Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Recyled movies

Every now and then, Hollywood in all its collective wisdom, remakes movies. I imagine the logic behind it is that you potentially capture a nostolgia market plus a whole generation that has never seen the original. The reality behind it is that you have half the population comparing it to the original and hating it and the other half of the population hating it because it is as bad as the original. I find it very unfortunate when the remakes were originally bad 70s television series like Charlie's Angels, the Brady Bunch, Starsky and Hutch or Mission Impossible. They may have been okay when you were twelve, but they haven't improved with age (including Farrah Fawcett). 

 Now they are remaking films like Yours, Mine and Ours that originally starred Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. I saw the original in 1968 when I was 10 years old and quickly forgot it. The movie was based on a book called Who gets the drumstick? I think it was the precursor to the Brady Bunch. The premise is that a widow and widower fall in love and get married and together have 18 kids. The remake stars Rene Russo and Dennis Quaid. But it has been updated for the Millenium and some of kids Rene Russo brings to the table are apparently adopted. But despite the politically correct make over of the family mix, I have no desire to see it. 

 An even more obscure remake is the release of Fun with Dick and Jane. This is a remake of a 1977 movie that originally starred George Segal (Just Shoot Me) and Jane Fonda. The premise of this one is that an upwardly couple of yuppies (remember them) fall on hard times and take up armed robbery to make ends meet. I saw this one when I was 19 and quickly forgot it. The remake of this one stars Jim Carey and Tea Leoni. I really have no desire to see it. 

 Why remake these movies? Are there no screenwriters left in the world with an original idea? But the worst was the television premier of the updated version of the 1972 camp classic, Poseiden Adventure. If you have read my blog for any length of time, you would know that Tess and I like to go on cruises. We got married on a cruise. So I try not to miss movies that portray cruising. I recorded the three-hour NBC version of the Poseiden Adventure and started watching it last night. I have one word for it, "painful." The new version decided not rely on a tidal wave to flip the ship over. They bring in terrorists who hide bombs in beer kegs that are detonated with key chain switchs like you'd open your Dodge with. And the all star cast of the new Poseiden Adventure is like a who's who of Hollywood Squares: Peter Weller, Rutger Hauer, Steve Guttenberg and C. Thomas Howell. You wouldn't even recognize any of the female cast. The highlight of film was when the Homeland Security Sea Marshall blurts out, "Everything is safe until it isn't." I'm not making that up. 

 Another classic line comes from Steve Guttenberg, who plays a philandering husband, cheating on his ultra rich wife who made her fortune with a string of boutiques. In a steamy dialogue exchange with a well-endowed masseuse (who in real life would be trying to sell him a seaweed wrap and skin conditioner) the masseuse says, "You should tell her [Guttenberg's wife] to stock more styles for busty women. A lot of times I can't find anything to fit me." Guttenberg cleverly replies, "I can see why you'd have that problem." 

 The original movie was filmed aboard the Queen Mary landlocked in Long Beach. This one I believe was filmed aboard a Royal Caribbean megaliner. And of course all of the cabins look like spacious 2200 square foot suites. The cabin stewards wear uniforms very much like the flying monkeys in Wizard of Oz and the dining room is filled with beautiful people dancing to live entertainment that is turned upside down when the ship flips over after a terrorist taps a keg. 

 Honk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wrong. If this really was a cruise ship most of the people would have been lumbering around the Lido Deck buffet in shorts and black socks trying to juggle three plates of shrimp and jello. There would have been walkers and oxygen tanks rolling everywhere and some fat lady shrieking at the poor bus boy that he'd spilled her drink and she wasn't going to pay for it. When the ship rolled over, it would have been potato salad everywhere and blinding flash of Aloha shirts and speedos tumbling skyward. 

 Now I hear Hollywood is working on yet another remake for the bigscreen that will star Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. I'm buying my life preserver now.


R. said...

Subconsciously Americans who watch this program are going to begin thinking that only terrorists use kegs. Before you know it, I won't be able to find any kegs for my homebrew because they are illegal to posses. Actually I suspect the screenwriters were trying to be clever since their "terrorists" were using vice and immorality as a trojan horse. Meh.

Time said...

If we outlaw kegs, only outlaws will have kegs.

What you doing for Thanksgiving?

Alex Pendragon said...

I feel the same about covers. Rarely do I hear a remake of a music classic that even remotely resembles the flavor of the original. The most painful I have heard lately have been covers of Beatles songs. If I were John, I would climb out of the grave, grab one of these dickweeds by the throat, and ask "what in the FUCK did you do to my song?" Sometimes they get away with it, but most of the time, the original was simply performed as well as it was ever going to be.

There IS no hell, but Bob has promised a special exception for anyone attempting a remake of the entire "Darkside of the Moon".

Time said...

We are all fortunate that Pink Floyd's music is too difficult for most musicians to play. I never did quite get over some of the covers done for the remake of the Wall when the Berlin Wall tribute was recorded.