Redux Again

It's time to come up with a different way to do movie sequels.

We've now survived another awful summer. I'm not talking about the weather; that was delightful, as usual.

I'm talking about summer movies, those overblown pieces of crap that the studios throw at us in threes or fours every Friday from May to August, as the studio bosses hope to hit it big that first weekend before the gullible (read: mostly teenage) audience realizes what pieces of crap the movies really are and turn their attention to the next week's supply of crap.

I love the movies. I love going to the movies. I like sitting in the dark, eating overpriced popcorn and drinking overpriced soda, watching and occasionally throwing a Dot at a male bitch who lets his sissy phone ring in the theater and then answers it.

However, despite my love of the theater-going experience, this past summer, I saw exactly three movies. Because he's interested in animation and computer stuff, my varsity-football-playing son and I went to see Finding Nemo, which was absolutely wonderful. My daughter and I went to see Bend It Like Beckham, which was also really good, and then, because neither of the kids wanted to go, I went by myself to see Seabiscuit, which was probably the best movie of the summer.

(My wife generally doesn't like to go to the movies with me these days because of the flying Dots thing.)

So, I didn't see The Hulk I or X2 or Terminator 3 or any of the other mindless numbered sequels. I understand that the studios are in business to make money, and it's easier to go with a proven commodity than to take a chance on a new idea, but it has gotten ridiculous. I gave it some thought and came up with a compromise idea that might lead to better-quality film products while keeping the cash rolling into Hollywood.

Why not combine two or more previous hit movies into a hybrid sequel? You could either film a new one or use computer magic to put the two old ones together. That way, the consumer would be drawn in by the familiar, while the filmmakers would be able to take chances.

For example, you could have:

Last Tango & Cash. Kurt Russell. Sylvester Stallone. A stick of butter. Instant art-house classic.

Bring It on the Waterfront. Marlon Brando and Eliza Dushku star in a movie about a guy who "coulda been a contender," if only he had learned how to "be aggressive ... be-ee aggressive!"

Mystic River Pizza. A grim tale of a mobbed-up man grieving for his murdered daughter, his emotionally scarred friend from childhood, two smart-mouthed, relentless cops--and the townie chicks who want to date them and eventually marry up.

Silver Blue Streak. A re-make of the Martin Lawrence mistaken identity/cop flick, but since Richard Pryor stars in this one, the remake will actually be a comedy.

Over The Top Gun. Two 5-foot-6 movie leading men stand on boxes that are kept out of camera view and arm wrestle.

Where The Bad Boys Are. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence move a little bit up the coast from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, where they ad-lib, blow stuff up and generally offend anyone who has ever cared for the art of cinema.

The Lost Boyz in the Hood. Kiefer Sutherland proves to be waaaaay too white for Compton and gets beat up a lot, always at nighttime. When he finally confesses that he's a vampire, Richard Pryor (making a serious comeback, despite his illness) does his famous line from the "Wino Meets Dracula" bit of the 1970s. "You wanna suck some blood?! Well, go down to the blood bank; I hope you get the sickle cell. You better suck your ass on away from here, Junior, is what you oughtta do."

My Favorite Year of Living Dangerously. A charming film about the trials and tribulations of the writing staff on Sid Caesar's early 1950s TV blockbuster Your Show of Shows, set against the backdrop of civil-strife-torn Indonesia in the mid-1960s. The anachronisms are striking. Caesar's real-life writing staff included Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Selma Diamond, Neil Simon and a young Woody Allen (portrayed in this film by Linda Hunt).

Hoosiers Got Game. A re-telling of the classic sports movie based on the true story of a basketball team from a tiny farm-community high school that defied all odds by winning the Indiana all-classes state championship. Spike Lee directs the remake, so, in this one, the black team wins.

Gone With The Wind in 60 Seconds. A Civil War primer designed for the attention span of the MTV generation.

Blame It on Rio Bravo. See Michelle Johnson, the Phoenix native who went right out of high school into a starring role and then had zero starring roles after that, before she married and divorced former Diamondbacks third baseman Matt Williams. See Demi Moore before she got the second-most obvious breast augmentation surgery in all of Hollywood. But mostly, see Old Tucson in all of its splendor before Don Diamond's people screwed it all up.

Raging Bull Durham. This time, when Kevin Costner says the immortal line, "From what I hear, you couldn't hit water if you fell out of a (freakin') boat," Robert DeNiro beats the crap out of him. And then gains a ton of weight.

The Godfather of the Princess Bride. Have you ever noticed how much that guy who played Luca Brasi and Andre the Giant looked alike?

Lady Sings the Varsity Blues. In what will probably go down as the most frightening scene in the history of movies, Diana Ross excuses herself from her young suitor, goes into another room, then comes back in wearing nothing but shaving cream. And she handles the shaving cream can about as well as she drives. Oh, the horror!

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