Well, to paraphrase President Reagan, here we go again.
The start of a new year has caught up with us once more. And here we are, full of resolve to make 1989 better than 1988 and ready and willing to plunge in head first and make it happen.Well, OK, after we get rid of our annual New Year's Day headache.
Anyway, as far as movies are concerned, the new year is bound to bring more industry turmoil, fewer actual releases due to last year's writers' strike and a lot more films with numbers in the titles.
You've already been apprised on these pages of the many scheduled 1989 sequels, but just to refresh your memory, and since a few more have been announced, here they are again - or at least some of them:
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (or "Raiders III," as some would say), "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," "Ghostbusters II," "Back to the Future II," "Fletch Lives (Fletch II)," "License Revoked (James Bond XVI)," "Lethal Weapon II," "The Gods Must Be Crazy II," "The Fly II,"
"Return of the Musketeers (Three Musketeers III)" and, of course, the inevitable and dreaded "Friday the 13th, Part VIII," "A Nightmare on Elm Street V" and "Police Academy 6."
There are, of course, a lot of non-sequel 1989 movies on the docket as well, including:
"January Man," a comedy-thriller starring Kevin Kline and Rod Steiger; "The Von Metz Incident," with the odd teaming of Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd; "Cousins," a remake of the French film "Cousin, Cousine," this time starring Ted Danson and Isabella Rossellini;
"Major League," a baseball film with Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and the divorce lawyer from TV's "L.A. Law," Corbin Bernsen; the sci-fi thriller "Leviathan," with Peter Weller and Richard Crenna; and from James Cameron ("Aliens," "The Terminator") another sci-fi thriller, "The Abyss";
"New York Stories," three short films by Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola; "Worth Winning," a comedy with Mark Harmon as a TV weatherman; "See No Evil, Hear No Evil," reteaming Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder (after "Silver Streak" and "Stir Crazy");
"The Lemon Sisters," a comedy with Diane Keaton and Carol Kane; Stephen King's "Pet Sematary," scripted by King himself; Kevin Costner in another baseball movie, "Shoeless Joe"; "Union Street," a drama with Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro; "Born on the Fourth of July," a Vietnam drama with Tom Cruise; and, of course, many more.
There will be good, there will be bad, there will be ugly.
Mostly, there will be predictability . . . but there will also be some surprises.
And for once, let's hope the pleasant surprises outweigh the unpleasant surprises.
-QUOTE OF THE WEEK: John Lithgow, star of "Distant Thunder," talking to the Los Angeles Daily News' Tom Jacobs about making weak movies stronger:
"The hard stuff, with all due respect, is something like `Footloose.' The whole adult world in `Footloose' was black and white. Diane Wiest and I had to work hard to make this not only an emotionally authentic married couple, but to make them people teenagers would be interested in. We wanted to cast a little light on the world of repressed grown-ups.
"It was very challenging, because the script did not have that kind of sophistication. We had to cram it down that movie's throat."
-QUOTE OF THE WEEK II: Kirstie Alley, currently co-starring in TV's "Cheers," quoted in the Nov. 14 issue of Us Magazine about her 1982 role as a young Vulcan opposite Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan":
"I got the part because they thought my eyebrows looked like Leonard's."
-QUOTE OF THE WEEK III: Sigourney Weaver, also in the Nov. 14 issue of Us Magazine, asked how she prepared for the charging apes in "Gorillas in the Mist":
"I figured the experience wouldn't be much different than being interviewed by the press."
-HERE'S THE LATEST national "top 10" countdown, according to the show business trade papers:
1. "Twins," Universal, $9 million, 1,606 screens, $5,560 per screen, $35.5 million, three weeks.
2. "Rain Man," United Artists, $8.7 million, 1,254 screens, $6,959 per screen, $20.2 million, two weeks.
3. "The Naked Gun," Paramount, $5.8 million, 1,969 screens, $2,952 per screen, $35 million, four weeks.
4. "Working Girl," 20th Century Fox, $4.7 million, 1,051 screens, $4,489 per screen, $5.6 million, one week.
5. "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," Orion, $4.5 million, 1,510 screens, $2,997 per screen, $11.8 million, two weeks.
6. "Scrooged," Paramount, $4.2 million, 1,877 screens, $2,231 per screen, $49 million, five weeks.
7. "Oliver and Co.," Disney, $3.5 million, 1,503 screens, $2,334 per screen, $27.7 million, six weeks.
8. "Hellbound: Hellraiser II," New World, $3.19 million, 1,180 screens, $2,701 per screen, $3.19 million, one week.
9. "Tequila Sunrise," Warner Bros., $3.16 million, 1,411 screens, $2,238 per screen, $21.5 million, four weeks.
10. "The Land Before Time," Universal, $2 million, 1,395 screens, $1,465 per screen, $31.3 million, six weeks.