A draft I read of this intended remake was extremely well written but also an environmental allegory and warning. If memory serves, Manhattan had become a prison due to the flooding caused by *prepare for eyeroll* man-made Global Warming. After director John Carpenter’s own disastrous return to his 1981 classic with “Escape From L.A.,” it wasn’t as though we really needed another reason to wish doom upon a remake.
Man, I remember sitting through the dreadful “Escape from L.A.,” which I had dragged my dad to, all excited in the knowledge that Pam Grier was going to show up onscreen. Just the vision of her beautiful-ness would lift these awful two hours into something worthwhile … only to discover Carpenter cast her as a man, or something.
Regardless, you can’t replace Kurt Russell.
No one working today comes close to his mixture of menace, masculinity, unspoken intelligence and charm. He’s a one-of-a-kind who created an iconic role for the ages and you might as well have someone else try to play Cool Hand Luke or Bullitt.
The only thing worse than having a show you love go off the air is having a show you love hang on for too long. There are always exceptions, but if you think about it, five or six seasons is about it for any classic show. After that, you can sense the writers running out of ideas and as a viewer the formula starts to become more and more apparent as the same old plot beats unfurl.
If I could ask creator Vince Gilligan one question, though, it would be if he knows and has always known how the show will end (I don’t want to know), but I do want to know if he knows and has always known where he will ultimately leave his characters.
For a series creator, I would think that knowing how things will wrap up is vital to creating an open-to-close enduring classic. As we’ve seen with shows like “The X-Files,” if you hang on too long and don’t have a clear point on the storytelling map you’re writing towards, the finale fails to satisfy those of us who hung on for all those years waiting for the answers. Though I personally didn’t, many “Lost” fans felt that way, as well.
Regardless, I cannot sing the praises of this show enough. Movies might suck, but Hollywood is shining on television right now and “Breaking Bad” is not only the crown jewel of them all, but one of the greatest pieces of television in the history of the medium.
Who knew there were Hollywood ideas out there exponentially dumber than remaking that which cannot be remade:
For one thing, the film (called “Vacation,” sans National Lampoon) centers on the grown-up character of Rusty Griswold, Anthony Michael Hall’s sandy-haired boy from the 1983 original who was in the backseat while parents Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) piloted the Wagon Queen Family Truckster.
Awful, awful, awful idea.
You can’t even replace Christie Brinkley, much less Chase, D’Angelo, and John Candy.
Furthermore, something that made the original so memorable is a politically incorrect, R-rated edge Hollywood’s terrified to go near today. There was a danger to Clark Griswold only a talent like Chevy Chase could bring to the role, it’s what lifted the story ahead of others in that same genre.
Everyone needs to go back and revisit Chevy Chase’s work from “Foul Play” through “Christmas Vacation” and recognize his genius.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
VIC HOLTREMAN, OWNER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF SCREEN RANT AND A BH CONTRIBUTOR WILL BE ON A COMIC-CON MASTERS OF THE WEB PANEL THIS AFTERNOON AT 4PM IN ROOM 5AB. DON’T MISS IT!
CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY JULY 22, 2011
10:30 AM EST: Born To Dance (1936) — A sailor on leave helps a young dancer make it to the top on Broadway. Dir: Roy Del Ruth Cast: Eleanor Powell , James Stewart , Virginia Bruce. BW-106 mins.
The gorgeous and uniquely gifted Eleanor Powell quit Hollywood at the age of 31 to concentrate on being a mother to her son with actor Glenn Ford, and what a shame that is — at least for us musical fans. Powell made a few memorable films, today’s pick being one of them, but too often she was (far and away) the best thing in marginal movies that would be completely forgotten if not for her presence.
It would’ve been something to see her hang on for a few more years as MGM retooled to make some of the grandest, most spectacle musicals the world will ever see. Not that there was a single thing wrong with the actresses who originated the roles, but seeing Powell in a “On the Town,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “Easter Parade,” and the like would’ve been a real treat.
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