"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at email@example.com
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
Published on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 by Michael Dashiell, editor
A few days ago, I checked out the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series — something about a skull, right? — from the Sequim Library.
Not sure what I was thinking. I'd seen it before, but not since seeing it in the theater. Since I loved the series so much to that point, I figured that upon initial release I had simply missed some of the subtext, the hidden-yet-brilliant undertones in this the (hopefully) final "Indy" with the aging Harrison Ford.
Um, not so much. Subtlety? None. Subtext? About as much. Same with the genius part. It's just bad, from the writing to the casting to the here-and-gone "accent" from Oscar-winner actresses (yes, you Cate Blanchett).
It wasn't the worst idea, to try to cap the series with one more flick and possibly introduce the next generation by casting Shia LeBeouf as the new Indy. But there were several red flags the film's producers missed from the bad script to the cartoonish CGI effects to the blatant rip-offs of "The Mummy."
But the biggest problem is this: "The Last Crusade" put a nice, fat red ribbon around this trilogy. It wasn't "Citizen Kane" but it worked. Ford and Sean Connery taking on the big, bad Nazis and nearly Forrest-Gumping their way into the history books before satisfyingly riding off into the sunset (literally), "Crusade" worked on so many levels. No need to ruin it and the two before.
I want to feel the same way about "Star Wars," in that the first three were fine and shouldn't have been added on with three prequels, but so much of my childhood is wrapped up in Luke and Yoda and Darth and Leia and Chewy and Han that I HAD to see what Lucas would do with three more films. The three new ones didn't live up to the hype or our unreasonable expectations, but it was worth a shot.
The "Back to the Future" trilogy has withstood the test of time as trilogy/series go. Even the "Bourne" trilogy works. Maybe it's something about threes?
But that number isn't perfect. I mean, "The Matrix" trilogy really fell off after No. 1. The number of horrible second-sequel films ("Grease," "Ghostbusters," "The Mask," "Ace Ventura," "Caddyshack," "Speed," "Legally Blonde," etc.) speak to the idea that a good or great movie can't always be successful by simply slapping a "II" on its backside.
Can you imagine if Hollywood didn't realize this? How do you promo "Schindler's List II: Himmler's Revenge"? Or "My Left Foot II: My Other Foot"? How about, "Rainman II: Still Autistic"? Not sure that "Saving Private Ryan … Again!" is ever going to get made.
I bring this up because I'm one of the big dorks who loves to follow news about film adaptations, sequels, reboots and the like. I like summer blockbusters. Can't get enough of 'em. Most of them stink or are over-budgeted pieces of tripe, but I still like seeing what folks in Hollywood are up to.
For years, some of the folks who were in the first and second "Ghostbusters" (Aykroyd, Ramis) wanted to do a third version while others (Murray … OK, pretty much just him) didn't. So it's dead. Which may be good, or, considering the advances in CGI and whatnot, could be a colossal missed opportunity. All I know is, I'd see it thrice it if were done well, and only twice if not. Or, it could be horrible. "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" bad.
A reboot might not be bad in this case. Sometimes they work. Take the Batman series for example. Or "Planet of the Apes" (newest version). Or "Star Trek." Or "Karate Kid." Get new actors and actresses, do prequels or just change it up entirely.
Do reboots go bad? Uh, yeah. "Footloose." "Conan the Barbarian." "The Pink Panther." "The Hulk." And most recently, "Total Recall."
I'm thinking "Ghostbusters" would be prime material for a reboot. You could get Aykroyd and Ramis and maybe Ernie Hudson in for cameos, echoing some of the great lines ("So? She's a dog" and "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!"), have a few young actors try their hand at it, fill the screen with some great effects and you're good to go!
Or maybe we just leave the filmmakers alone and let them come up with another great sequel to a tried-and-true series. Hey, what are Harold and Kumar up to?