Number 32. This edition is for the week of October 30--November 5, 2000.
Steve Allen, Patriot DVD, Grease3, movie ratings, movie budgets!
Hello gang! A few notes, some gripes and a major bit of sadness. Shall we begin:
Very sad to report the passing of Steve Allen. To our younger readers, you may know him as a trivia question answer, "Who was the first host of the 'Tonight Show?'
But, Steve Allen was much more to many of us, and I'd like to take a few lines to let you know why. Born the day after Christmas in 1921, Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen (now THAT'S a name!) (News to me!--N) enjoyed a career so varied that it's tough to find a high point. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most prolific composer in the modern era (over 4000 songs), he was also well known for his keen comic eye and could spot talent a mile away. Among the "unknowns" he featured on his show: Tom Poston, Don Knotts and Carol Burnett. He was also a champion of the late Lenny Bruce long before it was fashionable. His "man on the street" segments on his show were among my favorite bits. He was married to actress/long time side kick Jayne Meadows. (And actress Dorothy Goodman before that...with whom he had 3 sons!---N) Mr. Allen was 78.
Also, Walter Shenson, an English film producer whose credits include the Beatle's films "A Hard Day's Night" and "HELP" passed away Tuesday at age 81. Incidentally, "A Hard Day's Night" will be reissued in theatres this December.
Hope those of you that were fans of the movie went out and picked up your copy of 'THE PATRIOT" on DVD or video. Lots of extras and an opportunity to freeze frame make-up artist Corey Castellano's work and see how it looks! By the way boss, if memory serves me, didn't Corey have a birthday recently? (Yes! See front page--and Corey says,"thanks"!--N)
ENOUGH IS THE WORD
Is the world ready for more "GREASE?" Two rumors are currently making the rounds concerning a possible "Grease 3." One has N'syncer Justin Timberlake and his honey Brittney Spears assuming the roles of Danny and Sandy. Another has John Travolta and possibly Olivia Newton John reprising their roles, with Travolta playing a used car salesman. (Appropriate.---N)Almost makes "Battlefield Earth 2" sound better every minute!
WHEN I LAST RANTED
Hopefully, my recent "R" rating rant struck a nerve with some of you. This week USA Today did a half page story on the same subject. Once again, parents are using the "well, they see the same on cable/hear the same at school" excuse. One that really burned me was the man who took his 5-year- old son to an R-rated film because it was cheaper than a babysitter! (Seriously? Even with ticket prices these days? Babysitters must make more than I do!---N)
This week, I have a beef with WHOEVER is doing the accounting in Hollywood these days. I had planned to write this last week, but hadn't done all of my research. I'm glad I didn't, as this week I came across something that just blew me away. I was inspired to write this when I heard the news that the Will Smith film, "Ali," had been put on hold because the budget had approached $120 million. WHAT???? If this is the same Muhammad Ali I'm thinking of, he was an Olympic boxer and possibly the greatest heavyweight of all time. I've probably seen 15-20 of his fights, back before pay for view. I've seen the "Thrilla in Manilla," his loss and then victory against Leon Spinks.............even the Chuck Wepner fight that inspired Sylvester Stallone to write "Rocky." And as far as I can remember, NONE of these fights took place in outer space! What in the hell are the spending $120 million on?? Even if you give Will Smith twenty of it, that still leaves $100 MILLION!! Hell, they did the same movie, "The Greatest," in 1976 for under five!! A little film like "Almost Famous" cost $65 million. For what? The bus? Peter Frampton? This is a movie that boasts Billy Cruddup as the major star for God's sake. Nothing against Billy...........I actually enjoy a lot of his work.....................but you know HE's not bringing in $65 million. Kevin Smith budgeted "Mall Rats" at around $3 million. The studio DEMAMNDED he take the eight million THEY budgeted. (Yeah, I LOVE that story----N) He did, and wound up with a movie that could have been great, had it been made Kev's way. You can actually see where the extra money was spent, all to no avail. This week I read that the Mel Gibson/Ron Howard collaboration "Ransom" actually LOST $103 million!!! That's right.............LOST!! Apparently, all of the dealing that goes on behind the scenes is the culprit in these cases. Whatever the reason, it's time for the powers that be to take a look at the creative "bookkeeping" that is being done and actually start becoming fiscally responsible for their projects. A few more "losers" like "Ransom," and I'll be out of a job!
Have a great week.
The greatest irony is that the outer space operas' costs are actually coming DOWN due to the infusion of computer technology into the production! George Lucas spearheaded most of that. Altho I have definite feelings regarding his over-dependence on computer animated worlds, the fact that Star Wars films (and the like) are costing less to produce than something like "Ali", shows that it's the fat cats' creative pocketing and NOT production demands that drive up costs.---Nolan.
(In a screwy, unusual move, I re-edited an Instant Message session with Mr. Nuzum into a Terence's Tirade column. We start with the Top 10 movie lists---N)
I was pleasantly surprised--no shocked--that no suck-ass lists were submitted like I was expecting! Of course I haven't seen Matt's yet. (But he did soon after---N) You should be ashamed of yourself, Nolan, for never experiencing, yes, experiencing SUSPIRA!! That Mike and I hit on TWO is amazing.
(Then there was some website update talk which mentions "trepanning"--N)
Terence: I'm suprised that you knew of trepanning. Not many do.
Nolan: John Lennon used to talk about it.
Terence: It's quack science,medicine, whatever.
Nolan: Lennon planned on doing it to himself! So, have you checked out Matt's list yet? (This session took place after Matt's Rail came in.---N)
Terence: OK, let me begin
Nolan: I'm ready.
1. Frankenstein-OK, but no Bride of Frankenstein--c'mon. Serious error.
2. The Thing- OK film. Not great. Far too gory. But I accept it.
3. The Evil Dead- Great choice. Not that I forgot it or anything, it just didn't quite make my list.
4. Dracula has Risen From the Grave????? It wasn't the best Hammer film by far. How about Plague of the Zombies? The Reptile? The Gorgon? Hell, Curse of the Werewolf?
5. Nosferatu--Excellent choice, naturally. But he copied my description to the point of plagiarism.
6. Alien- Well, I've got to hand it to him, he's the only person that I know of who's not a fool enough to think that Cameron's wasn't even decent at all.
7. An American Werewolf in London--Sorry--I detest this film and hate it with a passion. The best werewolf film ever and one I forgot to put on my list will always be Company of Wolves.
8. Scanners--Heh! Let's just say Cronenberg has had better days than this. And I don't mean Naked Lunch.
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street- Great choice. Matt suprises again. But Craven's best hour remains Last House on the Left.
10. Dawn of the Dead- Though I like it, I think it is inferior to Night of the Living Dead in the same way Aliens is inferior to Alien. Sorry, but despite the interesting social commentary on consumerism, it was another 70's action movie for me
Nolan: I certainly don't think of Dawn or Aliens as '70s action movies!
Terence: Oh yes they were. Aliens. They could have been any other creature and it wouldn't have mattered. They lost all the eerie and creepy mannerisms of the first Alien. They just jumped out and got shot at. It was "Rambo in Space".
Sorry, but I feel strongly about those films. I have gotten into serious arguments on how inferior it is, and believe you me, I have a whole list.
Nolan: I guess we're at odds on that one.
Terence: Well, I'm sure you can agree that it isn't anywhere near as creepy as the first!
Nolan: Well, maybe....But the 2nd is pretty exciting stuff...plus it made a star out of Bill Paxton. "We're fucked man, we're screwed, man....."
Terence: But, I don't think anything is as bad as Alien Ressurection.
Nolan: Resurrection blew, no argument there.
Terence: Oh well, to each his own. Hell, I get flak for liking Alien3, so go figure.
Nolan: YOU LIKED ALIEN 3?????? Count on flak from me, too.
Terence: I think I mainly liked it because it brought it back to basics with just one Alien in corridors.
Nolan: What's-his-name the director was completely out to lunch on that one.
Terence: Fincher? Your nuts, he's damn good! Have you seen his other films?
Nolan: Didn't he direct SEVEN? Seven was great!
Terence: Yeah, I never saw that.
Nolan: Bum. But was that him?
Terence: Yeah. He also did The Game and Fight Club, which I stayed away from. Probably unfairly--it just seemed to trendy.
Nolan: This is kind of spontaneous, but I'm thinking of editing this IM into a Terence's Tirade. You OK with that?
Terence: Wait a minute--let me look it over. (pause---N) Yeah OK, go ahead.
Nolan: I figure we've already sunk an hour or so into it!
Terence: When it comes, it comes, I cannot control my thoughts. It's better when I just do a suprise tirade anyway. Maybe I'll do on how sucky the new Tony Iommi album was!
Nolan: Oh no!
Terence: Well, the first couple of songs are actually great. But then it's like, he deteriorates into the same song again and again. And it just starts focusing on the singers. It could have been great. Ozzy's contribution is really pitiful. Sounds like a bad outtake from Master of Reality. It's still decent, though.
Nolan: LOL!!! Oh, crap. Ozzy's gotta be like 50 now, right?
Terence: Yeah, he sounds weak. Hahaha.
"Terence's Tirade" is ©2000 by Terence Nuzum
Entire page ©2000 by Nolan B. Canova
Visit Terence's site at Viddywell.
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