If you’re like me you’re wildly, deeply and profoundly unsuccessful. And because you’re unsuccessful you’ve got very few pleasures in your deeply unsatisfying life. One of my few pleasures are movies, I love movies. In fact, I love films so much that after watching the atrocity that was Fast & Furious 6 I set myself on fire in protest.
So because I love film I hate Hollywood. These a-holes won’t leave good films alone (there are three versions of A Star Is Born with a fourth expected!) or worse; add sequels where none are called for. Especially annoying is when they reboot franchises that don’t need rebooting. How many versions of Spider-Man getting bit by a radioactive spider or Superman riding to earth in his baby rocket does the world really need? Everybody knows the origin of the web slinger and the guy from Krypton; there is no reason to keep telling them. With this in mind, let me formally request that Hollywood please just leave the following films alone. Do not reboot them. Do not create sequels for them. Do not remake them. Do nothing to them. Keep the few instances of film justice alone.
This story about the only black sheriff of 1874 is seriously funny. It’s also got bad taste coming out like plumes of gas from its backside. It must be left alone. Now, it is true that Mel Brooks wants to stage a musical version of this totally awesome film like he did for The Producers and Young Frankenstein. That’s fine. We’re talking about Mel Brooks, here. He’s earned the right to revisit his old work and create singing versions of them for all those old people who still see musicals. BUT FOR THE LOVE GOD PLEASE NO ONE DO A MOVIE VERSION! The Producers musical sucked horribly as a cinematic experience. Blazing Saddles doesn’t deserve that sort of disrespect. BS is a movie of its time. Meaning, it’s allowed to be funny in the vulgar way you were allowed to be in the 1970s and that you’re not allowed to be funny now.
The provocative language, the sex jokes, the horse punching couldn’t survive today’s comedy police whose minds are too literal and whose ears are too precious to appreciate a picture that makes liberal use of the N-word as a means to confront racism. The only thing that would survive of a modern day Blazing Saddles would be the fart jokes. And while fart jokes are perfectly wonderful things, as long as Seth Rogan continues to write, we’ve already got plenty of those.
Harold And Maude
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy is in his 20s. Girl is in her 70s. They both like to attend funerals. Harold and Maude is arguably the best black comedy ever made. This is a film that pokes fun at religion, the military, psychiatry, while asking the question, what exactly does it mean to be alive? It really is a great picture and must be left where it was made, in 1971. There is actually a Facebook group called “Remake Harold and Maude starring Michael Cera and Betty White.” I can’t begin to properly express what a horrible idea this is. Harold And Maude doesn’t need a re-make. Let alone one with Michael Cera and Betty White. Holy crap is that a terrible idea. Cera’s awful high-pitched voice mixed with a face that belongs in the Dudes Who Look Like Lesbians gallery as Harold? Rose Nylund as Maude? Who would even suggest such a thing?
This Bud Cort/Ruth Gordon classic is just fine as is. It doesn’t need to be meddled with in any way. Now, according to IDMB, there has been a remake in France and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but since neither is in English nor released in the states, they don’t count. Let the French do as many knock-offs as they like, just as long as they keep it in France. The point is to keep Hollywood away, not foreigners. A Yugoslavian Harold and Maude might not be so bad. Let’s take a look at scene from the play version… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71_VFwJ6jXk No, I take that back. It would be bad. Very bad.
The Big Lebowski
A White Russian-loving pothead and bowling enthusiast gets mistaken for a millionaire. Through a series of events he finds himself playing detective to a world of full of kidnappers, mean cops, pornographers, and nihilists. The Big Lebowski is a Raymond Chandler pulp novel filtered through a hash pipe. It’s funny, sad, smart and exactly the sort of film the Hollywood reboot machine would latch onto and F’up beyond all recognition. The Big Lebowski is easily the most vulnerable of all the films on this list to be defaced. It’s a movie with a lot of pot smoking in it, something the bean counters at the movie studios know the young kids are still totally into.
Then you have the issue of, Jeff Bridges. Bridges is a fine actor but he will appear in anything and is certainly not above doing new versions of his old movies. No matter how perverted the very notion might me. The man did Tron: Legacy for pity sakes. Also, remember, how TBL ends with the Dude about to become a father? One can see studio execs looking for a project for the latest under 30-year-old they want to foist on America and why not a part as The Dude’s son? Or hell, just re-do the story all over again.
Fortunately, all praise to the Goddess, the Cohen brothers hate this idea. Or at least they do for now. A string of box office flops, a way pricey divorce and an unrevealed coke habit and who knows? They might become more amenable. You think Kevin Smith ever dreamed he’d film Clerks 2? Or 3?
Still, let’s hope they keep to their word. The Big Lebowski is a nice quirky little flick that becomes greater a cinema experience by not having a series of sequels or remakes trailing after it. Please, oh, please let it stay that way
A Clockwork Orange
Speaking of White Russians, this picture’s protagonist also likes his drinks cold and white, only without the booze. Yes, Alex enjoys the simpler things in life like milk, bowler hats and rape. Controversial when it was released in 1971, the idea that any studio would dare take on this project today is wildly unlikely. Thank goodness. Despite claims to the contrary, ACO does not glorify violence. It simply uses the depiction of violence to explore issues of one’s free will. The whole film’s thesis is, can you really be a good person if you’re forced to be?
Surely, a modern version of this movie would miss all the philosophical musings in it and go straight to torture porn. Stanley Kubrick was a gifted artist who used horrific scenes to tell a deeper story. Hacks like Eli Roth use horrific scenes so the 14-year-old in us can get his rocks off. Let us hope that no filmgoers are ever condemned to the hell that would be a new Clockwork Orange.
This is an absurd film to round my list out with. There have been various filmed versions of the world’s most famous sunk ship dating back to 1912 when it sank. There is a 1943 Titanic. There is a 1953 Titanic. There is a 1997 Titanic. Then there is the fact that the 1997 installment currently sits second on the list of highest grossing films of all time. Of course there will be another Titanic movie.
What I’m doing now is putting out the sincere hope to whatever powers can hear me that never ever happen. I don’t know why people have been fascinated by that damn ship over these many years but wouldn’t it great if that fascination died with the 20th century? Enough with that boat! Enough with the unsinkable Molly Brown! Enough with the ship’s chambermaids or stowaways or whatever angle filmmakers want to take to tell this too often told tale. The Titanic is done. It’s kaput. There is nothing new or fresh that anyone can say about a carrier losing a fight with an iceberg. Unless there is plans to tell a story about Bruce Wayne’s great grandfather being on the craft and Mr. Freeze provided the iceberg, I do so want the RMS Titanic to rest in peace.
Joe is the co-host of the Skeptiles podcast, star of his own YouTube channel and a stand up comedian, in other words, he’s horribly poor. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeLewisdixon where he can bore you or offend you depending upon your preference.