I always like to think that my critical thinking skills have been fine-tuned and diamond-sharp like a medieval samurai sword. I like to think that my brain is a superpowered shark tank filter that can separate the important from the unimportant. However, I recently looked through the browsing history on my work computer and was shocked to find out that MOST of my day consists of searching for the latest movie news and rumors. It doesn’t even matter what site. Any nugget of information I read, no matter the level of credibility, adds to the knowledge I have of upcoming movies and makes me sound like a Hollywood insider… without the autographed pictures of myself with various celebrities hanging over the fireplace I use to burn hate mail, of course. Some of my friends are nice enough to pretend they’re interested in what I’m saying when I call them, frantically, to tell them the latest in movie rumor dirt. They use the same trying-to-sound- interested phrases I use when people tell me sports news or stories about their kids. Usually something like, “oh, yeah?” or “whoa, how cool.” And yet others change the subject immediately or stare blankly at me just waiting for me to finish. “Ugh, Chris is off on something again, just huddle up under a bridge or in a doorway until the storm blows over and he falls asleep.” So, as planted as I like to think I am in the real world, I realize I am probably more excitable than most about all things fantasy and fiction. And I’m a sucker for good marketing. I owned an XBOX 360 for about a year before I realized it was the most expensive paper weight I’ve ever owned. Why did I even buy it? To keep up with the Joneses. Why did I order so many WWE pay-per-views growing up? Because the music they played in the promos always pumped me up. If they played Wham! during those promos I could have saved myself a lot of money.
For 20 years I have been chasing the Holy Grail of rumored movies: Ghostbusters III. For years, Dan Aykroyd has been letting that line out everytime there is something else to be promoted. He is a genius at remaining famous and keeping interest up in his projects by simply invoking the Ghostbusters franchise. On any random day of the week, you can do an internet search of GB3 and almost it’s almost certain that you will find articles published within the past few days and it revolves around a quote by Aykroyd about how he hopes to start shooting GB3 “soon.” Just by saying “soon” he dismisses all responsibility for the movie. But his name remains in the headlines. Every couple of years the original Ghostbusters is shown in movie theaters around the country it usually plays to packed houses. The last time the movie was re-released, we were told that whether or not GB3 was made depended on how well these showings did. BULLSHIT! So if the movie never gets made it was OUR fault? Because we’d rather spend our hard-earned money on a NEW GB movie we are to be punished by NOT getting a new movie? Just so that the makers of the movie can go another year making money off of a thirty-year old movie just by MENTIONING it to the media? “Oh well, we are re-writing the script again, and we’re still trying to see just how interested people are in it, but it’ll happen soon… in the meantime, just go see the original again this Halloween, you ungrateful, yuppie larvae!” Or if we don’t get THAT much in the interview we are given the fall-back excuse: “It’s all Bill Murray’s fault!!” At a certain point, you have to wonder whether or not this movie will actually happen or if Mr. Aykroyd is just playing with our emotions to keep our interest up in his projects or to get us to buy more vodka. Don’t get me wrong; I have the utmost respect for the man. His Ghostbusters movies had a hand in my upbringing almost as much as my own parents. Yes, even the cool-to-hate Ghostbusters 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time and I love it JUST AS MUCH as the first. Get over it! I’m just at a point now where I’d rather just remember the characters the way I saw them together the last time.
And Ghostbusters isn’t the only movie franchise with a sequel being dangled in front of our faces like a carrot on a stick flipping us the bird and shouting emotionally abusive insults at us. A Dumb And Dumber sequel has been teased for over ten years already. The studio was so desperate to milk more money from fans that they made a prequel when the original cast decided that they were now way too far above the low-brow humor of the first movie to do another one. But in recent months, the Farrelly Brothers and Jim Carrey himself have been shouting from rooftops news of a Dumb and Dumber sequel finally being made. In time for the 20th anniversary next year of the first film, shooting is set to begin. And, of course, everyone I know has had to endure my running around like a sugar-loaded 5 year old on Easter Sunday screaming about the sequel to another one of my favorite movies finally being made. But then, reality hits me like a brick through the window of the Westboro minivan. Jim Carrey and the Farrelly brothers all have new releases they are promoting. And what have we learned from Mr. Aykroyd? Keep interest alive by talking about your most popular work every chance you get. So I remain cautiously optimistic and depressingly skeptical. I’ll believe it when I see it.
And let’s not forget the Bill and Ted sequel Alex Winter has been teasing us with for a few years now. This is another well-researched subject of mine. These movies were just plain awesome. And just like Ghostbusters, I feel that the sequel was just as good as the first. About a year ago, my friend and I were ingesting large amounts of coffee in our neighborhood all-night diner when we saw a man who looked very much like William Sadler sit at a booth on the other side of the room. He played the Grim Reaper in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. We thought we’d find out for sure if it’s him if we could get his attention by reciting dialogue from the movie out loud. We did our best Death impressions for a while but couldn’t get the guy to turn to look at us. We figured it wasn’t him. That is, until my friend got ballsy enough to just walk up to the guy and ask him. He was indeed Mr. Sadler, and he even signed his autograph on my friend’s receipt from our meal. Any way, as I learned from talking to Bruce Campbell once, not all actors like to give info to lunatics on the street about upcoming projects so I was too afraid to ask him if we would once again see him as the Reaper. Anyway, the ONLY Bill and Ted person talking about a sequel is, you guessed it!! Alex Winter, who is currently promoting a documentary he’s making about Napster. The last time Keanu Reeves said anything about another movie was August of 2012. Hmm… wait a minute… he was also promoting a documentary at the time called Side By Side!!!!
Even the great Sam Raimi has been doing an awful lot of talking about Spider-Man lately during interviews about Oz The Great and Powerful. Usually when bands are putting out a new album, they talk about how the NEW one will be their best one yet, no matter how shitty it is. Then those same bands play one or two of their new songs at shows. Just lightly sticking their toes in to test the water before the hordes of piranha fans attack and they have to pull their feet back quickly and play the big hit from 1987. Hollywood seems to prefer teasing us and pulling at our heart strings to get us excited about old ideas while getting us somewhat interested in new projects. Kind of like when some politicians bring up Ronald Reagan just to get an applause. But anyway, I will continue to keep up with the constant updates on movies that have yet to be made to keep my inner child alive and as crazy as ever. Hey, I hear they’re making a new Star Wars movie with the ORIGINAL cast…..