Show and Tell Hawai'i

Leave film classics alone; no need to reboot, remake

June 14th, 2013

Hope they never ever remake “Gone With the Wind.” It’s a classic because it is what it is: the No. 1 box office hit of all time.
Ditto, the Harry Potter series.
Even “Grease” as well as “Saturday Night Fever.”
These tales don’t have to be retold; how can they go one-up on the originals?
“Casablanca,” too. Let’s hope they don’t play it again, Sam.
Where there have been remakes for everything and anything, from “King Kong” to “Gozilla” from the monster genre, to “Mission: Impossible” to “The Bourne Identity”
in the action category, the real plums are the ones that stand alone. OK, sequels are understandable and welcome, like “The Godfather” and “The Lord of the Rings” fanchises. Even the “Twilight” sagas. Yes, include “Back to the Future.” In rare instances, you beg for more stories, as long as they are relevant, fresh, non-redundant.
And with the catalogue of James Bond literature, a succession of tales are welcome.
But no, no, no, no remakes to cash in on the iconic items.
No reinterpretation of “The Sound of Music,” please; Julie Andrews should own this one forever, for every do-re-mi sung and choreographed.
Ditto, “Avatar.” And “Titanic.” Such art should remain one-of-a-kind, like a Mona Lisa.
Why would the world need another interpretation of “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestial”?

And how could the spectacle be repeated, much less recaptured, after you’ve seen a “Dr. Zhivago” or a “Bridge Over the River Kwai”?
Why would anyone venture to revisit “The Graduate” or “Rain Man.”
And Disney’s classics, from “Snow White” to “Pinocchio,” from “Cinderella” to “The Lion King,” shouldn’t be messed with. OK, Disney did it spot-on when the animated film was magically and inventively rebooted and redefined as a musical, thanks to director Julie Taymor's vision.
Then again, Disney did a musical film some years ago of “Newsies,” which had a hit song, “Seize the Day,” and a cult following; but only when it was reconceptualized as a stage musical last year, did the sparks fly and the awards bestowed. So this was one of the handful of exceptions when a remodel can renew life in a project.
I’d say if a new wrinkle can be unveiled — the way “West Side Story” reinterpreted the “Romeo and Juliet” story — then a revisit might be saluted.
But some projects shed off lightning and glory but once, like “Ghost.” Revamping it as a musical for the stage, like Broadway did last year, didn’t work out, with even “Unchained Melody” diminished in delivery.
Then there’s the quandary of “Carrie.” It was a cult horror film in its original screen outing based on a Stephen King work; it was a bloody bomb when it was transformed into a Broadway musical. An update last year on stage generated some attention, but still no hit status. One wonders, then, why another film is being produced with the same story of a bullied high school misfit with special powers who finds her sparks on prom night.

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