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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/27 - Sequels & Bananas

Here are six movie sequels few fans know about, gleaned from a list at, edited by yours truly: Jake LaMotta entered into an agreement to adapt his book, Raging Bull 2, into a film, apparently in violation of an agreement he had with MGM, which granted the studio first right of refusal to any follow-up. In 2012 MGM filed a lawsuit to squash the film over claims its title was intended to confuse audiences, which says a lot about lawyers. Producers agreed to change the title to The Bronx Bull and made a public proclamation that it had nothing to do with the original. It had a video release in 2017. It stars William Forsythe as the older, and Mojean Aria as the younger LaMotta. Rated five on scale of ten at IMDb... Easy Rider: The Ride Back (2012) examines the life of Peter Fonda's character before the fateful road trip depicted in the original. Rated three... Zombi 2 (1979), an Italian release, is a descendant of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), and was followed by a third and fourth installment. Rated 6.9... Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws (1995). Italian filmmaker Bruno Mattei decided to make an unsolicited contribution. It uses effects sparingly but liberally borrows plot points from the original. It uses footage from the previous flicks in the series, and samples the Star Wars theme... War, Inc. (2008) is an indirect sequel to Grosse Point Blank (1997). John Cusack had this to say on Twitter: “Sequel for sure.” Rated 5.7... Road to Hell (2008). Albert Pyun, a fan of the Walter Hill's Streets of Fire (1984), hired star Michael ParĂ© for a low-budget follow-up. Rated 7.8, the only flick on the six rated higher than its predecessor (6.7)... The list includes Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), which is also rated a tad higher than its predecessor, and the 007 Thunderball (1965) remake Never Say Never Again (1983), but those two are well known.

Drug dealers continue to be creative. Spanish police have arrested two men for allegedly transporting large quantities of cocaine inside fake bananas. Among the real ones in the shipment were 57 made of resin, stuffed with seven kilograms (15.4 pounds) of coke. Pushers must be singing: "Yes, we have no bananas/ We have-a no bananas today..." That ditty is from the 1922 Broadway revue Make It Snappy. It was written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn, sung by Eddie Cantor in the show, recorded by numerous artists through the years. Billy Jones' version was #1 for five weeks in '23.

The forecast was spot on today. It said the rain would cease in the afternoon. I left the apartment just after noon and ran to my car when I noticed the spot just past the bus shelter was open. I set up shop there so I wouldn't have far to go if the skies again opened up. That didn't happen, but neither did many sales. My thanks to the woman who bought the children's book The Story of Peppa Pig, which is published by Scholastic and credits no writer.
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