The Front Row View: Take Your Stinkin’ Paws Off the Original Movie!!

Howdy—the other night on Mad Men they had two of the characters at a movie house watching the original 1968 Planet of the Apes. They showed the famous Statue of Liberty in the Sand ending while the two characters in the movie house gaped in awe (the show is set in 1968, so this was the first time that the world had seen it).

This got me thinking about how perfect the 1968 original was. Watching it on network television for the first time when I was a child, it was one of my first non-Disney movie memories. It had a lot to offer—an interesting plot, great (non-digital!) action, some interesting musings about society, some rousing (some would say over-the-top) acting, and some extremely convincing make-up, especially for it’s time. It still remains an experience that shows viewers what movies can be capable of.

My question: why redo it if it’s perfect the first time?

Hollywood’s unspoken answer: DINERO!!!

Which is why they went ahead and “reimagined” it in 2001.

The remake was mediocre at best, the most positive thing that could be said about it being the improved make-up. But realistic make-up does not a good movie make. The new film was pretty hum-drum. Despite my usual enjoyment of Mark Wahlberg, let’s face it—endearing overactor that he was, Chuck Heston could’ve eaten Marky Mark for breakfast in this one.

I won’t pick on the amazing 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as I don’t consider this a true “remake.”

Some other contenders for the Why Bother to Remake It award:

Poseidon—a good meat and potatoes disaster movie all in all, but the more realistic take wasn’t anywhere near as entertaining as the campiness of the original Poseidon Adventure. I also missed those two great old hams Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine—“HOW MANY MORE LIVES??!” “ALL RIGHT YOU—THAT’S ENOUGH!!” Classic.

Superman Returns—Christopher Reeve did it proud in his first two movies as the Man of Steel—what Brandon Routh did in 2006 was to offer a Christopher Reeve impression without any of his charm or likability. Deeply disappointed in Kevin Spacey’s Luthor (should have been great) and in Bryan Singer’s directing (this was the guy who did The Usual Suspects and the first two X-Men after all).

The Amazing Spider-Man—not a bad flick on it’s own, but did we really need a retelling a mere ten years after the first Spiderman? Emma Stone is amazing, but I think she needs to start turning down scripts that require her to still be in high school.

Does anyone have any other contenders?

Hope that everyone’s enjoying the day!


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