It is being reported that Dreamworks is developing a feature film centered on the classic toy, the View-Master. Yes, the item that has been marketed to children for generations, that resembled a pair of red binoculars with the orange switch on the side, which allowed kids to view a series of images in the form of disc-shaped slide photos -- THAT View-Master.
Writer/Producer, Brad Caleb Kane (Fringe) has been brought in by the studio to pen the script for the project. Kane recently Tweeted some details on the project (the post would later be deleted), implying that the project would "resemble 1980s Amblin movies such as The Goonies and Young Sherlock."
We've been hearing about some crazy, surreal movie projects in the last year or so, whether it be Ridley Scott's supposed adaptation of the board game, Monopoly, the rumored Ouija Board project, or even the proposed film about bubble-gum comic strip character, Bazooka Joe. At some point, the whole "WTF?" factor of Hollywood's oddball projects has to start wearing thin on an incredulous public. It could be viewed as Hollywood running on dry fumes in the creative ideas department, OR you could approach it optimistically, in that they are at least trying to veer in a different direction from the conventional (albeit with films that sound like glorified 90 minute commercials for products that have been in existence for over 50 years.)
It seems like the idea of "the 80's" keeps coming up whenever we talk about new film projects, and it can hardly be considered a coincidence. A lot of 80's films and TV shows were concocted with a state of mind that we now look back and think "WHAT were they smoking when they came up with THAT idea?!" Granted -- they weren't all masterpieces, and there was a great deal of hit or miss. However, it's hard to argue against the notion that a lot of iconic things came out of that decade (cumulatively more so than the last 20 or so years.) So, when we think about the Monopoly movie or now, View-Master, while it may sound like an abomination sent down from a machine that generates bad ideas, at least it seems that there are still some people out there, carrying on in that same "WHAT were they smoking" state of creativity that was prevalent during the decade. It's at least an encouraging sign. (That's not to say that the film is going to be good.)
All of this View-Master talk and today's memorial thing, is giving me childhood flashbacks to my Michael Jackson: Thriller set of View-Master reels. (Those zombies did seem to be reaching out right in your face.) Good toy, but wears thin kind of quick.