The Sixth Estate
Friday, September 19, 2003
QUOTE OF THE DAY : "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!" - Dr. Strangelove seconds before the world is destroyed.

LINK OF THE DAY : The Smoking Gun.

No, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made.

Originality : The Lost Art.

Media in general has been going down the toilet for the past decade or so. Sure... there have been some excellent and original films made in the past 15 years... but think of all the schlock that's come out too. Studios are just churning out movies like clockwork, most of which are incredibly bad and unoriginal.

I'm not saying it's easy to turn out original content. It's very hard. There is a statistic somewhere that says there are only 125 basic plots a movie or story can have. That can't make it easy.

What I don't get is why they just keep turning out the unoriginal content. It's obviously just about the money. Logic would say... if it's not original don't make it. But when have logic and capitalism ever gone hand in hand.

Making shitty movies is one thing... but remaking movies is much worse. Especially when you remake a classic and turn out a piece of crap. There are too many examples of this to name... but here's the most recent attempt to remake a classic.

The Manchurian Candidate.

A Truly Great Film.

This classic 1962 John Frankenheimer film starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh is considered by many to be one of the top 100 films ever made.

I've seen it, it's a great film. It's about a Korean War veteran Raymond Shaw, who returns from the war a decorated hero, the odd thing is the other members of his platoon can't really remember what he did to win his medals. Several of his platoon mates start having strange nightmares about being captured and brainwashed by the Communists in Korea. This leads them to investigate Raymond's current activities... and a sinister plot begins to unravel.

It was a very controversial film at the time, given the tension between the US and the USSR, and was a very relevent film for the time.

The new film... the remake.... will star Liev Schreiber, Denzel Washington and John Voight, and will be directed by Jonathan Demme. Make no mistake these are all talented people... who have made excellent films in the past. But I say... Why fuck with a good thing ? There is no god damned reason to remake this film other than to make a quick buck on a marketable name.

Of course the idea of remaking this film would have been unthinkable even 5 years ago... it's only happening now because John Frankenheimer and Frank Sinatra happen to be DEAD! They'll be rolling in their graves soon enough.

There have been good remakes... Cape Fear comes to mind. But there have also been many bad remakes. Get Carter, Psycho, Mr. Deeds. The list goes on. It's just a damn shame to see the originals sullied by shitty remakes.

I can't stop Hollywood from remaking movies. All I ask is that they do the originals justice or don't even bother... Don't even consider it if you can't do it justice.

This is almost as bad as when MGM had plans to remake the Seven Samurai. And they still might... which sucks.

Do yourself a favour and check out The Manchurian Candidate, it's a quality film that really gets inside your head. Hope you can handle it though... it's in black and white. I know some people who won't watch black and white movies because they are in black and white. Just FYI it was made this way on purpose, they had color movies in 1962, but this was the way the director wanted the movie to be. Anyways my rage towards B&W haters will have to wait for another post.

It's a disgrace.



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