Snake-Eyes Solo Movie….no thank you!

Again, Hollywood has no clue. Yet, I still blame Hasbro too. Because Hasbro could oversee and control the out come as they “own” the property.

I’ve never understood the motives of film writers and producers that have (literally) the easiest job when it comes to adapting a iconic 80s property. The backstory is there. The characters are there. Heck, the fans and viewership is already there! All you have to do is come up with a great story! How hard is that?

But noooo. Producers and writers have to come in and F*#k it all up. Why? I truly believe its because they have absolutely no clue about the actual source material. Either this is complete ignorance or simply a matter of no respect. Because its all about the money.

Thus, if these producers (or Hasbro) had any clue, they would not be moving forward with a Snake-Eyes solo movie. Snake-Eyes is a product of G.I. Joe. G.I. Joe is a team. G.I. Joe, in definition, is a group of diverse characters with unique skill sets that work together to defeat Cobra, a terrorist organization determined to rule the world. Snake-Eyes excels when he’s fighting alongside Duke, Scarlett, Roadblock and Tunnel Rat.

Honestly, Snake-Eyes is a bad-ass character and he’s freaking awesome. But I don’t want to see him in a movie by himself. He needs his supportive cast. And if you bring even one of those characters, or a member of Cobra (i.e. Storm Shadow) then it’s a G.I. Joe movie. Why not just make that one?

There’s over 200 stories in the form of comic books. Its okay to use those as the basis for a good story – a great story. Yo Joe!

Worlds Finest.

So, let’s pretend that history was slightly different.

It’s 1990. The world has just experienced Batman as a big budget (and dark) movie masterpiece. Fans are rejoicing and dancing in the streets. We’ve not been this excited since …. well, I don’t know…. but its BIG!

The intelligent minds and businessmen at Warner Brothers green light a sequel. Duh. Who wouldn’t, right? So work begins immediately on the next chapter. They call it Batman Returns. (Not sure why this was the title since its not like he went anywhere. Maybe they could have called it Batman Strikes Back. Nah, what’s he striking back at? It’s not like he lost at the end of the first movie. Maybe, Batman Again! Yeah, we get Batman AGAIN! That’s kinda dumb. It’s the title that doesn’t so much refer to the movie itself but to the audience to tell us, “hey! Batman RETURNS!!! Go buy tickets!”) [back on topic] The movie starts production but there’s one tiny difference….

Batman saves Gotham again. Bruce Wayne finds a stray black cat and he thinks of Catwoman with one life left. We pan up to see the Bat Signal and Catwoman pop her head up. Then the clouds of the signal are broken by something zooming through them. We cut to the credits. After a couple minutes the credits are interrupted – fade in to Wayne Manner. The Batmobile blasts out of the Batcave. A blur of red and blue flies into the frame and block the Batmobile – which slams on the bat brakes! We cut back to the thing blocking Batman’s path – It’s SUPERMAN! Christopher Reeve’s Superman. His blue eyes look down at the Batmobile as the roof slides open to see Batman poking his head out. Wide shot of Superman and Batman. Superman speaks, “Batman – or should I say Bruce Wayne (x-ray vision folks) – I need your help in Metropolis. I’ve got a problem right up your alley. See, there’s this little problem with an old Kryptonian computer….” Cut back to the credits. Fade out.

The style is beyond its time. But don’t discard it. Let’s also move forward on the assumption Superman III never happened in 1983 (or the bad Superman IV: Quest for Peace in 1987). Because the original story plot for Superman III was meant to be a story about Brainiac but due to budget constraints and a studio that demanded Richard Pryor be in a Superman film, we got what we…got. Warner Bros. begins production on the next block buster super-hero movie for release in 1995. The title: WORLD’S FINEST: Superman & Batman. Today, you could have just stuck to World’s Finest, but in the 80/90s you had to put the characters in the title or no one would know it was a Superman and Batman movie.

1995. World’s Finest opens starring Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton in a double bill, and the fans go crazy. The movie breaks records. It destroys the 1993 record for Jurassic Park. Revolutionary special effects from Industiral Light & Magic creates a marvoulous Brainaic. Batman works to hack into the system and manipulate the ex-Kyptonian computer program. And Superman flies in just at the right moment to fling Brainaic and his ship toward the Sun! It sets up for a new status quo for super-hero films. And the world rejoices!

Oh I wish that were the way things went. Fanboys have always dreamt of a Reeve/Keaton team-up. It would have been stunning….it would have been legendary!

1989.

If you had the privilege of living in 1989, then you experienced the very first massive Block Buster summer. Being a kid, it was geek overload. And it was a historic event that should be talked about more often.

First, this was the summer of sequels: Ghostbusters II, Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, Back to the Future II, Star Trek V, Lethal Weapon II, License to Kill (Bond 16), Karate Kid III, Friday the 13th VIII, and Nightmare on Elm Street 5! That’s a lot of sequels for any year.

Not to mention, we got great movies like: Batman, Dead Poets Society, When Harry Met Sally, The Abyss, and yes, Weekend at Bernies! That’s not even the entire list. Just my favorites.

There was no internet. No social media. The only way to get a heads up on things was to read Starlog magazine or Variety. Sometimes you could watch TV and catch an episode of Entertainment Tonight. Lastly, word of mouth – maybe you had a friend that had a cousin who’s roommate was working as a grip on the film production. Sometimes, when I think back to that time, I’m surprised I found out about anything.

It was Starlog magazine and comic fanzine called Comic Scene where I first heard of the film Batman. Seeing that first image of Michael Keaton in the batsuit in front of the Batmobile, I was mesmerized. I remember just staring at it for hours (literally). I was just so happy and excited at the same time. This definitely was not the old TV series. I just wanted to talk about it so I drove to the local comic book store. (And in a small town, I don’t remember too many folks that were geeks like me).

I remember that the casting was not accepted by fans. Many really were worried that although it looked dark, it was going to be another campy version of Batman (the casting of Michael Keaton – who was considered a comedic actor). Now that I think about it. It wasn’t that much different than today. We still voiced opinions. We still griped. We still complained. Yet, the only difference was: it was you and 4 of your friends not a sea of millions of digital voices. I do recall that I was quite positive the movie was going to be everything we could want. It was going to be just as good as Superman (1978) – which was my favorite super-hero film of all time – then and now. (I understand that up till 1989, there wasn’t many of them. But still…)

That was a summer of sounds too. It felt like no matter where you went you heard the song On Our Own by Bobby Brown or Batdance by Prince. I know it sounds odd when I say, when I hear those songs even today, I’m transported back to 1989. My body is connected to that year. Even crazier, I feel like I can perceive the year, smell it, touch it. It’s hard to explain. Yet, I see specific moments – as if part of me is still there.

If the 1980s had to end on a bang, I would say it did. Technically, it was more like an explosion – a death start-like explosion!

(More 80s to come….)