Tag Archives: the godfather

Remakes: Everyone’s Favorite Complaint

carrie


With the remake of Carrie out, it’s that time again for everyone to make their favorite complaint: “Oh god, another remake!  It’s like they’re raping my childhood!”

If you’re going to put forth that Hollywood is in need some new ideas, I’ll listen.  But it’s not as though this is a new thing.  Movies have always mostly been sequels, remakes, or adaptations.  Pick any random year since the dawn of cinema and I guarantee you’ll find as many as you do today.
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A Journey Through The Nightmare on Elm Streets

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A great behind-the-scenes shot of Patricia Arquette from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

This month, Amazon had the blu-ray set of all seven Nightmare on Elm Street movies on sale for like $23. I’d never seen any of them before, and at that price, I figured now would be a pretty good time to do so. Even though the series is quite uneven, it’s an interesting one. Here are my thoughts on each, with very mild spoilers, if any:
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The 10 Most Overrated Classic Movies

godfather

Nope, not gonna touch this one. Too easy.

It’s easy to pick on classics.  In fact, by virtue of being considered ‘classic’, they’re almost assuredly not as good as they’re said to be.  Anything so beloved is automatically suspect.  This is not contrarianism; it’s healthy skepticism.  In an age where most people still aren’t atheists and science is constantly hindered by new age nonsense, skepticism is beyond necessary.

I figured I’d apply that maxim to culture and pick the ten most overrated classic movies ever made.  But, like I said, it’s easy to pick on the big ones.  Casablanca, The Godfather, and Gone With the Wind all have their place in history, but that doesn’t make them better than Back to the Future.  And they aren’t.  Not artistically, and certainly not in our collective hearts.

However, here, rather than just list the most acclaimed classic movies and call it a day, I really wanted to hone in on some particular titles that I find obnoxiously overrated:
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The 10 Best Movies Ever Made

kane


The cinematic powers-that-be tend to decree that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made, or sometimes Raging Bull.  I don’t have a problem with that appraisal.  It’s fun.  Lists are fun—they expose people to cool movies they may not have heard of, and cause debates over who’s the most badass horror villain from the 80s, or what the best movies for libertarians are.

However, what is annoying is that whenever these movie freemasons decide that Vertigo is the third-best movie of all time or something, it causes all the opinion-scavenging cinephiles-in-training to rant their little hearts out about how The Rules of the Game or whatever really deserves to be ranked third-best. These lists also do a good job of tricking people into thinking The Godfather is artistically superior to Back to the Future, which is ridiculous.
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Multiple Maniacs

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Whether or not we can learn a thing or two about the current state of cinema by examining the 1980 film Maniac by William Lustig and its 2012 remake by Franck Khalfoun is difficult to say—both films were not made for mainstream audiences. And both have leading men that wouldn’t ordinarily be considered leading men: starring in the 1980 film is Joe Spinell (the extremely prolific character actor who had bit roles in such films as The Godfather 1 & 2, Taxi Driver, Rocky 1 & 2, and Cruising) and in the remake, Elijah Wood, star of the immensely successful Lord of the Rings saga (as well as many other films that aren’t necessarily known as Elijah Wood vehicles). The original Maniac was shot in the very seedy New York City, with Spinell stalking about the grimy 42nd St theaters that would soon be playing the very film he’s acting in. When it was released, it caught some of the backlash that all “slasher” films were experiencing at the time—namely, accusations of being merely an exercise in violence for its own sake. (Gene Siskel took pride in claiming he walked out of Maniac after 30 minutes.) The remake was shot in sunny Los Angeles, mostly in the downtown area. It has yet to have a wide release here in the US.
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