A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
I didn’t bitch when you turned the Green Hornet into a lard-ass slacker. I didn’t complain when you made the Lone Ranger and Tonto look like a couple of transcendental boobs. Hell, I even bit my tongue over the Ben Affleck Batman affair. There’ve been so many Batmans (Batmen?) anyway that nobody cares anymore. (Actually, a lot of people think that Cate Blanchett should take a crack at the cowl.0 But there is a point when every person has to cowboy-up and finally say WTF? I’m talkin’ to you, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. What, by all that’s holy, gave you the idea you could remake The Magnificent Seven? THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN? Arguably the best Western ever made (sorry, High Noon) and you think you can just casually redo it? For shame! Five shame!
Here’s the deal. If — maybe — perhaps — you got Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Charlize Theron, Russell Crowe, Jason Statham, Idris Elba and if Steve McQueen came back from the dead to play Vin, then I might consider it. Otherwise, you’re sucking pond water. In fact, you’re just cashing in on a famous name, you insatiable whores!
And it’s not as if Hollywood has any kind of a track record for treating the classics with any class. Look at these less than honourable money grabs:
Star Trek – In an alternative reality (shoot me in the head, right here!) Kirk is an overgrown juvenile delinquent, Old Spock wanders around looking miserable, young Spock has a temper tantrum (and, oddly enough, a girlfriend) Sulu looks as if he’s lost without Kumar, and the one requirement to command a Starship is you show up on a motorcycle and eat apples!
King Kong – What Peter Jackson did to that monkey oughta be illegal. Where the hell is PETA when you need them?
The Ladykillers – Every once in a while, the Coen bros go nuts and think they’re cinematic gods. This movie proves them wrong. Tom Hanks should have run screaming from the studio when he read the script. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Now, he wakes up every morning and begs the ghost of Alec Guinness for forgiveness.
Around the World in Eighty Days – Turning a 50s epic into a Jackie Chan kungfu movie is bad enough. However, trying to shoehorn homage to Michael Todd with cameos by Schwarzenegger, Cleese. Johnny Depp and the brothers Wilson is just insulting the guy’s memory.
Planet of the Apes – Mark Wahlberg spends most of the movie looking surprised that he’s even in this movie, Charlton Heston plays an ape, Paul Giamatti is an unusually short orangutan and Helena Bonham Carter plays a chimp (with mixed results.) The plot is based on coincidence, the climax is like five seconds long, the ending is stupid and when Wahlberg and Bonham Carter get all inter-species, the whole thing just gets icky.
The Wicker Man – Nicholas Cage deserves the bees.
Alice in Wonderland – Every stoner east of Malibu Bay is saying “Whoa! Alice gets a sword! Cool!” The Mad Hatter is a demented revolutionary. They stole the White Queen from the Wizard of OZ and Helena Bonham Carter plays herself (with mixed results.) And the frightening thing is Disney did it to themselves.
I’m not even going to get into Psycho, Swept Away, Godzilla or The Pink Panther.
Hollywood needs to just stop. The Magnificent Seven? My God! What next? Gone with the Wind? Casablanca? Leonardo diCaprio as the Little Tramp?
I’ve had enough. If there are no original ideas left south of the San Fernando Valley, so be it, but quit carving up other people’s masterpieces!