Minch’s Pop Tarts Episode 1: Everything Old is Old Again
A few weeks ago, I was standing in front of the marquee at the movie house. I had stopped lamenting the bevy of poor life decisions that have lead me to this point long enough to actually focus on what was in front me. The marquee displayed almost nothing original:
Wrath of the Titans (a sequel to remake), American Reunion (a sequel/desperate money grab for Jason Biggs), 21 Jump Street (a re-envisioning of remaking a reboot), and The Three Stooges (a bastardization).
Looking further into the lobby, I saw more of the same on the horizon: another recreation of an old show (Dark Shadows), an inexplicable reboot of an only ten-year-old franchise (Spiderman), a sequel to the worst cartoon franchise ever (Madagascar), a sequel to the other worst cartoon franchise ever (Ice Age), and a desperate trip back to the well (MIB 3).
The point is that new and original ideas are of no interest to modern day Hollywood. If it isn’t a reboot/remake/rehash then it’s an idea that they clearly farted up because something else had worked previously. How many terrible Exorcism movies have come out in the past five years? Steady Cam films? What about kid’s movies based on old cartoons?
“Well Garfield made money, let’s try Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear, and the Smurfs”
Side Note: When the hell is Heathcliff going to get his due?
It is my undying fear that this lack of originality will lead to something terrible, something that cannot be undone, something like Ghostbusters 3.
I recently had a brief, but spirited discussion with EYS brain trust Brandon Melendez over the idea of GB3. Our differing opinions speak more about the two of us as individuals than it does about the actual potential of what a GB3 could be.
Brandon is a decent family man. As such, he approaches GB3 with a sort of youthful optimism. A belief that Sony/Columbia will understand that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis know what they are doing, and will take a back seat. After they finish a script that is overflowing with comedy, emotion, adventure and nostalgia, they will be able to sway Bill Murray to reconsider his stance. Perhaps just as important, Rick Moranis will come out of retirement. Perhaps even MORE important, they’ll find the ARBY’s that Annie Potts is working at.
There are chills when our four heroes suit up for the first time. There are boisterous laughs when Slimer arrives. Perhaps there’s even a single tear when the Ghostbusters are met with cheers from NYC as they face off against their greatest foes yet, played by Christopher Lee and Andy Serkis. Who doesn’t want that? I want that…but I know better.
After twelve years of working at the movie house, which is tantamount to Nights Watch only less cheery, my opinion is far more grizzled and far less optimistic. GB3 would be a mangling of the franchise. Here is the dark tale that I foresee…
Sony/Columbia will give Aykroyd grief at every turn.
“This script doesn’t really play to 18-24 demo. You need more fart jokes.”
“Winston needs a catch phrase, try to work in ‘Aww hell no, it’s my day off!’ at least three times.”
“Let’s get Ben Stiller and Kevin James involved”
We’ll be force fed new Ghostbusters, like Cliff Stanz (as played by Zac Efron), Henry Zeddmore (played by Chris Brown), and Neutron Spangler (played by that guy from Big Bang Theory, who I honestly don’t understand why people think is so damn funny).
The “humor” won’t come from the interactions between the heroes we love, but rather from the constant attempts to make them look old and futile. They’ll play synthesized 80’s music, and the Ghostbuster kids will roll their eyes and wink to the camera.
Bill Murray will have nothing to do with it, so Venkman will be recast and be played by Dave Coulier, Rick Moranis won’t be so lucky. Five minutes in, Zac Effron will see a framed picture of Louis and ask,
“Who’s that dumb ass?”
“That was Louis, boy I sure miss him”
“Yeah well he looks like a nerd.” >FART<
The Villains will be the product of stunt casting, a trio of demonesses played by Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian. The below subpar acting will inadvertently conjure up a far more vivid image of Hell than they even intended.
Then, when we as a people think our pain is just about over, the end credits hit, and we hear Pitbull’s remix of the Ghostbuster’s Song titled, “Ghostbusters: Party With The Ladies With The Boobies.”
I come to this conclusion based on years of precedent. Franchises that should be still churning out good material had wrenches thrown in them by over zealous studios. Ladies and gentlemen: X-Men.
In my humble opinion, X2 was a triumph; an excellent tapestry that wove several characters into an interesting story. The franchise had hit its stride. Problem was, Warner Brothers lured X2 director Bryan Singer over to make Superman Returns, and Fox had a temper tantrum.
They apparently went with the “any old asshole” mentality when they picked Brett “Rush Hour 8” Ratner. Fox and its Lex Luthor-esque boss-man, Tom Rothman, wanted to bum-rush the movie so that it came out before Superman, an ultimate “take that” to Mr. Singer. The end result, X3: Revenge of the Sith, could be most kindly described as “not good,” and truthfully described as “an affront to whatever deity to choose to pray to.” Top that off with the fact that Superman Returns blew, and you have a rough summer 2006. It took years and an even worse movie (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) for the studio to back off and let someone try to rebuild.
“But Minch, that was Fox, we all know Fox are a bunch of assholes. Look at the Fantastic Four movies.”
Good point reader, but keep in mind it was Columbia that force fed Venom into Spiderman 3, which was not a thing Sam Raimi wanted to do. So, we got a halfhearted version played by Eric Foreman. Venom essentially went up to Sandman towards the end of the movie and said, “Hey, you want to be pals and fight Spiderman?” Finally, in an attempt to tell each and every Spiderman fan that he hates them, Raimi had Spiderman dance through NYC. He danced. Columbia also has blood on their hands for that.
Now that I think about it, Dan “Soul Man” Aykroyd is not free of sin either. Yes, I heard you gasp just then. I would like to enter into evidence:
Blues Brothers 2000!!!!
Blues Brothers 2000 was about as unnecessary of a sequel as “Hellraiser 12: Pinhead’s Bout with IBS.” John Belushi had been long dead, and there was really no reason to revisit this. Although, I give them credit for not going with Jim Belushi, John Goodman is no John Belushi. Even though he didn’t play Jake Blues, Jim didn’t serve well as a foil to Ellwood. Also, having a kid Blues Brother and Cab Calloway’s bastard son? Heaven help it. Oh, and it also had a damn PG-13 rating. This movie lays out everything I fear about GB3, including Erykah Badu…
Perhaps the truth about Ghostbusters 3 lies somewhere in the middle. I would rather never find out this in the works, than actually be right. In the mean time, Hollywood, go make something no one cares about: Battlefield Earth 2-Hubbard’s Revenge.
(To follow Minch’s further adventures, check out Minch vs. the World: http://minchvsworld.blogspot.com/ )