How difficult is it to make a good sequel? Not many measure up to the original, but there are a few exceptions. In my opinion, Ghostbusters II is one such exception.
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver all return in the sequel, both released and set five years after the initial film. The studio pushed for the sequel against the judgment of Aykroyd, Ramis, and director/producer Ivan Reitman, but fortunately all agreed to work together to bring it to fruition.
The sequel’s soundtrack did not enjoy as much success as the first, but there are still some quality songs from popular artists of the day, such as Bobby Brown, New Edition, Doug E. Fresh, and Run-D.M.C.
News of a third installment featuring the original cast first appeared online earlier this year. Rumored for decades, it had been consistently shot down by those involved in the first two films. I asked Hudson about the possibility of a Ghostbusters III about a decade ago; he pointed to a video game and said, “That’s the closest we’ll ever get.” I’m glad he was wrong; I only hope he is involved in the new movie, produced by the original director’s son, Jason Reitman.
The Best Joke Book (Period)
by William Donohue
Adams Media, 2014
Joke books often fall into one of two categories: far too obscene or far too corny. The Best Joke Book (Period) by William Donohue certainly falls on the corny side, which might be expected by the subtitle, “Hundreds of the Funniest, Silliest, Most Ridiculous Jokes Ever.” The jokes are divided into nine categories, ranging from families to holidays to animals to sports, and include Q&A-style jokes, short anecdotes, and comedian quotes.
These are the types of jokes that dads tell, and that teenagers roll their eyes at. Several groans were heard around the office this week as I sampled the Christmas funnies out loud.
Every day since last Monday, Weird Al Yankovic has released a new music video to promote his latest album, Mandatory Fun. Have you been keeping up with the Weirdness? Not all of the videos are available on YouTube yet, so here are some links for you to check them out:
- “Tacky” (a parody of “Happy” by Pharrell) [released on Nerdist]
- “Word Crimes” (a parody of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke) [released on Vevo]
- “Foil” (a parody of “Royals” by Lorde) [released on College Humor]
- “Handy” (a parody of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea) [released on Yahoo]
- “Sports Song” (a humorous take on college fight songs) [released on Funny Or Die]
- “First World Problems” (done in the style of the Pixies) [released on PopCrush]
- “Lame Claim To Fame” (reminiscent of Southern Culture on the Skids) [released on Amazon]
- “Mission Statement” (in the style of Crosby, Stills & Nash) [released on The Wall Street Journal]
The Weird One also appeared on Conan O’Brien last week, performing a horrendously lip synched “Tacky” (yes, I believe that was a part of the joke, since lip synching is so tacky).
My favorite video so far has been “Foil.” I love the original song, so there was no issue of overlooking the music to get the humor. And the humor is where it’s at. Weird Al’s genius is on full display as he takes a conspiratorial turn in the second verse. Plus, seeing Patton Oswalt and a couple of the guys from Reno 911 was a definite bonus.
This is a very strong album from Weird Al, but there are a few losers in the mix. “Mission Statement” is dry and boring, “Jackson Park Express” is long and rambling, and “My Own Eyes” just flat-out doesn’t work. But that’s why we have skip buttons on CD players (for those of you who, like me, are old enough to still prefer CDs). Overall the album is enjoyable and will get many plays in my Weird Al Yankovicathons.
Don’t tell me I’m the only one who plays Weird Al until the wife threatens to shoot me.
(November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013)
Beloved comedian, son of Mork & Mindy, and the voice of Papa Smurf in the 2011 feature film.
On Friday, I took a trip to Lexington, Kentucky, for The Scarefest. I had a great time visiting the different merch booths, and sat in on a lecture about the Villisca ax murders. The night was topped off with the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre on the big screen, introduced by Gunner Hansen (who played Leatherface in the film). He had some entertaining stories about the movie and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, so that was truly a pleasure to hear him talk about it.
Back to the convention itself. I spent much of the time visiting with the merchants, talking about horror, their products, and advertising (yes, it was partially a business trip for my radio show). But I came prepared to purchase, and did pick up a few things here and there.
One of the movies that I got is called The Landlord, produced by Massive Ego Productions. It’s an extremely low-budget film with cheesy special effects and campy gore (or is it campy effects and cheesy gore?). My favorite character in the film was Rabisu (one of the demons), played by Rom Barkhordar, though it seems most reviewers enjoyed the performance of Derek Dziak as Tyler (the landlord) more. I’m not going to give you a synopsis of the plot, but will tell you that it was different than anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s kind of like a haunted apartment, but not exactly. That’s all I’m going to say about it.
The director and writer is Emil Hyde, who was actually at the convention selling the DVDs himself. I spoke with him for several minutes about the film, and could tell he was excited about it. Hyde seemed to be a very amiable guy, and I appreciate his enthusiasm for the horror genre. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors, and hope he does well with this flick as well.
If you decide to buy this movie, please keep in mind the budgetary restraints. From what I’ve read, it was made for around $22,000. Cinematography is not great, audio levels are not even, and special effects are cheesy/campy. If you’re able to overlook those things (or perhaps find them charming), by all means check out The Landlord. It’s a promising debut from writer/director Emil Hyde. Plus the cover art is really, really cool.
Here’s the trailer for the film, which is being shown at a number of film festivals in the country.
And now, the links: