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Remake madness: Leave the old films alone

Morning, UP

August 13, 2011
The Mining Journal

A year or two ago, when it was announced a remake of "Footloose" was in the works, my reaction was "meh."

Translated from my language, "meh" means I won't go to the theaters to see it, but I might rent the DVD. Or maybe I will just watch the original for the 1,000th time. Whatever.

Now it has been announced a remake of "Dirty Dancing" is being put together, with the original's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, serving as director. My reaction this time? "Bleh."

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Don't think that needs translation, but basically, it makes me a bit sad that Hollywood feels the need to redo a movie that, for what it is, has stood the test of time very well.

"Dirty Dancing" was a sweet film with a perfect cast. It made tons of people want to learn to dirty dance and reminded us all that "nobody puts Baby in a corner." The music was fun, the dancing divine and the acting was all right.

It was made 24 years ago but set 25 years before that, so the "time warp" element really does not play in.

Have they really run out of ideas out there in sunny L.A.? That cannot be the case, taking into account such recent change-of-pace flicks like "Inception," "Let Me In" and even "Cowboys and Aliens."

To me, remaking films is a lazy Hollywood tradition. And too often, the remakes are pale imitations of the works that came before.

Here are some potential motion picture remakes I fear Hollywood could announce any day:

"The Wizard of Oz," starring Willow Smith, with Adam Sandler as the Tin Man, Will Smith as the Scarecrow and Jim Belushi as The Cowardly Lion. Featuring Katherine Heigl as Glinda, Cher as the Wicked Witch of the West and Jim Carrey as The Wizard.

"It's a Wonderful Life," featuring Zach Efron and Vanessa Hudgens with Harrison Ford as Mr. Potter.

"Some Like it Hot," with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari... oh, wait. That was TV's "Bosom Buddies."

"Casablanca," with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Javier Bardem would take the Paul Henreid role.

"Rear Window," starring Ryan Reynolds and Gwenyth Paltrow.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," with Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Lindsay Lohan as Nurse Ratched.

"The Sound of Music," with Miley Cyrus as Maria, Taylor Lautner as Captain Van Trapp and the Gosselin kids as the Van Trapp children.

OK. That last one made me shudder. But you get my point.

Sometimes a remake can be a super idea. But it would serve those spending 10s of millions of dollars in good old Hollywood to consider that some of us won't shell out $8 or $10 of our hard-earned money to see another remake of "Freaky Friday."

Bring us something new, would ya?

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal .net.



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