Posts Tagged ‘Bill Murray’

The old “Call forwarding from the shoe phone to the cell phone so you don’t know where I am and then I appear on the roof behind you and surprise everyone” trick.

Oh yes, I know I should be doing my civic duty and watching election coverage on one of 899 channels… I will wait until tomorrow to find out who the new owner of America country will be.  Instead, I caught another film that I missed out on last summer.  I believe that my introduction to the television series Get Smart
came in the 7th grade.  My cousin (whose last name is Maxwell) became a favorite target of our junior high phys ed instructor.  He was known as Maxwell “Get” Smart and I was known as “Get Dumb.”  It was about this time that reruns were playing on Nick at Nite (whatever happened to the “classic tv” that was promised on this channel and its sister channel TVLAND).

The movie, starring the always brilliant Steve Carell as wildly inept CONTROL agent 86 and Anne Hathaway as the capable agent 99 was very fun.  A total update of the series while retaining much of the original.  Clippings in the opening credits of past villains such as “The CLAW” (NOT CRAW… THE CLAW) and Mr. Big (who was not so big after all).  The series of doors that led to the telephone booth that dropped agents to headquarters.  Agent 13 (Bill Murray) hidden in the most ridiculous of places and Fang. Plus a brief cameo by an original series cast member.

I will not dwell too much on the plot because like the series it is just silly, mindless fun.  However as always Max and 99 are hot on the trail of KAOS’ own Ziegfried and (no… not Roy) Shtarker.  Some of the villains had an almost Bondian quality.  There was an 8 foot behemoth whom I almost expected to have a mouthful of steel teeth.  I could have sworn that it was Richard Kiel, the same actor who played Jaws (of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker) as well as Mr. Larson from Happy Gilmore, but alas it was not.  Shtarker also bore a similar appearance to Oddjob (from Goldfinger).

All I can say is that if you enjoyed the original or if you enjoy Steve Carell’s work, go out and rent Get Smart.  There are enough in-jokes from the series to keep the fans pleased and enough fun and excitement to keep the new entertained.

Who Ya Gonna Call?… Again

Yes, yes, yes… anyone who remembers the tagline from one of the top box office draws of 1984 knows the answer to that question. The announcement that a Ghostbusters III is being planned made me scratch my head wondering when enough is enough and how old actors need to be before a franchise that was created in their prime needs to be shelved. Although successful back in the day, the original films (the sequel especially) were nowhere near as iconic as say… Indiana Jones. However, two writers (Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky) from the wickedly entertaining series The Office (season 5 begins September 25) have been assigned to develop the story that will pick up 20 years after Ghostbusters II. It also promises to reunite the four leads: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and OF Course Bill Murray. At this early date, it is uncertain whther or not Rick Moranis (who has all but retired from movie making) or Sigourney Weaver would be included. But I suppose that if the story was worthy enough, I might consider going out to see it or renting the DVD.

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Believe It…Or Not

In almost every film made, there are casting issues. The actors seen in the final product are not necessarily the people originally chosen to fill the roles. Well known to most trivia buffs, Shirley Temple possibly would have been Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz had she not been under contract to MGM rival Fox at the time. Buddy Ebsen was cast as the Tin Man until he discovered that he was allergic to makeup used in the costume.

-Imagine how different Gone with the Wind would have been if Lucille Ball had been cast as Scarlett O’Hara or Groucho Marx as Rhett Butler.

-Moving forward a few decades, the Bruce Willis starring action movie Die Hard was originally planned as a sequel to that fine Arnold Scharzenegger masterpiece, Commando. However, after the Governator turned the role down, the film was changed and eventually starred Mr. Willis after four other casting attempts.

-Speaking of Ah-nuld, could you possibly imagine O.J. Simpson as The Terminator? Seriously, it could have happened.

-Bill Murray was considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1989 film. Has Mr. Murray ever done a non-comedic movie? Or maybe, the movie was originally supposed to be lighter in tone and closer to the ’60s television show. Robin Williams was considered for the role of the Joker in both the original Tim Burton directed movie and also for this summer’s The Dark Knight (which will be Heath Ledger’s swan song).

You can view other possible casting choices for your favorite movies at

Click for the Warner Bros. Online