Reality Check: Readers Responses

—by , December 22, 2010

This has been a stellar year for record responses on subjects from KISS not being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to Cablevision screwing its customers again. But nothing compares to the spectacular reaction to (THE WIZARD OF OZ REMAKE (NO SHIT) -11/24/10) This is but a minor sample:

This form of rip-off extends even further than the remaking of films. In your recent tirade, you failed to touch on the ever-popular making of really bad movies, based (often very loosely) on books saga or the movie-to-Broadway-musical phenomena. Sacrilege could best describe recent movies that are based on children’s books. The Cat In The Hat, The Grinch (not the cartoon version), Where The Wild Things Are (and the list goes on). Is it Hollywood (the business) playing it safe with tried and true moneymakers or have we truly run out of innovative ideas?

On the other hand, we may have to face the fact that the youth of today, the bread and butter of sales in the industry, demand hyped up versions of their Daddy’s classics. They couldn’t care less about Hitchcock’s use of camera angles or Ford’s use of sweeping panoramic vistas. You can show a film of Paul Newman taking a dump, but there damn well better be some 3-D explosions involved. You can’t even blame this on the kids. We have primed them to expect the flash of lights and chest pounding explosions. After the first Star Wars, there was no turning back. You can say that it’s somewhat of a “we-made-our-bed-now we-have-to lie-in-it” situation.

I don’t think that repackaging classic movies bothers the kids as much as it upsets the adults. Our lives have reached the summit and some of us are even beginning the descent. We (the children of the ‘80s) are recognizing our mortality and unlike the generations before us, we are finding out that we have little to reflect on. To hold close the memories of the movies that shaped our lives seems natural. Many people who are now in their 40s will admit that television and modern cinema shaped their lives. To us, the classics are our oldest and truest friends. To see them altered in any way threatens our perception concerning the very structure of our existence. We (the new old people) need to release our death grip on what has or has not been created in Hollywood.

Let the kids have their version. My parents couldn’t understand why I wanted to watch Tony Orlando and Dawn instead of The Lawrence Welk Show. Whatever their reason, let Hollywood reinvent the wheel. I’ll still stick with the original Great Escape.

—Peter Saveskie

I have never been soooo glad that Warner Bros, laid me off! Now I can say that I have NOTHING to do with these idiots!

—Jeannette Lacey

I hear if you smoke jimson weed and listen to Justin Bieber, it’s timed perfectly for watching Battlefield Earth.

—Doctor

Hollywood puts in a great deal of vigorous effort to avoid creating anything new. How many Saw movies do we need? Why are there so many French (let alone other nationalit­y’s) movies reworked for American audiences? It never stops. The high stakes in the box office actually makes the industry afraid to make something new, so we get crap like the GI Joe movie.

—CTD Falconer

James, count me in as one who can’t wait to see the new Oz. I’ve long gotten past anything being sacred: Beatle songs used for adverts, the advent of interleague baseball, the Presidency being sullied by sex scandal, it’s all been done, so why not this? As many people know, there were a few Oz books, so like the amazingly produced Lord of the Rings flicks, or the not so great Narnia crap, a new Oz saga has potential to rival anything George Lucas did. Why not? It might be awesome, and if it ain’t, we can still always throw in the classic that we know our kids will love forever like us.

—Buzz

They already remade the Wizard Of Oz, see The Wiz.

—Jason Ball

What’s next? A re-make of Citizen Kane with Zac Efron as Kane?

—JJGG5

There are countless stories waiting to be turned into movies, but due to the risk of failure, the cost of buying the story from the writer or publisher, the studios will just keep remaking the stuff they own the copyright to and have built in audiences.­ They will keep doing this because people keep going. The only solution is to stop and to encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same Just because they made the movie doesn’t mean we gotta go see it.

—tengutoo

Sure the ’39 film is a Hollywood classic, one can’t dispute that.

But I don’t think it’s right to enshrine it as the only document that should be allowed to exist, particular­ly since the source material is a book that preceded it by forty years. Someone thinks they can make a better version of Dracula? Go for it, I’d love to see the end product. Coppola had some interestin­g results.

I was as enchanted by the ’39 film as a child as anyone else – but then I grew up. Now (and this is coming from a gay man, mind you) I can’t bear to sit through it anymore. If someone wants to attempt a different interpreta­tion, I say have at it, though I question the choice of Zemeckis as director, I’d be much more interested if it were someone more visionary, perhaps from the art world, and maybe with a bit of a darker sensibilit­y (and NOT Burton!)

—J. Randy

Must Hollywood destroy every classic?

Godzilla
Planet of the Apes

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Frankenste­in (the one in which Robert De Nero actually sucked as an actor)

The Invasion

The Pink Panther (sorry Steve Martin, though I think you’re great, you are no Peter Sellers!)

So many, many more…

Not to mention that hack Rob Zombie ruining all those perfectly good horror movies.

Next, some lame art-school reject will remake the Mona Lisa using Crayolas, bottle caps, macaroni and Elmer’s glue sprinkled with glitter!

(Note to self: In case of crappy art emergency.­.. insert finger into throat, induce vomiting, gouge out eyeballs with button-hoo­k, use same button-hoo­k to puncture eardrums. Relax and enjoy!)

STOP THE MADNESS!

—Alien Pet 13

It’s A Wonderful Life with Josh Duhamel as George Bailey and Sean Penn as Mr. Potter.

—antaeus

I’d love to see Tim Burton direct this one. I think Johnny Depp would make a great Dorothy.

—Kevin McCormic

The thing that galls me about Hollywood in a situation like this is their utterly blind contempt for the sensibilities of their patrons, old and new. Old movies, whether they are iconic or moronic, have a cool vibe about them that a lot of us love. They’re like vintage wines that get better – or funnier – with age. If Hollywood were a winery they’d be tossing out 100 year old stock for piss water created two weeks ago and whose only wow factor is a cool 3D logo – hold it one way and it’s an HD version of Napa Valley – hold it the other way and it’s Sponge Bob getting his junk sucked by a bruise-riddled whore on the Sunset Strip.

—Ken Eustace

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus, and Midnight For Cinderella.


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