Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #628: Reboots, Remakes, & Reckonings?

Welcome to the show folks....


CBS has tapped show-runners Ron (
Battlestar Galactica) Moore and Naren (CSI) Shankar for a reboot of the 60s spy-fi western show Wild Wild West.

In the spirit of remakes I shall re-run my original thoughts on hearing this news a while ago, and let you read it HERE. Of course I might like to add that it will probably feature more killer robots and really gory crime scenes than I originally thought.


Peter Douglas, a producer and son of movie legend Kirk Douglas, is putting together a production company that will be completely dedicated to remakes.

Chiefly they'll be looking at films that were either produced by, or starred Kirk Douglas, as well as several films by thriller master John Frankenheimer including his 60s classics
Seven Days In May, Seconds, and Grand Prix.

Lets look at the pros and cons of this sort of project.


1. Hollywood is currently terrified of anything remotely original. Projects stemming from the favorite decade of the baby boomers who run Hollywood (the 60s) are pretty much guaranteed a pick-up by a major studio.

2. If
Seconds and Grand Prix get made by people with actual talent they could become hits. Seconds is an offbeat thriller about an older man who undergoes radical treatment by a mysterious organization to get a new "second" life as a younger man living a fantasy lifestyle. If done right it can still hold a lot of relevance to modern audiences in the age of botox and the unreal expectations of reality television. Grand Prix could be made as pure action-packed melodrama about fast cars, danger loving men and the women who love them.

3. The original films will get some more attention and probably get some play on cable TV, and get some nice "collector's edition" type releases on DVD. That's a good thing.


Seven Days In May could become a repeat of The Manchurian Candidate remake boondoggle. Hollywood is not very good at making a politically themed film that can sell commercially. Remember how they changed the plot of The Manchurian Candidate from a Korean war soldiers brainwashed and terrorized by Communist Chinese agents into Gulf War veterans brainwashed and terrorized by the sinister Manchurian Global Corporation to enact an elaborate plot of assassination and skullduggery to accomplish what a few fat campaign donations would do a hell of a lot cheaper and easier.

But I digress....

Seven Days In May is about a rogue military officer plotting to overthrow the President of the USA for being too liberal. Now does anyone outside of Hollywood think that a film casting the members of the American military as the villain, during wartime, will sell the movie to the rest of the country? And let's not forget Hollywood's complete lack of subtlety when it comes to making "hot button" politically themed films like The Manchurian Candidate. I can't see them doing this in any way that will not seem cartoonish in comparison to the taut suspense of the original.

2. If the films in question aren't done really, really well, they are going to clash with not only the memories of the originals, but the inevitable resurfacing of the films in question on cable TV. If they don't amp up the quality over the originals, preferring to just dump in a lot of CGI and over the top nonsensical action, the movies will tank, even the ones that had potential to succeed.

1 comment:

  1. I don't like this trend much either -- Seven Days in May is still a relevant movie today, and there's no need to remake it. Besides, who else are you going to get to play Kirk Douglas's chin dimple?