"I didn't do the lift..." Yes you did Baby! Yes you did! - this scene still gives me a chill 25 years later

For the most part, I don’t like remakes. Sometimes the original, whether it be campy, sappy, technologically challenged or dated, still manages to hit the mark. So why then does Hollywood insist upon shoving remake after remake down our throats? This does not even include the genre of “let’s make a feature movie out of a bad TV show!” That rarely works. Except the first Brady Bunch movie. I kinda liked that one. A little.

The latest movie in the remake machine is “Dirty Dancing.” Hello? McFly!

Perhaps it’s the film’s previous track record that is churning the Hollywood greed machine to ruin another campy classic. Yes, I said classic. Ok, I’ll admit, “Dirty Dancing” is no “Casablanca,”  but if you ask me, that movie is untouchable. Made for a few million – almost like an indie film these days – the movie grossed over $200 million world-wide. Whether or not you like the movie, you have to admit it had mass appeal.

So rather than find a fresh, new script – and there has to be a million of them out there – these west coast wads want to take Baby, Johnny, and the Mambo and give it a new millennium makeover. Well I say, “BACK OFF!”

Haven’t they learned from past makeover disasters? Listen up Kenny Ortega! Let me give you a list of makeovers that, in my opinion, sucked the big bratwurst:

The Karate Kid – ok, ok. I know this remake did well, but this Will Smith and Family version pissed me off to hell and back again. Twice. I would not take my kids to see it in the theaters and would not even rent the dvd. They had to wait until it was on HBO. I would not willingly fork over one red cent towards the bastardization of a movie I love.

Come on – the original is near perfect! 23 year old Ralph Macchio as 17 year old Daniel LaRusso; Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi “always look eye, Danielson, always look eye”; The bleach blond Cobra Kai gang in relentless pursuit of  Daniel; the sinisterly evil Cobra Kai sensei and really, really bad 80’s music. The flimsy 2010 remake sans any waxing on or off, sucked saki and in my opinion was nothing more than a vehicle to get Will Smith’s kid a hit movie.

Arthur – I will not, will not, will not EVER see the Russel Brand remake of this movie classic.  The 1981 original with Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli and Sir John Geilgud was so incredibly perfect, so wonderfully charming, and so side splittingly funny that Russel Brand deserves to be punished and punished severely. I know, let’s deny him access to Katy Perry’s knockers for 1 day for every frame he shot. That’ll teach him to mess with a classic.

The original is sheer magic from the first scenes with Gloria the hooker, all the way to Bitterman driving a beaten up Arthur and an elated Linda away to start their lives together, starting with a tuna fish sandwich.

The Poseidon Adventure – I doubt there is a single soul out there that prefers the crappy 2005 version to the star-studded, gritty 1972 original. I saw the original at Radio City Musical hall with my mom and sisters, and we recite lines from it to this very day. “How many more lives!” “You had a lot of guts lady. A lot of guts” “ You took from me the only thing I ever loved in the whole world, my Linda. You Killed her!” “To Love, dummy!”  The list is endless. You were rooting for that grizzled gang to see the morning after – but the remake? I would’ve let them sink.

The Out of Towners – Now, I love both Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin, but those two must’ve been taking bong hits the day they thought they could successfully remake this comedy. The 1970 original, starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis is one of the funniest movies ever made, and is near flawless in it’s depiction of the seedier side of New York City. Did Hollywood really think they could get away with this remake? Not on your schweet life.

Clash of the Titans – I became a fan of the 1981 original when they played it almost daily on HBO. Harry Hamlin was a total big lipped hunk as Persius, and I swore I was going to name my first born girl Andromeda. The special effects by Hollywood legend Ray Harryhause were a bit dated, but still totally cool and are what gives the movie it’s charm.

When the remake came out I was curious to see what a technologically advanced age could do to the movie. My answer? Ruin it. I’ll take the claymation Kraken and Medussa any day.

Planet of the Apes – Although Mark Wahlburg is kind of hot, and Charlton Heston was a gun happy right winger with an overbite, the original ape vs. man saga reigns supreme in every way. Even though the make-up in the remake was far more realistic, I much prefer the stiff lipped 1968 gang of primates. Watching them try to pronounce the words “secret scrolls” is worth the price of admission alone. And come on…nobody can ever duplicate the moment Chuckie H. sneers “take your stinking paws off me you damn, dirty ape!” It’s like sci-fi’s answer to “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

There are others…Psycho, Lord of the Flies, Godzilla. But I have to make dinner and have no more time to piss and moan about Hollywood’s lack of taste and creativity. In short I have one warning for Hollywood and Kenny Ortega – LEAVE BABY IN HER CORNER!

Advertisements