More On Movies: Volume 9
The Last Word On Film Is Juicy!
Written by:  Alex Sandell, who thinks he's sooooo clever for coming up with that "more on" play on words (more on = moron, get it?  "Moron Movies?!?")

The Phantom Menace blasted its way into Japan this weekend with a new opening record (beating last year's Godzilla) and rabid fans who put even the most diehard Americans to shame (which is hard to believe).  A Japanese friend of mine who was in California for the American debut and back in Japan for the Japanese opening told me on Sunday that people in the audience were so pumped up, it was "frightening."  He never thought it would get crazier than it was in America back on May 19th, but told me everyone seemed at least "twice" as excited.   "It was like your Fourth of July.  More of an event than even in America.  The cheering was so loud when the movie came on that you couldn't hear the first 10 minutes of the film.  Everyone had toy lightsabers and when the words Star Wars flew by, they all lit them up.  The theater was alive with the glow."  Takes ya back, don't it?  Now, if only something, other than porno, would generate that kind of excitement in an American audience, again.  With crap like Wild Wild West, I'm starting to wonder.   Computer generated tarantulas and idiotic jokes a classic does not make. 

Speaking of crap, Jack Nicholson probably took one in his pants when he hit an oncoming car while turning onto the infamous Mulholland Drive up there in them crazy Hollywood Hills.  They say that Jack's primarily to blame in the accident.  No one got severely hurt, and no one's pressing charges.  I wonder if the unidentified 29-year-old chick in the passenger seat made Nicholson an extra PB&J sandwich when they got home, just to keep his mind off the fact that this is the only time he's made headlines since starring in As Good As It Gets.

It's anything but As Good As It Gets in the Indiana Jones department.  Obviously to pump people up for the upcoming sequel (which, as I've reported about 70,000 times, is rumored to have Harrison Ford signed on only as "producer" and "creative consultant," with studio eyes on a younger guy to actually play Indy), while making a few million bucks, on the side, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Paramount are re-releasing all three Indiana Jones' movies.  They're to be digitally remastered, with a bunch of extras (interviews and junk) thrown in, in WIDESCREEN format!  This would be great, great news, if the bearded, over-the-hill, out-for-a-buck morons were releasing them on both VHS and DVD format.  Unfortunately, at least for us DVD fans out there (and, really, who isn't?), it's VHS only.  Yeah, just what I want, another copy of the Indy trilogy sitting on a shelf by the other useless videos which have deteriorated into nothingness with the passage of time.  This sounds about as appealing as Leonardo DiCaprio taking on the role of Indiana Jones.     Both Lucas and Spielberg have been very hesitant to release their stuff on the (way, way, way, way, waaaay) superior, and technologically advanced, DVD format.   People assume this is because they're scared of video "pirates" making copies of their treasured movies and selling them on street corners, or wherever you sell copies of movies you pirated off of your DVD player.  Call me crazy, but last time I checked, video was easier than DVD to pirate, and both Lucas and Spielberg don't really seem to be hurting for cash. 

Speaking of cash, Adam Sandler, who has more than he could spend in ten separate lifetimes, seems to be filling the role of the spoiled movie star amazingly well.  Some say too well.  It's said that since the amazing box office performance of The Waterboy, he's went from the fun-loving slacker we all know and love, to a snobbish little prick that demands the finest of everything.  Best seats at whatever event that he's sitting at, cushy air-conditioned trailers with enough space for all of his crap, plus room for all of the best band equipment that the studio provides him, best table at all of the best restaurants (McDonald's my ass), and now, gifts from the studios he works for; just for being such a great guy, or something.  I guess Adam, who is paid 20+ million for each of his movies, and receives a pretty nice back end (he's already gotten at least 5 million in additional spending money for Big Daddy's performance) was sniffing out Sony execs, and sort of dropping "hints" that, since his movie's made so much for the studio, maybe they could buy him a gift, or two.  Maybe something like, say, a Range-Rover.  Not wanting to lose a commodity such as Sandler, the studio took the bait, of course, but he didn't get that Range-Rover he so desperately wanted, they bought him a Jaguar.  Who would've thunk a multi-millionaire, who swears fame hasn't changed him, would be running around begging for handouts?  Maybe they should rename his next movie, Big Ego

While we're on the topic of egos, lets talk about that one known as Madonna.  This rumor is basically unfounded, but still a fun one.  You know how each of the Scream movies starts out by killing some nubile young celebrity (Drew Barrymore in part 1 and Jada Pinket - I think - in part 2)?  Well, if this rumor holds up (which it probably won't.   I'm guessing it was thrown out by the studio itself, to distract people from finding out who's really gonna die in the first 10 minutes), the movie's first victim isn't going to be a fresh, young star, but rather a greasy, old sellout.   That's right, Madonna herself.  Why they would ever pick some rickety old hag over some neat-o youngster with big knockers and a firm ass, is way beyond me, but so is the fact that it's set for a PG-13 rating.  Maybe Madonna is going to be placed there to show how much the series is "maturing," or something.  That would be funny if the killer removed her annoying damn voicebox before slicing off her aging head.  Who's next?  Courtney Love

Last but not least, here's the top 5 movies, some predictions about them, and other useless garbage:  Shocking to some (but mostly the dumb people), American Pie took the number one spot away from Wild Wild West.   Bringing in a pretty damn decent 18.1 million, according to studio estimates, the film proved, once again, that teenagers are really horny.  I'm guessing horny teenagers will probably spend another 45 million, or so, bringing its final total to around 63-70 million.  Wild Wild West disappointed the hell out of everyone involved, by dropping to number two (an appropriate number) and grossing an estimated 16.7 million.  This brings its Crappy Crappy Total up to 76.4 million, about 30-50 million less than some folks (mostly the dumb ones) predicted it would bring in, by this time.  This basically proves that not even horny teenagers are willing to sit through a movie this rotten just to stare at Salma Hayek's nice, round, miraculous Latino breasts.  Big Daddy dropped only 19%, according to estimates, earning another 16.3 million, which means Adam Sandler will probably be asking Sony to buy him a yacht, or something.  The film's grossed 116.8 million, at this point.  Tarzan also dropped 19%, bringing in an estimated 11.3 million, for a 129.5 million total.  Finally, The General's Daughter brought up the rear, with an estimated 8.1 million.  Now that the film's made 79.4 million, and I keep hearing how good it is, I'm starting to think maybe I should have went and saw it, after-all, even though all of the critics said it sucked so bad it would have made Monica proud.  

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