Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What was once old is new again

Hollywood remakes:
I wrote in an earlier blog that I have been a fan of Chris O’Donnell’s for many years (NCIS: Los Angeles 301&302). What I didn’t say is that the first time I ever saw him was in the 1993 Disney film version of The Three Musketeers.  So this past weekend, as much as I thought I didn’t want to, I saw the latest telling of this great story that the film industry has brought us. In ’93 it was this nice and small yet fun adventure story with a wonderful cast. In 2011 the filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson has added more than any of the pervious incarnations that I have seen, including 1935, 1948 and 1973. There are a handful of new elements in this new take some I liked and some not so much. Unlike the '93 take on the story this new one brought back The Duke of Buckingham which was ok with me, but some of the 21st century special effects I could have lived without. For example the addition of these crazy DeVinciesque flying ships. They may have added a new element to the plot and were nice to look at but unnecessary. Then like with every other movie these days there was the addition of 3D! Full disclosure this was the fist time I’ve had to watch a 3D film and I enjoyed it but 24 hours later I realized I prefer 2D. I feel like it is easier to pay attention to the story being told and feel compassion for the characters on screen if I am not distracted by all the 3D hoopla. By the time the credits were rolling I have to say it was a fun ride. The story was good, the action/adventure enjoyable and the cast was worth watching but in the end I still prefer the one where I discovered one of my favorite actors a little bit moreJ.
Another remake I got to go see this year was Fright Night, original made in 1985. First I have to say that I had a lot of fun the night I got to see this vampire flick. I went with a couple of woman, one a friend I hadn’t seen in years and the other I just met. We got to the theater for the showing and the only other people besides us inside were a small group of teenagers. It turns out being the only ones in the audience made the whole scary movie experience so much better. The three of us actually got to scream and squeal at the screen. This was always something I wanted to do but never had the courage or chance until that night. David Tennent may have been the reason we went but screaming “DON’T GO UP THERE!” was very cool and a lot of fun. There were one or two scenes that I got to jump out of my seat for and other that were just plain silly. Although I haven’t seen the original in years this new version was just as good if not better and I strongly suggest taking a look when it comes to DVD on December 13.
There are two other remakes that I must mention before I’m done. Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black and Jason Segel was really cute and worth a look at if you catch it on TV as I did. And Footloose which is the one remake I have no interest in seeing. I just don’t think ANYONE can improve on the 1984 classic starring Kevin Bacon.
In the end Hollywood take my advice. Let’s cut down on the remakes, sequels and newly cast superheroes and get more original.

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