A couple weeks ago, I mentioned how 11 of the 30 movies already scheduled for next summer are sequels or prequels. I know what you’re thinking--that leaves a lot of room for original stories. Fortunately, however, there are a lot of blockbusters based on other things we’re already familiar with. Like TV shows! Who can forget delightful TV adaptations like Charlie’s Angels II and The Beverly Hillbillies? So in the great tradition of The Mod Squad, next summer will give us The A-Team. I pity the fool who doesn’t go see that movie!!
I was starting to get nervous that Hollywood was running out of TV shows to make into movies, but then I heard they’re making Land of the Lost. Of course! Saturday morning live-action TV shows! We could be watching those movies for years to come! Even better, Will Ferrell is starring in this one. That’s kinda cool because he usually doesn’t have any movies in the summer. I’m a bit surprised, though, as I don’t remember Land of the Lost being a comedy when it was a TV show. But I guess with this and Semi-Pro, Ferrell is tired of making us laugh and hopes to make us cry, too. You go, big guy!
Now adaptations don’t have to be based on just TV shows. Transformers showed us you can create a deep and thought-provoking film that’s just based on a toy. So next summer we get to thrill to the sight of G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. And, no, it’s not going to be animated. It’s going to star Brendan Fraser. That guy’s been a magnet for quality entertainment lately. And since I already know G.I. Joe is going to create a sensation, I’m taking bets on the spinoffs. Ripcord deserves his own movie, don’t you think? I’m crossing my fingers that there’ll be a new line of toys for all the kids to play with and all the adults to collect. Speaking of toys, can Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots: The Movie be far behind? We can only hope.
I’m a bit disappointed there aren’t any theme park ride adaptations next summer, but I’m happy to report movie remakes are in full swing. A friend tried to tell me that the original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was some kind of masterpiece, but how good could a movie from the early seventies be? Fortunately, the remake is being directed by Tony Scott. I always say, if it can’t be Michael Bay, then let it be Tony Scott. No one directs car chases and shootouts with so much excitement. In fact, there’s so much excitement I lose track of what’s going on.
I can’t believe it’s taken Hollywood 30 years to remake Piranha, but maybe they were waiting till the special effects had reached today’s levels. Do you know what’s going to be different about this one? I’ll give you a hint--the new title is Piranha 3-D. Sounds tasty!
The So Cal marketing gurus have really gotten clever with their movie titles for next summer. For starters, there’s Hannah Montana: The Movie. I wonder if there’ll be any singing in this one. I hope not. Plus, Adam Sandler has a new movie called Funny People. The title alone has me giggling. In fact, next summer is shaping up to be 90 Days of Funny. Besides Sandler and Ferrell, we’ve got Eddie Murphy in a family-oriented fantasy comedy called Nowhereland. And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, Jack Black has a new comedy based on ... wait for it ... The Bible. That book is hilarious.
The most inventive comedy of the summer, though, might be The Hangover. It’s directed by Todd Phillips, who did Old School. But this time the story’s about four dudes instead of three, and they get caught up in a raucous bachelor party instead of a frat party. How do they keep coming up with such original ideas? You know, I think the trick is to find the original in the familiar.
But the movie I’m most looking forward to next summer is 2012, starring John Cusack. It’s directed by Roland Emmerich, who taught me everything I needed to know about global warming in The Day After Tomorrow and made history crystal clear in 10,000 B.C. With that kind of track record, you know his latest, about the end of the Mayan calendar, will be both thrilling and educational. But, wait, it gets better! Check out this plot description I discovered on a top secret movie website: “A large group of people must deal with natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, typhoons and glaciers.” You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an action flick about glaciers before. Can you imagine the tension as Cusack tries to outrun that glacier? I bet audiences will be inventing a new slang word--“That movie was glacial!”
There are a few other films coming out next summer, but nothing to get too excited about. Pixar has yet another animated movie, but I think they’ve slipped a bit. I mean, their last movie barely had any talking in it! How were we supposed to know what was going on? Then director Sam Raimi is going to do a horror movie called Drag Me to Hell. Earth to Sam: Stick with what you know best, like Spider-Man 4 (hint hint).
So there it is. Summer 2009. I didn’t think Hollywood could top 2008, but next year is looking even better. But that’s no surprise when the movies’ best and brightest put their heads together and think of new, original, vital, unique, and novel storylines that put a smile on our face, a tear in our eye, and an empty spot in our wallet. Hurray, Hollywood!