I'm among the petulant grumblers about super-popular movies getting prequels, gaining sequels and being retrofitted to appeal to current fans while grabbing up new fans with sexy, glammy, glitzy things like turbo-hottie actors and actresses and the expensive magic of CGI. But I grumble because I care, and over my many years of film-watching and film-appreciating I have recognized that there there are movies that can be pre-done, post-done, redone and completely re-imagined -- and as long as they have the names, characters and at least some connection to the originals, I'll still pay money to see them, and eat overpriced popcorn while doing so.
Here's my list of the five guilty pleasure prequel, sequel and remade movies I will always watch. Note that the remake of The Omen is not on this list, and never will be, because there are some dark places I won't go.
5. Bill and Ted's Third Awesome--or Bogus--Adventure Last I heard tell, Bill and Ted III was in development, but that tidbit was outed on the Internet back in 2011, and there's been no official news since. I would be down for making Bill and Ted trilogy -- as long as the original actors are in the next movie, and there's really no reason they shouldn't be. Some actors manage to grow out of their terrible movie bombs with time, age and better opportunities, but Keanu Reeves (Ted) sure isn't one of them, and as for Alex Winter (Bill)....what the hell exactly has he done since the last Bill and Ted movie? I think he was doing some voices on Robot Chicken for like a minute, but let's face it: He could use an excellent, paying gig so he can buy some food or something. Both Reaves and Winter are licking right up on fifty, so whatever strange things that are afoot at the Circle K better come to fruition before one of them goes on the long journey to the big telephone booth in the sky. Granted, I was pretty stoned in middle/high school when I watched the first two, and a lot has changed in my life since then -- now I get stoned on much better weed (Denver f*cking rocks!), so there's a premium chance that Bill and Ted take three will be just as hilarious for me as the first two were.
Side note: I also would love it if they dug up that fat, pissy, squealy guy who played Napoleon and put him somewhere in the next movie.
4. Clerks 3 -- Return of the Quick Stop...again Since March 8, when everybody's -- well, almost everybody's -- favorite plump, misanthropic dick-and-fart joke movie director, Kevin Smith, announced via Facebook that he was finally-but-finally-writing the script for Clerks III, Smith fans have been impatient for any teeny-weeny-tiny scraplette of news about what's going on with the script, wondering whether Jeff Anderson (Randal) is on board with the project, and planning massive viewing parties for when they can finally illegally download the movie and screen it at home. I'd been crossing my fingers, toes and crossing d*cks with a friend of mine, hoping beyond hope that Smith would knock off his constant whining about retiring and get his fat ass to work penning the grand finale to the Clerks trilogy. Honestly, even if this third Clerks sucks massive ass (or some wondrous/awful sh*t like a dude f*cking a donkey), I will still pay money to see it, out of sentimental Gen X loyalty -- and I doubt I'll be the only one, since I still hear plenty of people say, "I'm not even supposed to BE here today." 3. Alien F-F-F-Five I will love, respect and lust after Sigourney Weaver until she is dead, and probably for a time thereafter. And I would be completely, 100 percent behind an Alien V, as long as Weaver is in it (she hasn't been in one since 1997), and Ridley Scott can find it within his scope of creativity to marry the concepts of Prometheus and the Alien franchise into something that more closely resembles Alien. Last year Prometheus was heavily billed as a prequel to the first Alien movie, and failed miserably, ending up instead a colossal failure of a spin-off with a badly muddled plot, lousy acting and writing that made my brain hurt. But it's not too late for Scott to squash this Prometheus crap and reboot a proper fifth Alien -- maybe set on Earth this time. The last Internet nugget I gleaned regarding Weaver and a possible new Alien movie was her passing on a script/concept, but saying she would be on board for another film if she liked the script.
My advice to Scott: Quit screwing around, sell your soul to Satan or Disney or whatever, and get Weaver a script she likes so we have an Alien 5. No matter what movie results, I'll still sit my ass in a theater chair, buy some $80 popcorn and a $20 soda, and enjoy every minute of it.
2. Star Trek 2.2 I didn't really get intio the Star Trek franchise until Star Trek: The Next Generation, when I was stuck sick at home, where my mom watched it religiously -- along with the original series when it came on as reruns. At first I didn't get it. At all. Captain Kirk was a dork with weird syntax issues, Spock was creepy-looking, and Bones had the crazy-eyes. I immediately liked Captain Picard, because it's hard to dislike a handsome bald guy with a beautiful, clipped British accent who' was supposed to be French, Commander Riker was kinda hot and beardy and also doing some serious cowboy shit, and Lieutenant Yar was hot, too -- all qualities that were important to keep teen-aged Jenn's attention. Then I actually started watching Trek for the plots and story arcs, and I was hooked. I went back and watched every episode of every show -- even Enterprise, despite Scott Bakula -- and all the movies, which I decided were awesome, except for the fifth one, which is universally accepted as being worse than bad.
When I heard there would be a prequel/reboot with a new cast, I spewed some profanities, but ultimately chose to be a good little Trekkie and give it a chance, and I'm glad I did -- 2009's Star Trek, despite being a bit more glitzy than I liked, turned out to be pretty good (excellent casting: Chris Pine pulled off Kirk) and Star Trek: Into Darkness looks to be even better. I'll willingly go where no human has gone before...
1. Star Wars: A Last Hope I don't think there is anything I can say about the badassery of Star Wars Episodes IV-VI that hasn't already been said, nor is there anything dumbassery that I can say about episodes I-III that hasn't already been howled by millions of other Star Wars fans around the globe. I got the same news as everyone else about George Lucas throwing down the light saber (good call) and selling out the entire franchise to Disney to make more movies, and ran to forums to bitch/ponder about this development until my fingers hurt from keyboard strain.
This situation has the potential to really, really, really go well -- or end up with Star Wars fans, and the entire legacy, getting unceremoniously fed to the sarlacc. I'm overjoyed that Lucas isn't directing the new ones, since his talent has obviously gone to the dark side. J.J. Abrams is directing episode VII, but he's also directing the new Star Trek movies, and putting two of the sci-fi world's most cherished franchises into his hands, at the same time, has me nervous. Disney has the cash to do Star Wars proper, but I'm worried that after being shoved through Disney's PG-pretty pipeline, it will come out the other end looking like one of their horrendously bad, racist, sexist, ridiculously written animation films.
But of course I will watch the new Star Wars movie -- if for no other reason than to be surprised either way. And if this thing flops, at least I won't feel as stupid for paying so much for the popcorn this time, because I'll be thinking about how much money Disney wasted turning a cultural icon into a circus sideshow of Mickey Mouse-choking proportions.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.