Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Movie Remake Boycott / VTK Actor Curse Post


As the title would suggest, this post is about my boycott of movie remakes and the curse I'm putting on the actors who star in them. When a movie is done really well and an actor creates an iconic character, why would you possibly want to remake that movie and role? Well, obviously it's because of the money. It's certainly not because of some imitation is the highest form of compliment bullshit. The remaking of movies is a disturbing trend in Hollywood. I can somewhat understand it if the story can be told better through the use of modern special effects, but that's really the only excuse. And what's more annoying is that it's not even like the actors who are remaking these roles are unknown or struggling actors who are doing it to launch their careers. These movies and roles are being remade by actors (and directors) who are accomplished in their own right and have created iconic characters of their own. Specific examples of what I'm talking about include Steve Martin attempting to remake Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther, Johnny Depp reprising Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Billy Bob Thornton redoing Walter Matthau's Coach Buttermaker in Bad News Bears. Adam Sandler redoing Burt Reynold's Paul Crewe in the Longest Yard isn't in the same category, but still worthy of mention. The two most egregious offenses are clearly the Steve Martin and Johnny Depp crimes. Why the fuck would you ever even consider playing the role of Inspector Clouseau or Willy Wonka after what Sellers and Wilder did with those roles? We're talking about two titans of comedy, two geniuses who created two of the most memorable characters in the history of film.
It's so offensive that I've decided to boycott the remakes of these movies. Furthermore, I am putting a curse on the actors that they must watch inferior actors play their signature characters. May Freddie Prinze Jr redo The Jerk, may Haley Joel Osment remake Edward Scissorhands (this would double as revenge on Tim Burton), and may Ryan Phillipe play the guy in Sling Blade.

14 comments:

Dewy24 said...

I completely agree with a few exceptions. If an old movie suddenly seems more relevant politically or socially I can see reasons to remake it. The Manchurian Candidate and Invasion of the Body Snatchers comes to mind. This is totally unrelated to the above but Fist Full of Dollars is a remake of Yojimbo and both are two of my favorite movies ever. I haven't seen the remake of Freaky Friday so I reserve the right to completely change my opinion.

Dan said...

I heard that they were going to do a remake of the remake of Freaky Friday after Lindsey gets out of rehab.

bee-spot said...

I take it you haven't seen Mr. Martin's brilliant performance in the remake of Cheaper by the Dozen. I think his spectacular turn as a beleaguered, but loving father completely makes up for his portrayal of Inspector Clouseau.

Dan said...

I have to admit that I have seen neither the original nor the remake of Cheaper By The Dozen (nor the sequels). I do like me some Bonnie Hunt though.

marshall said...

"Cheaper by the Dirty Dozen"... now that's a remake mash-up I'd pay to see...

Duffless said...

I think there is a distinction between a remake and adaptation of a novel. So while most remakes are bogus, I think that I put Wonka in the adaption category, like I would the adaptations of Little Women.

Dan said...

How about Cheaper by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band? Bronson and Martin would make one hell of a horn section.

As for the adaptation issue, it's an interesting point, but still does not excuse any legitimate actor thinking that they can recreate a role that Gene Wilder made his own. Inexcusable.

CarpetMan said...

What about the Beverly Hillbillies movie with Jim "Ernest" Varney as Jed? Huh? Where would that fit in your little tirade?

fuge said...

Here's my rulings.

Remakes of foreign movies don't count.

The Departed might have been made in Hong Kong, I don't give a shit, I'll see it anyway.

The Charlie and the Chocolate factory thing is a bit different, because it was supposedly a closer adaptation to the novel than the original WW was...but so what, I'm agreeing, it gets a big FU.

The fact that The Longest Yard was remade makes me ill, it wasn't dated, it had aged perfectly! And the cast couldn't be copied or replicated.

That being said, you don't like Scrubs so I'm looking at you with a wary eye anyway.

Dan said...

Apparently, I need to clarify my little tirade. My beef is with actors thinking that they have the right to remake previous works of genius as if they could improve upon it or even do it justice for a new audience. Hey, new audience, watch the original. I just don't understand how people like Johnny Depp and Steve Martin can do that to people like Gene Wilder and Peter Sellers, knowing that some future schmuck could attempt to make their signature performances obsolete. I think Steve Martin is the best example here. The Jerk was a brilliantly played role. How would he like it if it was pushed aside for some other actor's interpretation. No one can do the Jerk better than Steve Martin because he was that role. Same thing for Inspector Clouseau. How can a person who can create such a role not find it criminal to remake another such role.

So, to your example, I don't really consider Beverly Hillbillies to have been genius level, so I have no problem with a comic giant like Jim Varney picking up the pieces of trash and trying to make something out of it. How you like that, Carpetman.

Dan said...

at the risk of offending the book is always better than the movie portion of the readership here, I gotta say that I don't really care if Tim Burton's version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is closer to the book, because I read the book, and the Gene Wilder movie was better. On this, there can be no debate.

NO DEBATE!

And yes, Scrubs is funny.

Dan said...

oh no, wait, that's right. Scrubs is not funny. at all. sorry, fuge. I even gave it another shot on comedy central a few times after that debate, but no. can't do it.

lc said...

http://www.avclub.com/content/node/56166
Hey turns out you're not alone on the Scrubs thing.

Dan said...

I'll never forgive him for breaking up Bilson and Brody.