Sorry, dear readers (of whom now most of you are dead, since it has been years since I’ve written anything, and I was always most popular among the restaurant patrons of Conrad’s in Pasadena) for my absence: I have been doing a “real” writing gig now for some time in a magazine and on a website–er, not this website, but, like, the kind that pays. I’ve also been involved in a heavy amount of relationship turmoil, less than moderate drug usage, sex in the bathrooms of various shady hotels, growing increasingly ashamed of my creeping baldness… in other words, some heavy personal shit has gone down, dear friends, and I’ve been drawn away from my contributions here.
And I apologize also to God and the world, because it was not the turmoil in the Middle East, nor Obama’s complete lack of talent, nor the Birthers and Tea Partiers and their contribution to the complete collapse of the U.S. as a major player on the world stage, nor the impending environmental catastrophe(s) that even now threaten to sink islands and shrivel Lake Mead so that California has no power and the punkers have to have generator shows or nothing–no, none of these things that drew me back to this fair website.
NAY! The thing that got my dander all dandery and forced me to type was the evil of Hollywood. It’s obvious and so American, but I can’t help myself–the decade-plus trend in movie-making, and TV shows, and greeting cards, carousel design, stapler naming, etc, of making EVERYTHING a remake of something else, has gotten so ridiculous that now it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. We all know that eventually a Three Stooges remake is going to come out, and a Ferris Bueller remake, and a Serpico remake, and a Rainbow Brite remake, and a Ghostbusters remake, and some kind of remake of everything that has ever been a movie, or a cartoon, or a video game, a lunchbox, and… GHHAHAAAA!!!!
If we’re lucky, they just disembowel a classic like the Blues Brothers with an unnecessary but easily forgotten sequel, but even that slightly tasteful avenue of brand recycling, the late-era sequel, seems to have been replaced by full-fledged repeats.
And we’ve gotten used to it. Even this fair writer has said things like “Whoa, I don’t think this remake of Dawn of the Dead is that bad, if you just measure it on its own standards. There’s still a mall…”
I mean, there was a time when remakes now and then were done, and some of them were really good. The Wizard of Oz version I saw every year as a kid was a remake of an older movie, fer chrissakes. Hitchcock remade one of his own films. And in recent years, some pretty decent directors, e.g. Peter Jackson, have taken a hand at remaking classics such as King Kong and done an okay job, as have the directors and actors in Star Trek. Or so I’ve told myself…
But HOLY FUCK, WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY REMAKING ARTHUR?!? Is this what I’m supposed to find funny?
Now, the original Arthur actually is not the best movie in the world. Let’s take it as a fact that Dudley Moore was a funny, funny guy, who had a pet project that was not completely funny, nor was his main character sympathetic–and the same can be said for Liza Minelli as the love interest. Yet there was an originality there, and a uniquely interesting sadness that somehow even makes Christopher Cross seem less ridiculous than a punker like me should feel. You don’t always want to watch it, but it’s hard not to respect it, and feel nostalgic for it, and to feel for the characters, even view it as Dudley Moore’s finest work.
And the other side of the tragedy here is that Russell Brand as the lead is really funny in almost any role you put him in! He’s not the perfect person or the perfect actor, but he does have talent, and when you stick him in a comedic role, you generally are guaranteed to get a couple guffaws if not full yuk-yuks!
So WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU SPOIL A CLASSIC MOVIE? Ah ah ah ah AAAAAHHHH [bangs head on table].
We live in moronic times. The retards are now driving the short bus.