The latest Hollywood rumor is that studios are teaming up to cut costs. On the schedule for next year are several new sequels that will combine two or three summer of '92 films:
- "The Sleepwalkers In Betty Lou's Pet Sematary"- "Death Becomes Her Sister Act"
- "Mo' Honeymoon In Vegas"
- "Batman's Unlawful Boomerang"
- "3 Encino Ninjas"
- "Memoirs of an Invisible Medicine Lawnmower Man Trouble"
- "Enchanted Fried Green Mambo Kings"
- "Wayne's End"
- "Stop, Or My Mom Will Blow Up the Kid"
- "Buffy, the Single White Female"
- "White Men Can't Have a League of Their Own"
- "Prelude to a Basic Instinct"
- HORROR FANS noticed that "Hellraiser III" didn't open in local theaters, despite an ad on these pages a couple of Sundays ago saying it would.
The third in the gory Clive Barker film series did open elsewhere, however, and managed to climb to the No. 3 spot on the list box office hits, even though it opened in only a third as many theaters as other films on the list.
What does that mean? For one thing, "Hellraiser III" will be coming, even though its earlier opening date was canceled for some reason. It may also mean that the distributor regrets not opening the film in more theaters to begin with.
Meanwhile, I took note of the aforementioned newspaper ad, which used a quote from the horror fan magazine Cinefantastique, hailing the film's "incredible state-of-the-art special effects."
Many movies use journalistic quotes in print ads to help sell their movies, of course, but you have to wonder when a quote sells a film's special effects, instead of praising it for being scary or well-acted or whatever.
Most moviegoers know that there aren't many fantasy films around these days that don't have state-of-the-art special effects. It's become a given. In fact, it's so common that we notice special effects more these days when they are not up to par.
- THE NEW COMEDY "Out On a Limb," which opened Friday, isn't a great film but it does boast one very funny bit, a spoof of movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert in an elementary school classroom.
A young girl is telling a story she insists is true, though it's so wild that her teacher is skeptical. Meanwhile, sitting behind her are a pair of children who resemble Siskel and Ebert. Naturally, they butt in to review her story. It's a very funny bit and the casting of the kid who does Roger Ebert is inspired - he's a dead ringer.
There have been other Siskel and Ebert parodies in movies, including a pair of teenagers in "Summer School," two teens who are "Sneaking Into the Movies" in "Hollywood Shuffle" and, my favorite, two dinosaurs done in Claymation in a short animation collection. And, of course, Siskel and Ebert have spoofed themselves on "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
But this may be the first time the critics have been played by lookalikes who parodied their mannerisms and TV reviewing style. It's certainly the first time they've been parodied by children.
"Out On a Limb" is almost worth a look for this routine it alone.
- THE "SNEAKERS" PRESS kit has to be the most original ever sent out to movie critics but it has probably been a source of frustration to some.
Most press kits are simply folders full of more information about the making of the film than anyone ever cared about, plus biographies of the principals and photographs of scenes from the film.
In the case of "Sneakers," the press kit was a folder that held photographs and a computer disc. Without a computer compatible to the disc, however, there were no production notes or biographies.
I was one of those people without a compatible computer but I managed to find someone in the Deseret News who had one - in fact, he had one right here at the paper.
We plugged in the disc and it began in the same way the movie began, with scrambled letters that unscrambled before our eyes and gave us information about the film.
Color graphics, photos on the screen of the stars and funny little bits of business - this was no cheap endeavor. There was also a printout mode to get the usual press kit info.
Without my colleague here, however, I'd have been in trouble. I'm fairly computer unfriendly. I know how to type in stories for the newspaper, but that's about the extent of my education. My computer abilities aren't even low-tech - they're more like no-tech.
But if we're going to get press kits like this in the future, I can see it's time to leave the world of typewriters and enter the world of keyboards and screens. I'm behind the times.
My guess is, however, that a lot of my colleagues around the country haven't even looked at the "Sneakers" press kit yet.
Maybe I'm not so far behind after all.
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: John Ritter, from the October issue of Us magazine:
"`They'd have to wheel my corpse in to do `Problem Child 3.' "