Your Turn: Recycling my youth as garbage

Posted Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 11:51 AM Central

by John Couture

I just love it when I hit a nerve with people. There's nothing like random death threats from people too cowardly to put their real name in an email to make you feel more alive.

I'm kidding about the death threats part. I think.

This week, the issue that I took umbrage with was the announcement of Beverly Hills Cop IV and the attachment of Brett Ratner in the director's chair. For those of you who played my Devil's Advocate this week, I offer this chilling quote from the man himself to seal my case.

“We’re trying to revitalize the franchise. He was one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, Axel Foley, by far the coolest movie character. It’s an honor to be able to direct another Beverly Hills Cop film.”

So far so good. But then he added this bit when asked about the biggest challenge for the new movie.

"10-year-old kids, 12-year-old kids don’t really know the old Beverly Hills Cop. So it’s an opportunity to make it new for kids. The same way it felt for me watching Beverly Hills Cop when I was a kid, that’s what I want to do for kids today."

The last I checked, the MPAA's rating of PG would fit right into Mr. Ratner's target demo. That's a far cry short of the series' original R rating. That's a far cry short of the edgy Detroit cop, fish out-of-water story that made the series famous to begin with.

Nope, instead it sounds more like Beverly Hills Cop IV: Daddy Day Care 3. Which, I'm sure there are people out there that will pay to see this, but there's a certain expectation level you carry into a Beverly Hills Cop movie.

You want to see Axel Foley. You want to hear him curse. You want the action and violence that made the original series fun and campy. What you don't want is a neutered Axel Foley pushing a stroller around the posh enclaves of Rodeo Drive.

Would you want Quentin Tarantino to bring back Marcellus Wallace and his menagerie of surviving characters to play a game of Tiddlywinks? I didn't think so. No, the next time I see Marcellus Wallace he had better have changed his band-aid and he had better be going medieval on someone's backside.

Does Brett Ratner's comments change your mind any concerning Beverly Hills Cop IV? Feel free to continue to share your thoughts on this issue.

I couldn't agree more on your comments re: remakes. This is a big pet peeve of mine. Originality seems to have disappeared of late. I am going to copy your remarks, encase them in plastic, and thumbtack them to my wall! Thanks for your insight.

-Carol
Everett, WA

Thanks, I think. If you'd like, I can send you a lock of my hair to complete your little shrine. I don't know if I'll have anymore "plastic worthy" comments, but I will keep them coming.

Well, I'm as incensed about all this as you folks are--that yet another sequel is coming out, wringing every last drop of life from an already tired formula, but that seems to be what Hollywood is about these days. The plan always seems to be to release movies of old TV shows or to reignite interest in older movie franchises merely so the home video end of the entertainment company can sell box sets around the earlier films or the classic TV shows. So look at it this way--maybe that definitive and exhaustive box set will be issued around the "BEVERLY HILLS COP" movies, yet again, and that will be the end of it!!

It's all seemingly done for the money, now, because entertainment companies and critics alike have smugly thumbed their noses at single-vision artistry for so many years in favor of that billion dollar "blockbuster" and it draws the general public to the movies when the hype gets so great; why should they stop now? It all seems to be aimed at marketing strategies and demographics and, unfortunately, that isn't really the perfect way to promote anything that will have a life beyond the year it is released. Needless to say, this is a franchise, like most of the others, that I'll gladly miss.

-Kevin
Valley Stream, NY

It's all about the bling bling and the ring ring - of the cash registers. Sequels by their very nature were created to continually make money out of a hit product. At least they haven't made sequels to Citizen Kane or Casablanca... yet.

Sir, You are 100% correct anything Hollywood can ruin it will. Can't you just see Citizen Cain II where Cain is also a secret crimefighter. Wizard Of Oz II Eye Of The Tornado, where Dorothy is raped by one of the Munchkins while the daughter of the wicked witch turns the Tin Woodsman into a sex droid. How about Casablanca 28 Days Later. Ingrid bergman returns to town and is hooked on heroine by Peter Lorrie's twin brother while Rick becomes a born again minister and is tortured to death by a Natzi sexual pervert. I think I am going to quit my job and head for Hollywood. Just imagine Alien 7 Ripley is cloned into a moody Beverly Hills Teen and the alien morphs into a hip urban rapper who has problems with relationships and crack. I am God

-Richard
Lake Jackson, TX

You know, I think I've seen that Wizard of Oz sequel before. No wait, that was Fluffer of Oz and a completely different movie, although I do believe the sex droid concept was included. You had me hook, line and sinker up until the self-deification.

You hit the nail on the head! Hollywood has run out of fresh ideas for a long time now, they have resorted to tv shows, remakes, sequels and stealing story lines from foreign films. I used to go to the movies all the time, now I explore video stores and library for independent, foriengn and older movies

-M
Parts Unknown

Just call me "The Hammer."

Totally agree with that!! Beverly Hills IV is unnecessary. Love the title "Titanic II: Electric Boogaloo" - hilarious!!

-Audrey
Dayton, OH

I can't take total credit for the Electric Boogaloo. It's just another example of a useless sequel.

Your damn right. Quit over doing later sequals to what was good or at least somewhat good in the past. Come up with something good and original. Please, I'm a huge movie buff, and try to see at least 2 to 3 movies a month and stay up on all the news and unless the preview REALLY, like REALLY caught my eye, I would not go see it.

-Chris
Glendale, AZ

I agree with you. But you know new stuff or material, whoa what a concept. Apparently hollywood can't grasp that idea. No that would be too easy. They won't go for the new idea. But a suggestion for beating a dead horse or making more sequels is to come up with something good. You mentioned Titanic 2: Electric Boogaloo well in that script they say Titanic really didn't sink oops our mistake it was something else and we called it Titanic. It was a good fake out no? Haha. The joke is on the movie going audience. Maybe they should dig deeper into the archives and bring thundercats or the old voltron and rehash it. Well that is my two cents.

-Matthew
San Diego, CA

Ask and ye shall receive. There has also been talk of a Thundercats movie coming down the pipe. If G.I. Joe breaks the box office bank, all bets are off.

I dont understand why people like you write negative things about Indiana Jones when it was just the same as the other ones. When aliens are more believeable then te ark, nazis faces burning off, the holy grail or whatever the hell the pile of mess temple of doom was...What's the problem with a space between spaces? & why is everybody talking about the CGI gophers? Do you have a thing for going to the theatre and try to find the smallest thing in the movie and pick it apart?

-Ben
Maple Heights, OH

Actually, I do. It's a game that my friends and I play called "Picked to Pieces." No wait, that was a drinking game in college we played. The CGI gophers were random and unnecessary. There were there simply to appeal to the under 10 crowd.

I say let's remake 'em all. The youth today don't have Doc Brown, Axel Foley, or even John Mclaine--these sequels might get them watching the originals and I can have a conversation with my son about my movies. It's gotta be better than Hannah Montana.

-N. Richard
Baton Rouge, LA

If there's one good thing to come from the Universal lot fire this week, at least we can put to bed any talk of more Back to the Future sequels. And don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing sequels completely. I'm bashing the bad ones. I'm bashing the ones that come a generation later. I'm bashing crap and it's not even in a bag on fire on my front porch. And yes, anything is better than Hannah Montana, but that's a blog for another day.

Your A retard

dude I absolutely HATED your last blog type thingy. Your bitching that Hollywood is messing with your child-hood, but yet your going ga-ga over some fruity G.I Joe movie.

STOP BITCHING AND WHINING FOR ONCE!

And thanks for spoiling Indy IV for me with the aliens. I really appreciate that.

YOU SUCK

I hope you read this.

-Gerald
Parts Unknown

To be fair here, my colleague Tim is the one gushing over G.I. Joe, but otherwise you are spot on. Oh, and I did read this and posted it so that everyone will know how you feel Gerald. And while we're spoiling things Bruce is dead the whole time, Rosebud is a sled and Darth Vader is Luke's father.

Dude you just sound like an old man who hypes up the movies from his childhood and when another one in the series comes out and certain things aren't to your liking about production, you immediately bash it. Indy 4 was in style, almost exactly like the other ones. It was the same with Star Wars I, II, and III. Lucas and Spielburg made the movies almost exactly like they would have if they had just kept on making them. The only reason it really "failed" in your eyes is the fact that you hyped it up so much. I saw the trailer for Indy 4. To me it looked cheesy as hell. But I got a free ticket to go see it so I was like "Why not?" And the experience turned out to be better than I thought. Indy 4 was old school. It had the old school movie feel that you don't get from movies today. Everything nowadays is blood, guts, cgi, and boobs. While Indy 4 had some cgi and minimal blood and guts I just couldn't help but notice that it had a vintage feel. As for Beverly Hills Cop...well Eddie Murphy kind of needs a career reboot so I can see why he would do this. But let's see the film before you shit yourself. I thought there couldn't be another Rambo because...well plain and simple Stallone is old. But Rambo kicked ass! Although he did look like a behemoth... Also with the new Terminator series, I can't wait. Christian Bale is like movie gold right now. Everything I have ever seen him in has rocked. Besides the fact that he will be in it there is the Terminator story itself. Aren't you anxious to see what happens next? I sure as hell am!!! I followed the Sarah Connor Chronicles because I ached for more death dealing robots and I ended up loving the show. Whats funny is that all these old actors are coming back with their old franchises. Rocky. Die Hard. Rambo. Indiana Jones. and now Beverly Hills Cop.

That would make for one hell of a dvd set huh? The Old Action Man Movie Saga.

Haha no...but seriously, see the movie before you bash it. And go in to the movie with neutral feelings.

-Anonymous
Parts Unknown

I suppose some people would see 33 as being "an old man," but I feel that I'm still more than relevant. I don't immediately bash it, but there's a trend in Hollywood now to re-boot franchises and to "sell them out" by making them something that their older incarnations would laugh at. I think the comments from Mr. Ratner above proves that the new Axel Foley for the new millenium would be laughed at, cussed at and get the living crap kicked out of him by the old school Axel Foley.

Before you write off BHC4 to the scrapheap, let's see if Ratner has the good sense to fight for an "R" rated flick. Also, try to get back some of the missing castmembers from the first two (Paul Reiser and John Ashton). An "R" rated Eddie Murphy would beat every movie he's made in the last decade, except for maybe Shrek. This kid friendly Murphy has lost his edge, so it'd be nice to see if he can get it back for a return to classic form. All I'm saying is give it a chance, before it bombs, because if I have to see another "Daddy Day Care", "Norbit", or the shit he's in coming out this summer, I'm gonna start suffering some serious comedy withdrawal.

-Eric
Shawnee Mission, KS

I couldn't agree with you more, but it looks like Ratner is drinking the Paramount Kool-aid. Now, had he come out and said something along the lines of we're bringing Axel Foley back and we will not settle for anything less than an R rating, then I'd have softened my attack and taken a wait and see approach. But, as I mentioned in my original story, the third movie was already teetering on the edge of being a Disney flick, so the proverbial writing is on the wall.

And finally...

ah man.....dude the world is on CRACK these days with homosexuals, female wannabe presidents, nobody having real friends anymore(blackberry, cel phones, internet, facebook, etc), and just the generally jist of being a WHORE (working for the man) for money. So... 1)is this a surprise 2)who cares really? because kids of today are more retarded then the previous generation 3)I LOVE sequels if done right. 4)they have been talking for YEARS about #4 of Bev. Hills 5)Really, whatever, f*** the movie industry- its all a joke 6)they did a great job with Indy 4 and 1-3 of Star Wars(albeit that bitch JarJarJAR!)

Good luck on the crazy e-mails and replies, lets cross our fingers on this!!!!

- Erik
Parts Unknown

Obviously, Erik is the only one without friends anymore with these intolerant remarks. I guess the Internet really does bring out all of the crazies, eh? I just want to go on the record and point out that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world, so it shouldn't really come as a surprise. Well, that and I wanted this guy's crazy remarks to be seen and made fun of by the whole Internet.

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