Editor’s Note: This article was part of our April Fools 2010 project, in which our site was transported back to April 1, 1980. To see all of the retro articles written for this event, please visit our April Fools 2010 Homepage.
It’s now April, and I’ve just started to consistently put “80” instead of “79” when I write the date. It’s a weird feeling, turning the corner on a new decade. It’s like a fresh start in many ways, but of course, we here at Film School Rejects are concerned with one thing and one thing only…women. And beer. And Atari. OK, lots of things. But we focus on movies, dammit, and that’s what I’m here to talk about.
Standing on the precipice of the 80s, coming off one of the best decades for film in recent memory, can the decade to come live up to the decade we’ve just put to rest? A decade that produced such cinematic achievements as Godfather and Godfather II, Star Wars, and last year’s mind-blowing Apocalypse Now? The 70s have certainly left some big shoes to fill. Let’s see what’s on tap for the silver screen in the years to come.
The Empire Strikes Back
First up? Obviously, George Lucas’s The Empire Strikes Back, the highly anticipated follow-up to Star Wars. Can George strike gold again? It’s hard to imagine duplicating the magic I and many others experienced as we watched the first installment unfold before us just 3 short years ago. As we all know, the whole gang is back on, so we can look forward to more cocky Han Solo from Ford and crazy Wookie noises from Chewie, not to mention fine-ass Carrie Fisher. Something low-cut perhaps this time George? Pass that one on to the wardrobe department with my regards. Not much more to say about this one. I know you guys have been following this project as closely as we have here at FSR. May 21st can’t come soon enough!
Speaking of Lucas, what have he, Close Encounters director Steven Spielberg and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan been up to behind closed doors? Working on their pet project, Indiana Jones. Jones is supposedly a character derived from several influences, mainly the serials of the 30s and 40s as well as the Uncle Scrooge comics with a bit of James Bond and Bogart a la Treasure of the Sierra Madre thrown in to spice things up. They’ve just gone into pre-production and should start shooting in June of this year. And here’s the kicker…FSR has been told by reliable sources that the title of the film will be Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. We’ll keep you posted on what George, Steve and Larry have up their sleeves.
Next up, May’s fast approaching new Kubrick film, The Shining. The film, which hits a mere 2 days after Empire, is an adaptation of the absolutely terrifying Stephen King novel of the same name. This is a novel that shook me so much, I had to put it in the freezer for a bit so that I knew I was safe from its horrors.
We haven’t seen a new film from master writer/director Stanley Kubrick since Barry Lyndon five years ago. As fine a film as Lyndon is, I for one can’t wait to see Kubrick do dark and disturbing again like he did when he assaulted our eyes with 1971’s A Clockwork Orange, a film I would love to watch again at a repertory screening. I know FSR’s Rob Hunter is a big fan of this new VHS fad (what about Betamax, Rob?), and while I love the idea of being able to watch movies at home (what?!) I still think you just can’t replace the experience of sitting in a theater watching a 35mm print run past at 24 frames a second on a giant screen. That’s the way all movies should be seen, and especially something as explosive as A Clockwork Orange can’t be sullied by putting it on a television.
I digress, but needless to say, we’re really looking forward to seeing what Kubrick can pull out of his hat. Not to mention his star, Jack Nicholson! Coming off an incredible year with an amazing 1-2 punch of knockout performances in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for which he walked away with the Oscar, Nicholson is the hot actor to watch this year.
Can he pull another Oscar nod out of The Shining? You can bet I’ll be there on opening night to see.
Also on the horizon this year is Raging Bull, the new film from Marty Scorsese. Based on the book by Jake LaMotta, Bull wrapped principal photography in December so we should be seeing a release of this film during the last part of this year. This film pairs Marty with Bobby De Niro again, after doing both Mean Streets and Taxi Driver together.
Oh yeah, and De Niro took some time in between to work on a little film called Godfather II. But man, Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle simply leapt off the screen thanks to De Niro’s tour-de-force performance, and I’m sure Scorsese is hoping to catch lightning again with Raging Bull.
Seven Samurai maestro Akira Kurosawa is working towards an October release for his new film, Kagemusha. The Japanese master who crafted Ikiru, Throne of Blood, and Rashomon has a new film coming out? Count us in!
Dressed To Kill
While Brian de Palma’s new film, Dressed to Kill, starring Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson is due to hit screens in July, de Palma himself is already gearing up for a new film entitled Blow Out. This film will supposedly star Grease hunk John Travolta and should start filming later this year from a script that de Palma is writing.
We STILL don’t have a release date for Inchon and I know I’m getting pretty antsy. The film, which garnered an almost unthinkable $46 million budget, finished shooting last year and is either taking forever in post production or is locked in distribution hell. We’re not sure which, and frankly we don’t care, we just want to see this movie yesterday! Sporting an incredible cast including Laurence Olivier, Jacqueline Bisset, Ben Gazarra, Richard “Shaft” Roundtree and arguably the biggest badass of all time, Toshiro Mifune, what’s not to like? This film just can’t hit theaters soon enough!
On The Horizon…
And finally, an anonymous source from the set of his new film, Used Cars, which is due for release later this year, tells us that young upstart director Robert Zemeckis, has a plan to do a new sci-film about time travel. Zemeckis is looking to write and direct, but that’s all we know for now. We’ll keep an eye out for it.
So will the 1980s be able to live up to the huge example set by the 70s? Only time will tell. But it sure looks like there are plenty of good projects coming up for us cinephiles to get excited about. Bring on the films!