Whassup: The Movie
Oscars are over. Adios to the trophy whores and ass-smooching glitterati. And while 1999 was hailed as a year of cinematic diversity, that's all in the past. Forget about silver screen triumphs, those movies dripping with subtext, layered performances and aching ambiguity. Summer's coming.More specifically, the summer of a make or break year for the nutty business we call show.A frenzied building spree by movie theater operators over the past few years has resulted in nearly 10,000 more U.S. indoor screens since 1995. So while '99 proved a record year at the box office -- to the tune of $7.45 billion -- stocks for major movie chains dropped 40 percent or more during that time. Some, like Regal and United Artists, are hemorrhaging cash and might not be long for this world.So no more taking chances. Back to the formulaic, the tried and true, the tired and beaten to death, the always commercially viable high-concept project rammed through studio channels in a taut 25-words or less pitch.That means less arty, more farty. Special effects on a stick. Wisecracking, larger than life heroes with cajones the size of cantaloupes. Studios can now unleash their one-note bloated-budget megasarus action turds on gigaplexes across the land. It's time to get back to the real business of Hollywood: selling popcorn.So don't be surprised to see this movie trailer, coming soon to a theater near you.(Over a rising, throbbing soundtrack, a pristine mountain meadow fills the screen. Birds chirp, squirrels frolic, a deer grazes. Obviously, all is right with the world. Suddenly, the deer's head snaps up, alert, as if it senses danger. Then without warning, the sun explodes! It's a staggering cataclysm reverberating throughout the universe. Fragments of flaming death rain down upon the doomed planet Earth. All life is about to perish. The announcer's voice cuts through the chaos.)Announcer: This summer, prepare for the thrill of a lifetime. Star of Independence Day, Men in Black and the tragically misunderstood Wild, Wild West, Will Smith, faces his greatest challenge ever in this heart-stopping, terror-filled, mind-boggling, action adventure epic! (Cut to: Will Smith, sitting on a couch talking into a cell phone.)Will: Whasssuuup?!Guy: Whasssuuup?!Will: I'm just watching the game, having a beer. Whassup with you?Guy: You know, just watching the game, drinking a beer.Announcer: Will Smith stars in Whassup: The Movie. Yes, Will Smith, the master of playing it cool while keeping it real, brings the Whassup phenomenon to the silver screen in Whassup: The Movie.Will: Whasssuuup?! Are you watching the game? I am.Announcer: It's all here: the sitting around, the game watching, the beer drinking and the friend calling. And with state of the art Dolby digitally-enhanced surround-sound, you'll feel like it's your phone ringing. This is male bonding at it's most intense. Not since "What's Happening," and the television show of the same name, has a salutation so completely captured the heart of a nation.Will: Whasssuuup?! I'm drinking some beer.Announcer: Just listen to what critics are saying.Critic 1: Spellbinding! I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.Critic 2: Mesmerizing! An absolute breakthrough in movie making.Critic 3: A masterpiece! Alfred Hitchcock has done it again.(A small print disclaimer appears on the screen. "Quotes were taken from past reviews of other totally unrelated movies and do not in any way apply to this movie, nor can they be construed as an endorsement of this movie, or even an acknowledgment of this movie.")Announcer: Also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Slyvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Nicholas Cage, Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck and Jackie Chan. With a special guest appearance by Harvey Keitel's penis.Will: Whasssuuup?! Hang on, I got another call coming in. Whasssuuup?!Announcer: Whassup: The Movie. Today you will believe a man can phone. And look for Whassup Inaction Figures available at participating Burger Kings. Also, coming this fall to Saturday morning television, the new animated series "The Whassup Babies." And next time you're in Orlando, be sure to visit the Whassup Theme Park. Whassup: The Movie. If you only see one motion picture this year ... then pathetic doesn't even begin to describe you, does it?