Friday, August 8, 2008

My Movie Pitch!

Despite the underwhelming response in the comments post of my last blog (Is anyone reading?! Post a comment!), I am going to share with you my pitch for the perfect Classic-TV-Show-Turned-Into-a-Movie. Before I do, a warning to all you Hollywood executives out there: When you greenlight this project, I expect a fat paycheck, as well as a percentage of the gross.

Okay, then, here we go.

One of the beloved TV shows of my youth was "Mr. Ed". It chronicled the misadventures of one Wilbur Post, an architect with a beautiful wife who buys a new house and in the barn connected to the house, where Wilbur has his office (all the great architects worked out of barns), he discovers a horse living there. The horse is Mr. Ed, who can talk! However, Mr. Ed will ONLY talk to Wilbur, because, he explains, Wilbur is the only person he's ever met worth talking to. This, of course, led to Wilbur getting into all kinds of hilarious messes thanks to the antics of Mr. Ed.

Actually, this "Francis the Talking Mule" rip-off was a pretty funny show. At least from the perspective of a 5 year old me. What better property to be bastardized into a big Hollywood movie?!

Of course, to make this work for today's kids, some adjustments need to made to the premise. First off, kids don't want to watch a movie about adults, so we'll have to cast Wilbur as a lonely teenage boy. I'm sure some young hot Disney channel star is available. (Sorry Bill Pullman & Jeff Daniels, you'd have been perfect!).

Secondly, we can't have Mr. Ed talk in the friendly, folksy voice of Rocky Lane, the original voice.  (Since he's dead, this would be a problem anyway.) No, kids want ATT-TI-TUUUDE! So Mr. Ed should be voiced by someone like Chris Rock (who did great work as the rodent in "Dr. Doolittle"). If Mr. Rock is unavailable, we can see  if Chris Tucker is free.

As solid as this concept is, I'm a little unsure of what the plot should be. I do know that as a big Hollywood kids' film, we should probably include the following plot elements:

• Wilbur should have only one parent. If he has 2 parents, then they should be divorced, and the events of the film bring them back together. (Maybe we should still think about Bill Pullman & Jeff Daniels. Not as the parents together. One or the other as the Dad.)

• Wilbur should have a crush on a really pretty, popular girl, who doesn't know he exists. The girl should should also have a real jerk of a jock boyfriend, who torments Wilbur. By the end of the movie, you can bet Mr. Ed gets Wilbur & the girl together, and the bully ends up in a pile of manure.

• Mr. Ed should fall for some female horse, and express his interest in her by making remarks completely inappropriate for a kids' film. He could also sing, "Get Down Tonight" at some point.

• The inevitable scene where Wilbur is taken to a psychiatrist because he thinks his horse can talk. If Ben Stein is available, it's comedy gold!

• The film must have a musical montage sequence. A scene where the horse, Mr. Ed, is in a leather jacket and sunglasses while "Bad to the Bone" plays would be perfect.

• I almost forgot! Plenty of bodily function jokes!

These are, of course, no brainers, but with a film of this magnitude, you have to think about how to sell it to today's savvy filmgoers. So what about the trailer?

Here it is. Close your eyes and imagine:

A black movie screen.

A sonorous narrator says:

"Young Wilbur Post has a new home, a new life, and a new problem."

Suddenly barn doors fly open as they did in the original series, and Mr.Ed sticks his head out and shrieks (In either the voice of Mr. Rock or Mr. Tucker):


We then launch into a hip-hop cover version of the original TV theme while the screen fades to "Coming Soon" or "February 2010", or whatever.

Yes, we need to tweak a few things, like whether Burger King or McDonald's will get the happy meal rights, as well as an actual script. However, if some young Hollywood eager beaver gets cracking, we can see this in theatres as soon as the next school vacation week.

See you at the movies!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

TV on Movies

If you're like me, you have a hard time adjusting to changes. So, if you're like me and read this blog on a regular basis, you'll glad to know all is as it was. I am still not posting every day, and, SURPRISE! No images yet. 

Hey, it's been a busy week.

So, today, I thought I'd ruminate on a subject that has been on my mind for quite awhile: Why does Hollywood keep making movies out of TV shows people barely remember?

We've had a lot lately. "Alvin & the Chipmunks", "Underdog", "Get Smart"...  You can probably name quite a few. Have any of them been good? (If you say, "Bewitched", stop reading this and never visit this site again.)

Of course, we're sure to see more of these films in the future, so let's imagine the possibilities:

• "GILLIGAN'S ISLAND"- Where is this movie?! I would have thought this would be the first baby boomer adaptation produced! That guy from SCRUBS is perfect for Gilligan, and you just know John Goodman would be a fantastic Skipper, providing Jim Belushi is unavailable.

• "HOGAN'S HEROES"- Nazis + POW's = Hilarity! 'Nuff said. I hope George Clooney has an opening in his schedule!

• "DIFFERN'T STROKES"- Oh what a heartwarmer this would be! Just as in the 80's, I'm sure that all African Americans fantasized that their parents would die, and that they'd be adopted by their mother's rich, white, former employer. Oh, the laughs that would ensue! Especially if the younger of the 2 kids had a "sassy" attitude. To give the project some class, I suggest Anthony Hopkins in the role of Mr. Drummond. 

As an added bonus, at the time of the film's release, the E! channel could start re-running all their documentaries on the terrible things that happened to the children on the original show.

• "F-TROOP"- Come on! This is a no-brainer! It has everything Hollywood execs look for in a TV movie adaptation: 1) A show few people remember and, 2) A premise that will have to be completely rethought to make it politically correct. What a wonderful vehicle this would be to dramatize the plight of Native Americans in the Old West. Not to mention the experiences of post- Civil War veterans as well. With lots of fart jokes, of course.

If the rights to do this show are unavailable, we could always do a CGI "GO, GO GOPHERS".

And of course, let's not forget the most obvious choice: •" I DREAM OF JEANNIE: THE MOVIE"!
I have actually heard rumors that this film is in development, and I'm not surprised. It has everything a TV movie adaption needs: A dated premise, a show everyone watched but few cared for, and plenty of opportunities for simplistic sexual innuendo. Throw in casting the latest hot chick from TV (Jeannie) and some marginal actor from a hot TV show trying to jump-start their film career (Major Nelson), and, KA-CHING! Biggest opening weekend box office ever for a movie in the middle of March!

I would be dishonest if I didn't admit that all these thoughts of crummy TV show movie adaptations hasn't got me to thinking about my own pitch for a Retro-TV adaptation. Since you have been nice enough to read this far, I'll share my pitch with you tomorrow.


Actually, that's not bad...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thinking Positive!

Here is some news that will not amaze or surprise regular readers of this blog, both of you. (Has that joke gotten really old yet?): Still no images.

I spent a wonderful couple of hours yesterday trying to figure out the whole posting thing, and saying a wicked lot of naughty  words,  to no avail. Don't worry, I am bringing in professional help.

In an effort to stay positive & upbeat, today, I will focus on some things that make me smile.

In no particular order (except for the first one), they are:

• My Wife. No matter how bad the day is, seeing her when I come home, her beautiful face, her amazing smile,  makes all the troubles of life melt away. (I know regular readers of this blog are tired of hearing me talk about how  great she is, but, hey, I call 'em as I see 'em.)

• Doctor Who on DVD. I am as addicted to this show now, as I was as a lad, and David Tennent is the best Doctor yet. Again, if you don't know what I'm talking about, why are you reading this? Get thee to a video store!

• My Perfect Wife and my's (this grammar is incorrect, right?)  book should be done soon, and hopefully will be available soon.
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• Rocco the Wonder Dog seems to have his bladder and other various bodily functions under control. Knock on wood.

• Another benefit of the internet: I have been contacted by some people who were important  to me in the past, and who I had lost touch with. They are all doing great, which is no surprise to me, as even in the high school days and beyond they were pretty special, and I am delighted to hear from them.

There's a lot more I could still list, but you get the gist. (Hey! I'm a poet and didn't know it!) It's very late as I write this, and I may  seem a bit maudlin, but I'm not in the least, so let me quote from a movie I love, that none of you have ever seen, "The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao": "I'm alive, and being  alive is FANTASTIC".  Again, get thee to a video store!

Tomorrow: A more lighthearted piece. I would promise images, but you know what they say: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me".

By the way, did I mention how much I Love My Wife?
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