There was a time when it took some serious chops for a movie to get made. Studios held all the cards, so they chose on what to gamble. Here are some cringe-worthy gambles from the 80’s that I’d be shocked to see get remade these days:
These came out of Hollywood when P.C. just meant Pacific Coast…
For those of you unaware of the premise: a rich white guy rents an adult black man to be his son’s friend for a week. I loved it as a kid, but in hind sight, how did it ever get made? Who ever tricked Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, and director Richard Donner to get involved should get some kind of metal. But then again, it was the 80’s. Cocaine was probably somehow involved.
White Actor! C. Thomas Howell plays a student that takes tanning pills to get dark enough skin to appear black. Your first instinct might be to ask “Huh?” but here’s the answer to why: so he can get a scholarship to Harvard specifically intended for African-American students. Now you can ask the “Huh?”
This is the tamest of the three, but it’s seemingly the least credible. How could Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy lug such a flexible deceased Bernie around all weekend without rigor mortis setting in?
Face upgrades throughout his Hollywood career...
With Colin Farrell’s Total
Remake Recall coming out this summer, it got me thinking… hasn’t he done this before? It’s kind of like Total Recall in Total Real Life. He’s becoming sort of the Remake King, and it may suit him well.
When S.W.A.T. was originally released, Farrell was the Sam Worthington of that moment. He was the foreign Actor! living the Hollywood dream. You couldn’t escape his movies – Hart’s War, Minority Report, Phone Booth, The Recruit, and, ugh… Daredevil (his Bullseye was the best thing about that movie).
By the time Miami Vice was released, Anytown Vice could have been breathing down his neck. Addictions to pain killers and Playboy models were derailing his career, and this film was not helped by it (or, ugh… Jamie Foxx.)
(SIDENOTE: Insert In Bruges here. This film is not a remake, but to me, it remade his career. This was the first time I thoroughly enjoyed his work as an Actor in bold, versus my usual sarcastic Italics!)
As for Fright Night and Total Recall, the court’s still out for me. I enjoyed the originals of both, and I don’t think his presence will hurt either of the newer incarnations. My big question is:
What’s the next remake he’ll, um, remake?
Now that Hollywood’s diving into 90’s television with the reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (which I guess was technically and re-imagining of the comic book character), my suggestion is to go back to the TV remakes with Full House: The Movie!
Uncle Jesse, anyone?
This post is a sort of double-whammy JusWondering. The first part is a legitimate whimsical question; the follow-up is philosophical. Hopefully both are fun.
The first real question that smolders in my, um, title line is
What other president should get rebooted?
Hollywood loves its reboots, re-imaginings, and remakes, and these upcoming films are proof.
You’ve probably heard about this first one by now – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Here’s the preview:
But did you also know that FDR: American Badass! exists (or at least will very soon)?
If Hollywood followed these templates, I’d say George Washington or JFK are ripe for action-packed movies:
I’d venture to guess in another twenty years, Ronald Reagan will get rebooted, too.
Now onto my second JusWondering… does anyone else feel slightly offended by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and FDR: American Badass!? Because weirdly, I do. And what’s stranger, I was born and raised Roman Catholic and these doesn’t bother me one bit:
We live in a world that’s becoming more and more full of remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings. What if some songs we know and maybe love are in reality re-imaginings of older songs?
What if DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s You Saw My Blinker (Bitch)…
…was really re-imagined as Ludacris’ Move Bitch?
What if Huey Lewis and The News’ I Want a New Drug…
…was really re-imagined as Nine Inch Nails’ The Perfect Drug?
What if Christopher Cross’ Sailing…
…was really re-imagined as AWOLNATION’s Sail?
What if The Whispers’ Rock Steady…
…was really re-imagined as LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem?
What if Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back…
was really re-imagined as Big Sean and Nicki Minaj’s Ass?
(SIDENOTE: I always love making this song the butt of my joke…)
Who doesn’t love the classics?
Who doesn’t love remakes?
Well, typically I never look forward to remakes, but their have been some decent ones through the years. One of my personal favorites is Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead. He did all right by George Romero’s original, which is probably his best zombie film to date. I’m not saying would actually date it… but I’d probably fool around.
Anyreboot, Fright Night is an 80’s classic you may or may not be familiar with, so here’s its preview:
I’ve always had a soft spot for the film, and here are the reasons why:
- It’s cheesy good. For comparison, what’s cheesy bad? Actually, I think anything cheesy is good because it’s cheesy, especially if it was made in the 80’s.
- It’s self-aware. It knows that it’s a send up of schlocky horror films, hence RoddyMcDowall’s character…
- …Peter Vincent: Vampire Hunter. Think Vincent Price in the style of local horror film TV hosts.
- Writer/Director Tom Holland. He elevates the Rear Window rip-off into celebratory genre-crossing territory, like Shaun of the Dead would do about two decades later. Plus, he also wrote Cloak & Dagger – one of my all time faves.
- Marcy D’Arcy, Herman’s Head, and Jack Skellington. Well, the Actors! that would go onto play those roles round out the cast.
So you would think the thought of a remake would set me off on a rampage, and it might have had I heard of it before seeing this preview:
Okay, the CGI bothers me, but the cast is actually pretty good:
- Colin Ferrell – you know who he is
- Anton Yelchin – Chekov in the new Star Trek; Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation; Charlie Bartlett
- Toni Collette – the mom in Sixth Sense, About a Boy, and Little Miss Sunshine; United States of Tara
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse – McLovin in Superbad; Red Mist in Kick-Ass
- David Tennant – Dr. Who; somebody in one of the Harry Potter films
Can the story stand the test of time… and technology… and modern sensibilities… and directors? We’ll see in August.
Your time will come...
Hollywood loves remakes. It also loves sequels and reboots, but it really loves remakes. And it’s not just horror films anymore. Footloose
and Red Dawn
are on the horizon. There’s talk of remaking Dune
(needs it), Short Circuit
(ready for a CG robot, anyone?), and Judge Dredd
(more Rob Schneider
What else might be coming up?
(SIDENOTE: Did this trend begin when the TV shows-turned-into-movies trend ended?)
At lunch, we discussed the inevitability of a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off remake. Who would play Ferris? Shia LeBeouf? Zac Efron? Zack or Cody?
To me, if they remake such a seminal 80’s film as Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, then the 90’s flick Reality Bites wouldn’t be far off. And that leaves me tons of more questions:
- Who would be cast in that film?
- Would it keep the same name? (Reality Sucks Balls anyone?)
- Would it be about vampires?
- Why is Janeane Garafalo so gross now?
Remakes are hardly better.
With all the remakes leaking out of Hollywood like – oh, I don’t know – an unstoppable oil spill, I started thinking about song remakes… how they don’t happen as often, and when they do, how they tend to be worthy updates or at least interesting spins (outdated pun!) on the original.
That’s when I decided to present a So, Duh! Pop Quiz that will have you match a song remake with a comparable film remake.
1) Anberlin’s version of New Order’s True Faith
2) Cake’s version of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive
a) Friday the 13th
b) Clash of the Titans
c) Dawn of the Dead
d) Nightmare on Elm Street
3) Eddie Vedder’s version of Indio’s Hard Sun
a) The Ring
b) The Karate Kid
c) The Taking of Pelham 123
d) The Wicker Man
4) Flo Rida’s version of Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (called Right Round)
a) Who’s Your Caddy? (Caddyshack)
b) My Baby’s Daddy (Three Men and a Baby)
c) Soul Plane (Airplane!)
d) All of the above
5) Shinedown’s version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man
a) The Fly
b) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
c) The Hills Have Eyes
d) The Parent Trap
BONUS: To check out My Top Ten List of 80’s (Music) Remakes, click here.
(Answers… or opinions, I guess… after the jump…) Read More