OK, enough with the whining.
For the past couple of weeks (or maybe the past 18 years, if we're going to be completely honest) I've done nothing but complain.It's true. What can I say? The summer cinema season is off to a dismal start. Brian De Palma is a thief. And Tom Arnold is stupid.
But this week it's going to be different. You are reading a positive column.
No complaints. No griping. No grousing.
Cheerful. Optimistic. Sweetness and light. That's me.
Well, I can dream, can't I?
And to get us off to a good start, here's some news for all you "Mystery Science Theater" fans out there. You know who you are, and I know you're out there because you keep calling and asking about this movie.
Here's the skinny: "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" opens at the Tower Theater July 19, just in time to compete with all the Hollywood blockbusters and television coverage of the Summer Olympics.
But the Tower is betting that if you're a "Mystery Science Theater" fan, you probably don't care about the Hollywood blockbusters or the Summer Olympics.
For the uninitiated, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" is a TV series, originally a staple of the Sci-Fi Channel . . . a cable network that is unavailable to most of us TCI subscribers.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. In fact, I'm positive that someday - when fiber-optics actually do replace my current old, clumsy, thick, can't-squeeze-in-24-hours-of-AMC-a-day cable - we will indeed get the Sci-Fi Channel . . . and Comedy Central . . . and the History Channel . . . and Turner Movie Classics . . . and . . . .
Anyway, you can see a truncated, syndicated version of "Mystery Science Theater" locally on Ch. 30, Saturday nights at 11 p.m.
The premise has a guy named Mike Nelson, a Joe Average, having been kidnapped by evil Dr. Clayton Forrester, who is using him as a guinea pig in a bizarre experiment. Nelson is marooned with a trio of robots and they are forced to watch cheesy old movies. To survive, they make goofy wisecracks during the screenings - and we see them talking back to the movies, sitting in theater seats at the bottom of the screen.
Three of the shows have just been released on tape, with Nelson and friends making fun of "The Amazing Colossal Man," "Mitchell" and "Cave Dweller."
The theatrical film tackles the 1955 sci-fi thriller "This Island Earth."
I'm not sure "This Island Earth" is quite in the same camp (no pun intended) as "The Amazing Colossal Man" - but, hey, this is a positive column, so I'm sure it'll be great!
- ACCORDING TO AN ITEM in the Wall Street Journal, Utah ski resorts provide an important venue for Hollywood wheeling and dealing that goes beyond the influence of the Sundance Film Festival . . . if that's possible.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura, co-president of Warner Bros. production, is credited with signing Arnold Schwarzenegger to his first Warner film by aggressively hopping aboard a Utah ski lift.
As the Wall Street Journal story goes, a couple of years ago, di Bonaventura followed the Austrian actor to the lift, sat down next to him, pulled out a screenplay and handed it over.
As they headed up the mountain, "the biggest movie star in the world" was a captive audience, and he obviously succumbed to the executive's pitch. That script was "Eraser," Schwarzenegger's summer film this year, which opened Friday.
There may be some question as to whether it actually happened at a Utah ski resort, however.
The story identified the rendevous point as Sun Valley, Utah.
Unless I'm mistaken, Sun Valley is in Idaho.
But that's not a complaint.
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Ricki Lake, television talk-show host and star of "Mrs. Winterbourne," who was much heavier in such pre-talk-show flicks as "Hairspray," "Cry-Baby" and "Serial Mom":
"My audience doesn't see me as both people. Because I looked physically so different in those old movies they don't remember me, they don't think of me as an actress - they only think of me as a talk-show host."