June 11, 1982/MONTROSE VOICE 17
The industry is buzzing over 'E.T.'
Summer movie fever about to arrive
By John W. Rowberry
International Gay News Agency
There are two unusual aspects to the rash
of 1982 Summer movies about to be
released: this year will see the largest
number of major motion pictures released
during a single season, and the majority of
the releases are going to receive major
audience and box office attention.
Why? It seems the summer of 1982 has
by chance become the season when Hollywood, and everyone else involved in filmmaking, has its blockbusters ready for the
But first, the real surprise: Steven Speil-
berg's E. T, destined, if you can believe the
advance word from everyone on the
inside, to become the blockbuster of all
We're talking bigger than Star Wars.
bigger than Close Encounters, bigger
than Raiders of the Lost Ark.
How can that be, you ask? In the few
select screenigs E.T. has already had
within the movie making superstructure,
word has it that even hardened corporate
executives are walking out of the film
dazed, mouth open in awe, muttering "I
can't believe it, I can't believe it." Every
film promoter and publicist is buzzing
that E.T. may end up being the movie of
the decade. The ultimate film. The definitive movie experience.
And what is E. T. about? E. T. stands for
The second big bonanza is going to be,
again from the same inside mouths, Poltergeist; which is, ironically, a Spielberg
production. Here the word is that the special effects in the film (poltergeists are
spirits that move things) are the best yet
seen on the screen.
Star Trek: The WrathofKhan is, besides
being the second Star Trek movie, a whole
new ball game. Except for the cast (which
I'm sure is alright for Trekkies), the movie
is every inch a new adventure with a much
different approach than the first Trek
movie. The word is better. And the expectations are very high for a film that
sounds like, but isn't really, a sequal.
Grease Two is a sequal, of sorts, except
that Travolta and Olivia are no longer
part ofthe story line. Enter Maxwell Caul-
field as the lead, and Caulfield—if you
missed him in After Dark or Interview—is
one of the most beautiful men on the face
of the earth.
His co-star, Michelle Pfeiffer, looks like
Olivia, but then nowadays everyone does.
Caulfield plays the cousin ofthe original
Newton-John character. He comes to
America from England, meets Michelle
and falls in love. To prove himself, he tries
to become a 50s greaser.
Watching this pristine beauty transformed from the ultimate boy next door to
an earthy, if stylized, greaser is the most
exciting screen transformation since Lon
Chaney became a wolfman.
Annie is the wrap up for the big musicals, unless you count The Best Little
Whorehouse in Texas, which wil! fall into
the Summer-Fall category. Annie has
already been hyped to the skies and loving
it will depend on how much you like musicals and how long you'll have to wait in
line before you get in the theater.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
will be an easier relationship: Dolly Far
ton can do no wrong and Burt Reynolds is
a much better light comedy actor than his
following wants to admit. The car chases
in Whorehouse are kept to an absolute
Not to be overlooked, however, is The
Pirate Movie, a slightly-modern version of
Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penanzv
with Christopher Atkin [The Blue
Lagoon) and Kristy McNichol. While
some of the original Gilbert/Sullivan
songs have been left in (although slightly
rewritten), enough new material has been
added to almost make this an original
musical. The word is: enchanting.
On the real serious side ofthe summer
movies the top of the list is the amazing
success of Conan, The Barbarian. Either
the pre-release publicity was right-on, or
the rather weak dialogue and predictable
action of this classic sword and magic
story was exactly the right mixture to
attract the mainstream. Conan has
already made over $10 million and it is set
to play across the contry all summer long.
Rocky ///is, without a doubt, the best of
the Rocky films—too bad it didn't come
earlier. The problem may be that audiences have had enough (look at the fate ofthe
final in the Omen trilogy). Here the script
and the pacing ofthe movie are all meshed
into an action film with some reason for
being besides bloody faces.
Stallone has learned a great deal from
Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull—and the
fight scenes in Rocky III are cinematic
works of art.
Megaforce. if you haven't already-
guessed, is about a state of the art private
policeforce-for-hire set in the very near
future. This group, lead by Barry Bostwick
and Michael Beck, uses equipment that is
straight out of the Twilight Zone design
school. Still, for all its adventure and
super machismo, Megaforce has a sense of
There is no humor in The Road Warrior,
the retitled Mad Max II, a sequel to one of
the darkest and most haunting ofthe new
nihilist films. Mad Max II, or The Road
Warrior, is a savage futuristic film filled
with as many images of black leather and
chain as a Kenneth Anger film, or a night
in a leather bar. But for all it's brutality.
Michael Sarrazin & Tom Skerritt
in "Fighting Back."
Kristy McNichol with Christopher Atkins
in "The Pirate Movie."
Sean Connerv in "Wrong is Right.
The Road Warrior is both even-handed
and a cut above what you usually get
when you mix violence with gasoline.
Two similar films are bound to cause
some confusion. The Dino De Laurentiis
version of a group of citizens tired of being
vandalized by street punks is called Fighting Back and stars Tom Skerritt and Patti
LuPone (straight from Evita). The other
similar film is called Vigilante and stars
Robert Forester and Fred Williamson.
Other than that, they are as different as
night and day.
Slightly more gory is the new film by
George A. Romero, the much touted director of the original Night of the Living
Dead; his entry, Creepshow, has an original screenplay by the master of the sus-
penseful printed word, Stephen King (The
Shining). Guaranteed to get your hands
up in front of your eyes.
The final Summer creepie movie is the
all new version of The Thing, whiched is
based on the original novel and not the
well—know James Amess version available any Saturday night on the late show.
Light and romantic? Or just light? Try
Hanky Panky, a mixture of silliness,
Gilda Radner and Gene Wilder. There is
international intrigue, murder (yes, Virginia, even murder can be funny), transcon-
tentinal chases—you know the formula.
Wrong is Right has Sean Connery playing a TV exec who will go anywhere and do
anything to get the great, late, breaking
hot-spot news on the air. Anywhere and
anything turn some rather heavy weight
social comments (like the madness ofthe
Oval Office, the madness of the Arab oil
magnates, and the madness of the arms
race) into often biting satire.
Al Pacinc just might make a comeback
after his absurd stint in Cruising with his
light-hearted, but sincere, role in Author,
Author. As a playwright with scene problems and a married man with mistress
problems. Pacino plays off Dyan Cannon
(as the actress on her way to the great
bedroom scene) and Tuesday Weld as the
wife on the way out the door. At last,
Pacino plays a character that is only normally crazy!
Young Doctors in Love promises to do
for hospitals and daytime soap operas
what Airplane did for control towers and
disaster movies. An unmitigated dark
satire. Young Doctors is set in a hospital
you will have to see to believe. No one dies
(except of a broken heart) and no one
bleeds (even in surgery). The only complications are the lusts ofthe characters ...
rather, the staff ... and lust is epidemic.
The unexpected big event of this
summer may well be Kenny Rogers' big
screen debut in Six Pack, a routine formula plot about a race car driver and six
teenage hellions that stands to pick up
tremendous audience appeal over Rogers'
powerful screen presence. His TV movies
have been rating blockbusters, and not by
coincidence. Rogers, regardless of how
you feel about country, western, or race
cars—is a charming and wholesome ail-
American type with just enough of a
father image to inspire confidence and
just enough sex appeal to keep him firmly
in the running.
It's easy to dismiss movies like Six Pack
or Cannonball Run as being so much redneck hoopla. Still, don't overlook what can
be the most telling traits of all: honesty,
warmth, and charm.
And after summer is over, what is there
to look forward to? Try Summer Lovers,
yet another film by Randal Kleiser about
the loss of innocence on an exotic island.
Yes, the director of The Blue Lagoon is
back with another adolescent "discovery"
movie, this time a young boy and two girls
on a Greek island during "an unforgettable summer that would change their
Or maybe Fast Walking, a prison picture from the guard's point of view. Or,
Crosstalk, an Australian thriller about a
computer involved in a murder. But if all
else fails, take comfort in the fact that 20th
Century Fox will re-release the original
Star Wars, but only for three weeks—so
get in line now.