Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Year of Living Similarly - Movie Remakes

Has some enterprising Wilshire Blvd. genius already pitched remakes of Gone With the Wind and The Godfather?

No doubt.

Than why be amazed that the great American actor and movie star, Keanu Reeves, will star in a remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still?

Michael Rennie will be replaced by Keanu Reeves. Someone will replace Oscar-winning director, Robert Wise, (The somebody in this case happens to be Scott Derrickson, who made the execrable "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," in which I had a small role as a lawyer.) someone else will replace Oscar-winning actress, Patricia Neal, and someone else again will replace Sam Jaffe as the Einstein look-alike.

We're not sure who will play Gort the Robot.

The 1951 classic is one of the greatest sci-flicks of all-time. It's one of those movies that you find yourself irresistibly watching on average once a year, say, in February, when you have a cold and you're lying on the couch and it comes on and saves you from Oprah and Court TV.

It also contains one of the all-time favorite trivia questions:

What did Patrica Neal have to say to Gort to keep him/it from destroying mankind?

Now, we will have to ask what could we say to the executives to save us from Keanu?

Similarly, Jodie Foster stars in a movie about to be released momentarily called "The Brave One."

Ignorant people everywhere are comparing this to Foster's role in Taxi Driver and to the movie itself. But this is clearly a remake of the Charles Bronson thriller, Death Wish."

Made in 1974 by director Michael Winner, Death Wish included the best acting Bronson ever gave. he plays a liberal New York architect, whose wife and daughter are brutally attacked and raped in their own apartment. His wife (Hope Lange) dies and his daughter is forever confined to a mental hospital.

Bronson goes out onto the street and shoots bad guys at random.

The movie made peace-loving liberals scream with their own surprised delight. It became a cultural phenomenon at the time.

It also became a franchise, as several follow-ups were made, but none could hold a candle to the original, which was terrifying and gripping.

Jodie Foster is truly a great actor and her remake will probably be worth seeing.

As for Keanu...