Seems like they’re arriving with greater frequency. Or maybe it’s that more people are talking about them.
Like the flu, or recession, or telemarketers, they’re here to stay. Sometimes they’re born of a great nostalgia, sometimes they’re hatched because their predecessors were very, very popular (read: lucrative). Like them or not, as long as we go on living we’ll be forced to listen to news of their development.
I’m talking about remakes.
That which a Hollywood studio does when it doesn’t feel like taking any more chances than it needs on modern and fickle audiences – that has at least an original premise. Or it did once. (To be fair, it’s a reasonable theory, and it has paid off at times).
Where do you weigh in on movie remakes? Planet of the Apes. Karate Kid. King Kong. The Manchurian Candidate. Poseidon. (Not to mention the TV shows like A Team, Get Smart and Speed Racer) We know they’re all the rage these days, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I don’t always wish them the best. There are some movies, like an upcoming one about a certain self-made millionaire on Long Island and his doomed relationship with a gorgeous flibbertigibbet – that shouldn’t be remade.
Footloose is one of my dearest friend’s favorite movies. The minute she heard it was afoot she called and told me we’d have to be there on opening night. I agreed and got off the phone immediately. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it would most likely be beyond dreadful and that it would serve them right for trying to improve on a classic.
And who can replace Kevin Bacon?
There’s no way, I thought, that they’ll be able to take a plot that was hokey in 1984 (much like our hair, shoes and waistbands, for starters) and make it remotely believable. No way will they take the most tried n’ true trope – new kid in town who happens to be a loner with a special skill – and make it fresh.
The most shocking thing about the new Footloose – which opens this Friday – is that it’s actually getting great word of mouth. From the age group that might otherwise resent it. Entertainment Weekly, whose reviews I frequently trust, gave it an A-. Now, they also gave Real Steel an A-, but I’m pretty sure that’s a different kind of A-. Right? Because they know kids will go see Footloose, but they have to know that curious adults – like me and my friend — will also go, hoping against hope that it might be worthwhile. Will you check it out?
How about something that’s not such a risky prospect – the James Bond movies. These, like remakes, will go on forever. Yet, they’ve always managed to be impervious to general criticism (which may be on account of the whole English thing). Unless it’s the criticism of casting, because it’s a franchise much beloved to fans with its own set of camps. People will argue for the next century over who made the best 007. Whether they could have improved upon Sean Connery, whether Roger Moore successfully took the mantle, whether Pierce Brosnan should have made more, and why Timothy Dalton made any. Someone will always be able to remember the name George Lazenby when no one else can. Javier Bardem, hunky Spanish movie star, husband to Penelope Cruz, father, Oscar-winner and genuinely committed philanthropist, has agreed to play the next Bond villain. Which sounds like a pretty good idea to me. What do you think? For today’s poll let’s look at some of the Bond villains in years past and see who you think is the baddest.