Sunday, January 06, 2019


I was gearing up for a New Year's Resolution that would keep me from going out to see any more remakes or reboots. You'll notice that I did not mention in that run up to a promise that I would not be going to any sequels. I can do that still. Which would leave me free to find out what happened to all those wispy piles of ash in the last Avengers movie.
Maybe I should preface all this promising and resolving with an explanation: Over the course of my winter break, my wife and I spent a lot of time going to the movies. There was a flurry of seven days where we were in a theater each of those days, catching up on all those films that we had missed or ignored in the days and weeks leading up to my two week vacation. And all those big holiday releases. We couldn't miss those. Which is how I found myself in a seat, watching Disney's new iteration of Mary Poppins. But before this redux filled the screen, I was treated to not one, not two, but three separate previews of Disney live-action remakes of their animated classics. Lion King, Aladdin, and Dumbo. So the whole time I sat there, taking in all the musical wonderment that everyone's favorite nanny had to offer, I contemplated the need for all those computer generated images. Why not just dust off a print of the original and toss it up on the screen for a new generation to view? All the while, Mary was singing with lamplighters instead of chimney sweeps, going to visit her wacky cousin instead of her laughing uncle, and floating away on balloons. Perfectly lovely images, hummable tunes, and plenty of star power. That was Hamilton riding that bike, after all. Who  wouldn't pay to see that?
And who wouldn't pay to see Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga on that silver screen together? I did. This wasn't Disney, but it didn't actually matter. Making A Star Is Born one more time didn't exactly advance the art of motion pictures. It probably reminded many of the history of motion pictures, which already included three previous iterations of the story of one star going up and one going down. But it's been forty years since Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand brought their standard to bear. Yeah, but this one has Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga!
So there's always a "reason" to go back to the heap. I have watched more versions of Frankenstein than I care to recall. I will line up for any movie that includes a giant ape. And in spite of all better instincts, I still show up for super hero movies like they're going out of style. They aren't.
So I surrender to my weakness, which is that insatiable need to be in touch with the zeitgeist, even if that means endless retreads, repeats and reruns.
I promise.

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