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‘80s franchise mania

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“Ghostbusters”: Every few years, Dan Aykroyd or Harold Ramis give an interview where they float the idea of a third “Ghostbusters” film. The story gets picked up and circulated around the Internet, where the fanboys drool on cue. Then they read further and discover that Bill Murray wants no further part of the franchise and the drool turns to venom. Murray’s reluctance to participate is a bit of a mystery, because he seems to have no problem doing “Garfield” movies. Perhaps Aykroyd or Ramis should talk to the “Garfield” producers and find out what incriminating evidence they have on Murray, then use it themselves. (Columbia Pictures)
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“Jaws”: In the 1970s, “Jaws” movies were not only scary, they were critically acclaimed. In the 1980s, “Jaws” movies became a joke. So much of a joke that budding comedy mogul John Hughes wrote a script titled “Jaws: 3, People: 0.” For the 21st century, perhaps it’s time to bring back Richard Dreyfuss, who hasn’t been seen since the first movie. Fresh from his time at England’s Oxford University, maybe he could lecture the shark on civics. (Universal Studios)
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“Porky’s”: For a time, peeking in the girl’s locker room was a comedy movie ritual as hallowed as mistaken identity or slipping on a banana peel. Then, mysteriously, it vanished. The beauty of a “Porky’s” revival is that there are no stars whom fans are clamoring to see, no famous director who must be behind the camera, and no highly paid screenwriter at the keyboard. No, all you really need to bring back the “Porky’s” franchise is a peeking-in-the-girl’s-locker-room scene. You could even do it yourself with a camcorder. Go ahead. (20th Century Fox)
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”Dirty Harry”: Kicking off in 1971, Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” spoke softly and carried a very large pistol through five sequels, culminating with 1988’s “The Dead Pool.” Sure, Eastwood’s been busy of late collecting Oscars and whatnot for much higher-minded fare, but surely there’s a way the 76-year-old director could spin one more grim drama out of Harry Callahan’s tough-talking San Francisco cop in his twilight years. Maybe a post-millennial Harry could find himself on the wrong end of violence himself and have to make a “Million Dollar” choice about the end of his life. Come on, Clint. Make our day. (Warner Bros.)
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”Back to the Future”: Michael J. Fox is too busy campaigning for stem cell research and sparring with Rush Limbaugh to worry about reviving this franchise, but Christopher Lloyd is a sure thing now that “Stacked” has gone off the air. Besides, he has recreated the character of Doc for those weird DirecTV commercials. A hungry young executive might be able to persuade Eric Stoltz to star as he originally was slated to play Marty McFly anyway. (Universal Studios)
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”Robocop”: Paul Verhoeven’s ultraviolent story of a cybernetic cop dispensing bullets and justice (with emphasis on the bullets) in a decaying, crime-infested Detroit was a hit in 1987. Mixing sci-fi with liberal helpings of satire, the movie spawned a sequel three years later that was minus original star Peter Weller and, well, much of its original biting wit. But the Homeland Security era could be an ideal time for another look at law enforcement of the future with a nod toward totalitarianism and corporate megalomania. But jokes like the gas-guzzling luxury sedan “6000 SUX” and the “Nukem” children’s videogame might need to be reworked. Sometimes the original film’s vision of the future hits a little too close to home. (Deana Newcomb / Orion)
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“Airplane”: We miss the age of narrative spoofs. Now it’s all “Epic Movie” or “Scary Movie” and they just recreate scenes from other movies, but with a fart joke. We’re not sure what a third “Airplane!” movie would look like, especially given that the second one went out on the insane limb of being about a space shuttle mistakenly aimed at the sun, but we think Robert Hayes could be persuaded to star. If he’s not too good to play Hyde’s dad on “That ‘70s Show” he’s not too good to make another “Airplane!” (Paramount)
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“Teen Wolf”: First there was Michael J. Fox, and then there was Jason Bateman. And now, 20 years after “Teen Wolf Too” … Zac Efron? Why not? The Teen Wolf sings! But you’d have to pay him a lot of money to pry him away from “High School Musical 3.” (MGM)
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“Fletch”: Yes, Chevy Chase is still around and yes, he’s probably more than willing to step back into the worn tennis shoes and novelty teeth of disguise-prone investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher, but that doesn’t mean that he should. Kevin Smith has tried for years to get this series back on the big screen with no luck. The latest rumors have Zach Braff teaming with “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence to resurrect the character. (Peter Kramer / Getty Images)
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