6 Remakes We Tolerate (For Some Reason)
For as long as movies have existed, so have remakes. The Wizard Of Oz we all know and love was a second shot at the story after an earlier adaptation bombed. The Maltese Falcon had two adaptations before the Bogart version. Citizen Kane, of course, was based on a radio ad for children's sleds. And since coming up with brilliant original ideas is kind of a pain in the ass, Hollywood isn't slowing down the remake machine any time soon. And we've noticed a few trends that are out of control but go under-discussed. Such as how ...
For the Love Of God, Stop Doing A Christmas Carol
Let's be honest, Charles Dickens' tale of Yuletide redemption peaked when some genius decided to pair Michael Caine with the Muppets. Yet people still keep making more movies based on A Christmas Carol anyway. In 2009, there was Disney's motion-capture CGI version starring Jim Carrey as *squints* the horny reanimated corpse of Scrooge.
In 2019 we got a dark and gritty miniseries starring Guy Pearce as Scrooge. Not only are the ghosts surprisingly horrifying, but it's also revealed that Scrooge was sexually abused by his teacher as a child, until his sister threatened to shoot said teacher right in the jingle bells. Merry Christmas.
Now it seems Dickens' tale about not focusing on money during Christmastime will be part of the ongoing streaming wars between several giant corporations. Apple, Disney, and Netflix all have their own takes on A Christmas Carol in the pipeline. Apple is releasing one starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds that may have bafflingly cost "over $100 million." (Which is over $40 million more than what it cost to make Deadpool.)
Not to be outdone, Disney will be releasing Marley, a musical retelling told from the perspective of Scrooge's late business partner and chain fetishist Jacob Marley. Netflix has Humbug, starring Ice Cube as a "wealthy real estate mogul" who'll of course be haunted (we assume by the hologram-ghosts of Eazy-E and Tupac). Although it's hard to believe that any of these will beat A Christmas Cop, starring Norwegian bodybuilder Daniel Stisen as "Detective Sergeant Nils Scroogesen."
Aren't there any ghosts available to convince these filmmakers to do something else with their lives?
There Are As Many Amityville Horror Movies As MCU Movies
The original 1979 Amityville Horror was a chilling tale of how one creepy house drove Thanos' dad to attempt murder. It was supposedly a true story, but was really true bullshit. However, since some of the Amityville story indisputably happened, elements of the movie are essentially in the public domain, and many unofficial sequels and remakes have since made.
Then came The Conjuring, the 2013 horror flick about real-life paranormal investigators (and proven frauds) Ed and Lorraine Warren. Since one of their earliest cases was the Amityville haunting, and it's not hard to gain access to a spooky New England house, there's been a shit-ton of cheap Amityville remakes and sequels recently. There are now 23 in total, which is as many movies as there are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In 2016 alone, for instance, we got Amityville No Escape, Terror, Vanishing Point, and Legacy.
In 2017, there was The Amityville Exorcism and Amityville Prison. There was also Amityville: The Awakening, produced by another name that's come to be synonymous with horror, Harvey Weinstein. It made just $742 at the box office.
Most recently, there was The Amityville Murders and Amityville Mt Misery Road, about the "scariest road in America."
Presumably the producers couldn't even lock down a house to film in and had to settle for a haunted dirt road. If this doesn't end, look out for Amityville Gas Station Bathroom and Amityville Alley Behind Domino's, coming soon.
People Keep Trying to Update Peter Pan
Peter Pan is the classic story of a boy who refuses to grow up with magic, instead of simply playing video games and buying a bunch of overpriced toys well into his 40s like everybody else. We complained about Hollywood making too many Peter Pan movies back in 2013, and it's still going on. Trying to cash in on that sweet Harry Potter money, there was 2003's Peter Pan. Then 2015 gave us Peter & Wendy and Pan, the big-budget prequel starring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, for some reason.
This year we're getting Wendy, a new revisionist take on the Pan story from the director of Beasts Of The Southern Wild. There's also Come Away, in which Peter and Alice from Alice in Wonderland are siblings who "live an idyllic childhood with parents Jack and Rose." (So is this also a reimagining of Titanic?)
Not surprisingly, Disney seems to be working on Pan-themed projects of their own. There have been rumors for years that Reese Witherspoon would star in a Tinkerbell spinoff. While that doesn't seem to be happening anymore, they are apparently up for giving Peter Pan their live-action remake treatment. The new (hopefully less racist) movie is set to be directed by David Lowery, who similarly remade Pete's Dragon.
Not to mention Bangarang, the recent crowdfunded fan prequel to Steven Spielberg's Hook, all about Rufio, the lovable child soldier with the aesthetic of an emo band.
Little Women -- We've Seen Beth Die More Than The Wayne Parents And Uncle Ben Combined
Greta Gerwig's recent Little Women is a thoughtful, lively, moving adaptation of the classic book. That being said, can we cool it for a while? You could fill a mass grave with all the dead Beths we've gotten over the years. Hollywood has been making movies of Little Women for over a fucking century. The first one came out back in 1917, then they made another one immediately in 1918. These were followed by acclaimed versions in 1933 and 1948. Including television adaptations, there's been at least one new adaptation Little Women every decade since then. Of course, we all remember the beloved 1994 version starring Winona Ryder and Patrick Batman.
In 2018, we got a critically panned modern update of the story starring Back To The Future's Lea Thompson.
And just the year before that, there was a BBC miniseries. We get that this is a classic story, and Gerwig's version is amazing, but we're fairly certain there's gotta be at least one other book about the bonds of sisterhood that could use an adaptation.
"Serious" Superhero Movies That Are Just Another Movie, But With Superheroes
Presumably until the day it finally kills Martin Scorsese, Hollywood will continue to make movies based on beloved comic book characters. While some of them are as weightless as a feather on a broken bathroom scale, others are more serious affairs. But it also seems as though many of these gritty takes on the genre simply copy and paste comic book characters into preexisting "serious" movies.
Most recently (and painfully obviously), Joker was Taxi Driver crossed with The King Of Comedy ... but with a guy who calls himself Joker. Before that there was Logan, which wasChildren Of Men ... but with Wolverine. And the movie that may have started this trend was The Dark Knight, which was basically Heat, but with Batman and the Joker instead of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.
Which isn't to say that superhero movies can't take notes from other films, but since we're likely going to get more and more "adult-oriented" ones, it would be nice if they could start mining their source material for dramatic stakes instead of shoehorning popular characters into familiar stories.
There Are Too Many Versions Of Pinocchio Already, Dammit
Ah, Pinocchio, the classic children's story of a wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy ... then gets turned into a donkey as karmic punishment for his sojourn into hedonism. It seems as though we're constantly getting new movie versions of Pinocchio, and there's seemingly no end in sight. It's like the Peter Pan thing, but without the saving grace of pirates.
Obviously there was the classic Disney animated movie, and who could forget 1996's The Adventures Of Pinocchio, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and his puppet avatar whom '90s tweens probably still would have happily made out with. There was even a sequel, appropriately titled The New Adventures Of Pinocchio.
In 2008 and 2015, we got more Pinocchios, one of which had Bob Hoskins, and the other, um, the discount Czech equivalent of Bob Hoskins?
And remember that creepy 2002 Pinocchio starring Roberto Benigni? Where he used his Oscar-winning clout to convince people that he, a 50-year-old-man, should play a wooden boy? Now we're getting another Benigni-starring Pinocchio, but thankfully he's playing Gepetto instead of a child.
Guillermo del Toro is making a stop-motion Pinocchio that's apparently all about fascism. And Disney is doing a live-action remake, possibly directed by Robert Zemeckis. Which wouldn't even be the first time Disney has made a live-action Pinocchio, lest we forget the TV movie Gepetto, starring the absolute best actor to play an elderly Italian carpenter: Drew Carey.
There have also been rumors of a big-budget version directed by Ron Howard and starring Robert Downey Jr., hopefully as Tony Stark. At this point, the only Pinocchio ground left to cover is a Pornhub adaptation featuring Pinocchio as a RealDoll.
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