It’s a new year, so I thought it only fitting that I complain about Hollywood remakes. Do they no longer have money to hire writers who can come up with an original script? Does it always have to be a movie based on a 1970s TV show or on a book or on a movie from 20 years ago?
For instance, my daughter loves The Poseidon Adventure for some reason – the original with a hearty Shelley Winters saving everyone for a little while with her mad underwater swimming skills. We haven’t seen that one on DVD, so she bought the new Poseidon with Kurt (Disney) Russell and Richard (Whackjob) Dreyfuss. Who knows what she was thinking. Not surprisingly, the whole thing sucked goats from beginning to end.
So, I was very excited to see a cover-free copy of Poseidon Adventure in the discount bin at a local video store the other day. “This is the old version, right? Not the new one?” I asked the helpful sales associate. They assured me it was. They confirmed that the new version sucked goats and was no longer an adventure as it was only called, Poseidon.
I brought it home all excited and XUP Jr. couldn’t wait to watch it. Some of you are already way ahead of me, so you won’t be surprised to learn that the “old” Poseidon Adventure they sold me, was actually another remake starring Adam (The Least Known) Baldwin and Steve (Ye Gods and Fishes) Guttenberg. This time terrorists turn the boat upside down. The whole thing was a mess.
Okay, so they screwed around with Poseidon Adventure a few times. Big deal. Not a great movie to begin with. However, should they be allowed to screw around with the classics? There’s been a lot of talk over the years of remaking Casablanca, for instance.
Remember that famous final scene where Rick helps Laszlo to escape telling his true love, Ilsa, she cannot stay in Casablanca, but must go to Lisbon with Laszlo? There they are – the three of them on the tarmac while the propellers of a 1930s airplane spin in the distance waiting to take off. Laszlo is already on board and Rick and Ilsa have a heated, last minute discussion about why she must leave. Here’s a short (colourized)excerpt:
The most recent version of Casablanca just doesn’t have that same magic. How could it? Here, for instance is a bit of the script from the remake of that final scene.
Rick is standing in a line at a modern airport along with about 700 other people. Ilsa comes running up, breathless, with a cart full of of luggage. She stands with her face about 1/2 inch from his.
Rick: What the hell are you doing Ilsa? A steamer trunk? You can’t take a steamer trunk on an airplane. Do you know how much that would cost? Dammit! The taxes and fuel surcharges have already blown your travel budget for the year… sweatheart.
Ilsa: But, Rick.
Rick: But nothing kid. Choose one bag to check and one bag for carry-on.
Ilsa: Oh Rick. No!
Rick: Yes, Ilsa, you must. What have you got in this carry-on anyway? Lipstick? Are you insane? An emery board? A book in French? Why don’t you just turn yourself in as a terrorist right now? Get rid of all this stuff and now or you’ll regret it. Maybe not while we’re standing in line, but later, much later when we get to security.
Ilsa: Oh Rick.
Rick: And where’s your lunch sweetheart? Do you know how much airplane food costs? Do you know what airplane food is made of? If you eat that crap you’ll regret it. Maybe not right away, but soon and for the rest of your life. All you should have in this carry-on bag is a plain, white bread sandwich, no pointy condiments like lettuce, no sharp toasted edges. And above all, no beverages! Remember to put the bag in the overhead compartment, Ilsa! For god’s sake don’t hold it in your lap. And get your hands out of your pockets. And take off that hat. You look suspicious.
Ilsa: (weeping a little) Oh Rick, Rick.
Rick: Oh Rick indeed. I’m sorry sweetheart, but this is no vacation you’re on here. This is an Airplane Trip!!! ……HEY! What are you doing with that martini? Get rid of it. Are you crazy? You won’t be able to leave your seat to pee. Lisbon’s a long trip….kid. And we haven’t even gotten to the baggage check yet. It’ll be hours before you even get on the plane by the time you’ve been through the security probes, scans, x-rays, shoe inspections and various levels of interrogation….why your bladder will be bursting.
Ilsa: Yes, Rick. Okay, Rick.
Rick: Okay, good. Now act natural. The CCTVs are looking at you, kid.
Attention Passengers! Flight 359 to Lisbon will be delayed 4 hours due to poor planning. Leaving your place in the corral queue will automatically render your flight ticket invalid. Meanwhile enjoy this airport muzak version of As Time Goes By.