October 27, 2002 |
There are no new stories, goes the Hollywood adage. Joseph Campbell laid out a finite series of archetypes; Shakespeare stole from his predecessors and contemporaries. But this month, the studios have counted on audiences to become complete amnesiacs with six movie remakes. While some critics carped, moviegoers haven't seemed to mind that "Red Dragon," the prequel to "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris, had been filmed previously (by Michael Mann as "Manhunter" in 1986).
July 14, 2009 |
Everyone knows that there's often less than six degrees of separation among most celebrities in Hollywood, but if you ever wanted to stump your film-buff friends with a great trivia question, just try this one on for size: What do writer-director Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption"), Johnny Depp, Peter Jackson, Iggy Pop, writer-director Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential"), Hollywood novelist Bruce Wagner, director Chuck Russell ("The Mask") and producer Michael De Luca have in common?
December 20, 1999 |
It's a good bet that steel magnate Andrew Carnegie never anticipated that whales would fly in the famous concert hall named for him, nor a pink flamingo play yo-yo. But after a reminiscence from Roy Disney--"It was over 60 years ago that I first heard my Uncle Walt talk about his vision"--a packed house here even saw another era's most well-known Donald, the quacking one, help save the world on Noah's Ark. The longest delayed movie sequel on record finally had its premiere.
December 2, 2001 |
Maybe I missed something amid the five Emmy Award acceptance speeches, or the audible sobbing of grown men in front of their televisions, or the jet-fuel ignition of two young acting careers heading for higher altitude. Because after the country took its first look at "Brian's Song," in its original incarnation 30 years ago, I don't recall anyone saying, "How about a do-over?" What, Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers didn't quite nail that speech at the awards banquet?
March 31, 2004 |
In a business where imitation trumps originality, remakes rule. Desperate producers have regularly raided the vaults in a most-often futile effort to seize a sure thing. There have been multiple versions of "Mutiny on the Bounty," "The Prisoner of Zenda" and "King Solomon's Mines," to name just a few. But the coming months will see the largest number of high-profile remakes ever to hit theaters in one concentrated period.
October 9, 2007 |
"The Heartbreak Kid's" meager opening (it grossed just $14 million, not even winning the weekend) wasn't the kind of bellwether Hollywood was looking for. Over the next several months, the studios will flood the multiplex with a dozen other prominent (and often pricey) remakes. The thinking behind the remake is pretty straightforward, but the fact is, remakes are far from a sure thing. For every "3:10 to Yuma" hit remake, there's an "All the King's Men" dud.