If there’s anything Hollywood loves more than counting money and pandering to demographic groups, it’s pandering to a known demographic by cranking out a sequel. Here’s what the major studios are reheating for us in the upcoming months.
Heat 2: The Robbening
With most of the principal characters dead, the sequel focuses on Val Kilmer’s character, who was last seen ditching his wife and daughter for a life of not going to prison for several years. Al Pacino is back, obsessed with hunting down the “one that got away.”
Directing duties have been passed on to Lars Van Trier, whose unconventional filmmaking and confrontational style saw Val Kilmer participate in some improvised (and often, completely nude) bank robberies, for which he is currently serving 20 years at Lompoc Correctional Facility.
Lars Von Triers hails it as “provocative, dangerous cinema.”
They Still Call Me “Dances with Wolves”
After a nearly 20-year stretch of failed vanity projects and forgettable roles, Kevin Costner returns to the welcoming arms of his most successful vanity project. He reprises his role as Dances With Wolves, the sole enlightened white man in existence.
The story follows his purchase of a failing business in South Dakota and his unflinching battle with decades old anti-gambling laws. Costner grants himself ample screen time to explore his character, including several topical monologues which recall Steven Segal’s triumphant work in On Deadly Ground. Written and directed by Kevin Costner. Additional screenplay work by Paul Verhoeven and Joe Eszterhas.
Time Magazine calls it “a triumphant retread, full of Costnerian hubris.”
Star Wars Episode 9: The Twilight of the Revolution
Picking up where episode six left off (and skipping two more episodes, presumably to be retconned in later), with the Death Star destroyed (again) and the Empire defeated, Episode 9 rejoins the characters as they live out their remaining years.
- Watch Han Solo makes an embarrassment of himself in an Aldreraan retirement community, as his randy exploits never manage to make the ladies forget that he shoots first.
- Chewbacca returns to his home planet, only to be set upon and dismembered by his own species, who react violently to the alien smell of “human” on him.
- Luke Skywalker is faced with the realization that the rebellion never had a solid severance package in place and is forced to perform Jedi “magic” at birthday parties and bar mitzvahs to make ends meet.
- Leia never gets over being unable to conceive and spends her remaining years banging random helmet-wearing freaks in an effort to confront her “Daddy” issues.
- Lando finds himself profiled into a 10-year sentence for a liquor store holdup.
- R2-D2 and C-3PO are finally married after leaving Tatooine’s restrictive political climate for the relatively more relaxed Endor. Things end badly for the married couple when C-3PO catches R2-D2 fellating (?) a power washer.
- On a brighter note, Jar Jar Binks is also dismembered due to his “human” smell shortly after the opening credits.
FOX-TV says “full of Lucas’ patented heart and razor-sharp dialog.” CBS-TV says “Big Chill meets On Golden Pond in a fanboy’s basement.”
Titanic 2: The King of the World
James Cameron returns to the icy, money-choked waters of his greatest success, Titanic. Borrowing liberally from Clive Cussler’s Raise the Titanic (and being sued in the process) and his own dementia, Cameron presents the story of an eccentric billionaire who wishes to prove that the Titanic, with the proper level of sobriety and nude paintings, could have made that voyage successfully.
Cameron freely admits that the main character (Jim Camber) is loosely based on himself. Camber’s abrasive ego and Scrooge McDuck-esque piles of money soon find him several thousand feet below the surface, raising the Titanic for another maiden voyage.
Camber raises the Titanic and follows the fateful route. Tragedy strikes when the drunken Irish stowaways manage to rip through the hulls during an out-of-control party/car bombing. Ironically (or not), the Titanic returns to the depths at nearly the same spot as the original catastrophe.
James Cameron tops his last outing by using a combination of green screen and depression sufferers to simulate the sinking ship’s last moments. Viewers will be unable to escape the haunting images of the many extras clinging to the nearly vertical deck for life, which suddenly seems bright and livable when cold, icy death is staring you in the face. Listen closely for screams of “Fuck you, James!” and “For the love of God, where are the stuntmen?”
Entertainment Weekly calls it “a tour de force of cinéma vérité, proving just how many lives Cameron is willing to sacrifice for artless commerce (883, at last count).”