There are a lot things I could have done with my life if I had taken the opportunity. I once had a friend of a friend offer me a six figure salary to do something in a field I'd never worked in, and damn if my personal ethics didn't make me say no. And had I stuck around a bit longer, maybe I could have been in that film in college, the one that started a bootleg, but thriving film company later. Or, had I packed my bags at 18 like I planned and just drove to Hollywood, I could be having drinks with Brad Pitt and trying to figure out how to re-fire Jay Leno. Ah, the possibilities.
Hollywood has this really horrible habit of taking classics (see The Karate Kid, Longest Yard) and remaking them. It allows them to give a proven star a vehicle he almost can't miss in (see Longest Yard), but usually does, or a takes a chance to make a star where there was none before, (again see Karate Kid.)
And I understand the Hollywood rationale of remakes on a investment concept: you get a property that was popular (i.e. turned a profit ) and update it, and theoretically minimize the financial risk. It's why the old TV properties are currently being plastered all over the movie house screen in the form of the A-Team, the GI Joe movie, Speed Racer and the oft talked about and sure to be horrible Three Stooges movie (Although to be fair, the Stooges were originally movie shorts, so it's more a remake of a old movie). You've got a built in audience who already loves the story, and all you have to do is shoot it.
Please note, none of those films mentioned were blockbuster hits.
Oh, they may make money on them with the arcane accounting used in southern California, but what they really do with modern merchandising and ties-ins is stick a knife in my childhood and twist.
I just abhor the concept of taking something people like and ruining it by removing it from the context which made it popular, or enjoyable - (see any American Pie after the 3rd one) .
Life would be so much better if Hollywood took films that were horrible the first time around and remade them into something watchable. There are a host of films that with more than a weekend of script writing and some middle ground actors could actually be something watchable - or at least HBO worthy. The number of halfway flicks you could redo for $10 - 15 million and get back 30 or so is staggering. The big flicks? Let me pitch these at you, spitball, see what you think...
First, we remake Leonard Part 6. I realize Bill Cosby would rather we forgot this film ever existed, but this could be something. Okay, the storyline involved a retired spy, a Porsche with a cannon on top, psychics, vegetarians, and a climatic scene of the Cos riding an Ostrich, but we can fix it. I'm thinking it star Andre Braugher, Dennis Haysbert (from the Allstate commercials) or Mykelti Williamson (Bubba from Forest Gump) and we lose the ostrich. Kind of a black, older Jason Bourne with a few dashes of comedy.
This really was the movie poster.
And then somebody needs to redo Showgirls, only this time as an actual X-rated big budget movie, like Caligula. A fast $40 million and a decent script would work wonders. There really isn't anyway to shoot it and do it justice without all the pervasive sexuality that makes in a "skin-e-max" special, the obvious fakery of which is what halfway ruined it. It's like all promise and no delivery. That half assed approach to the sexy and that semi weak story just hung there. The porn star who can act, the one from the Girlfriend Experience movie - Sasha Grey - could star. If she can dance. Seriously. And give the script to an actual writer, like maybe.
Side note: They should re-shoot Exit to Eden, the film that gave us Rosie O'Donnell in bondage gear. And they need to re-shoot it with Rosie O'Donnell. In bondage gear.
Then somebody needs to get the rights and re-shoot Battlefield Earth, the film that John Travolta should be ashamed he wrecked. Okay, I liked the book. I read it before I knew the author was a egotistical nutjob. But the book is good, well paced, with a good plot and a lot of detail worked out. A decent imagining should be shot in pure CG like Shrek or Toy Story, and it needs to be in parts, as the book is over 1,000 pages. It might even work best as a six or ten part mini-series on HBO. Provided this time, they stuck to the book and didn't get fancy.
Then there is The Avengers, (I refuse to link it) that drek whose only redeeming value was that Sean Connery got a check out of the deal. Other than the names Steed and Mrs. Peel, you could start from scratch here. There is bad movie making, there is the Rocky Horror Picture show, which was bad picture making on purpose, and then there is this.
You know, just reading through this, I have to wonder how hard it is really to work in Hollywood. I've just pitched five decent ideas - okay, four if you count the Rosie O'Donnell one - in less than five minutes, without trying. I guess it really is who you know.
Barkeep, so you say the guy who cuts your grass knows the brother of the guy who supplies the place that washes the cars that Tyler Perry's assistant brings in? Well, I got this script....