First off, anyone who has not seen The Sopranos, watch it. All the episodes are FREE on HBOGo with any HBO subscription. That being said:
What? It’s over? Is my cable out? That can’t be the end. Can it?
These are just a few of the thoughts that went through millions of fan’s minds as they watched the series finale of The Sopranos on HBO on June 10th, 2007. I was one of them. I had not seen all of The Sopranos at the time (my parents understandably would not let me) but it was too big of an event to miss. My family and I sat down together to watch it, and even though I did not fully understand the events leading up to the ending, I will never forget the first time I watched the final scene.
Tony Soprano’s (James Gandolfini) worries are over. The war between the families has ceased and his biggest enemy, Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent) will be having his closed casket funeral in the coming days. He has nothing to worry about right? Then why is he so uneasy? The door rings as customers enter, and the ring catches Tony’s attention and eyesight every time. The tension of the scene gets me every single time. It does not matter who enters everyone is a threat. Who knew that “Don’t Stop Believing” could feel so menacing?
As Tony, Carmela and AJ sit and talk Tony’s attention is continuously elsewhere. Why does that guy keep looking over? Why is that couple talking so loud? Who are the thug looking guys coming into a family restaurant? The brilliance of this last scene cannot be understated. It even includes two separate references to the two different times that Tony has been shot during the series; the two times he was closest to death. These references are subtle without throwing it right into the viewer’s face. The man who keeps looking over is wearing a Member’s Only jacket, which would be fashionable if it were 1987. However, some Soprano’s fans will remember “Member’s Only” is also the name of the episode in which Tony’s Uncle Junior shoots him, leading to Tony’s coma. Also, the two thug looking African Americans who walk into the restaurant could be in reference to when Tony is nearly killed by two similarly dressed African Americans in the episode “Isabella.” While there are plenty of other shots of people in the restaurant, these are the two that Tony seems to be focused on the most. Meadow finally gets to the restaurant and cannot seem to parallel park her car, which is by far the most intense parallel parking scene of all time (clearly something to be proud of). The Member’s Only guy trudges past the table and goes to the bathroom. Oh no, she’s going to walk in just as the guy comes out of the bathroom and shoots Tony. That’s what I was thinking, as I realized I cared about these characters despite seeing very few episodes at the time. One last ring of the door, one last look up from Tony, and one last Don’t Stop from Journey and…its over. No gunshot, no arrest, it was simply over.
What would you have preferred? Would you have wanted Tony to be shot in the back of the head with his family sitting there followed with a fade to black? Would you have wanted Tony on trial or in an orange jumpsuit behind bars? The ambiguous ending is not a “cop out” as many would argue. Instead it reinforces exactly what the entire series is all about. The mob has its advantages, and has been glorified for years by film, however it is not as glamorous as The Godfather might have you believe. Tony Soprano always gets what he wants; however he is never happy, in fact he is continually depressed. Maybe this business is not what its all hyped up to be. Tony has won; his “associates” have finally disposed of Phil Leotardo, however he cannot sit still. Tony knows for the rest of his life, he will be constantly looking over his shoulder; there is nowhere he can hide. Does it really matter if he died right then and there in the diner as the screen abruptly went black? No, it’s the tension of the scene and his uncomfortable demeanor that are important, Tony will not feel completely safe ever again, even at dinner with his family.
The ending is still debated on to this day, which in my opinion is exactly what David Chase (the show’s creator) wanted. Whether good or bad reviews people are still talking about it, over five years later, what more could you ask for from a finale of a landmark show? The finale may have left a lot of viewers feeling underwhelmed, however, would those same viewers still think and ask question about the show had it ended in a clearer fashion? No, they probably would have just panned it and been done with it.
The defense rests.
Oscar Sunday has always been like a second Superbowl Sunday for me. While no event can out do the Superbowl as a spectacle, the Academy Awards are close for me. I agree the Oscars are a little over the top, perhaps outdated and may not always get it right in the public’s opinion, but there is no higher honor in filmmaking than winning an Academy Award. Here are just a few of the awards that I would give out based on my knowledge and interest in the Oscars.
Best Oscar Acceptance Speeches:
Joe Pesci: “Its my privilege, thank you” Simple and to the point, perfect.
Woody Allen: Has not been in person for any of the three Oscars he has won, the only time he showed up was in 2002 for a 9/11 tribute. I respect that.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon: Whether or not they each contributed an equal amount to the script is something people constantly question, however you cannot deny their pure excitement as they accept their Oscar.
Best Reaction to Presenting an Award:
2005 Jack Nicholson: “Crash…Wow”
Terribly Egregious Upsets:
Ordinary People over Raging Bull
Ordinary People is a fine movie, but best picture over Raging Bull? C’mon man. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert both picked Raging Bull to be their choice of the best movie of the 1980s, the entire decade and it did not even win best picture in its individual year, ridiculous. Raging Bull is arguably Scorsese’s best film, (Id say Goodfellas) yet this was just one of the many times Marty was overlooked by the Academy until they finally gave him his due in 2006:
Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan
This upset for some reason, I take personally. It a travesty to think a movie like Shakespeare in Love would win over Saving Private Ryan. I’ve seen Shakespeare in Love once and was fine with it, Saving Private Ryan I am willing to watch almost every time it is on. The Academy gave Spielberg the Best Director for Saving Private Ryan, however that does not make up for the fact that his film was head and shoulders better than Shakespeare in Love. You may argue that as two very different styled and themed films that they are like apples and oranges. However, in my opinion its as simple as this, the history of modern cinema cannot be written/discussed completely without mentioning Saving Private Ryan, and Shakespeare in Love is easily forgettable in the same discussion.
1975 Best Director
I know many of you are probably tired of hearing me talk about Jaws, but how is Spielberg not even a nominee for Best Director in 1975? The filming went so overscheduled that he was nearly fired, and he still came up with a masterpiece. That’s its for Jaws and Spielberg, I swear.
Best Years of Best Picture Nominees:
1994:Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, The Shawkshank Redemption, Quiz Show, Four Weddings and a Funeral
Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, and Shawshank Redemption are three movies that are already classics in American cinema. While I believe Forrest Gump to be the weakest cinematically of the three (even though it won), they are all consistently re-watchable, especially Gump. Quiz Show and Four Weddings and a Funeral round out this year as very solid fourth and fifth nominees.
Pulp Fiction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWmRTjLRMfU
1976:Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, All the President’s Men, Bound for Glory
Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, and All the President’s Men are movies that will be remembered for a long time, and thats really all that has to be said. I have never seen or heard of Bound for Glory, however the strength of the other four films make up for that.
2009: Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, The Hurt Locker, District 9, An Education, A Serious Man, The Blind Side, Up, Precious
This is perhaps one of the most diverse groups of movies ever nominated for best picture. 2009 was the first year that the Academy switched back to their old way of having ten nominees (instead of five) for Best Picture, leading to some unique nominations. In previous years, movies like Up, District 9, or The Blind Side would not have been nominated, but I do not think it makes this year weaker. In fact, it makes 2009 strong because of its diversity.
Iglourious Basterds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xgj1Csnr_w
Best Decade of Best Picture Winners:
Without a doubt it is the 1970s: Patton, The French Connection, The Godfather, The Sting, The Godfather Part II, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall. The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs Kramer in that order by year. I cannot pick one movie out of this group to be the weak link, thats how good of a field it is.
I see the 1990s as a distant second with: Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, Unforgiven, Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love (Saving Private Ryan really was though), and American Beauty in that order by year.
Random Last Thought for the Conspiracy Theorists Out There:
The first Oscar ceremony was held in 1928 and honored Wings as its Best Picture, which was the only silent movie to win. However, as of yesterday, The Artist became the second Best Picture winner to be a silent film. If the Mayans are correct and the world does end on December 21st, 2012 the first and last Best Picture winners will have been silent films. Random I know, its just how I think.
Thanks for reading.
Recently Bill Simmons, renowned sports/pop culture blogger, wrote an article about the use of the term “movie star” and how an actor such as Ryan Reynolds (his example) is not really a movie star no matter how much Hollywood wants him to be. I want to take this idea and shift its focus towards Will Ferrell, an actor who has not gotten the respect he deserves. Will Ferrell gets less respect because he is a comedic actor and uses over-the-top characters and antics to make audiences laugh. Now few can deny that Ferrell is, in fact, a star—but just how big of a star is he?
Ferrell started off with a couple of solid supporting roles in popular movies such as Zoolander (which became much more popular thanks to high DVD sales), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (if you’re a Kevin Smith fan you love it; if not, you probably hate it) and Old School as the now famous Frank “The Tank.” All of those movies had solid box office takes with Old School doing the best, however, it was not until Elf that Ferrell proved he could be a legitimate leading man as the movie took in nearly 200 million domestically alone. Since then Ferrell’s career hit its low points with four movies in a row that failed to reach 100 million from 2005-2006 (Kicking & Screaming, Bewitched, The Producers, Curious George and Stranger than Fiction) but after coming back with Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory—back to back megahits— he proved he had staying power.
Now I am not here to simply praise Will Ferrell for doing a good job maintaining stardom. However, it is important to note that Ferrell is technically a bigger box office draw than some of Hollywood’s most famous actors. George Clooney is, and always has been, considered one of, if not the biggest actor in the business. However, is he really anymore of a star than Ferrell? Since 2001 (the year Will Ferrell started getting bigger/leading roles in movies) Ferrell’s box office gross is 1726.1 million, which is over 300 million more than Clooney’s 1402.5 million over that same time period. Now you may be saying that Clooney is more of a serious actor than Will Ferrell and takes roles that are more about the acting than making money, but the fact remains that as a movie star (perhaps the biggest on the planet) you would think that Clooney would be able to out draw Ferrell. Clooney’s numbers also inflated due to big box office draws from movies such as the Spy Kids (110.8million) and its sequel Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (111.7million) in which his total screen time is probably less than five minutes. (Perhaps doing a favor for longtime collaborator Robert Rodriguez?)
Will Smith is also considered to be one of the biggest names in Hollywood but, like Clooney, he is not on the same level of box office success as Ferrell. Since 2001, Ferrell has out grossed Smith by nearly 100 million dollars. Now the same parameters that applied to Clooney do not apply to Smith as he does not only do quality movies. His last nine films: Seven Pounds, Hancock, I am Legend, The Pursuit of Happiness, Hitch, I, Robot, Shark Tale, Bad Boys II, Men in Black II have nearly all (with the exception of Seven Pounds) made well over 100 million at the box office and yet only The Pursuit of Happiness can really be considered a “good” movie. Sure the action and comedy in Bad Boys II is great, but it’s still utterly ridiculous and over the top (thank you Michael Bay).
Will Ferrell may never win an Oscar, but I am tired of hearing about him not being a legitimate actor. His job is to make audiences laugh, which is exactly what he does. Even if you personally do not find him funny, his 1726.1 million in box office revenue since 2001says that masses of people go to see his movies and enjoy them. The critics may not like some of his movies, but then again it’s tough to make some of the uptight film elitist laugh, I mean they only gave Step Brothers a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes— C’mon man!
With that said, here is my take on Will Ferrell movies, including clips:
Step Brothers- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5aaGXKlUKs
I could not choose between these two as far as which one is more quotable, how could anyone?
Kicking and Screaming- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry1tNGC6npg
This movie may be the funniest PG movie that I have ever seen, the back and fourth between Ferrell and Mike Ditka is just flat out hysterical.
Should have been better:
Land of the Lost- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiCDnG_AdmA
Ferrell and Danny McBride together in a big budget remake of a beloved TV show, seems like an automatic comedic hit right? Instead we are left thinking what could have been.
Over the Top Characters:
Chazz Michael Michaels (Blades of Glory)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUiQkApDQoE&feature=related
Jackie Moon (Semi Pro)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJVF7fWZRMg&feature=related
Let me be clear, nearly all of Will Ferrell’s characters are over the top but these two are just ridiculous. However, even though they are over the top characters, they are both hilarious.
Didn’t know how to categorize but needed to mention it:
The Other Guys- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4wykeJBHdE
I could watch this movie over and over and still laugh, there are too many funny performances by the plethora of different actors in this movie to even list here.
Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP-WJLwAwFU
Wedding Crashers- Chazz Reinhold
Even though he’s only in the movie for a few minutes Ferrell’s cameo is as memorable as any other part of the film.
Ricky Bobby (Talladega Nights)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A0-u85aAYg&feature=related
Frank “the Tank”(Old School)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oeeXnBn00Q&feature=related
Hard to narrow down to just one, but these two characters stand out.
If you did not laugh at one (or all) of those clips, then there is no pleasing you. The fact remains that Will Ferrell is one of the biggest draws in Hollywood, and he is not going anywhere anytime soon.
What is a romantic comedy? By definition and name it is simply a blend of romantic movies based on the idea of finding true love and one’s “soulmate” and comedic movies, which are, suppose to make the audience laugh. However, what qualifies as a romantic comedy? Is a romantic comedy any movie that has romantic elements in it? The definition would say yes, however we all know this is not really the case. Nearly all comedies have some romantic themes with at least one love interest for the main character. But where is this proverbial line drawn? Does this mean comedies like Wedding Crashers, Knocked Up, are really romantic comedies because of their emphasis on love and relationships? On one level I would say yes, however the comedy in these types of films is not centered around the romance, as they set out to make the audience laugh and keep laughing. The romance tropes in these films are used as a device to keep the plot moving and to keep the audience in-between punch lines.
Nonetheless, romantic comedies commonly fall into the problem of becoming too formulaic, and too similar to their predecessors. Man deceives woman into loving him, she finds out that he deceived her and they break up, their love overcomes his lie and they live happily ever after. (With some comedy sprinkled in of course). Now that formula can probably be applied to hundreds of romantic comedies, so why does Hollywood keep peddling the same recycled plot at us, the viewers? The answer as always is money, as romantic comedies generally do not cost that much to make as they rarely involve a lot of CGI or expensive action sequences and for the most part make more than the cost of their production. Also, for the most part the action romantic comedy has not panned out for example, Knight and Day, The Killers both had high production costs coupled with disappointing box office success (not to mention both were widely panned by critics). However, romantic comedies should test boundaries without going too far. The romantic comedies that are able to diverge from stereotype without going too are the ones that stand out. They are able to subvert genre on one level, yet keep similar overall structure to capture the success of the genre. Here are some of my favorite films that I think successfully subvert the rom-com genre in a way that makes them worth noting:
Chasing Amy (1997):
As a proud resident of New Jersey/big Kevin Smith fan I will admit that I am bias, but there is no denying this film. It challenges this genre stereotypes as Holdie Mcneil (Ben Affleck) attempts to turn an out of the closet lesbian Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) straight as he falls in love with her. The deception lies with the female lead character in this case and (SPOILER) in the end the two characters do not wind up together living happily ever after as their differences are too much for them to overcome.
Box Office: $12,006,514
You’ve Got Mail (1998):
I know what some of you may be saying. You’ve Got Mail is like any other romantic comedy. However, at the time (1998) the idea of meeting and getting to know someone online and through e-mail was completely unique. The film is successful in its ability to show this (odd at the time) way of interacting with a possible lover well before Mark Zuckerberg even enrolled at Harvard. Also, the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan works in this movie as well as Sleepless in Seattle, another classic romantic comedy.
Box Office: $115,731,542
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008):
Jason Segal’s writing/starring debut explores what most romantic comedies don’t, what happens after a big break up. The writing is great in its subtle hilarity and the performances by Segal and Russell Brand as the now famous Aldous Snow (as well as the performances by the rest of the cast) make it in my opinion the most successful Judd Apatow production. (It is the only one that led to a spin off). The audience is able to feel Peter’s (Jason Segal) pain and enjoys the comedic ride as he gets over Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) once and for all.
Box Office: $62,877,175
These films show that a subversion of genre can be successful (all made much more than their budget) and proves that the audiences do not want to see the same thing over and over again. If you have not seen these films, I really suggest that you see all three, they are all worth watching…. repeatedly.
Thank you for reading.
Sports have been an important facet of film for quite some time. While many sports films have become clichéd thanks to the abundance of them, audiences continue to enjoy them. I know I am going to catch some flack for not including some peoples favorite sports movies (i.e. Field of Dreams, Remember the Titans) but here is my list of my favorite sports movies broken down by individual sport. Let me reiterate that I am not claiming that these movies are the best, they are simply my favorites.
Boxing: The Rocky Series.
While, Raging Bull is one of my favorite films and is cinematically better than any of the Rocky films, I have to go with the Italian Stallion on this one. I have seen all six Rocky films multiple times and enjoy each of them (yes even Rocky V).
Quote: Rocky III:
Reporter: What’s your prediction for the fight?
Clubber Lang (Mr. T): Pain.
Scene: Rocky IV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzDDJm27vmc
Honorable Mentions: When We Were Kings, Raging Bull
Basketball: Tie. He Got Game, White Men Can’t Jump
He Got Game and White Men Cant Jump are not conventional basketball movies, as they do not focus on basketball that much. While each has basketball as a main theme the characters problems/lives are much more important than the game itself. Denzel Washington and Ray Allen anchor He Got Game with great emotional performances, while the interplay between Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson in White Men Can’t Jump is simply wonderful.
Quotes: He Got Game:
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Basketball is like poetry in motion, cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he’s fallin’ back, then just J right in his face. Then you look at him and say, “What?”
White Men Can’t Jump:
Sidney Deane: You see Billy it’s like this, you either smoke or you get smoked. And you got smoked.
Scenes: He Got Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGW-36kQzNo
White Men Can’t Jump: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78A7SMZx4A4&feature=related
Honorable Mentions: Hoosiers, Space Jam
Couldn’t leave this Space Jam clip out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWeII9xkTnw
Hockey: D2: The Mighty Ducks.
Sure it’s a Disney kids movie, but I still watch it anytime I see it on TV. Sure those terrible hockey players like Les Averman would have never made Team USA. Sure, its basically a direct copy of the story of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, but who cares? It’s a great story. I have seen this movie close to one hundred times and if it were on right now I would watch it again.
Wolf “The Dentist” Stanson: “Team USA is going down! That’s where they’re going….See you on the ice Bombay”
Honorable Mentions: Slap Shot, Miracle, The Mighty Ducks
Baseball: Major League
Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes), Pedro Cerano (President David Palmer from 24/The Progressive Guy), Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) and Harry Doyle (Bob Uecker) what more could you ask for?
Pedro Cerrano: Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.
Honorable Mentions: The Sandlot, 61*, Bull Durham
Football: Friday Night Lights
Pete Berg’s gritty realistic film about high school football in Texas and how important it is to their community. The football scenes are great and the interwoven stories of both white and black teenagers who have to deal with the expectation to win the state championship or die trying are extremely engaging. Also, SPOILER they lose in the end, which teaches them that football is not everything even when you lose, life goes on.
Coach Gary Gaines: Gentlemen, the hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter again in your life as much as you do right now.
Honorable Mentions: Varsity Blues, The Longest Yard(original), North Dallas Forty (check it out if you haven’t heard of it), Some parts of Any Given Sunday
Made up Sport: BASEketball
This Trey Parker and Matt Stone (co-creators of South Park) movie is a great satire of sports in general as well as sports films. Its great not only for its satire but also for the raunchy and no holds barred humor that Parker and Stone have become known for.
Remer: All right, dude, listen to me carefully. Do you think Shaq got rich playing in Orlando?
Coop: No, he got rich playing in college. Everyone knows that.
Documentary: Hoop Dreams
While Documentary is not a type of sport I could not leave Hoop Dreams off of this list. It closely follows two Chicago teen basketball prodigies whom strive to make the NBA as they struggle with life as well as basketball. It’s a must watch for anyone who likes the game of basketball.
William Gates: People always say to me, when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me. Well, I should’ve said back, if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me.
Thats the list. Caddyshack is the best golf movie hands down so I did not even feel the need to put it. If you have comments, questions you can either write on the link on facebook or submit them in the submit topics section. Thanks for reading.
I was extremely excited to see that Psycho was playing on HBO recently as I was flipping through the guide on my TV. However, this excitement was turned into serious disappointment for as I was expecting to see Anthony Perkins’ creepy grin I instead only saw Vince Vaughn’s receding hairline. Why would anyone make a remake of this movie? Gus Van Sant is a great director and has made plenty of great movies, but it takes some serious balls and delusions of grandeur in thinking that he could out do the great Alfred Hitchcock in one of his best works. Vince Vaughn? Seriously? I want to know who sat down during casting and thought hmmm is Vince Vaughn available? He’d certainly make a perfect Norman Bates. False. Im not a Vince Vaughn hater like some people I know, I think hes hilarious in the right situation of a movie, yet I find him most hilarious in the remake of Psycho. All the things that made Anthony Perkins seem crazy and scary is just laughable when Vaughn attempts it. This guy simply is not scary. This remake is also a shot for shot remake of the original. Now this leads to my main reason why remakes are never a good idea. The new film can never win.
A shot for shot remake means that the remake is exactly the same story and action of the original down to the last shot. Now this means that the main difference is the actors themselves. There is no room for the director to show their own skills instead they are basically copying the work of a previous director. Whats the point? Its the same thing as the original…literally. But on the other hand if a movie is good enough to get a remake why would you ever change it? Either way the new movie is screwed.
MY TOP 5 TERRIBLE REMAKES:
1King Kong (1931) King Kong (2005)
The 2005 Peter Jackson mega-budget film had plenty of action yet the movie simply dragged on too long, I fell asleep the first time I saw it in the theaters and have never been able to sit through the whole thing.
And this ice skating scene is both unnecessary and ridiculous: http://movieclips.com/rcH3h-king-kong-movie-ice-skating-in-central-park/
Planet of the Apes (1968) Planet of the Apes (2001)
Tim Burton ruined a great thing. This film is completely different than the original and does not even include the most important and iconic scene from the original. I wish Charlton Heston would have gone to the premiere and said, “You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah damn you! God damn you all to hell!” instead of participating in this film. I know a lot of people who like this movie and I am in no way a film elitist the original is so great and the new one is just so ehhhhh.
Plus the ending of the original is just perfect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31QUOUxqz2M
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) , Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Tim Burton continues to ruin great things. What a weird film. The remake was suppose to be closer to the book rather than the original movie. But everyone loved the original movie. Why mess with it? Gene Wilder’s greatness in the original is traded in for Johnny Depp’s sheer creepiness.
No Mr. Depp you as Willy Wonka is REALLY weird.
House of Wax(1953), House of Wax (2005)
I have never even seen the original but I know it had to be better than the remake. The movie is not scary, just really weird. The best part is seeing Paris Hilton get impailed in the forehead while wearing nothing but her underwear. Why was I not surprised?
The Death of Paris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwhGy_1_GA0
Psycho (1960), Psycho (1998)
For the reasons mentioned above.
Why is it that Hollywood feels the need to remake movies that are great? If it aint broke…dont fix it. Where is the creativity? There is no need to try to improve where someone else has already succeeded. I understand that there are successful remakes but in the end remakes will forever be compared to the original there is not way for that film to be considered a completely new and independent success.
So my answer to the title question: Why remake a classic? Don’t.
Anyone who has ever had a conversation about film with me probably knows that my favorite movie of all time is Jaws (1975). I could go into a long detailed explanation as to why it is my favorite, but I am not going to do that. Instead one thing that I find extremely interesting about Jaws is that it was the first major film about a shark and its success in the box office or critically has never been close to being equaled. The sequels tried and completely failed. While, Jaws 2 has one of my favorite taglines ever (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”) and hung on to Roy Schieder to reprise his role of Chief Brody it failed on many levels. It was successful at the box office mostly feeding off the success of the first one but it’s not nearly as good of a movie without Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. However, because of Jaws 2’s success at the box office the studio felt they needed to try sharks in 3-D so they put out Jaws 3-D, which once again was a disaster of a movie even with a young budding star in Dennis Quiad. And yet, none of the previous three could have prepared audiences for the atrocious Jaws: The Revenge. The idea of this film at least as far as I am concerned is that another great white shark arrives in Amity and kills Danny Brody then follows Ellen Brody (Chief Brodys wife) when she goes down to the Bahamas to visit her other son, Michael. Allow this idea to sink in. Crazy, I know.
In my opinion (and im not alone) each of the movies declined in quality after the original. Why is this? It is not due to lack of budget as the original Jaws had a measly eight million dollar budget (around 34 million in today’s world), which is nothing, compared to big-budget action films of the present. Perhaps it is because no one wanted to challenge the greatness of the original film. How could anyone truly duplicate its success? Instead in the 35 years or so since Jaws audiences have had to bare witness to one horrible film after another. Even looking outside of the Jaws saga there is nothing really out there except for poorly done low budget films like Shark Attack and Meglaodon and all of their terrible sequels. And sure Deep Blue Sea is a larger budget studio film that is thrilling and fun, but its not a good movie. I’ve seen Deep Blue Sea many times and yes it is entertaining but mostly for how ridiculous it is. Why would anyone under any circumstances make sharks smarter? The answer is they wouldn’t for fear the sharks would turn on them and eat them, which is (you guessed it) exactly what happens. However, Deep Blue Sea does get points for having Ladies Love Cool James (LL Cool J) as a black guy who survives a horror type of movie. Will there ever be a good Shark movie again? Probably not.
Here are a few of my favorite TERRIBLE Shark movie scenes:
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. I wonder how the makers of this film were able to keep a straight face while editing this.
Jaws 3-D. Im pretty sure this scene didnt look good even in 3-D.
Jaws: The Revenge. Why is this shark roaring?
Deep Blue Sea. I love this scene. Samuel L. Jackson making an important speech everything is going to be alright from this point on right? Nope.