Not Shakespeare! Henry Van Dyke, 19th c. American poet.
So, some of you might have heard that they're attempting to make a sequel to one of the greatest movies ever made, It's a Wonderful Life.
|"I wish I lived in a world where they didn't make stupid sequels."|
That's true, it would be pretty awful to see someone else do Jimmy Stewart's job. Who would they get, Ryan Gosling?
|Hey girl, you want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.|
I don't have a definitive formula for a good sequel/remake. Sometimes they follow the exact formula of the original, but they just up it a notch. Think Home Alone 2. This seems to be a tricky method; I hear The Hangover Part II was pretty lame.
Sometimes it's a new adventure where you get to know more about the characters and meet some new friends. For example, Toy Story 2 was just as good as, if not better than, the first movie.
The qualities of remakes often depend on the viewer's taste, or the quality of the new actor portraying a beloved character. Plus, remakes can either be really similar, or really different, from the prior movie.
As an avid Mel Brooks fan, I loved the original of The Producers. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are hilarious in their roles, and really can't be replaced. The remake is different though -- it's a musical, so many of the scenes have a very different feel.
I'm very skeptical about some current remakes, especially The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This was a family favorite, and I'd recommend you see it before you see the new one. It's a weird movie about a spineless guy whose only escape from the nagging of his boss, his mother, and his fiancee is his daydreams. Very vivid daydreams in which he is an expert surgeon, a cowboy, a Southern gentleman about to head off to the War, a WWII fighter pilot, a ship captain...you name it! Then he meets a girl and starts to have some real life adventures.
This all sounds a little existential, but understand that the man playing Walter Mitty is Danny Kaye.
Do you know who they've cast as Walter Mitty in the new one? Ben Stiller. Look, Ben Stiller is funny and all, but only when he's a) being a male model, and b) being the straight man while other people are being crazy.
Bibliophiles often whine about adaptations of books. "It's not as good as the movie" is always the refrain, but sometimes they manage to make some decent ones. All the Harry Potters were alright. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) was good, but the sequels were bad. As I've already lamented, The Book Thief looks like they completely re-wrote the characters.
I'm also concerned about the recent news that they're going to make a movie of Artemis Fowl. If you haven't read the book or its sequels, they're really excellent. It's by Irish writer Eoin (pronounced like Owen) Colfer. Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old evil genius and heir to the Fowl fortune. He's a he, despite the name. As one of his foul schemes, he plots to obtain a fairy book (containing their moral and legal codes) and extort the fairies of their gold. His plan succeeds and he kidnaps Captain Holly Short, a police officer in one of the fairy cities. Basically, it's part fantasy, part police/detective show, and tons of fun. Artemis has an awesome moral progression throughout the series. Butler, Artemis' bodyguard, tries to set his young charge on the right path.
Anyway, this all sounds like it would make an exciting movie, I'm sure. After all, the author describes it as "Die Hard with fairies." But think about the logistics of fairies in a movie. They're supposed to be like three feet tall. Do you do CGI? Do you try and do actors and camera tricks? Will the whole thing be a cartoon? How do you get at 12-year-old actor to be as cold and calculating as Artemis is? Once Upon a Time is attempting that right now, and they're clearly using an 18-year-old actor.
I'm moping, I know, but others are upset too! Simcha Fisher has a rant about other sequels we're sure to see soon. It's pretty funny.
I don't know if this is a good idea to reveal to the world since Hollywood hasn't shown many boundaries yet, but I'd say there are a few movies I could not bear to see remade.
Among them, The Princess Bride. That would be cruel. Tommy Boy. I can't see the future, but how could there be another comedian like Chris Farley?
What's on your list of Do Not Remakes?