10 Great Movies Hollywood Wants to Bastardize Into Crappy Sequels
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Beware purists: almost every movie you loved in your formative years is being bastardized by that greedy, unimaginative succubus named Hollywood.
Perhaps you were one of the not-so-many who saw Total Recall version deux in the last month, or the 2011 Footloose remake atrocity, or you brought your rugrats to watch the aughts’ Karate Kid. Though I appreciate your contribution to the economy, your hard-earned cash money has positively reinforced the new-ish Hollywood formula: take something old and good, and make it new and bad. Or, alternatively, take something that has nostalgia value for millions and violate it. Thank you, Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel for battling the post-World War III hellscape so Millennials never have to endure the sci-fi thrillers of yore and their lack of CGI (or Governator). Speaking of dystopia, here are the movies currently being made to break your heart.
1. Robocop. “Your move, creep.” Paul Verhoeven’s catalog is getting ravaged. First Total Recall, now Robocop, and eventually a new and joyless Starship Troopers?! The reboot of the 1987 film boasts Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, and Joel Kinnaman as the resurrected tincan cop himself. Two weeks ago, Deadline broke the story that Michael Keaton had signed on to portray, ominously, “the villain” (?). Mr. Mom may not be the most menacing of actors, but we saw his dark side in Pacific Heights and I trust he can do malevolent with the best of ‘em. The script was leaked last month, and as expected, Robocop’s robot shell will be getting a fabulous upgrade. In one of the possible scripted scenarios, the Detroit cyborg cop takes on Al Queda?! Will the modernized flick still drive Robocop's murderous foes into vats of toxic waste? Here’s the teaser released in July, which features drones and not much else (sometimes I miss the Cold War). Clearly something about the crime-fighting Frankenstein resonates with audiences, because Robocop was followed by two sequels, a TV show, TWO animated programs, and a mini-series. Due out in 2013, assuming director Jose Padilha can get it together.
2. Dirty Dancing. Word on the street is that High School Musical director Kenny Ortega (who was the choreographer for the original movie) is set to helm this sacrilegious endeavor, while Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk wields the quill. This already sounds like a corny Disney cabaret, not a film that features a bloody botched abortion and class conflict in 1963. The release has been pushed back to 2014 (reportedly due to casting issues). One such issue may be the enlistment of Glee's Lea Michele in the role of Baby. It’s really hard to imagine Michele could so perfectly portray (as Jennifer Grey did) square Baby’s upper-middle-class awkwardness, or how her own body seems alien to her before Patrick Swayze teaches her to dance the mambo, and later, the mattress mambo. How could the remake do justice to the memorable and wildly popular soundtrack (featuring one of my favorite all-time power ballads)? I’m still getting over crappy Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, so hopefully the corruption of this classic is pushed back a few more years, or beyond my lifetime, or ideally, forever.
3. Point Break. "They only live to get radical." Like a radical redo of the ultimate extreme sports cinema about bros, surfing bank robbers, and one man’s insatiable hunger for meatball sandwiches? The movie gods have unleashed a 50-Year Storm on my heart. The project was announced a year ago from Alcon Entertainment with little detail, except Kurt Wimmer (who also wrote the Total Recall revision) is penning the new script. The new Point Break will yet again follow an FBI agent as he infiltrates a criminal wolfpack by bro-ing down with them in whatever “extreme sport” is relevant right now. Producer Michael DeLuca hilariously explains that " Point Break wasn’t just a film, it was a Zen meditation on testosterone-fueled action and manhood in the late 20th century and we hope to create the same for the young 21st!" As the criminal racket has yet to be defined in the new action bromance, it doesn’t seem likely anyone will don the masks of former presidents. It’s silly to even call the new “zen meditation” Point Break if there’s no actual surfing involved. Maybe Alcon and DeLuca need to put down the Mountain Dew and think this over. At least I feel assured that they won’t attempt to recapture nazi surf punk Anthony Kiedis’ role (and post-apocalyptic hairstyle) as “Tone."