By Mark Reilly
Greetings, Earthlings. And welcome to another Reilly Roundtable. Brought to you by the makers of Tylenol: Cough and Cold. If you have a cough or, God willing, a cold… Well, Tylenol. You’re welcome.
What’s the f*cking fascination with numbers representing letters in movie titles? Last I checked numbers were the preferred symbol for anointing a sequence. No one writes an equation as A + 2 = 6. What the frick?
I’m not going to review this movie (if you need to know what I think, you can tune in to the Schmoes for a healthy recap, for which I agree: )
I feel I should mention some of the thoughts I had as I spent some time in front of the movie posters before the show. And some of my thoughts as I witnessed the previews before the show: (FAST FIV5, TH1R, HARRY POTT7R, CAPTA1N AMER1CA)
…And then of course, I get many ideas and opinions as I surf the geek/entertainment sites: Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc., etc, etc…
I am pretty overwhelmed by the amount of adaptations, reboots and sequels coming our way. Yes, this is old news. A usual cry from the movie fanatic.
Now, hear me… I love sequels. I love adaptations of beloved books and comics. I don’t think movies should ever stop swinging for the fences on any adaptation.
This incessant need to remake every single movie ever made is becoming ridiculous. Because most of these remakes come from the beloved movies that we all grew up with… Mostly from the 80’s.
But as I gazed upon the poster for SUPER 8
Yes, SUPER 8 was one of the trailers I saw in front of SCRE4M, I just didn’t want to disrespect it by adding a number… Ahem, notice the CORRECT way in which it uses a numerical symbol…
This is a nice segue I think…
SUPER 8 has me really excited. For it’s an original idea penned by JJ Abrams, produced by the headcheese, Señor Spielbergo, and even directed by future headcheese, Señor Abramsmuchacho.
I’ve been talking to many of my close friends and fellow movie buffs regarding this movie and especially about its mysterious trailer. Namely, how it reminds them of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and E.T. to name a couple. I see some POLTERGEIST in there as well…
Based purely on a flurry of frames that merely suggest something out worldly is in the concept, and never shown, (very nice filmmakers); I’m getting the warm fuzzies. Maybe because of the characters, a group of kids that are GOONIE-ish or even ELLIOT-ish…
SUPER 8 is advertising magic – a magic that we haven’t seen since the 80’s and 90’s. And I am signing up now. My hope is that it becomes the highest grossing movie of the summer and is nominated for best picture, best writer (Abrams), best director (Abrams) and best score (Michael Giacchino, previous winner for UP).
Doesn’t that sound familiar? Say when Spielberg and Williams were nominated for JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and E.T.?
But, many of you might be asking yourself… why didn’t I include SUPER 8 in my “most profitable” list of movies for the summer. I am sad to say I think it might just get lost under the overwhelming list of comic book/sequels that will be charging into the multiplexes this summer.
But it is a secret wish of mine that the outcome will be different. I want to be on the record.
Because, folks, these guys, Abrams and Giacchino, are our window into the nostalgia most if not ALL geeks are looking for in their movies. They are the 2000 version of Spielberg and Williams. And they continue to deliver.
So why am I writing this article on two separate subjects? SUPER 8 and reboots??? Because I wish there were MORE movies like this in the pipeline.
There are too many reboots – too many remakes of beloved franchises from yesteryear. I did a little bit of research into what is in development now and what is in the filming stages, even what is rumored as coming soon… And it makes me sad. For the cheap seats in the back, here’s a quick list:
The Crow (newly announced with Bradley Cooper)
Fright Night (Post production)
They Live (newly announced with LET ME IN director Matt Reeves)
Conan (coming this summer)
Footloose (in active development)
Red Dawn (currently shot, CGI’ing Chinese into Koreans)
Poltergeist (in active development)
Logan’s Run (just attached Ryan Gosling for filming this summer)
Spider-Man (coming next summer)
A reboot of Batman (After THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, because, well, it’s Batman and why not start fresh, again, when the money train derails)
The Birds (in active development)
The Black Hole (with Joseph Kosinsky, director of TRON LEGACY, in active development)
Daredevil (in active development with a rumored David Slade as director)
Drop Dead Fred (with Russel Brand attached)
Escape from New York (in active development)
Gremlins (rumored to be in development)
Monster Squad (in active development)
Vacation (in active development)
The Bodyguard (in active development)
The Neverending Story (in active development)
Pet Cemetery (in active development)
Robocop (once with Darren Aronofsky attached, still in active development)
And of course: Superman (coming December 2012)
That is a long list of re-boots/makes/imaginings. And that only scratches the surface. I could have listed even more but I have to get this column done in time for COUGAR TOWN.
This list, hell, this article isn’t original in the least. For as I troll through the trades and geek sites, everyone is screaming the same thing: Why?
So I am using SUPER 8 as an example of: Why Not?
Why can’t we try on something different? Why can’t we try for an original idea? Nowadays you either remake the original or set a sequel years after the last – see: INDIANA JONES, ROCKY, RAMBO, SCRE4M).
Then there are the re-imaginings of popular stories and/or characters with a slight twist to their DNA:
PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, SNOW WHITE, FRAKENSTEIN P.I. PETER PAN, SLEEPING BEAUTY (oh yeah, they’re doing a Sleeping Beauty movie where we are thrust into a dream world where Sleeping Beauty must battle her way out of the dream in order to survive…)
…The producers of SLEEPING BEAUTY have sent a basket of wine and cheese to the producers of INCEPTION…
Sure they sound original enough, but what I am truly searching for in my movie-going experience is a SUPER 8. Any kind of movie that is new and exciting…
A movie NO ONE has EVER heard of. Like the movies we got back in the day: A Raiders, a Star Wars, a Gremlins, a Goonies, a Flight of the Navigator, a Poltergeist, a E.T., a Terminator or even a Short Circuit.
There is nothing I can do to turn these tides – that is the job of the studio and the audience. And yet, the studios churn out each remake and the audiences follow.
So what gives?
I don’t know, really. Because I am there with them all when a new reboot comes out, tuning in to see if they recapture that lightning in a bottle.
Because that’s why these remakes happen – they want to capture the same lightning in a different bottle.
Supply and demand, the American dream at its best – the studios make it, the audiences looking for their weekly does of nostalgia, follow.
But what if we try to capture a new strain of lightning in a bottle. What if we wander out into the desert during an electrical storm with five lightning rods, hoping to catch just one gem…?
Sadly, I don’t think the studios want to buy five bottles. For our movies, the EVENT PICTURES, as it were, require a HUGE budget to get the people’s attention. So they need something they can hypothesize as a money-maker – hence, all the remakes.
But then…. there comes a SUPER 8. Something that is, indeed, a risk. They are really only banking on name recognition.
What if SUPER 8 does well and Hollywood thinks to itself: hey, this was an original idea and all the stupid humans turned out in droves! What if they really want to see a flick because it is an interesting idea executed by a talented team of filmmakers?
Why couldn’t they employ that same logic to some really great scripts that might be sitting on a shelf next to the remake of ROADHOUSE?
Why can’t the studios take a chance?
Don’t know… But I am willing to push, plead, promote, bribe, torture and abduct every person I know into seeing SUPER 8 in hopes the studios look differently at our current movie landscape.
I’m hoping SUPER 8 is the movie that will usher in a renaissance of original spec scripts out there begging for that big screen treatment.
What have we got to lose? Oh, yeah, millions of dollars.
But here’s hoping, right?
See you in line… June 10th… for SUPER 8…