Archive for May 17th, 2013


So today, thanks to the ever resourceful and enthusiastic Alex J. Cavanaugh, I’m participating in the Best/Worst Move Remake Blogfest.  Here are my entries…

 

BEST REMAKE:  THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR

For me, the remake with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo (1999) is better than the original 1968 version with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

I’m old enough to have seen the original as a little kid, and I remember how the split-screen action scenes, the erotic chess game, and the song (Windmills of Your Mind) were very grown-up cool.  But I’ve also seen it as an adult and while it’s still a good flick, the remake is better.

Take the scenes where the female lead first appears.

In the original, Faye Dunaway walks off a plane in a miniskirt and big hat, the two detectives there to greet her are wowed by her sexy style, and they all have a nice little chat.  Blah.

In the remake, the main detective (Dennis Leary) is crouching in the museum room where the painting has been stolen and he’s theorizing aloud that an x-brand of helicopter must have been involved.  Then he hears a woman’s sultry voice explaining why it couldn’t have been x-brand because of its limited weight-bearing abilities, the other technical implausibilities, and what really must have happened.  He looks up to see a woman’s sexy leg and garter through the slit in a knee-length skirt (and yes, fashion is its own character in these two movies).  I mean, that scene just goes BAM!  WHAM! REMEMBER THIS WOMAN!

One more note I could give you out of many:  there’s a nifty scene in which Rene Russo calmly takes out a switchblade that you just know she carries with her and can wield like a ninja, even though she’s an elegant, ladylike sophisticate.  I so wanna be like her.

 

WORST REMAKE:  MR. DEEDS

First, I have to confess that I have never seen this entire flick because I.  Just.  Can’t.  Watch.  It.

The original Mr. Deeds Goes to Town was directed by the great Frank Capra.  The story unfolds seamlessly, the dialogue crackles with life, a warm heart beats beneath the cynical wisecracks, and because the year is 1936, the Depression is still going on and people are suffering.  In the best such Depression movies, and this is one of them, there’s a strong social conscience.  We must help each other, is the message, and in language that to our modern politically correct ears sounds downright socialist but in those days was just common human decency.

Best of all, Longfellow Deeds in the original is played by Gary Cooper.

In the horrible remake:  Adam Sandler.

Could someone please explain to me why a dim overgrown boy like Sandler’s Deeds is supposed to be an appealing character?  And what morons thought it would be a good idea to a) remake a Capra masterpiece; b) replace a quietly understated manly man like Cooper with a smarmy smart-ass; then c) yuck up the story with dumb jokes and manufactured sentiment?

What a waste of everyone’s time and money.

Anyway, those are my choices.  Here’s the list of the blogfest hosts with their lists of participants.

Thanks for stopping by.

Blogfest Hosts:

Alex J. Cavanaugh  Stephen Tremp  |   Father Dragon Al   |   Livia Peterson