BetteBack January 7, 1996: Coming Attractions For 1996

Chicago Sun-Times
January 7, 1996 | CINDY PEARLMAN


Forget the Psychic Friends Network. Skip the crystal balls.

This is what Hollywood sees in every moviegoer’s not-so-distant future:

They’ve got rhythm: Where is Doris Day when you need her?

Suddenly everyone in Hollywood’s got rhythm, they’ve got music. Who could ask for anything more as the musical makes a comeback?

Julia Roberts, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn croon and soft-step in Woody Allen’s yet unnamed song and dance fest.

The Material Girl, Madonna, gets some new material with “Evita.”

New Kid on the Block hunk Joe MacIntyre teams up with Old Kid on the Block Joel Grey in “The Fantasticks.”

Ileana Douglas leads a ’50s girl group in “Grace of My Heart.”

Tom Hanks makes his directing debut in “That Thing You Do,” which stars Liv Tyler as an up-and-coming rocker.

Baby it’s cold outside – and sorta windy, too: The National Weather Service has issued this alert: It’s not safe to venture to your local multiplex.

There are tornadoes in “Twister,” starring Bill Paxton and “Mad About You” actress Helen Hunt.

In “White Squall,” Jeff Bridges finds himself needing Dramamine on a rocky ocean trip.

And finally, director James Cameron will deliver a non-Club Med cruise called “Titanic.”

Is `Blossom – the Movie’in the works? Hollywood continues to mine the small screen. Get ready for film versions of “Lost in Space,” “Mission Impossible,” “Flipper,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and possibly “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie.” Another “Star Trek: Generations” film is being scripted, as are a “Partridge Family” movie and a “A Very Brady Bunch Sequel.”

I am woman, hear me fire: Suddenly men are not the only ones who can tote an Uzi.

In “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” Geena Davis plays an assassin, and in “Killer’s Kiss,” Linda Fiorentino is, yes, an assassin. Demi Moore is in the Army now in “GI Jill.” Even screen sweetheart Meg Ryan fights in Desert Storm in “Courage Under Fire.”

My trailer is bigger thanyours: What’s better than one big star? Two or three. Suddenly movies are heavy with heavy names. Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro will star in “Marvin’s Room,” based on the play of the same name. Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn are over the title in “First Wives’ Club.” De Niro, Brad Pitt and Dustin Hoffman team up in the abuse drama “Sleepers.”

Where are the Olsen twins when you need them? Maybe they get paid twice.

That’s why actors are clamoring to play twins. John Travolta is squared in Roman Polanski’s “The Double.”

Antonio Banderas pretends to be twins in “Two Much” in order to date sisters in the form of Daryl Hannah and Antonio’s squeeze Melanie Griffith.

And Jean-Claude Van Damme can karate chop twice the number of victims as two brothers in “Blood Stone.”

In sickness and in health: They can take two aspirins and call their agents in the morning. It’s cold and flu season in Hollywood – and worse.

Diane Keaton has cancer in “Marvin’s Room.” John Travolta is struck by lightening and suffers a brain tumor in “Phenomenon.” Ricki Lake feels slightly queasy as a young pregnant woman in “Mrs. Winterbourne.”

What I did on my summer vacation: Television stars are shunning spas.

Why, a relaxing break is filming a movie! This year resident “ER” heartthrob George Clooney is a vampire in “From Dusk Til Dawn.” Kelsey Grammer of “Frasier” is a submarine captain in “Down Periscope.” Dennis Franz isn’t “Blue” anymore in “American Buffalo.” “Ellen” finds not-so-true love in “Mr. Wrong.” That “Friend”ly guy David Schwimmer is “The Pallbearer.”

The no-holds-Bard effect: The most prolific writer in Hollywood is a dead one.

Shakespeare: Can he do lunch or what? Up first is Ian McKellen and Annette Bening in “Richard III.” Kenneth Branagh directs Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Jack Lemmon in “Hamlet.” Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio get mushy in “Romeo and Juliet.” Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley star in “Twelfth Night.” And Al Pacino makes his directorial debut in “Looking for Richard,” in which he interviews people who have done Shakespeare. It’s not an action movie.

Play it again: Sequels. They’ve got sequels. “Terms of Endearment II,” called “Evening Star,” stars Shirley MacLaine and Juliette Lewis as grandmother and granddaughter. In the works: Another “Batman” and a “Jurassic Park” sequel called “The Lost World.”

You’ve got a friend: Everyone is getting chummy. Matt Dillon, Rosie O’Donnell and Uma Thurman are pals in “Beautiful Girls.” Dana Delaney meets her five best friends at a beach house in “Live Nude Girls.” Uma and Janeane Garofolo are best pals in “The Truth About Cats and Dogs.”

Original ideas: Anybody got one? Remakes are still the genre du jour. Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington are re-doing “The Bishop’s Wife,” now called “The Preacher’s Wife.” Eddie Murphy plays an obese scatterbrain in “The Nutty Professor.” Sharon Stone stars in “Diabolique.” Jeremy Irons is the older man in “Lolita.” Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are the new couple in “La Cage Aux Folles.” Bruce Willis Americanizes “Yo Jimbo” in “Gundown.” And finally, Disney animates “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Always remember to recycle: Got a kids’ classic? Now just add human actors. Glenn Close plays the evil Cruella de Ville in “101 Dalmatians.” Sigourney Weaver is the equally evil stepmother in “Snow White and the Black Forest.” And Martin Landau is nice guy (finally) Gepetto opposite Jonathan Taylor Thomas in “Pinocchio.”

Sometimes you feel like a nut: No more Mr. Nice guy for Hollywood’s A-list stars. Everyone is going psycho. John Travolta is a nut-case pilot in “Broken Arrow.” Brad Pitt is an Irish Republican Army terrorist in “Devil’s Own.” Robin Williams is a bomb-maker in “Conrad’s Secret Agent.” Social activist Harry Belafonte is a drug pusher and pimp in “Kansas City.”

Roseanne won’t be watching: In 1996, cinema has a name. And it’s Tom Arnold. He stars as a big lunk in “Big Bully.” He’s a carjacker in “Carpool.” He’s Jackie Gleason in “The Honeymooners.” And finally, he stars in “The Stupids,” where he plays . . . well, duh.

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