(Dec. 27, 1999) It's crystal ball time here at the ol' Fanatic compound. I'm bunkered in with my Summer Sausage ten-pack, seventeen gallons of lemon-lime Gatorade, three loaves of Wonder bread, and two bottles of Grey Poupon, waiting for the Y2K bug to pass through like that green fog in The Ten Commandments. I brought two hundred of my favorite movies down into the root cellar with me, so Orson and I could stay entertained on our journey into the unknown, and the generator's got plenty of gas to keep us electrified.
I see a film in Arnold Schwarzeneggar's future, a film that actually reminds us all why we once liked his films, one that has very few speaking roles and lots of explosions. Like the Arnold we grew to admire, before he learned to talk.
Look for some actors you might not expect to score big in the awards department in the next few years. Watch Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Travolta all get some major role that escorts them to Statue Town, especially Willis, who finally got some measure of acting credibility with The Sixth Sense.
If Fantasia 2000 scores the way I think it will, look for more features to be made for IMAX. Imagine what Pixar could do with the IMAX format, and in a way, it could be a rebirth of sorts for Cinerama (look it up, people....)
I still firmly believe that someone is going to come up with a script that will bring Newman and Redford back together one more time -- something classy, but with the style that made them one of the most watchable teams in movies.
I see Michael Clarke Duncan getting an Academy Award nomination for The Green Mile, and I see him picking up Joan Rivers and throwing her like a javelin when she tells him his tux looks cheap.
I do predict that, sooner or later, there will be a revolution at dodecaplexes all over the country, forcing them to either drastically lower their insane prices for concessions, or relax on their rule against folks bringing in treats. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay $5.50 for a pack of Twizzlers.
I think that the Summer of '99 may have put a screamin' halt to every studio force-feeding megabuck blockbusters on us without making sure they are worth watching. (Of course, two years from now, Bruckheimer, Silver, or Sonnenfeld will squirt out a massive comeback hit and we'll be back to square one.)
I foresee myself investing in a small independent feature and making a fortune when the film takes off. The plot will be about three documentary filmmakers tracking a legendary spirit through the woods, and they get lost, and .... wait a minute. Awww, shucks.
All these "superhero" movies that are being made from comic books will be entertaining as long as Joel Schumacher is never hired to direct one of them.
There'll be some major flack about this one, but it's coming, folks, believe me. A major action hero will be unleashed, one that will last through a series of films that are filled with stunts and derring-do. And the hero will be a WOMAN. Michelle Yeoh, perhaps, or probably some unknown, but she'll be around for a while.
Look for biographical features to be made about Samuel Fuller, one of the most unheard-of geniuses to ever direct a film, and Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock's may be a made-for-HBO, and it will star Drew Carey (just kidding -- the thin tie and portly waistline threw me for a second.) Maybe biopics about D.W. Griffith, DeMille, Kurosawa, and something fresh about the Black Listers.
I foresee myself shipwrecked on a desert island with Denise Williams and Angelina Jolie, and I am very injured at first, and need lots of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to keep my life functions going, but slowly, they become entranced by my charm and charisma and then.... Oh sorry, I said "predictions," not "fantasies."
Back to the awards of the future for a second. I also think Michelle Pfeiffer, Christina Ricci, and Natalie Portman are ready to start building a trophy case. Michelle Pfeiffer, in particular, is due, but the other two ladies are just about to break into mainstream prominence. Also expect Sam Raimi, Neil Jordan, and Tim Burton to garner Oscar attention within the next decade.
And, lastly, I predict that, based on this year's phenomenal hits and misses, that quality will again become a factor in releasing movies. Granted, there will be some real stink-jobs out there, but by and large, the desire for quality entertainment will outweigh the desire by LaLaLand to just keep pumping product out there, regardless of whether it sucks or not. Lots of people are comparing this year to 1939, the year we got such classics as Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gunga Din, The Women, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind. Here's hoping that the product quality stays this good next year, and for the next few years.
Folks, I gotta go. The summer sausage is calling me, and it's closer to Y2K than you think!