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Posts Tagged ‘remakes’

It’s hard for me to hate on Nic Cage.

Seriously, I have a lot of love for the man.   I think it stems from the fact that Cage wasn’t going to settle for a merely mediocre film career; goddammit, if he was going to be bad, he was going to be the worst of the very worst.   He would make movies like Bangkok Dangerous and Next sheerly for the awful factor because he already got his damn Academy Award, so why not excel in the other direction?   (This, at least, is what I tell myself when I curl up with a Nicolas Cage movie on a Saturday night.)

There is something intangible, something nominally endearing about Cage that I just can’t shake.  Even when he’s at his worst, I just kind of shake my head.  “Oh, Nicolas,” I mentally say and I carry on.  Any other actor would cause a disgusting stream of invective to exit my mouth, but not Cage.   Oh, no.   And why, I’ve never really become quite certain.   Cage just makes bad movies, and I just watch them and giggle, and we both carry on like things are right in the world.

You know.

So The Wicker Man is no exception.   I know I should be RIGHTEOUSLY INDIGNANT that they remade this one.  The original was uber-cool and featured bad-ass Christopher Lee, so remaking it – the sense it does not make.   But this is Nicolas Cage World and we don’t ask questions there, because the answers we would get in Nicolas Cage World make little to no sense.

The movie itself is somewhat faithful to the original; man gets on this creepy island, searching for a lost little girl and at the end discovers he’s intended for a ritual sacrifice because the island’s inhabitants follow some old-school pagan religion.   Did I spoil you?   Oops.   Oh, well.

the-wicker-man

It’s hard for me to lump this in the same category as Ax ‘Em or Midnight Skater simply because this movie brings horrible, disgusting, unintentional hilarity at every turn.  And thanks to YouTube, you can see them all compiled here:

NOT THE BEES!  NOT THE BEEEEEEEEES!  AHHHHHHHH!

I’d say the only thing that kind of disturbs me about this version of The Wicker Man is the change made to make the society a “Celtic pagan” community where women are the utter psychos, rather than an island of women and men.   It makes my feminist-ire bone tickle in a funny way, to tell you the truth.

Cage is a fount of hysterics.   He’s a master of awful cinema.   And so, while I admit The Wicker Man is truly horrific, while it’s nothing like the original, while it is nothing like what it set out to be…I laughed far more than I have at other straight-up comedies.

And for all you Cage haters?  The ending scenes are worth it for you.   Watching Cage’s bones get shattered and then, presumably, watching him burn to death will more than satisfy your vengeful bloodlust for movies like Guarding Tess and Con Air.

If you’re renting the DVD, be aware; the filmmakers did away with the original ending and tacked on an “alternate ending”.  I spent my final viewing experience pissed off because you have no option to view the original theatrical ending like you do on most DVDs.  Why am I pissed?   Because apparently I missed thirty or so seconds of James Franco, who was in the original theatrical ending.  NOW THAT would’ve made The Wicker Man infinitely better, because James Franco is hot and I am nothing if not terrifically shallow.

Oh, Nicolas.  What WON’T you do?

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This is the new poster for the My Bloody Valentine remake as found on EVERY SITE ON THE INTERNET, oh my god.   (I found it via Cinematical).

I’m torn here:   I like the throwback to cheesy movie posters of old.    On the other hand, this poster just screams “THIS MOVIE SUCKS”.   Nothing says date movie like a 3-D ride to hell, huh?   Not if it’s anything like the original.  I might not be grabbing onto the It’s Pat!  lookalike sitting randomly next to me in the theater for anything, given what I have to go on here.   Unless, of course, there’s neckerchiefs involvedthen I might scream in terror and hide my eyes on some poor stranger’s shoulder.

What say you?

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Look, I know why remakes get made – the almighty dollar. I get it. Well, in some ways I do and in some ways, I don’t. But for the love of all in this world that is sunshine and rainbow-y goodness, can we not leave some things alone? Can’t some movies be like art in a museum, where you get fifteen feet from them and if you get any closer, the burglar bars and silent alarms activate before you can get your nasty, greasy, grubby hands all over that Picasso?

I just read this: Natalie Portman will star in a remake of Suspiria, due in 2010.

Is nothing sacred?

First Halloween. Then Friday the 13th. Now they’re in the process of remaking Nightmare on Elm Street. And then comes the announcement that Suspiria is going to be remade.

Why?! Tell me why, God, tell me why!

For heaven’s sakes, there’s NOTHING wrong with the original. If we have all really reached the point in movie-going culture where people are too lazy to watch the original damn movie, or complain that it’s too “old” or whatever, we have some serious problems. Guys, I have an idea, let’s just not make anymore new movies. Let’s just remake the same damn movies over and over again. It’s all easier on our brains, right, rather than coming up with something new-fangled and original?

For the record, I call shenanigans.

This is why we can’t have nice things. And I swear to Jimmy Stewart, I’m going to pull this car over if one of you in the backseat even remotely thinks about messing with one more Hitchcock movie, because there CERTAINLY IS one unnecessary Birds remake in the pipeline right now.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to quietly slink into my premature old ladyhood and feel sad.

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The remake is kinda sorta the bane of my existence.

By kinda sorta, I mean that I don’t really like them, but I pay them no mind, really, until someone decides to remake a favorite film of mine. I’m not sure what’s inspiring all the remakes.

There’s an appropriate little anecdote about my feeling on remakes. As I’ve undoubtedly mentioned before, I worked for a Blockbuster for almost two years as a manager. A gaggle of teenage girls wandered in, looking for scary movies to watch with their boyfriends on a weekend night and approached the counter with some questions.

Teen Girl #1: Do you have House of Wax?

Me: Which version? You want the one with Elisha Cuthbert, right?

Teen Girl #2: …Yeah, that one. There’s more than one?

Me: Uh huh.

Teen Girl #1: What about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Me: The one with Jessica Biel?

Teen Girl #2: Yup…is there more than one?

Me: Oh, yeah. Made in the late ’70’s.

Teen Girls: Ewwww.

The teenage girls sauntered off and reapproached their counter with their movies in hand. They talked animatedly about how excited they were, and one struck up a conversation with me about the “other” movies.

Teen Girl #1: So, have you seen the other movies of these?

Me: Yeah, I liked them a lot, especially the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Teen Girl #1: But it was made so long ago. This one has to be scarier, right?

Bingo. If you’re looking for an answer as to why people make remakes, it’s that right there. The remake, I realized, is made for people my age who have never seen the original film who don’t care to see it — they view the remake as being more “modern” and therefore, better. I personally have never viewed it that way. If I want to watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre again, I’ll watch the original TCM again, not a remake.

I don’t loathe remakes; in fact, I’ve liked some better than the originals, believe it or not. But I can’t help and cry foul on a Will Smith produced Karate Kid remake featuring his own son. Why is it necessary to mess with the original?

Stepping outside the horror genre, why was it necessary to remake The Poseidon Adventure? We already had a made for TV crap version and the original version with Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine. The original is not cinematic perfection by any means, but it is a fantastic piece of fried cinema cheese, complete with a wailing, OMG devastated Shelley Winters, people falling into Christmas trees and totally and unintentionally hilarious Gene Hackman. Did we really need to make it a “serious” piece of action movie?

I don’t think so. The problem with all these is that they rarely improve upon the original, because there’s nothing to mess with the original on. (Seriously, makers of Poseidon. I knew it was a losing fight when you couldn’t zombie-like resurrect Shelley Winters and put her in this movie.)

Isn’t there anything, ANYTHING else that we can spend better time and money on? Apparently…not.

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