So, I go to the movies a lot, and for years I have complained about the lack of new ideas in Hollywood. Every year the industry gets bigger, grander and more derivative. Well just when you thought they couldn’t get any shallower, the studios let a little more water out of the tub. Currently the top eight films at the box office are:
Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (I’m anticipating success, as I’m writing this before it opens)(ditto)
Angels and Demons
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Want to know something funny? Every single one of them is either a sequel or a remake. The studios have made more than $500 million without having to think up a single new character or plotline. Boy, wouldn’t that be a nice job. They should give that job an official title: Vice President in Charge of Remakes and Sequels. Although in this age of political correctness they’d have to call it something like, Director of Homages, Tributes and Ongoing Storylines. Actually, I would like that job. To that end I thought I would try my hand at it.
Strangers on a Train
The classic Hitchcock crime-swapping thriller is ripe for a remake. This time the train is Metro-North and the men (good guy, Robert Downey Jr.; bad guy, Johnny Depp) are Greenwich hedge fund managers commuting into Manhattan. (Actually, that may have been their route in the original. I don’t recall.)
This adorable romantic comedy about a man (Cary Grant) who lies and tells his love (Ingrid Bergman) that he can never marry her because he has an estranged wife whom he cannot divorce would make a great update. I’m thinking Ryan Reynolds as the commitment-phobe and Reese Witherspoon opposite him.
All About Eve
The idea of a youth-obsessed star and her fresh-faced rival is more relevant now than ever. I’m torn about the casting, but I’m going to go with Nicole Kidman in the Bette Davis role and Natalie Portman filling in for Anne Baxter. Oh, and I’d cast Megan Fox for the Marilyn Monroe cameo.
Singing in the Rain
It’s not as absurd as it sounds. Change the setting from the movie industry to the music industry and have the Debbie Reynolds character lip sync for ‘pop princess’ Lina Lamont. Cast Hugh Jackman in the Gene Kelly role, Jack Black as Cosmo, Anne Hathaway as Kathy and Gwen Stefani as Lina.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Only now it’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith Go to Washington, with Brad and Angelina reprising their roles from their 2005 action hit. Together they take on government corruption. And I’d throw in a serious car chase for good measure. It’s a remake and a sequel, a twofer!
Look for sequels and small-screen-to-big-screen another day.