money onto Ridley’s porch killing his house cat that escaped the night before. Or maybe… just maybe… it’s because Ridley Scott hasn’t had the same success as his past movies and wanted to go on back to that well and see if there was any water left. After all, dude has to eat (in his home on his own island in the Caymans.)
When they announced Damon Lindelof (LOST) was working on the script, I got even more excited. And then when they said it was more of a self contained story… the title being PROMETHEUS… well, I finally went all in.
No studio is going to take a billion dollar franchise and then name it something completely different. Do you think the studio has faith in the fans going to a movie WITHOUT ‘Alien’ in the title? That is why I have a lot of respect for what Ridley Scott is doing and with FOX for that matter. I mean it’s a gamble to name a movie based on a billion dollar franchise something completely different. We’re lucky we didn’t get ALIEN RISING, SPACE JOCKEY (The Alien Saga), or even ALIEN ECLIPSE.
And although there isn’t a lot of information about PROMETHEUS, I will remain excited and hopeful that the movie will live up to the standards of the first two.
Okay, point number two to discuss in this article… Ridley Scott has also signed on for another BLADE RUNNER movie.
Now, see, I’m calling bullshit. You can get me on this whole Alien/Prometheus thing… What you can’t do is direct back-to-back movies based on your most popular films. That’s as if Spielberg went back and directed an E.T. sequel and then a JAWS sequel.
Now look, I like BLADE RUNNER. It’s a good movie. But I don’t think there are lines of people up and down the block demanding to know whether or not Dekkard (Harrison Ford) ever schtupped the android (or was the android, depending on what cut of the movie you’ve seen.)
Ridley Scott has released so many damn cuts of the movie I forget which one I actually liked. And the fact that this announcement is coming right after comic-con, where fans went ape-sh*t over the pictures of PRMOETHEUS they released, well, it seems a tad too convenient.
But even that last statement is bullsh*t. As everyone knows, a deal takes FOREVER to close before it’s announced so I will now just chalk this up as something other than convenient:
I will chalk it up to desperation on both the studio’s part and on Ridley Scott’s part.
Here we are again, dusting off the name of an old franchise, luring back the director and/or star and making a sequel. And although RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is one of the very few exceptions (and I will admit there are exceptions to the rules) BLADE RUNNER was never a multi-billion dollar franchise to begin with. Not like APES; not like ALIEN.
This is an example of greed, not story-telling. Phillip K. Dick, the original creator of BLADE RUNNER or as it’s known to the purists– DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP, didn’t create another chapter to his sheep story, nor did he have any hand in any sequel. The creator of the story did not create the further adventures in the ELECTRIC SHEEP mythos.
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP… Try putting that on a one sheet.
I kind of glossed over this news when I first read it. But then I read up on yet ANOTHER piece if news that caused me to drool and bang my head on the floor.
…SAY ANYTHING is also being looked at for a sequel.
And this news comes directly from the writer/director himself: CAMERON CROWE, who states that it is one of the only stories that he believes, has another chapter in it.
Why do we need another BLADE RUNNER? Why do we need another SAY ANYTHING? Are we going down the list of cult classics in order to give them the sequel treatment and/or reboot treatment?
If TRON LEGACY has taught us anything (which had a budget of 170 million and only made 172 million) is that there really isn’t that big of an audience clamoring for a sequel, especially for an eighties movie thirty years after the fact.
Can we put some things in perspective please? Por favor? Polly wanna cracker?
Both TRON and BLADE RUNNER came out in 1982. Both were considered bombs at the box office. Only as the years went by did the movies gain a cult following. That’s why they’re known as a cult – a select number of people find them interesting and those select few then convert others and so on and so forth…
TRON made 33 million total at the box office that year… and was considered a bomb. BLADE RUNNER made 27.5 million. Hell, FRIDAY THE 13th PART III made more than either of these movies!!!
And to put it in perspective even more – E.T. made 359 million dollars.
Now, I’m not good at math but…um, carry the one… that’s over THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS MORE!!!
These movies turned out to be like a fine wine. They aged over time and only by aging over time did many a connoisseur fine them attractive – connoisseurs of the movie varietals.
By announcing another BLADE RUNNER, another SAY ANYTHING… this is an obvious ploy by the studios to cash in on the brand name and try for a franchise.
And sadly, I believe this is also a ploy by the directors to stave off the end of their careers. Because Mr. Scott and Mr. Crowe for that matter haven’t had that genre blasting, career defining moment in a while. The audience, quite possibly, has changed and these directors might have lost touch.
Who am I to critique? These guys could direct me off a cliff to my death they are so fricken good… I am only commenting on the sign of the times and the lack of work that has been commercial or critical hits. When that happens, you have a studio believing they can make some bucks off a name and a director thinking they can resurrect a career.
You know who loses? The audience. And the writers that have an amazing new idea that might get replaced in favor of a Goonies sequel; a reboot of Close Encounters; or even another sequel to Jaws where the great-great grandchild of Martin Brody travels back in time to kill the shark before it eats Amity Island.
This news just makes me even more upset about the state of Hollywood and its reliance on the brand name in place of a good story.
But I do believe that this remake/reboot jazz is a bubble, just as real estate and soon – the bubble will burst. Actors aren’t opening movies anymore, neither are reboots or remakes (CONAN and FRIGHT NIGHT come to mind as of late); the studios will be forced to look to fresh new faces with fresh new ideas.
And that’s when we, the movies lovers, will have something worthwhile to spend our hard earned money on.
Until that day, however – I’m merely a pawn in the Studio’s game of Chess. For I love movies too much… And no matter what, I will hope to find a diamond in the rough from the remake/reboot/prequel department. I mean, hey, look at RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES? It is possible.
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