There’s been talk of remaking Suspiria for years. So much so that a lot of what I’m going to mention here are thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for over a decade. The latest attempt at a remake, and the one most likely to happen, is supposed to star Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, have music by Thom Yorke, and be directed by Luca Guadagnino. All of whom are above average artists in their respective fields. So I wish this attempt well and I genuinely hope it succeeds.
It’s surprising how well Disney adapts their own version of the shockingly beloved fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.” While their Oscar winning animated version reigns supreme, Bill Condon manages to deliver his own interpretation that tweaks the tale here and there for new audiences with a great effect. I was quite stunned at how enjoyable “Beauty and the Beast” ended up being. While it has the familiarity of the 1991 movie, it’s also a unique experience that allows for a new angle on songs that are now deemed legendary. Condon approaches the live action remake/adaptation with a well balanced tone of whimsy and dread, allowing for a very subtle romance between Belle and the Beast.
ABC Television’s remake of “Dirty Dancing” is a god awful and ill conceived version of the eighties classic. I don’t say that as a fan of the original, or an eighties kid, but as someone who just can’t abide a truly awful reworking for a film that didn’t need it. Did we forget “Havana Nights” already? ABC goes for an over two and a half hour remake that is just about as listless and ridiculous as you can imagine. For some reason the writers thought it’d be a good idea to add a story frame for the actual story that ensues between Baby and Johnny.
Then there’s a verbatim remake of the original, a goofy melodrama about Baby coming of age, and a musical that stages a bunch of forgettable tunes. Not to mention a relationship drama about Baby’s parents experiencing a crossroads in their marriage. Lest we forget an interracial romance with Baby’s sister falling in love with an African American singer for the country resort, and the steamy torrid love affair between Johnny and a local middle aged resort guest (as played by Katey Segal).
A small island village in Scotland runs out of whisky and the population is desperate, until a ship wrecks nearby. This leads a few locals to plan some less than legal activities to solve their issues.
Mill Creek Entertainment is looking to make your summer as action packed as possible with a three bill economy blu-ray of some pretty nifty action pictures. Allowing a bang for your bucks, “Payback Time Triple Feature” garners action movie essentials that should allow for a great afternoon with popcorn and some beer. First up there’s the very good (and my personal favorite) “Blind Fury,” a solid remake of a classic “Zatoichi” movie starring Rutger Hauer as a blind Vietnam Veteran Nick Parker, who is taught the art of the sword after being rendered disabled.
It’s really hard to stack up to the original “Mighty Joe Young” which itself was kind of a simpler take on the giant ape tale. While the original remains untouched, it’s really hard not to enjoy the 1998 remake by Disney and director Ron Underwood. While it can occasionally be silly, it’s still a strong new take on the original film with a great cast, great direction and still very good special effects. This new version from director Ron Underwood strays from the original which was kind of a “King Kong” riff, and transforms it more in to a tale of a woman who watches over a humongous ape named Joe. The writers aim to tackle themes about poaching and wildlife preservation within the fun adventure tale, and most times it allows for an engaging tale of friendship and love.
An animated re-release/recycling of a hit Danish animated film, “The Trouble with Terkel” was released in 2004, and rather than remake the original animated movie, this new version is re-released with a new title, and a hastily recorded American dub was slapped on to the film. There’s no update to the animation, no re-editing, or anything of the sort. 2004 feels like a whole other century ago, so it’s not surprising “The Trouble with Terkel” watches like a painfully outdated mess. It also doesn’t help that the producers kept all of the country’s background signs and whatnot. So when our characters are in the candy store buying “Sukkerfryd Slik” with “Fedt Nuder!” it’s impossible to not get pulled out of the paper thin narrative.
With movie critics getting more and more stigmatized by bitter movie studios and petty film directors, it’s a good thing to know in the end that they’re all just opinions. This year I watched so many movies, and as always, my opinion is never gospel or the final word on any film. In 2016 I managed to like a few movies that were critically destroyed and I don’t apologize for finding value in these flops. I probably won’t go out to buy them, but I won’t flip the channel if they’re ever on cable, either.
What were some movies you liked that everyone else didn’t? Let me know in the comments.