Remember way back when? Back before every man and his dog had a blog? Back before Twitter? Back before MovieWeb utilised a colour scheme? Before every other studio followed Dimensionâ€™s lead and created an official website? Heck, back before The Internet?!!
(Yes kids, there was a time.)
When I was in Highschool, we didnâ€™t even have computers (actually, I think there was one â€“ you had to book it a fortnight in advance if you wanted to use it, or the dot matrix printer attached to it), let alone a portal into the online world. Shit, it wasnâ€™t until I was half-way through college that the internet became readily available..
Can you imagine!?
Can you imagine not being able to wake up every morning and check your email?
Can you imagine not waking up every morning to see what â€˜superheroâ€™ movies were in the works?
Can you imagine not being able to stream a TMZ video of an inebriated Leighton Meester dancing on a strangerâ€™s car hood?
â€œSo where did you get your movie news from back in the day then, Clint?â€ I hear you ask.
God, do you really want to know!?
I use to have to rely on the monthly â€˜Movieâ€™ magazine (remember it? It use to sell in the foyer of your local cinema) to get my movie news fix. Yes, one of those fluffy, glossy opinion-last plug-first cinema-chain sponsored efforts that allocated two pages an issue to the Hollywood happenings.
That news, be it about a new Ralph Macchio movie or a sequel to ”Twins” that would never happen (remember that as clear as day â€“ Roseanne Arnold was set to join Schwarzenegger and De Vito for â€œTwins II : Tripletsâ€, at least according to this magazineâ€™s likely fifth-hand sources), was likely a month old by the time it got to us â€“ maybe even more? â€“ but we knew no different.
There was nowhere else to get movie gossip (heck, the local Newspaper was the first place most of us found out that Nicole and Tom were dating! These days, what with TMZ, Perez Hilton, and the News Wires, we’d be aware of the coupling days before the paper would run the story!)
Sure, there was Entertainment Tonight, but back then they were more interested in what Burt & Loni were doing than what kids Freddy would be slaying in his next jaunt. And if you were home from school that day you might get to watch John Michael Howsonâ€™s Showbiz report on Mike Walshâ€™s show. But by-and-large, there was nothing. Heck, you couldnâ€™t even get a Variety or Hollywood Reporter in my neck of the woods.
So by-and-large, we had â€˜Movieâ€™, we had dreadfully-old (imported magazines would arrive on our shelves about 6 months later here in Australia) issues of Fangoria, Movieline and Premiere (which, mind you, set me back $20 an issue â€“ and yes, Iâ€™d pay it each-and-every time. Oh man, how you yanks would laugh!), and we had Mollyâ€™s Melodrama on Hey, Hey Itâ€™s Saturday (Usually heâ€™d stick to tunes, but I do remember tipping audiences off to ‘the next big thing in action cinema’ Steven Seagal in the late 80s!).
Later on, in the early 90s, we had something called ‘Video Trader’ – an industry magazine that those that owned video-stores could subscribe to. I use to work in a video store as a youngster, and I’d look forward to the day the new ‘Trader’ would arrive – it had some great gossip in it – usually about VHS releases, but sometimes about films in the works too (I remember it was in an issue of the Trader that I first read about “The Crow” and how the producers had signed rising star Brandon Lee to a sumly sequel deal).
But again, most of the news from ‘The Trader’ was probably about 6 weeks old by the time it arrived in the mailbox… there was nowhere to get ‘instant’ movie news. Not here, not downunder anyway – and especially not in the country.
How different would things have been for the industry had the internet had been around say in 1985, or even a bit later?
Significantly I’d think!
Would studios have been forced into putting more effort into their superhero movies â€“ which, back then, were all cheap, campy European-financed schlock like â€œMasters of the Universeâ€, â€œSuperman IV : The Quest for Peaceâ€ and â€œThe Punisherâ€ (the Dolph Lundgren one) ? I dare say so â€“ the internet, and itâ€™s outspoken members, are the only reason studios put â€˜effortâ€™ into them now.
Itâ€™s likely we wouldâ€™ve also have seen a few studioâ€™s going to the internet in search of some casting suggestions (would Lance Henriksen have ended up with the Terminator role â€“ as originally planned â€“ and not the Austrian guy who hardly knew English!?) some may have even disattached cast members based on forum backlash â€“ Michael Keatonâ€™s appointment as Batman wouldâ€™ve definitely been on shaky ground! (I remember, sometime in 1988, the local newspaper ran a bit on Keaton getting the job – the writer was very, very certain this was a grave mistake; he wasn’t alone in his feelings either. We all know it turned out pretty good, but geez, would Warner really be brave enough to take such a leap nowadays!?)
And we might have also have been saved from quite a few blunders! Stinkers like â€œAlmost an Angelâ€, â€œAnother Stakeoutâ€ and â€œMy Stepmother is an Alienâ€, mightâ€™ve not only bypassed cinemas and went straight to VHS, but studios may have flat-out just abandoned them, what once the â€˜script reviewâ€™ went online.
On the other hand, would films like â€œDirty Dancingâ€, â€œThree Men and a Babyâ€, â€œRevenge of the Nerdsâ€, â€œPolice Academyâ€, â€œCrocodile Dundee IIâ€, and â€œTop Gunâ€ had been the hits they were with the Internet being a regular everyday appliance in everyoneâ€™s household? Maybe not â€“ after all, those films likely wouldâ€™ve got a blasting from the critics, even the softer online reviewers, somewhat hurting their chances at the box office. And you know thatâ€™s true â€“ tell me you donâ€™t avoid a flick if everybody on the web, especially those who seem to share the same taste, blast a film before itâ€™s release? I know I do.
And instead, flicks like â€œThe Bonfire of the Vanitiesâ€, â€œJoe Versus the Volcanoâ€, â€œSay Anythingâ€ and â€œThe Abyssâ€ â€“ that wouldâ€™ve likely received rave reviews online â€“ mightâ€™ve done the opposite of what they did (which, at the time, was zip).
Can you imagine how much more effort studios wouldâ€™ve been forced to put into trailers? Now, knowing theyâ€™d be playing all over the globe and be scrutinized by gazillions, filmmakers would be forced to do a lot more than just splice together a few scenes from the movie â€“ they might actually have to buy some music â€“ specifically for the trailer!, out-source an expert trailer wizard, and maybe even â€“ dare I say â€“ script something!
And would Rupert Everettâ€™s little secret have gotten out earlier… if TMZ had been around in the â€˜80s?…. thus destroying the nice little career he had for himself in the Reagan-era as a leading man?
- And here, just for kicks, are a few movie news items we mightâ€™ve spotted on the web on December 4th 1983 (had it have existed then)
Lynch loathes Ewoks, loves Earthworms!
He may have knocked back the chance to direct â€œReturn of the Jediâ€, but seems Oscar Winning filmmaker David Lynch isnâ€™t totally opposed to directing a science-fiction film. In fact, while talking to Bloody Extraterrestrial, the â€œElephant Manâ€ director announced he was looking at bringing Frank Herbetâ€™s spacely literary series â€œDuneâ€, to the big screen. â€œIt would really lend itself beautifully to film. I think it has all the makings of a hit. Those loved Star Wars, will really love thisâ€. Though he hasnâ€™t decided on a lead, Lynch said he fancies â€œKyle MacLachlan. Heâ€™s a big up-and-comer. He will be Dune’s version of Luke Skywalker. I think heâ€™s going to be the next Lenny Von Dohlen â€“ has star written all over him. â€.
Back to the… Drawing Board!
Disney has rejected Robert â€˜Used Carsâ€™ Zemeckisâ€™s latest, â€œBack to the Futureâ€. Described as a â€œsci-fi romantic comedyâ€ the film would tell the story of a surburban teenager whose friend, an elderly scientist, invents a time-machine. Seeing an opportunity to patch up his parentsâ€™ rocky marriage, the youngster travels back to 1955 to set things right. â€œWe donâ€™t know if it will ever happenâ€, Zemeckis told Dark Hole. â€œDisney turned it down because they thought that the story of a mother falling in love with her son was too risquÃ© for a film under their banner. Maybe weâ€™ll try again in a yearâ€™s timeâ€.
Murray replaces Belushi for Ghost Story
The once-proposed John Belushi/Dan Akroyd comedy â€œGhostbustersâ€ is back on! Belushi was set to reteam with his â€œBlues Brothersâ€ and â€œNeighboursâ€ co-star Akyroyd for the Ivan Reitman-directed horror/comedy â€“ about four money-beseeching pals who team up to start an evil spirit extermination service – but unfortunately passed away before the script was written. Aykroyd says theyâ€™re now starting from scratch (that includes losing Eddie Murphy and John Candy, who were pencilled in to co-star opposite Aykroyd and Belushi) with â€œmy good friend Bill Murray, who you all love from Saturday Night Live, coming onboard; weâ€™ve some other surprises in store tooâ€.
Mad Max idea Terminated!
Mel Gibson has turned down the chance to play a futuristic bounty hunter in the new film from â€˜Piranha 2â€™ director James Cameron. The film, unimaginitively titled â€œThe Terminatorâ€, wouldâ€™ve starred the â€œRoad Warriorâ€ favourite as an evil cyborg (flesh on the outside, machine inside) who travels back in time to assassinate a future leader. Gibson told the Australian press that it was just wasnâ€™t his â€œpot of beerâ€ so passed on it.
Morita on “Karate Kid” snub
â€œHappy Daysâ€ fave Pat Morita told TMZ he was â€œvery sad and angryâ€ that the producers of the new martial-arts drama â€œThe Karate Kidâ€ wouldnâ€™t audition him â€˜â€™because they had a no comedian policyâ€.
The actor, who plays â€˜Arnoldâ€™ on the hit series, said the producers wouldnâ€™t even look him in the eye when they knocked him back. â€˜â€™Look eye!, always look eye!â€™â€™ the disgruntled actor said, exiting the In-and-out Burger on Sunset.
Sly grinds Axel [to a halt!]
Sylvester Stallone has dropped out of producer Jerry Bruckheimerâ€™s new actioner â€œBeverly Hills Copâ€. Paramount are said to be on the hunt for a new lead. Got muscles? Know how to fire a rocket-launcher? Look good donning a bandana? Might be time to give the studio a call!
Raiders of the Secret Cameo
An insider tells Aint it Cool News that a popular ”Saturday Night Live” favourite has filmed a cameo in the highly-anticpated â€œIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doomâ€. â€œHe is only in the film for a couple of minutes â€“ youâ€™ll see him greeting Harrisonâ€™s character as he boards a private plane â€“ but audiences will get a real kick out of it!â€, says the scooper. So whoâ€™s your money on? Murray? Murphy? Chase? Aykroyd? Piscopo? (Update : The SNL Fanclub newsletter has revealed itâ€™s Aykroyd who has the cameo).
Andie may go “Ape” Shit
Confirmed! Youâ€™ll remember a rumour we ran a month ago suggesting an actress is being sought to dub over Andie MacDowellâ€™s lines in â€œGreystoke : The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apesâ€? Well according to star Christopher Lambert, in an interview at Frothing Soon, itâ€™s on the money. â€œVoicing another, yes. Will be. Andie, nice, and very good. Producers liking more… another. Best interests for movieâ€. In the film, Lambert plays the titular Tarzan.
“Superman IV” Spoilers!
In the next â€œSupermanâ€ film, the fourth in the popular series, â€œwe will be introducing the character of Brainiacâ€, writer/producer Ilya Salkind tells Kryptontic. â€œItâ€™s a very exciting entrance for him â€“ he will be shrinking everybody, including the Man of Steel, to the size of a pea. Letâ€™s see if Superman can get out of this one hey!?â€™. Though he proved popular with audiences, Salkind has itâ€™s â€œunlikely, due to budget constraintsâ€ that Richard Pryor (â€œSuperman IIIâ€) will be back for the new film, but â€œwe will have another big-name star playing the new villain â€“ I can guarantee itâ€.
Staying Alive… in the Jungle!
Sylvester Stallone looks set to reunite with John Travolta â€“the star of Slyâ€™s â€œStaying Aliveâ€, currently stinking up the box office â€“ on the â€œFirst Bloodâ€ sequel. Travolta would play Ramboâ€™s (Stallone) partner in the actioner, set to lens early next year. An insider tells The Daily Mail, â€œThey had such a good time together on the film this year â€“ on set and off â€“ that Slyâ€™s writing a role for him in the First Blood sequel. Theyâ€™re already working out togetherâ€.
According to Mikey Ausiello Jr, TV heartthrob David â€˜Knight Riderâ€™ Hasselhoff will be guest-starring on a future episode of smash-hit sitcom â€œDifferent Strokesâ€. â€œHey there peeps!â€ writes Ausiello in his weekly â€œHit up Mikey!â€ column, â€œHearing rumblings that Michael Knight might be teaming up with Arnold â€“ yep, that Arnold! The producers of Different Strokes are toying with an episode set in Hollywood and Gary Coleman has already asked his BFF David Hasselhoff to appear in it! Iâ€™ll let you know when to set your BETA-recorders!â€
Dreyfuyss’ next reviewed!
ScriptMagnate has a very positive review of â€œTotal Recallâ€, the film adaptation of Philip K. Dickâ€™s short story â€˜â€™ “We Can Remember It For You Wholesaleâ€™â€™, which producer Dino De Laurentiis is producing. â€œItâ€™s a really suspenseful, interesting action-thriller. Itâ€™s reminiscent of TRON, but also has a Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe to itâ€, says the reviewer. â€˜â€™I think Richard Dreyfuss is going to make an excellent Douglas Quaid!â€ The film still doesnâ€™t have a start date, according to the IMDB, but â€˜Australiaâ€™ is pencilled in as a possible filming locale.
…. and believe it or not, they’re all real stories.