Friday, May 10, 2019

Another Look

It would be crass to simply blame Steven Spielberg. Or George Lucas. These directors have both fallen prey to the notion that their beloved classics could be enhanced in some way by going back and adding a few digital effects, thus making it easier for them to sleep at night. Or something like that. How else could you explain the need to go back into E.T. The Extraterrestrial and cover up the shotguns being carried by the grownup "scientists" and replace them with walkie talkies? And what about George Lucas going back into A New Hope to put an extra ring around the exploding Death Star. And don't get me started about the cut and pasted Jabba The Hut. Okay, so maybe the title change made it easier for generations to reference the point in the saga at which they hopped on the band-speeder, but was it really necessary to make Greedo shoot first?
Or perhaps I should back up the track just a little further and place the blame at the feet of Ted Turner, who explained his rationale for colorizing classic films he acquired thus: "I own 'em." Which is probably why we find ourselves on the cusp of a summer in which two of Disney's animated features are going to get a computer generated rehash: Aladdin and The Lion King. Both of these come fast on the heels of Tim Burton's "re-imagining" of Dumbo.
I know. I am complaining about this again. But I am old enough to remember when the House of Mouse used to periodically dust off their classics and re-release them to theaters. "See it for the first time all over again." Which also proved to be their strategy when it came time to put their slate of animated features out on home video. Except for Song of the South, which seems to have suffered the same fate as the shotguns in E.T. Racism? What racism? Certainly not in Dumbo, if you're looking for it.
This is a kinder, gentler, more woke world we live in. Which is why I am suggesting that some studio, probably not Disney, purchase the rights to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and produce a 2D animated version of Tobe Hooper's grisly masterpiece. Or maybe a cartoon re-imagining of Psycho, but not starring Vince Vaughn. Maybe the shower scene could feature Norman attacking Marion with a walkie talkie.

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