Monday, January 18, 2010
Messing with success
I promised a list of remakes better than their originals (movies), but I confess I'm stumped: I can't think of a single one. If any of my loyal readers (or anyone at all) can, do tell.
Instead I'll offer a list of the worst remakes or sequels I can think of off the top of my head:
The Pink Panther (Steve Martin)
In one of those rare moments when I actually intended to watch TV, it was the only thing on. Oh god--it was even worse than I feared. I like Steve Martin, but come on--Peter Sellers in the original was one of the greatest comedic phenomenons ever captured on film. The new version is campy and clumsy and self-conscious and dull.
Star Wars, Episodes I-III
Here's a rare case of a movie not being campy enough. I barely made it through one of the three. The "force" comes from mitochondria in the blood?! Anakin went over to the dark side just because he was afraid his girlfriend might someday die?! Please, put away all the CGI and sanctimony and send me back to spaceships with strings attached and Harrison Ford smirking at everything.
The Lord of the Rings
The first installment almost belongs on my other list: nothing could eclipse the books, but Peter Jackson did more with Fellowship than I would have thought possible. Ian McKellan as Gandalf was almost too good to be true, and the opening sequence with poetry and the glowing ring gave me chills. And Gollum! But things foundered in Towers and Return: far too many battles, everyone racing around and shouting, New Age music, and Sam wimpering "Frodo!" until I wanted to slap him.
Not much of a list, but it's all I can think of for now...