DURST: 1997--Year of Refurbished Films
The weekend gross for the reissue of "Star Wars" with four and a half new minutes was $36.2 million according to studio estimates. A figure to be taken with a grain of salt the size of Mount St. Helens since studio accountants can prove "Jurassic Park" never made a cent. Those rubber Velociraptors add up, you know. Of course since Hollywood is responsible for the modern phenomena of rushing to where lightning last struck, we would be foolish not to expect many more digitally altered 20 year old classics and not so classics to hit the big screen this year. Here are some of my theories of what to expect. * Annie Hall: a new sequence featuring Woody Allen trying crack and burning down a fashionable New York City block. * Saturday Night Fever: Quentin Tarentino produces the revision, now a half hour longer with Tarentino in John Travolta role. Bee Gees dumped in favor of obscure Mexicali Marimba band. * Smokey And The Bandit: in this updated version, new technology makes it appear Burt Reynolds is awake. Digital enhancement also gives Paul Williams the illusion of height. * New York, New York: De Niro part scaled down, now focuses on Lionel Stander as love interest for Liza Minelli. Expanded from original 164 minutes to eight hours even. * Looking For Mr. Goodbar: Diane Keaton character transplanted to 1997 New York and lives normally. A Disney Film. Brand new animated sequence romanticizes S & M. * Coma: coma sequences now appear really lifelike. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Richard Widmark. * Airport '77: Producers just change the first seven to a nine. Accountants cite alteration costs as $24 million. * The Deep: concentrates on the most salable part of the original release and is now a 127 minute still of Jacqueline Bisset in a wet t-shirt. * Pumping Iron: Documentary format scrapped. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Louis Ferrigno now compete for title of Mr. Universe with fate of entire Universe at stake. Sandra Bullock inserted as love interest. * Slap Shot: due to expansion, Paul Newman and Hansen Brothers make it to NHL. Disney Film re released as Mighty Ducks IV. * High Anxiety: demonstrating the cutting edge of technological advancement, humor is added. * Equus: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals finance this reworking which now ends with a disturbed Peter Firth being released into the outskirts of Billings, Montana, and blending in. * The Gauntlet: Producer Clint Eastwood polishes up his directorial effort with new subplot changing Sandra Locke's character from lovable hooker to demon spawn she devil with digitally enhanced cloven hooves. Will Durst is hoping he can rerelease himself as a digitally enhanced 24.