Why do we clamor for sequels to our childhood favorites?
Here's the formula: Familiar name + 20 years = nostalgia franchise.
The Lost Boys was a film that we didn't think was bad only because we were teenagers. Now we look back with fond feelings and Hollywood turns those feelings into sequel dollars. It's hard to think ill of something pleasant from your youth (The first girl you kissed may have had a lazy eye but don't let anyone say that she was handicapped or them's fighting words).
It doesn't mean the original was any good, just recognizable. So what, you say? "I feel lucky that Hollywood is making all these films for my generation." Fine, but what is cinema going to be like in 20 years? That's right-Attack of the Furbies --"They seemed cute, until they learned to pick up a knife!"
Future adults will rush to Barney: Purple and Huge where the Dinosaur eats radiation and destroys Manhattan: in IMAX 3-D!
This very moment is your window to enjoy movies. In 20 years, you will be so unable to relate to the next generation that you will be forced to read books... I know, the horror!
So, Lost Boys 2? Wanting to see a film with Corey Feldman and Corey Haim is like hoping for a combo sequel to Webster and Different Strokes... called Stroking Webster.
That said, let's talk about some sequels that might be better:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull looks good. However, the franchise has run out of Christian Holy Relics to save. We got the Ark and the Holy Grail. That covers the Old and New Testament. So all that's left is Mormon Relics. Indy will have to fight a horde of suited teenagers on bikes who try and convert him to the Latter Day Saints. Indy finds their weakness and saves the day by spraying super-caffeinated Red Bulls on them.
Of course I think that Harrison Ford should be the first to combine all his films into one mega-sequel... AirForce Two: Regarding The Blade Fugitive. Ford would play the President of the United States who has lost his memory while being chased by the Nazi police for the murder of the One-Armed Skin Job.
Dennis Quaid has been cast as General Hawk in the Live Action G.I. Joe movie. The director also made a wise choice deciding to spend 90% of the film's budget on "parachute escapes" from COBRA jetfighters. It will be so great to see a shoot-em-up without one loss of life. The CGI bill for the destruction of 2,300 aircrafts and the safe landings of 2,300 COBRA pilots will dwarf Lord Of The Rings in scale and teach our children that the military is not for killing, but for spreading democracy.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a prequel to a sequel. It comes after 2 but before 3. How about one that comes after Lucas stops writing? I mean he's so rich that when he's 89 and senile he'll still be pumping out a feature for every silly idea he has, like:
"I see a Star Wars Sitcom. We have Jar-Jar Binks dress as a female Jawa to get a job... that actually takes place inside a giant worm's belly. Jar-Jar has to fight digestive juices with the only thing he's got... spot-on comic timing."
"In an alternate universe, Good Darth Vader fights the Evil Luke (who knows that Lea is his sister and still wants to sleep with her)."
So what is my take on the slate of new sequels? Of course I loved G.I. Joe and Star Wars as a kid, but then again I loved commercials too. Hey, maybe that GEICO lizard could star in Wall Street 2: Gordon Gecko's Back.
SO WHAT ABOUT TV?
New pilots were bought this week.
NY-LON is a drama centered on a man and a woman who attempt an extremely long-distance romance between New York and London. Sounds steamy. Never being able to have sex with each other will definitely make this a ratings winner. I can pictures endless scenes of phone calls! And it comes with all the drama of having to go to the bad part of town to buy those cheap phone cards. Sign me up! Of course his British accent will make for loads of zingers, like when he asks her if she wants Bangers and Mash and she replies, "I don't do S&M."
Mythological X centers on a woman who discovers through a psychic that she has already dated the man she was destined to married. The woman then embarks on a mission to find 'the one' by combing through all of her old relationships. Okay, this is fine for a woman to do because every man she visits again will of course be thinking "make-up sex" and will fall all over her with praise. Now imagine a man visiting all his old girlfriends and we have the makings of a crime drama about stalking or a horror flick more frightening than Freddy vs. Jason Alexander where two out of work actors do battle to remain visible and relevant. (Just witness Michael Richard's comic rant to see what's in store for this epic battle)
Can Openers centers on a woman in her twenties as she enters a seven-year neurosurgical residency and encounters a competitive atmosphere along the way. "I can cut the pre-frontal cortex faster than you!" "Un-uh!" Think ER meets SURVIVOR where the person who makes the kid walk again gets to shove it all the other's faces. I like the built-in time limit of only seven years; it's not at all presumptuous of a hit. But most importantly, what's with the cute title? Can Openers is a serious drama. What if they called ER... 8 Month Old Magazines?
Here's my review of Knight Rider (2008)
First thoughts: The original series was cool with that hot TransAm and people are upset that K.I.T.T. was changed to a Mustang. I agree with the change. My dad had a TransAm back then and it was nice, but in the last year I noticed that every single person I saw driving a TransAm was fifty years old and worked in construction (not exactly the kind of hip image a new show wants to project to teens).
Next, David Hasselhof is not the star. That's tough to imagine. That hit YouTube video of him being so drunk that he couldn't eat a hamburger was a great audition tape to show that he can even conquer New Media.
Then there's Mr. Hasselhof's German fanbase to consider. He is one of their favorite singers and, I kid you not, he sings songs about his relationship with K.I.T.T. At least if the song was about a female car like Christine we wouldn't think K.I.T.T. stood for Keeping It Totally Tranny. (TransAm, double joke)
We start the show with a sexy threesome and the discovery that one of the four main characters is a lesbian. Love the 21st Century. Lesbian, huh? I guess she likes a little K.I.T.T.Y.
The episode was standard action fare. K.I.T.T. can change colors and morph a little. I was a little underwhelmed. There was no mysterious Foundation running things (it was just an old guy with a bunch of hard drives). Both main characters faced the death of their parents with all the emotional expression of Lt. Commander Data.
My favorite thing about this show is that everyone is shown putting on seatbelts. Seatbelts are the new "no smoking" on T.V. rule and encourage everyone to do the safe thing. But K.I.T.T can't be hurt in an accident so why is everyone acting like they're driving a Pinto? My very favorite seatbelt moment is when the bad guys kidnap the old scientist and then we cut to them driving away, the scientist in the back seat is wearing his seatbelt. Like the bad guys told him, "We may be taking you away to our secret lab to torture you, but 'Click it or ticket, buddy.'"
A possible future storyline is when K.I.T.T goes up against the evil version of himself, K.A.T.T. Personally, I think that is too predictable and I suggest that he instead fight "Herbert the Hate Bug."
If this show becomes a series again, I guess we'll see revivals of Street Hawk and Airwolf. I hope some of these vehicles will be environmentally friendly. A motorcycle that runs on french-fry grease or a talking Prius would keep Al Gore off our backs for at least a week.