Previously, I wrote a post about new MPAA ratings that need to be introduced for the protection of the viewing public. There are plenty more where those came from. Today, I’d like to introduce one:
This one isn’t aimed at viewers but rather at the lazy and imagination-bankrupt producers of much of the dreck that passes for movie releases these days. (Thank goodness the “colorization” rage suffered a rapid demise.)
Fine. I get it. You want to produce sure money makers so you revive or piggyback on successful movies of the past. (We’ll ignore that fact that it doesn’t work.) It used to be that they at least had the decency to (1) wait a few decades to remake a movie and (2) stay away from classic films that have stood the test of time.
A popular movie stands a good chance of generating a reboot every ten years or so. (A remake of “Memento”, only 16 years old, is being developed.) And sequels? They flow like pee from a race horse. With much the same value. (There’s a sequel to “Mary Poppins” coming. Sacrilege.) No big deal. Crap is crap and we’ve come to expect it from Hollywood in large steaming heaps.
But “Ben Hur”?!?! Were they serious? It’s not enough that they put Morgan Freeman in dreadlocks. This is a movie that should never even have been considered for a remake or sequel. (If it had made money, the sequel would have been a lock.) Back in 1998, Gus Van Sant must have been psycho to remake Hitchcock’s classic. (From the “those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it” department: Michael Bay, of all people, wants to remake “The Birds”. Make it go away!!!)
The good news is that both of those films were box office disasters. And rightly so. Those two films, along with a lot more, should have been rated Back Away, Off Limits, Don’t Touch, Hands Off. Anything to keep producers’ grubby and greedy little mitts off the Good Stuff.
Here’s a short list of a few films that beg for the BA rating:
- Gone with the Wind
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Singing in the Rain
- City Lights
…along with probably every film in the AFI’s top 100. There should be serious penalties for violating this rating, above and beyond the deserved scorn and likely financial loss.
There’s plenty of stuff in the can that are legitimate candidates for remakes. Here are a few I would like to see:
- It Happens Every Spring – Fun baseball story rife for new humor and technology.
- I’d Rather Be Rich – Wonderful 1964 screwball romcom, hysterical but badly dated. It’s actually a remake of 1941’s “It Started with Eve”. Time for a new one.
- On the Town – Great Broadway musical hacked by censors into an uneven movie. Remake from the original stage version.
Do you have any candidates for either list?