Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Recycled Laughs

Recently there was a headline on Huffington Post -- "Paramount tells Tom Cruise he needs a reality check". Basically they said "No more are we losing money giving you half the profits from the movie and paying you a zillion dollars to walk through your roles." (I hear he charges an extra million just to make that little muscle twitch on the side of his face to show that he's really acting.)

Well it reminded me of a letter I wrote about 7 years ago (jeez) to an old bf, Jimmy Doyle. He had moved to California; instead of writing letters full of regret and feelings, I wrote pithy reviews of movies I'd seen or imaginary pieces for situation comedies. Mind you boys and girls, this was a long time before e-mail was that common and 'a blog' was just a name for a monster in a 50's horror movie. This letter was my review of "The Blair Witch Project", and how there was all this controversy at the time because all the big budget pictures were failing and this movie was making a ton of money. I remember on 'Access Hollywood' one of the reporters doing a piece called, 'The End of the Hollywood Stars'; He was talking as if all the stars were going to suddenly disappear as if in a entertainment rapture. Or like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts were going to have to start taking part-time jobs.

Anyway, I thought I'd recycle some old stuff, because I think it's pretty funny (Oh, how I love to make myself laugh.) ________________________________________________________________________________
August 6, 1999

Dear Jimmy,

I had to write you again to tell you about this frightening new movie that has been released, "The Blair Witch Project'. It's scary for more reasons than you know. First it is an independent feature made for about $25,000. And it is a big hit. Can you believe that industry sources say that this film will make more money than such well produced, well publicized features as "Wild, Wild West" and dare I conjecture, "Runaway Bride". Who is going to see this piece of crap? It doesn't have any star power such as Julia Roberts or Will Smith. Can the general public after seeing the "Blair Witch Project" relive the joy of seeing the movie by stopping at a participating Burger King and get a "Blair Witch" action figure with a purchase of a Value Meal. The answer is no. How blind can the public be? Don't they know that with a film like "Wild Wild West" they are not only getting state of the art production values, but they are getting the chance to take a piece of Hollywood home with them, albeit in the form of a plastic, non-dishwasher safe, cup. A true collector's item, sure to be the crown jewel at any memorabilia convention in 200 or so years.

It is breaking my heart that these so-called independent producers are making money that rightfully belongs in the hands of the producers of "The Phantom Menace', "Phil Collins's Tarzan", and "The Haunting". When will the public open their eyes and see that they are only hurting themselves by supporting a film that only costs $25,000 to make. Don't they know that Hollywood producers will be saying to themselves, "Hey, we don't have to spend $79 million dollars to make a film such as "Wild Wild West" we can spend $25,000 or less and the public will go to see it. That will be more profit for us." Who will be hurt by this I ask you? Of course, it will be the public. If the cost of production of films continues to go down we will not have such upcoming instant classics as "Jurassic Park III" the future remake of "Smokey and the Bandit" or "A Star Is Born" w/Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez. Instead, should they remake "A Star Is Born" with Suzy Brown, who works as a cashier at WalMart, and the weather man from the Channel 5 News. Maybe instead of the state-of-the-art special effects of "Jurassic Park III" they should just put a camera in the spider cage at the zoo; That is if they can afford to pay the admission fee. I ask you when will this end? Do we really want to go back to a world where the films we see are nothing more than cheaply filmed crap, i.e. "On the Waterfront", "Twelve Angry Men" "The Graduate"? I think not.

The question is: "What can I do to stop this?" The answer is to use your entertainment dollar to its best advantage. When you to see "Wild, Wild West" take a friend or two. Then see it again the next day. At work, say things like, "Wild, Wild West" is great! Did you see my cup?" Talk loudly on the bus or street about how beautiful Julia Roberts is in her new movie, "Runaway Bride" and that you would see it again and again. I have seen it several times. However, I have not gotten through the whole movie, as I pass out somewhere within the first ten to fifteen minutes and have to be carried from the theater. The one thing you should not do is see this witch movie! $25,000?!!! Who are they kidding?!!! I'm just going to stay home and watch "Friends". $2 million an show -- Now that's value for my dollar.

Yours in Christ,



Marna said...

Umm...Christ! Christ? You began today's post with the antichrist, so I guess there's some logic to it.

We should go see Little Miss Sunshine.

Anonymous said...

For some literary Berlin references, you should check out "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. It's rife with late-80s/early-90s Chicago subcultural landmarks, places that have come and gone. Enough to make even a relative young'un like me teary-eyed. ;)