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Ready To Feel Ancient? The Matrix Is Twenty Years Old

Originally released on the 31st of March way back in the space year of 1999. The Matrix was the brainchild of Andy and Larry Wachowski the then Wachowski brothers… that’s a whole other article in itself. The Matrix changed cinema for years with it’s groundbreaking effects work. But it was not a film that was all looks an no substance, The Matrix is a flick that can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Just watch it as a kick-ass action romp and enjoy it on that level – or delve into its more philosophical elements and how it questions reality and existence.

I still remember the day I went to the cinema to watch the film. You have to bear in mind that we are talking about a film made by relatively unknowns. This was only the Wachowski brothers (yes I know, but at the time they were brothers) second film after the taught and incredibly sexy and stylish thriller Bound from 1996. Bound was very much an underground hit. It had it’s fans (I’m one) but it was hardly Hollywood blockbuster material – so expectations were low for The Matrix. Then there were the stars like Laurence Fishburne who now is instantly recognisable, but back in 1999? He was known as that guy from the Tina Turner biopic or Max from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Carrie-Anne Moss, aside from some bit-parts in T.V. shows, she was unknown and The Matrix was her big breakthrough. Hugo Weaving was perhaps even more unknown than anyone else in the main cast unless you were Australian. Joe Pantoliano had already had a steady acting carer by the time 1999 came around mainly playing bit-parts and character roles. He starred in the previously mentioned Bound… and that’s about all he would’ve been known for back then unless you were a die hard Goonies fan.

Plus it was a time when the internet was still till in its infancy, we didn’t have super-fast fibre optic broadband to watch trailers with, no social networks to spread the word, no smartphones to catch up on movie news on the go… it was a very different time.

The Matrix Cast

Oh and there was some guy by the name of Keanu Reeves. Yeah a household name now but not back in 1999, he was really only known for comedy rolls like the Bill & Ted films and small indie films. I guess the action flick Speed could be seen as his foot in the door of action cinema but he was still hardly known as an action film star afterwards in the same way he is today. It’s not as if Speed was to Keanu what Die Hard was to Bruce Willis. So really with The Matrix you had writer/directors not really know for anything with a cast of actors no one really cared about. It was not an easy film to see any merit in.

So yeah, quite honestly I had zero interest in the film. My brother called me up and asked if I wanted to go to the cinema – I had nothing going on so said yes. Didn’t see any trailers, paid no attention to who was in the film or who made it. Had no idea what I was going to watch just went along because I was bored and had nothing else to do. I went into the film 100% blind. But when I came out of that cinema? The first thought that went though my head was that must have been what it was like to have seen Star Wars at the cinema for the first time back in 1977. I felt that The Matrix was a game changer as if cinema had just taken several jumps forward not just in terms of effects work but also storytelling. I just knew then and there that The Matrix was something special, that people would still be talking about it decades later… twenty years later and here I am.

The Matrix Pills

But the big question is, two decades later, does The Matrix hold up? We live in an age where films date quickly. I’ve certainly seen films in the last decade or so that feel old only months after release. Yet some films are timeless no matter when they were made – The Matrix is one of them. Aside from some of the questionable technobabble and dated references/technology (remember when everyone wanted one of those Nokia flick phones?). The effects are still impressive, bullet time may not hold the impact it did when you first saw it, but it still looks good and just as satisfying as ever. The fight sequences are as exciting as they were back in 1999. Shoot outs are heart-pumping, that lobby scene is still one of the best shoot outs ever caught on film. As an action picture, The Matrix delivers. But it’s not just the impressive action sequences and still amazing effects work that hold up after twenty years. It’s the writing, the storytelling. It’s when you really get into the deeper aspects of The Matrix when the film comes to life.

The basic of good vs evil, human vs machine is nothing special I admit and yes the whole fulfilling a prophecy, being ‘the One’ shtick got tiresome. The love thing between Neo and Trinity was trite. Yet it’s the questioning reality, self-existence and everything that comes with it where the story excels. The multi-layered and textured story telling is fascinating and I love getting lost in the questioning of reality, the two worlds shown in the film – the simulation that is The Matrix and the real world of a desolate future where humans are dying out compliment each other perfectly. When Joe Pantoliano’s Cypher wants out of the real world by betraying his crew mates and when he is offered to be reinserted into The Matrix with a whole new life. The line “ignorance is bliss” he says speaks volumes. Seriously, given the choice of living in on a dead planet being hunted by machines, fighting a war that seemingly has no end or living in ignorance inside The Matrix is a tough call. I can’t be the only person who has often wondered if there is something better out there, something other than the life we believe is all we have?

The Matrix Gun

I’m going off on bit of a tangent here, but I quite honestly could write lengthy articles just on how deep The Matrix goes.  I don’t mean to get into questioning one’s own existence but just to look back at The Matrix after two decades and see if it still holds up. It does, very much so. Having just re-watched the film for the first time in a good few years – I still found it thoroughly entertaining. As I said earlier, it’s a film you can watch on so many levels. Yes it’s a great action flick, but it also asks and addresses much deeper themes and ideas if you really look beyond what is shown on the screen.

I’m not a fan of DVD commentaries, I find it’s usually full of nothing but overpaid people inflating their own egos by making themselves sound like cinematic geniuses. But the commentary for The Matrix is very different and highly unique. Instead of having the Wachowskis harp on about how creative and insightful they are, they decided not to do the commentary themselves. Instead what you get are two commentary tracks. One is from two film critics that didn’t like the film, while the other is from two philosophers who did. The two commentary tracks are amazingly interesting and show how one can perceive the film from two very different standpoints. The critics are negative but bring up several interesting flaws (some stupid ones too). While the philosophers, understandably get deeper into the subtleties of the story. Their polar opposite views really are interesting to hear and yet they really work together. Well worth checking out. I came out with a very different view of The Matrix after listening to the two commentary tracks.

The Matrix Kung Fu.gif

The Matrix is my generation’s Star Wars. Even two decades since it’s release, there just hasn’t been anything like it… plenty of imitators that have tired to delve into the depth The Matrix offers, countless flicks doing similar/same effects work – and yet none of them have managed to capture what made The Matrix so special, not even it’s own sequels and spin-offs.

It’s a film that is still talked about twenty years after it’s release and will probably still be talked about in another twenty, and still relevant in today’s cinema. Even films coming out soon like to throw in a The Matrix reference now and then, it seems even Keanu Reeves himself can’t escape them…

 

“Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You’ll have to see it for yourself.”

 

– Morpheus

My Book Update And The First Three Chapters

So I guess I had better do a quick summary for those not in the know.

I’m currently going full-tilt on writing a book covering some of the best British game developers and publishers of the 80s and 90s gaming boom, a book I spent a huge chunk of 2017 reserching. There really was a revolution in terms of gaming going on that I think tells an interesting story – one that intertwines and creates a tapestry of British gaming.

My aim is to entertain and even educate. A fantastic trip down memory lane for older gamers like myself  and even an insight for younger gamers that didn’t realise just how important the British gaming scene was. Right now, I have seven chapters written up, but there is still a long way to go yet. Each chapter tells the story of a gaming company from the start until the end while also covering the people responsible for founding them and some of the games they created. When finished, I hope to put together a huge and impressive hardback, glossy paged beauty any gaming fan would love to own. I’m making good progress on the book, as I previously said – so far I have seven chapters written and I’m working on it on a daily basis. I think I’ll have the first draft completed within two months – depending on how big the end result ends up being. Then the editing and proofreading begins and I’ll remove some parts, add to others, etc. I think I can get a final draft done by mid-late summer.

I have decided to let people (who wish to) read the first three chapters of the book just to give an idea of exactly where its heading and what it will contain when finished. But before I do let people read, there are a few things I want to make clear.

  • The following chapters are a VERY rough first draft. There are spelling/grammar errors. These will be sorted out through future drafts. So please don’t let them bother you too much.
  • This is just the text version. I aim for the final product to be accompanied with numerous images that relate to the stories being told. So try to imagine those as you read if you can.
  • I have a very specific art style in mind for the final product that will make the chapters pop, but all of that will come much later.

So anyway, if you feel like having a read you can find the first three chapters right here.

If you wish to give me some feedback, then you can leave a reply or use the contact form on this very blog.

Happy reading.

Upcoming Movie Sequels And Remakes…Plus My Plan For This Year

Well, its my first article of 2018. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. Before I get into the meat of this one – I just want to quickly cover my plan for this blog in 2018. You see, normally when I write – I tend to do so on the fly with no pre-planning except for major holidays like Halloween, Christmas and so on. But this year I have a plan… several in fact.

My Plans

First up and something regular readers may notice creeping into a lot of articles over the next 12 months. The 15th of July this year marks not only my birthday but also the 30th anniversary since the release of Die Hard. And I fucking love Die Hard – I mean, this was my Christmas jumper this year…

Die Hard jumper.jpg

So pre-warning… there will be a lot of Die Hard related stuff this year. With retrospectives looking back at all the films and games, behind the scenes ‘making of’ write ups and much more. There will be Die Hard centric articles as well as just passing references and nods to the film(s) throughout the year. 2018 is the year of Die Hard for me. Yippie kai-yay mother fuckers!

Secondly, I will be trying my hand at some new series with multiple articles all connected via a common theme. I’m going to take a look at several movie/character/actor curses this year. Plus I have an idea to compare specific movies to the books/novels that inspired them. No prizes for guessing what my first one will be about (see my first note above).

Third, I have an idea buzzing around in my head for a book I wish to write. I’m keeping this one under my hat for the time being, but I have been researching a particular niche topic over the last 5 months or so that I feel could make an interesting book. So I’m going to write an in-depth article right here that connects to my concept and give a taste of what my plan is to test the waters…

Finally – I aim to finish my vigilante novel that I have been writing the last few months. I’m around halfway through right now. There’s still a long way to go yet and a lot more writing to do. But this year is where I push myself to write more so than I ever have done before.

Anyway, on with the show.

Love them or hate them – sequels and remakes are here to stay. Over the next few years we could be seeing old faces return as well as new ones playing much loved characters as more and more films are due to be sequalised and remade. Some of the films in this list are confirmed, but some are still in the very early development/rumour phase and may never see the light of day. Regardless – I’ll be taking a look at some upcoming sequels and remakes as well as offer my opinion on whether I’m looking forward to them or not.

The Sequels

Die Hard 6… told you didn’t I?

Die Hard

Yes John McClane is set to be heading back to the big screen for the fifth sequel in the franchise. Let’s be honest here, Bruce Willis is getting on a bit now and he just can’t do the same films he was doing 30 years ago. Which I why I think this sequel is going the route it is. The film’s title is rumoured to being Die Hardest or Die Hard: Year One and will not be a straight up sequel – it’s being suggested that the film with be both a sequel and a prequel in one movie.

There will be ‘present’ segments of the film with Willis playing the iconic John McClane – and now retired as a cop but then some of the film will also be set in 1979 telling the story of a young, rookie cop McClane in New York years before the whole Nakatomi Plaza ordeal from the first film. Its also said to show the early relationship between John and his future wife, Holly before they became estranged.

My feelings on this one are a bit mixed. I adore the first film – I really, really do. I massively enjoy the first sequel. The third film I keep going back and forth between of liking and just putting up with. The last two? Fuck them. The whole franchise is a mixed bag of inconsistency. Part of me wants to see Willis back as McClane but another part of me just thinks they should let the series die… hard. I’m really not all that interested in seeing a young McClane to be honest.

Lethal Weapon 5

Lethal Weapon.jpg

From one Christmas classic getting a sequel to another. It seems that the ‘on the edge’ Martin Riggs and still retiring after 30 years Roger Murtaugh could be coming back for one more flick.

Recently, Lethal Weapon legendary director – Richard Donner took part in a podcast where he discussed his illustrious career and future plans and part of those plans involved a new Lethal Weapon sequel. Donner had this to say…

“It’s a story I came up with Channing Gibson, the writer who wrote [Lethal Weapon] 4, and I’m just having to work it out with the studio. If everybody steps up and we all get together, we’ll make it. Mel and Danny are on board. If they don’t… if it doesn’t work out, at least we tried. But there’s a good… a better chance that you will see the movie.”

So things sound like they are moving ahead with the fifth film in the series. Everyone is on board and Donner just needs to sell the idea to the studio.

My views on this one pretty much mirror my views for Die Hard 6 –  I love the first two flicks, the later sequels though… I can take or leave. There is a part of me that would love to see Gibson and Glover get back together as these two have magical chemistry – but then I also think the franchise has run its ground. Plus, lets be honest here. Both of them are “getting too old for this shit”.

Shaft 2

Shaft.jpg

Ya, damnnnnnn right. It also looks the the bad mother… (shut yo mouth) – but I’ talkin’ bout Shaft, so you can dig it – could also be returning. Yes the remake of Shaft from 2000 that wasn’t a remake but a sequel is getting a sequel itself. Okay, before I continue – please allow me to clear something up, the 2000 Shaft film was NOT a remake as many people like to claim. It was a sequel with Samuel L. Jackson paying the nephew of the original Shaft…the film even had the original Shaft (Richard Roundtree) in it.

Anyway, this sequel is said to be a direct sequel to the 2000 Shaft film and Samuel L. himself is coming back to be joined by Regnia Hall as Variety reported a few weeks back. Even more so…Richard Roundtree is also said to be returning as the original Uncle Shaft too. The plot revolves around nephew Shaft’s son played by Jessie T. Usher who investigates the death of one of his close friends and asks his estranged father for help.

You know something, this is a sequel I can dig. I thought the 2000 Shaft flick was damn entertaining but sadly overlooked. Getting back both the original Shaft as well as nephew Shaft could be awesome. Teaming up with son of Shaft. That’s a lot of Shaft. Yes, I’m fully aware that I’ve written the word ‘Shaft‘ a lot but he’s a complicated man – no one understand him but his woman.

Creed 2

Creed

I love the Rocky franchise. The more recent flicks in the series have been amazing and the last film, Creed was by favourite film of 2015. So of course I’m eagerly awaiting the next part of this epic saga and after the amazing success of Creed, a sequel was all but inevitable.

So details on Creed 2 are slim, but seeing as Stallone has been posting picks of himself and old Rocky rival Dolph Lundgren – its not hard to piece together what Creed 2 will be about. It looks like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV will be back and rumours are suggesting that Drago will be bringing along his son too. For those not in the know, there is some bad blood between the Drago family and the Creed bloodline…to put it mildly. So it seems this new flick will be about Adonis Creed (possibly) seeking revenge for what happened to his father, Apollo in Rocky IV.

I don’t know if I’m looking forward to this one. I can not stress enough how much I loved Creed, the film is sublime. I adore how they took it back to basics and grounded it in reality, if felt raw and real. And this is where my problem lies as Rocky IV was anything but raw and real – I personally consider the film the bastard of the franchise as its so ridiculous and lost all of the heart the other films had. Yes, I even consider Rocky V a ‘better’ sequel over Rocky IV. I just do not see how these two worlds can work together – Creed with its heavy emotion and character driven plot tied with Rocky IV complete with its talking robot and 7ft tall indestructible video game boss. Plus the whole revenge motif just does not interest me either. I’d love to see a sequel to Creed, but I have no interest in seeing a sequel to Rocky IV. This could be a cocktail that is pure genius or utterly terrible.

John Wick 3

John Wick

I thought the John Wick flicks were awesome. True action pictures directed brilliantly, simple plots and really just about seeing a talented hitman shoot people in the head…a lot. The first film became an instant action classic and the sequel was even better. The way the last film ended, there just had to be a sequel.

Derek Kolstad, who wrote the first two films has been hired to write the third and Keanu Reeves is set to return too – because it wouldn’t be a John Wick film without him would it? Details are thin on the ground but going off the end of the last flick, we can be sure old Johnny boy is in trouble with the Continental – the organisation of assassins he once worked for. Prepare yourself of a lot of gun-play, car chases and fisticuffs.

Can’t wait for this one and if original director – Chad Stahelski returns too (he may be busy with another project), this could round off and become one of the great modern trilogies of cinema.

Gremlins 3

Gremins

Looks like yet another Christmas classic could be getting a new sequel. The original Gremlins was a wonderful mix of horror, comedy and action. One of the last great PG films before PG films became diluted messes. Gremlins 2: The New Batch was also a cracker but for very different reasons – with its forth wall breaking and self-aware humour. Writer of the first flick, Chris Columbus has already written a third film in the series.

Columbus says the script is completed and that its going to be more like the first film with its dark, twisted tone and style.

“I’m really proud of the script. It is as twisted and dark as anything, so we’ll see. It’s always a budgetary conversation when we’re going to shoot it. I wanted to go back to the really twisted sensibility of the first movie. I found that was a very easy place for me to fall back into and start writing again so hopefully we’ll see that movie soon.”

Zach Galligan, who played Billy Peltzer in the first two movies in the franchise has also said that the movie is moving forward and how he is excited to be in the picture. All that is left to do is convince Warner Brothers that this is a project worth investing in and with the 35th anniversary of the first film coming up in 2019 – the timing could work out well, but they need to start ASAP.

Yeah I wanna see a Gremlins 3, especially if they can get the original cast and crew back. With Columbus’ script ready to go and as dark as the first film, Galligan eager to get involved, if they can get Steven Spielberg back as producer too – this could be a slice of fried gold.

Coming To America 2

Coming to America

Back in the late 80s through to the mid 90s, Eddie Murphy was cinematic gold. He starred in some of the best comedy films of that era. When he teamed up with John Landis for the second time after Trading Places for their next project, Coming To America, they hit comedy gold. Now it seems that Prince Akeem could be returning.

There had been rumours for years about a sequel, but nothing ever came of them. But things now seem to be moving ahead full steam. Sadly, Landis is no longer on board and sitting in the director’s chair this time will be Jonathan Levine. With a script written by Levine and Kenya Barris, who created the hit sitcom Black-ish. What the plot will be about is unknown right now and its still early days yet so anything can happen. Murphy is expected to return as Prince (or possibly by now, King) Akeem and even Arsenio Hall could return as his right hand servant, Semmi.

I love the original flick and its probably my favourite Murphy picture. So I’m looking forward to this one…but I have been stung in the past by decades gap sequels to great comedy movies. Hopefully this is one that can break that tradition. I don’t know whether to shake your hand, or kiss it, or bow, or what… I feel like breakdancin’. With most of the cast still able to return (sadly no Madge Sinclair) I just hope they flesh out the Cuba Gooding Jr. character. But they had better not call it Coming 2 America – I hate that shit.

Remakes

An American Werewolf In London

American werewolf in London

From one John Landis classic to another. Yes the greatest werewolf movie ever is being remade. The original is a damn fine film, its scary and darkly hilarious too – a perfect melding of comedy and horror. But just who as the sheer brass balls to even think about remaking this film and dare to step into the shoes of the great John Landis?

Well none other than his own son. Max Landis is writing and directing this remake, in fact young Landis says he has finished the first draft of the screenplay, so things are moving forward.

I’m quite looking forward to this one and I adore the original. I’m open to a new version of one of my all time favourites but I think Max has some pretty big shoes to fill. I just hope he makes the film his way and not the way he thinks he father thinks he should.

The Crow

The Crow

1994’s The Crow, based on the graphic novel by James O’ Barr was a flawed masterpiece. And yes, we very sadly lost Brandon Lee due to a tragic on set accident too. For many people, they think the fact Lee lost his life making the film is enough for the remake not to happen.

Look, The Crow was an okay flick – I enjoyed it immensely back then…not so much now. Yes its upsetting that an actor lost his life while making it too – but there is so much the movie left out from its source material, which for me I felt was a FAR superior story. This remake is said to follow the graphic novel much more closely and even its creator O’ Barr is on board giving this new version his full support. With Corin Hardy directing Jason Momoa as Eric. Production is said to start this February.

Yes I’m looking forward to this one because I am such a huge fan of the original graphic novel and I feel there is so much more a film version can do that the 1994 version didn’t. The fact its going to follow the source material much closer is great news instead of it being a straight up remake of the 1994 flick.

Big Trouble In Little China

Big Trouble in Little China

John Carpenter has had several of his films remade over the years and it looks like things are not going to be changing anytime soon either. Next up is his awesome tale of kung-fu and magic as Jack Burton is coming back to the big screen.

News of this remake broke last summer with Dwayne (I actually really like this guy) Johnson set to not only play Jack Burton in the remake but also produce it too. He has also said he wants Carpenter himself involved in the project.

The original is a stupidly over the top action/adventure kung-fu flick…and its magnificent. If they can get this right, it could work out well as they just don’t make pictures this stupid anymore.

Escape From New York

Escape From New York

See, I told you John Carpenter films get remade a lot. Even the mighty Snake Plissken is going to be ‘reborn’ in the form of a remake. The bleak, dystopian New York is all set to be re-imagined…and its sounding good so far.

The script has been completed and written by Luther creator Neil Cross. He has even sent it to John Carpenter who has given the project his seal of approval. No news on who will be playing Snake in the remake but a director has been announced. Robert Rodriguez is going to helm this project.

This is another one I am genuinely looking forward to. The original is a classic, no doubt about it and its a film I adore so damn much. But this remake really has piqued my interest as I’m a huge fan of Rodriguez who is in turn a huge fan of Carpenter – so I think they have got the right man for the job here as he will treat the film with respect. I just hope we get hard edged Sin City Rodriguez and not the family friendly Spy Kids one.

Death Wish

Death Wish

Vigilante films don’t get much better than the 1974 original as its often held up as the archetype of the sub-genre. This Charles Bronson revenge film is a dirty, grimy action packed masterpiece.

The remake is has been directed by Eli Roth. I say ‘has been’ because the film is completed and ready for release, there’s already trailer for it too. Bruce Willis is playing Paul Kersey who after his wife is killed and daughter left in hospital following an attack at their home, goes out for revenge on those responsible.

Now I’ve seen the trailer – I’m not convinced by this one. The original had a style that worked and the underlining message was one that showed vigilantism in a bad light. This remake looks too glossy and cookie-cutter ‘shooty-shooty, bang-bang’. It could just be the way the trailer is cut and the finished film might be much better. Plus as much as I love Willis…hes a lame stand-in for Charlie B.

Highlander

Highlander

Ahhhhh, Highlander. A cracking first flick – then a deluge of shit after it. A franchise I have covered previously and came to the conclusion that there should’ve been only one.

A remake makes a lot of sense when the franchise has been completely ruined by bad sequel after bad sequel after bad sequel. Plus there is the fact that Chad Stahelski is directing it…which was why I questioned his involvement in John Wick 3 earlier. It has been reported that Drew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, who have been working on the Ant-Man movies have been hired to write this remake and to get the project moving forward.

This is one I’m definitely looking forward to. I’m a big fan of the original and as much as I love the film – it has many, many problems. I hope this remake irons out several of the creases. Plus there is the fact that Stahelski is directing it and I think he’s a great choice for this one. There is one troubling factor about this remake, the soundtrack. Any Highlander fan will tell you that the music by Queen is just as important to the film as the story and characters are and with Queen no longer the same band they once were – that leaves a pretty big gap in the film’s production. Even Stahelski himself has expressed concern of this problem.

“The tone of the first one just hit at that weird music video edge in the 80s that had Queen and for some reason, Queen just fits. I don’t think you can do Highlander and bring about that kind of tone again with the mythological world and take it too seriously. Just as we did with Wick, you can’t kill 80 people over a puppy and take yourself seriously. We got to let the audience know that we’re having fun and that there is a world here.

Point being I can’t see Highlander without Queen, without the Queen center, without having Freddy Mercury, Prince of the Universe, and all this stuff. I can’t picture the movie in my head without it.”

It seems that Stahelski wants Queen on the soundtrack as much as any self-respecting Highlander fan does…he seems like the right guy for the job.

Rambo

First Blood.jpg

Yeah, yeah I know the first film is called First Blood and not Rambo, but everyone calls it Rambo anyway. Even the upcoming remake is going with that title…sort of.

Yes John Rambo could be heading back to the big screen only without Sly Stallone as a remake is being worked on right now. With the title said to be Rambo: New Blood and it being written by Brooks McLaren with the film to be directed by Ariel Vromen.

This one seems a bit sketchy right now as details seem to change on a weekly basis. From Stallone originally returning, to it being turned into a TV show which will focus on John Rambo’s son with Stallone in a secondary role to it now being said that Stallone is out completely and the film will be a hard reset/remake instead. Nothing has been confirmed and as far as I can tell, there is no script yet either. Who knows?


Well there you have it, a handful of sequels and remakes that are on the way over the next few years if things go to plan. There are so many more I haven’t mentioned but I can always cover more later. For now – I have more writing to get on with and several Die Hard related articles to plan…

Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave?

As regular readers know, this is a gaming and movie blog. But today – I feel the need to cover something else, something that has been on my mind the last few days. So I’m bending the rules on my own blog for a while.

Let me ask you a question, what do the following numbers represent?

8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14, 18, 21, 23, 27, 32, 49, 59.

Those are the number people who have been shot an killed in America during mass shootings in recent history. That’s almost 500 people murdered in total, and this does not include the injured or other gun related deaths – just the ones for what are considered mass shootings. If I included all gun related deaths, I’d wear out the numbers on my keyboard.

The recent shooting in Las Vegas was terrifying, horrific, disturbing and now the most deadliest… and yet it was not the first, nor will it be the last. So let me ask you this: After all these deaths, after all the sorrow, upset and murder, why is gun control still such a highly debated topic in America?

Full disclosure – I’m not American. I’m English and live on our tiny grey and continually raining little island drinking tea and eating crumpets (may as well get the pathetic and misguided stereotypes out of the way now) but I love America. I’ve been there many times and if things come together how I hope, I’d move out there in a heartbeat. I understand the patriotism Americans feel because I feel it whenever I’ve been over there myself. But you know what, America is a fucked up country.

As an English man, it makes no sense why gun control is constantly ignored. How many more people have to die in mass shootings before something is done?

The Second Amendment

Yeah I’ve done my research, I know what The Second Amendment is… but it makes no sense. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” You guys do know that this was written and added to the Constitution in 1791 right? That’s 226 years ago. The world has changed a hell of a lot since then. The weapons of 1791 were muskets and rifles that used .70 calibre balls and were highly inaccurate. I pretty certain that the Founding Fathers could not even imagine the weapons of today when they wrote The Second Amendment. I very much doubt they envisioned fully automatic AK-47s and M16s that can spit out 600 rounds per minute. So how can so many people in America still believe and live by a right that was written over two centuries ago, a right that is vastly out-dated?

I’m willing to bet a serious amount of money that some of 22,000 strong crowd at that music festival in Vegas believed in The Second Amendment too, but just look what happened to them. 59 dead and over 500 injured – what good was “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” to them? In fact just how many times has anyone stood up against or prevented any of the mass shootings via The Second Amendment? I’ve looked into this and pretty much every single mass shooting in America has ended by suicide or police involvement with them killing the shooter or being caught and sentenced. I think I found 1 out of the 32 mass shootings where a member of the public shot and killed the shooter, in fact in this instance the shooter was shot AFTER the carnage and while he was trying to escape. The Second Amendment working well there eh?

I find it insane that so many people put the antiquated Second Amendment ahead of human life. The Second Amendment needs amending.

How Many Guns Does One Person Need?

The low-life scum that murdered 59 people (so far) in Las Vegas recently – was found to have 47 guns in his hotel room and at home loaded with high-capacity rounds. Who the fuck ‘needs’ 47 guns? I get that Americans feel the need to stick to the archaic Second Amendment, as stupid as it is, I get it… but who needs a small arsenal of guns and why is it so damn easy to obtain so many guns?

Personal protection and hunting is the reason most people own a firearm in America. And you know what, okay I understand that – own A gun… that is A gun – singular. One person does not need several dozen guns, I don’t care how much personal protection you want or how much hunting you do.

I’m not stupid, I know America will never make firearms illegal, but measures should be put in place that prevent people from amassing the amount of guns that they are. The moment a person tires to buy a second gun, alarm bells should be ringing and if they try to buy a third then they need to be restricted… how does someone build up a collection of almost 50 guns and 1000s upon 1000s of ammo rounds with no suspicion being raised? Would these mass shooting be so devastating if the shooters found it harder to obtain guns, if they were restricted to pistols for protection and specific rifles for hunting? You will never eradicate gun crime completely, but you can make it harder and far more rare.

Found this interesting tit-bit: Nevada has some of the country’s most relaxed gun laws; the state does not require firearm owners to have a license, does not require registration of weapons, and does not limit number of firearms someone can possess.

Question… why? Why do you not have to posses a licence, why do you not have to register them and why is there no limit on how many guns you can own? This is fucking stupid.

Right now, the FBI can’t find a reason, a motive as to why the shit-stain did what he did in Vegas, and does that not make it even more scary? Maybe he had no motive, maybe he just felt like killing people? A ‘normal’ person can just book themselves into a hotel and rain down relentless gunfire onto unsuspecting people… but there’s in no gun problem in America right?

You can walk into a store in America to get the shopping in. Some milk, bread, a rifle, coffee, couple of hundred rounds of ammo and some donuts. I mean, places like this exist…

GunsGuitars.jpg

Guns Don’t Kill People…

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve heard all that crap before and to some level, I agree. But here’s the thing – the majority of people who kill people use guns. Nobody knows exactly how the human brain works, even the most highly regarded specialists around the world don’t fully understand how the brain works. So why put guns into the hands of people who could snap and go on a shooting spree? I’m sure that cowardly bastard in Vegas passed all sorts of medical/psychological tests before buying his guns. Point is, anyone could do something similar and the fact that there are others living in America right now and sitting on a mass of guns – this will happen again and again and again…

And I’m sure there are gun collectors out there right now thinking ‘I’d never do anything like that’. As I covered earlier, the FBI can find no reason why the Vegas massacre happened either. I bet that murderer also thought to himself that he’d never do anything like that… but he did. His friend’s and family members have all stated how he was a perfectly ‘normal’ person, his girlfriend has been reported as saying:

“I knew (I refuse to use that cunt’s name on my blog) as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him, it never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone.”

He was a “kind, caring, quiet man” I wonder how many other gun enthusiasts around America – sitting on dozens and dozens of guns are also kind, caring and quiet?

Its around here where gun supporters will bring up the fact that cars (or other) can kill people – so ban cars right? Well no, you are comparing apples and oranges there as you can’t take a car up into a secluded spot and murder a mass of people from a distance can you?

Guns don’t kill people. They just make it a whole lot easier to kill people.

WTF White House

I’m really not sure where to start with this mess. I guess first I need to address the fact that your President refuses to call the Vegas shooting a terrorist attack. Of course it was a terrorist attack. Not all terrorists are dark skinned and have foreign sounding names. When that arse-wipe opened fire on hundreds, thousands of innocent bystanders – he was not trying to convey a message of love and peace… he fully intended to cause harm, death and terror. The Vegas shooting WAS a terrorist attack by the very definition of what a terrorist is. But I guess because he was a white, wealthy American – he gets a free pass.

Hundreds of lives have been ruined by this wanker and yet he is still being ‘defended’ by the President of the United States.

Journalists and pundits have been praising Trump for his response over the shooting. Are you fucking serious? Describing him as ‘very presidential’ – fuck me America, wake up! Here is a quote form Trump’s response:

To the families of the victims we are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.

Yes, your President is asking God for help – he’s the fucking President of the United States. Without getting into a theological discussion, you do know there is a good chance that God does not exist. Now whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant when you have a real life man with the power to change things. Here’s an idea, instead of asking God for help, why doesn’t Trump stand up to the gun lobby and change laws? But Trump won’t do that seeing as he accepted a $30 million donation from the NRA. Money is more important to your President that human life.

Also according to Trump, guns would have prevented the terrorist attack in Paris back in 2015:

Paris has the toughest gun control just about in the entire world. France has the toughest gun control just about in the entire world. If a few of those people that are now dead, if a few of those people had guns strapped to their ankles or strapped to their waists – you wouldn’t have the problem.

What an idiot! I’ll just copy & paste a point from earlier… I’m willing to bet a serious amount of money that some of 22,000 strong crowd at that music festival in Vegas believed in The Second Amendment too, but just look what happened to them. 59 dead and over 500 injured – what good was “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” to them?

If someone opens fire on an unsuspecting crowd of people with a fully automatic weapon – It does not matter how many guns you have strapped to yourself, chances are you’ll be dead before you even realise what is going on. Why does your President (and a lot of America) blame any and everything else except guns?

Another quote from Trump in regards to gun crime:

You have people who are mentally ill and they’re going to do things that people will not even believe are possible.

See, its not a gun problem, its the mentally ill according to your President… so why did he sign a bill to allow the sale of guns to the mentally ill? So Trump blames the mentally ill for gun crime but then gives them the right to buy guns? I guess anything is okay as long as the money keeps coming in eh Donald?

Thoughts and prayers don’t work. Every time there is a attack like this that leaves dozens dead. The first thing people do (including the President) is offer thoughts and prayers. Yet more and more death occurs afterwards from similar events. So instead of praying, how about you start leading Mr Trump, you have the power to change things – not God but YOU the President. Enough with the empty sympathy messages, take action!

Mr President, you should be ashamed of yourself.

America Makes No Sense

As I mentioned before – I love America, I genuinely do. But the country makes no sense. Here’s a link to a story where a 10 year old girl is given a shotgun as a birthday present. Now I’m sure this girl has been taught gun safety and all that crap (so was the murderer in Vegas) but here is why America makes no sense. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol in America – but a 10 year old can own a shotgun? A minor can’t go to see a R rated film unless they are accompanied by an adult – but a 10 year old can own a shotgun? Oh I’m not done yet as I’ve saved my personal favourite…

kinder surprise

Kinder eggs, little chocolate eggs that contain a plastic toy. These are illegal in America because of fears that the plastic toy could be dangerous to children – but a 10 year old can own a shotgun? Plastic toy vs a shotgun – does any of this make any sense? Do you know how many Kinder egg related deaths have been reported in the entire world? 3. And just how many gun related deaths have there been in America alone? A fuck-load more than 3. America has stricter rules and restrictions on chocolate then it does on guns and there is something seriously wrong with that.

Do you know what I was doing when I was 10? Playing video games, trying to complete my ThunderCats sticker album and attempting to transform Optimus Prime without looking at the instructions. The only time I was exposed to guns was when watching The A-Team. My point is, let 10 year olds be 10 year olds, let them be kids. If they find and enjoy guns later in life then fine. But America is a strange place to be if people think parents giving a 10 year old a shotgun as a birthday present is acceptable.

While researching this article – I found the following image…

GunControl

Amusing right? Well allow me to rebuttal…

Vegas Shooting3

I apologise to anyone affected by or involved in the Vegas shooting – but I needed to make this point. Pretty brutal and a bit more severe than a hypothetical cartoon. This shit is happening right now, the lack of gun control is killing innocent people. I wonder how vehement defenders of The Second Amendment would feel if that above image showed the dead body of a friend, a family member, their son or daughter? And remember, only 1 of the people behind of the recent mass shootings out of 32 has been stopped by a gun carrying civilian.

There are other countries where guns are illegal or they have far stricter gun laws where gun crime is much lower and less serious – that can’t be coincidental can it? Someone gets shot here in England – its rare and shocking. Someone get shot in America and its just one of those things, an everyday occurrence, nothing to see here.

Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave

But is it really? People can’t attend a music festival without being murdered, they can’t go to a gay club, a cinema, McDonald’s, school, etc. Just how ‘free’ is that?

As for brave. When you have chicken-shit individuals picking off innocents from hotel rooms at distance with fully automatic weapons. How is that ‘brave’?

flag Gun

God bless America… I guess?

I Am The Great Cornholio! – Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Is 20 Years Old

Huh, huh, huh, huh, this movie is old – huh, huh, huh.

On the 15th of December 1996, one of the dumbest and yet greatest animated movies ever made had it’s premiere in Los Angeles. Today marks the 20th anniversary of Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. So here, I’d like to take a quick look at Beavis and Butt-Head in general as well as their first and (so far) only big screen outing. So play some Red Hot Chili Peppers – LOUD and prepare as I take you on a journey into stupidity…

beavis-and-butthead-giff

The History

The brainchild of actor, animator, writer, producer, director, and musician – Mike Judge. Beavis and Butt-head began life as a simple animated short made for Liquid Television called; Frog Baseball which aired in 1992. This short was rude and crude in every way as our heroes (as the title suggest) play baseball using a frog. This was followed up with another short called; Peace, Love and Understanding where Beavis and Butt-head go to a monster truck rally and cross paths with Sterculius, the Roman God of faeces. I never said this was highbrow stuff.

The shorts were a big hit and MTV quickly stepped in and hired Judge to develop his animated shorts into a TV show. In 1993, Beavis and Butt-head aired as a full TV show for the first time and ran for 7 consecutive seasons until the show ended in 1997. For a while, it seemed like Beavis and Butt-head were no more, though they did make appearances on MTV shows like Celebrity Death Match. They also introduced MTV’s Jackass 3D movie in theatres. Despite the show ending, the boys kept popping up in various smaller roles, my favourite of which was their ‘in-depth’ discussion of Mike Judge’s film; Extract from 2009…

Then in 2010, Mike Judge announced he was going to revive the boys and bring them back for another season. In October 2011, Beavis and Butt-head were back on MTV for an 8th season. Judge has even recently stated how he would like to do even more Beavis and Butt-head seasons or another movie, but he’s is too busy with the TV show; Silicon Valley right now to commit to another season/movie… but who knows what will happen in the future?

I love Beavis and Butt-head. Yeah its really, really stupid… but its a good stupid and sometimes even a ‘clever’ stupid. When the movie version was announced, I was as happy as Beavis playing with fire.

beavis-fire

The Movie

Along with South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, I consider Beavis and Butt-Head Do America to be one of the greatest animated movies ever made. But what is the flick actually about?

Well Beavis and Butt-head have their TV stolen so they go out to try and watch TV elsewhere.

beavis-and-butthead-do-america

Yeah okay, there is a bit more to the plot than that. But the stolen TV is the catalyst that starts the avalanche of mishaps the boys find themselves in. I’ll do a proper synopsis…

After waking from a nap, Beavis and Butt-head find their TV has been stolen and very, very, very, slowly work out that this ‘sucks’. So they leave the house in an attempt to find another TV to watch. They even try their neighbour, Tom Anderson’s camper trailer as he is getting ready to set out on vacation with his wife. Only the boys end up breaking the TV and pissing off Tom along the way. This adventure leads them to someone called Muddy Grimes who drunkingly mistakes the boys for hitmen he has hired to kill his wife. Giving Beavis and Butt-head the information they need to ‘do’ his wife, Muddy drops them off at the airport to get a plane to Las Vegas where Dallas Grimes (Muddy’s wife) is.

Now in Vegas, Beavis and Butt-head find Dallas who offers them double what Muddy is paying to go back home and ‘do’ Muddy instead. This is when the FBI show up to arrest Dallas as she has stolen an experiential biological weapon known as the ‘X-5 Unit’. Dallas hides the ‘unit’ in Beavis’ clothing to prevent the FBI for getting it and sends the boys on their way to Washington.

beavis-and-butthead-do-america-close

This begins a chase across America as Dallas tries to keep up with Beavis and Butt-head so she can reclaim the ‘X-5 Unit’ without the FBI knowing. Meanwhile, Muddy sobers up and realises the mistake he has made so goes out to hunt Beavis and Butt-head down to kill them and his wife. All while the FBI put Beavis and Butt-head on America’s most wanted list.

beavis-and-butthead-do-america-wanted

Things all come to a head as Beavis and Butt-Head go to The White House where Muddy, Dallas, the FBI as well as Beavis and Butt-Head’s neighbour, Tom Anderson all converge as each of them all want to get their hands on the boys for different reasons, while Beavis goes into a full on Cornholio mode and seeks ‘TP for his bunghole’.

beavis-and-butthead-do-america-cornholio

And that right there is Beavis and Butt-Head Do America in a nutshell… or nutsack.

Yeah Its dumb, but really funny dumb. The film is full of memorable scenes (desert cactus freak-out?), funny and quotable dialogue as well as great characters that Beavis and Butt-Head cross paths with along the way. Then there is that awesome soundtrack that includes the likes of; AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, White Zombie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Isaac Hayes and of course, Engelbert Humperdinck singing ‘Lesbian Seagull’.

Great film and one of the best animated movies ever to be made. Now its 20 years old, its still just as funny as it ever was and probably about time we had a sequel Mr Judge…

I actually put the movie on just to have in the background as I wrote this article. But after a few minutes and before the opening credits ended, I had to stop writing and I just sat there and watched the film again instead.

Tit-Bits

Huh, huh, huh, huh, I wrote ‘tit’ – huh, huh, huh.

I just wanted to finish with some interesting facts and behind the scenes info on Beavis and Butt-Head Do America and Beavis and Butt-Head in general.

beavis-and-butthead

 

  • Did you know that Mike Judge got his inspiration to create Beavis and Butt-head from the Peanuts cartoon? Yes that family friendly cartoon starring Charlie Brown and Snoopy was the basis for the foul mouthed and unruly teenage boys. You ever notice how in Peanuts, you only ever see Snoopy’s doghouse and Charlie’s house from one simple and static shot? Well that is why you only see Beavis and Butt-head siting on the couch from one simple and static shot too. Also, you never see Charlie Brown’s parents in Peanuts. Just like you never see either Beavis or Butt-head’s parents either… well not until the movie anyway.
  • Speaking of their parents. Did you know that Butt-head’s dad is voiced by chat show legend, David Letterman? He didn’t use his real name in the credits, he used the name Earl Hofert instead – but it is him. The boys and David actually have a bit of a history too. They interacted together at the MTV Music awards in 1994 and then there was this…
  • On the DVD commentary for the film, Mike Judge finally admits where the main theme tune to the show comes from. Its a slightly altered and played backward version of the ‘Gone Shootin’ guitar riff by AC/DC which Mike says he ‘borrowed’, probably without permission. ‘Gone Shootin’ is even used in the movie, this time with permission.
  • Studio executives really wanted to make a Beavis and Butt-head movie, but they wanted it to be live action. Even comic actors David Spade and Chris Farley were suggested to play Beavis and Butt-head respectively. It took a long while for Mike Judge to convince the studio to go full animation sticking to the format and style of the TV show, but the studio interference didn’t end there. Once the animated film was agreed on, Mike had meting where executives starting pitching names to provide the voices of pretty much every character in the movie… of which Mike himself already did the voices for in the TV show as Mike recounts on the DVD commentary.
  • There is a scene in the movie where Beavis and Butt-head go to a church and in the background you can hear a choir singing, but what are they actually singing? Well the lyrics are; ‘Scrotum agitato, ignoramus, genitalius largus, hemmoridus burnum, all day long.’ Why? because Beavis and Butt-head that’s why.

bald-knob

  • Another scene has the boy’s neighbour, Tom Anderson setting up his camper trailer and attaching a butane gas canister which he comments on. Mike Judge originally wrote it to be a propane gas canister but he changed the gas to butane as he was developing another animated TV show at the time that would become King of the Hill. This show starred a propane gas salesman named Hank Hill and Mike didn’t want people to confuse the two characters… maybe them having the exact same voice wasn’t such a great idea either?
  • The awesome and visually stunning desert trip-out scene only exits in the film because MTV kept asking Mike to include a scene where Beavis and Butt-head watch a music video like they did in the TV show. Mike hated the idea as he felt it would stop the flow of the picture, so he created the cactus eating, hallucination scene instead and turned the entire thing into a semi-music video itself as Beavis (self-aware?) comments in the film. Also, the art design for that scene was from Rob Zombie. One last thing, if you play the audio backwards during this scene, you’ll hear Beavis say ‘I suggest that everybody go to college and study hard’ in a clever little bit of backmasking.
  • Finally, Just to bring everything full circle. In the same way Peanuts inspired Mike Judge to create Beavis and Butt-head, Beavis and Butt-head inspired Matt Stone and Trey Parker to make South Park. The two shows share similarities. Bill and Fosse (the ‘that’s gay’ kids) in South Park are based on Beavis and Butt-head right down to the laugh. Matt and Trey were developing South Park into a TV show after the success the original shorts Matt and Trey created (does this story sound familiar?) with Jesus Vs Frosty and The Spirit Of Christmas in the mid 90s. Mike Judge invited both Matt and Trey to the premier of Beavis and Butt-Head Do America where they met Isaac ‘The Duke’ Hayes who had performed the song ‘Two Cool Guys’ for the movie. It was this meeting that inspired Matt and Trey to create the character of Chef and offer the part to Isaac Hayes.

chef

So there you go, 20 years of Beavis and Butt-Head Do America and its still just as watchable as it was two decades ago. So what are you waiting for fartknocker, go watch some Beavis and Butt-head you buttmonkey.

Beavis: “Something’s wrong with my butt.”

Ghostbusters III… so what happened?

So Ghostbusters was an amazing success that spawned a very much loved franchise. From video games and toys to cartoons and cooking aprons. T-shirts and hats to Slimer based drinks and even Stay-Puft marshmallows.

The Ghostbusters logo was put onto pretty much everything in the mid 80s to early/mid 90s and we loved it. Us fans even tolerated the distinctly average sequel film, Ghostbusters II. We just could never get enough Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters franchise started to wane though the mid and late 90s and everyone believed that as far as movie go, the franchise was all done and dusted. But there was something every die hard Ghostbusters fan wanted…

GB III

We didn’t care how old the guys were getting, we just wanted to see them back on the big screen one more time. And do you know something… it almost happened several times. A Ghostbusters III was being worked on many times over the years but for one reason or another, it was just never meant to be. So here, I’m going to take a look a the many failed attempts at getting a Ghostbusters III off the ground before everything went wrong and the decision was made to remake/reboot the franchise instead. Lets start at the very beginning, I hear that’s a very good place to start.

Ray

It was the early-mid 90s when the rumours began with Dan in interviews like this one from Playboy in August 1993:

Playboy: “Will you continue to make sequels, whether based on the Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Coneheads or others?

Dan Aykroyd:As long as there is something new to do with them and it’s enjoyable. It’s kind of nice to have built-in franchises. The one I don’t think we’ll necessarily further exploit is Ghostbusters. It looks like that’s about had its run.

Playboy:Because Ghostbusters II did poorly?

Dan Aykroyd: “Yeah. It opened and Batman opened the next weekend and wiped us out that summer. Although we made a good movie, it just wasn’t as commercially successful as everybody thought it would be. If I could get that team together, it would be a real dream, because I think there’s a great story to be told. But it won’t be for a while.

Hmmmmm. While Dan says here he didn’t want to ‘further exploit’ Ghostbusters. On the same subject, he does also say it would be great to get that team back together and there is a great story to be told. So he must have been thinking about a possible return even back in 1993. Well we did get a Blues Brothers sequel, but what about that Ghostbusters III?

What about this interview from WWOR Channel 9 news sometime in February 1994:

Pat Collins:Raise your hands if you want another Ghostbusters movie. Dan says it could happen.

Dan Aykroyd:Ah, it might happen. I’ve got a story in mind that I’m thinking about. So, we’ll see, we’ll see. It’s certainly something I always wanted to do. It’s just getting the other players together.

So Dan had a story idea for another film and this got the fans riled up with excitement. Ghostbusters III looked like it was going to happen after all. Then, adding even more fuel to the fire was a little cameo Dan made in Casper (1995).

Showing up in full Ghostbusters regalia and even with the (Ray) Stantz name-tag and all. Dan only appeared in a very quick, few seconds cameo. So quick was the cameo that he didn’t even bother to shave his moustache. But there was no mistaking it, he was most definitely playing Ray Stantz from Ghostbusters.

It seems it was this few seconds coupled with the afore mentioned interviews that got most fans hoping that perhaps soon, we would see an official Ghostbusters III. By that time, it had been 6 years since Ghostbusters II was released and it seemed about the right time to bring them back despite the lack of love for the sequel. We wanted a worthy Ghostbusters sequel, but little did we know just how much Dan wanted one too.

Back then, Dan had already been working on a Ghostbusters III script in the mid 90s. In fact, he wrote multiple scripts and revisions for the movie between the mid 90s up to the 2010s. Very little is known about all his various scripts but some information was relased by Dan himself regarding at least one version; Ghostbusters III: Hellbent. The basic synopsis for this film had the original Ghostbusters working with a recruit where they would end up travelling to hell. This version of hell was said to be a parallel universe kind of thing taking place in ‘Manhellton’, a hellish version of New York’s Manhattan.

The interviews kept coming over the years too.

Hollywood Online, 10th February, 1998:

Dan Aykroyd:Harold [Ramis] and I have a treatment that we really like. It’s just a matter of writing it now. We’re going to try to do it this summer. The concept is still strong and I think that Harold and I can pull it off, if we have the time.

The concept is that there’s a positive image of life and there’s a negative image of life. Hell is not some distant place, far away from this dimension or realm. Hell is right next door. It’s like those old tin-type photos where you turn them one way and they look positive, then you just flick them slightly and they look negative. That’s our concept. Given the right technology you could flip the switch and all of a sudden the positive that we see in this room suddenly becomes negative. It’s kind of neat.

We’re going to set it in New York and do a Hades version of New York, very close to life in the city as we perceive it now. You look down at the river and there’s a ferry of Wall Street commuters, except they’re being shoved off with pitchforks into the river which is now boiling blood. Flick it back and it’s just the Brooklyn Bridge and just a normal traffic jam. Carrying that through, I think we can have a lot of fun.

That sounds like Dan talking about the previously mentioned Ghostbusters III: Hellbent doesn’t it? So things were very much getting under way on Ghostbusters III by 1998. Yet is was also around this time when things started to fall apart. Though Dan Aykroyd wanted to make another film, others didn’t.
In early 1999, Harold Ramis started chipping in on all the Ghostbusters III rumours. By 1999, Ramis had built himself quite a respectable career as a writer and director with films like Groundhog Day (1993), Multiplicity (1996) and Analyze This (1999). He was just too busy with his own career to take on another project and often suggested that a Ghostbusters III would never happen with the original cast and that it was more of a hobby for Aykroyd than anything else. Plus there was the fact that Bill Murray was reluctant in coming back and so was director Ivan Reitman. In fact, it was reported that Bill Murry said of Dan’s idea that it was: “too crazy to comprehend.”

Egon

Entertainment Weekly Online interviewed Ramis on 19th February, 1999:

Harold Ramis:Dan and I talk about it on a regular basis, and he’s done some writing. The studio would love to make a deal, but they’re not sure who to make the deal with, since Bill is very elusive, and Ivan Reitman is kind of standing on the side. The dream plan is that Danny and I would produce it, I would direct it, and we would recruit some newer, younger, popular Ghostbusters to star.

More of the interview right here.

This sounds like a different idea to the previously mentioned Ghostbusters III: Hellbent and possibly one of Dan’s other ideas for the film instead. But while it seemed the original cast would not be back, or at least some of them wouldn’t, a Ghostbusters III seemed to be going ahead. In the summer of 1999 the website domain of http://www.ghostbusters3.com had been secured. Go to it now and it no longer exists, but at the time it would take you to Sony Pictures main website. An indication that back then Sony were possibly interested in making the film?

All through the rumours and speculation. Bill Murray was very much against making another Ghostbusters movie even insulting his friends Dan and Harold along the way. This all lead to tension and the idea to make a new film without Murray started to emerge.

The subject of Ghostbusters III was brought up again when Dan Aykroyd appeared on the television show: Access Hollywood on the 12th November, 1999:

Dan Aykroyd:Doesn’t look good right now, I’m sorry to say that.

Nancy O’Dell:How could they not possibly want to do it?

Dan Aykroyd:Because they’re trying to get bargains, they’re trying to get the next Blair Witch. But, you know, sometimes you have to seed for the big harvest to come in. You’re talking about billion dollar releases. Spend 120, make 500. They don’t see it that way.

Dan is referring to Sony Pictures just not wanting to spend millions and millions of dollars on an old franchise. At the time The Blair With Project was the big thing in Hollywood then with it’s ultra low budget of around $60.000, but bringing in $29 million in its opening weekend alone. Low budget films making big profits was what studios wanted and you couldn’t make a Ghostbusters III on $60.000. So it seemed that a Ghostbusters III was never going to happen… except it kind of eventually did and with pretty much all the main cast returning too.

GB cast

The whole Ghostbusters III thing died down for a few years, we had been teased with it since 1993 and it was now almost the year 2000 and still nothing. Ghostbusters III was dead, we were sure of it. It was all swept under the rug and everyone moved on. Then sometime early 2007, Dan Aykroyd brought up the subject of Ghostbusters III once more. Suggesting the film is finally going ahead based on his original Ghostbusters III: Hellbent idea. After all the years and all the waiting, everything seemed to be heading back to the early 90s again… haven’t we been here once before already? What was interesting about this news though was the fact Dan said it would be a fully animated CGI movie as opposed to live action. The idea behind it was that everyone was too old to play the roles convincingly any more, but they could provide the voices for the characters instead and the Ghostbusters could still be as young as they need to be. Even Bill Murray was interested as he hinted at Fantastic Fest 2008:

Bill Murray: “The wounds from Ghostbusters II are healed.”

Murray also revealed that writer/producers Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg (The Office) were said to have written a new script under the supervision of Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Things were looking great for another Ghostbusters movie… finally. Live action or animated, we didn’t care, we were going to see the original cast back in an official sequel.

We never did get that CGI Ghostbusters movie, we go something else from that concept instead…

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In 2009, we got a fully licensed, fully voice acted Ghostbusters video game. The game was co-written by both Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis and it borrowed from Dan’s original Ghostbusters III: Hellbent concept as well as a few of his other early ideas like having a new member join the team. I’ll cover this game in more detail in my Ghostbusters in gaming later. But it is often said by Dan that this game is the true Ghostbusters III. You can even watch all the cut-scenes from the game as it’s own movie…

So that’s it then right, Ghostbusters III all sorted and everyone is happy? Well no, not quite.

Even after the release of the game, the rumours started once more that a movie sequel was still in the works. Bill Murray even got in on the fun and appeared in a cameo for the movie Zombieland (2009) where he plays himself and Ghostbusters is referenced several times. Murray also turned up in full Ghostbusters costume at the 2010 Scream Awards…

Bill

Everyone saw this as Bill hinting he had decided to be in a new Ghostbusters movie after all the negativity previously and a new hope was born after the success of the game that we may finally see a real Ghostbusters III movie with all the original cast.

It was around 2013 when the intention of making another movie began to circulate once more as the game had been so successful and proven there was still interest in the franchise. This time around writer Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Men In Black 3) was hired to pen the screenplay with the help of Dan and Harold. The idea was that the film would be a ‘passing the torch’ kind of movie where the original Ghostbusters hand over their legacy to an all new and younger team. Ben Stiller was even rumoured to be playing one of the lead roles. Everyone seemed happy with this idea… except Bill Murray who once again began his anti-Ghostbusters III campaign. It got to a point where Dan outright stated that the film is starting production in 2014 without Bill’s involvement. Things started looking up for Ghostbusters III again and were seemingly really moving forward. This is the closest we have ever got to an actual, live action Ghostbusters III. There was even a production date.

Dan Aykroyd:We’ve got a brilliant new writer on it and we’ll be passing the torch on to a new generation. We’re working on it to make it just right to satisfy our fans. I’m confident we’ll be in production in the next year.

There you go, Dan himself saying they will start production on Ghostbusters III in 2014. Unfortunately 2014 didn’t bring a new Ghostbusters movie, it brought tragedy. Sadly, Harold Ramis died and all excitement and expectations for the sequel died along with him. Nobody wanted to make a Ghostbusters III any more and the idea to reboot the franchise came about instead…

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That was the end. No more Ghostbusters III talk and only time will tell if this reboot/remake will reignite the franchise once more. Sadly we will never see the original four Ghostbusters in action again… but some of the cast from the original films do have cameos in this new film, including the elusive Bill Murray! Nobody expected that.

Thanks for reading and there is more Ghostbusting action in my behind the scenes look at the making of the first two films, quick overviews of both Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II as well as my look at Ghostbusters in gaming over the years.

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Jaws Unleashed – PS2

Jaws U title

Little Bit of History: Developed by Appaloosa Interactive and published by Majesco Games (THQ in Europe) and released in 2006. A pseudo-sequel to the original 1975 film and was relased for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Windows.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Amity Island is growing thanks to prestigious company: Environplus. But a growing population on Amity attracts a killer great white shark. Environplus CEO’s son is eaten by the killer shark and the CEO hires shark hunter Cruz Raddock to track and destroy the great white monster. Meanwhile, Marine Biologist Michael Brody tries to capture the shark for research.

Little Bit of Character: Michael Brody (son of Martin Brody from the original film) is joined by Amity’s Mayor; Vaughn and Cruz Raddock the shark hunter. Oh and a great white shark who is the star of the game.

Little Bit of Influence: The game was developed by the same team that made Sega Mega Drive classic Ecco The Dolphin and you can see a similar gameplay style here too. A sequel of sorts was relased called; Jaws: Ultimate Predator relased in 2011 for the Nintendo 3Ds and Wii. Plus there have been similar games relased on iOS and Android like; Hungry Shark Evolution and even an official; Jaws Revenge game too.

Little Bit of Memories: I remember this one being really good fun, mainly as you get to play as the shark. The game used an open world/sandbox style allowing you to explore the environment and kill swimmers, seas creatures and even destroy boats and scenery. The shark itself had quite a few moves it could pull off including; ramming, jumping out of the water and even whip its tail. It was a violent and bloody game…bloody good fun.

Little Bit of Playability: Yes, still playable today and I recommend the PC version if you can get it as it runs a lot smoother. It’s good mindless fun, causing mass destruction and eating swimmers while being a killer great white shark has never been so much fun.

Jaws U cover

This is just one part of my 40th birthday celebration of Jaws. Take a look at my overview of Jaws – NES as well as my look back on the first “summer blockbuster” and how Jaws almost never made it to the big screen.

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