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80's Remakes Galore!

Baxter
21 Comments

Posted December 4, 2008 - By Joseph Baxter

The Hollywood Reporter has announced THREE remakes: Arthur (1981), Romancing the Stone (1984), and They Live (1988).

Now, I am by no means a knee-jerk "anti-remake" purist. Do it right, and I'm fine with it. However, when the news hit today, of this barrage of 80's remakes, it was enough to overwhelm even the most hardcore 80's-obsessed fanboy such as myself.

Russel Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Embarrassing himself on MTV) is apparently very interested in Arthur. The role calls for someone to play a dumb, drunken, spoiled playboy, who depends on his faithful butler to do almost everything (and possibly including) wiping his backside. Actually, not a shot against Brand, but I can actually see him working quite well in that role. Of the three announced remakes, this one has the best shot at working.

Then there's Romancing the Stone. (Fodder for a million "porno name" jokes.) It was a watershed romantic comedy that set standards for most future action/adventure/romance celebrity vehicles. Michael Douglas a the hard-edged leading man, Kathleen Turner (just a few years removed from the legendary scenes of Body Heat) is here was a shy, inhibited, and reluctant leading lady. Throw in Danny DeVito for comic relief, and a unique chemistry is created that drove the film. So then...how do you remake THAT? It's not so much the story as it was the on-screen chemistry that drove the success of this film and its sequel. **Sigh** Moving on...

And finally, They Live. A classic combination of "kick-assery" and subtle political satire. Wrestler Roddy Piper would never shine brighter as he combated a world taken over by aliens, whose disguise he could only see through with a special pair of sunglasses. Many political-types (on both the left and right) love to take this film and prop it up for its vague political messages about the media and its proliferation of obedience. Frankly, I can see a remake that will only eliminate the old-school action and the subtlety of the original's political overtones, turning it into a straight-laced partisan fap-fest, set to the backdrop of over-the-top cgi. (Hey, Over the Top. There's something to remake! Stallone + Arm Wrestling for child custody = Awesomeness.) Anyway, no thanks, guys, we get it already. People are influenced by mass media and government control. The message isn't as new or poignant as one would think. No rape, please. I'll stick to the original.

And so, "Remake-a-Palooza!" continues.

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