2005 films have already been there, done that - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

2005 films have already been there, done that

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Posted: Saturday, January 1, 2005 6:15 am | Updated: 8:50 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

January 1, 2005

While discussing the difficulty he had getting financing for his two most recent pictures — ‘‘Mystic River’’ and ‘‘Million Dollar Baby’’ — Clint Eastwood said that the major studios today are only interested in remakes, sequels and adaptations of TV shows.

He’s not far wrong. On the tentative 2005 schedule of major studio movies, 32 fall into one of those three categories, another eight are inspired by comic-book or radio superheroes, and one — ‘‘Beauty Shop’’ — is a spinoff of the second ‘‘Barbershop’’ picture.

You do the math. It all adds up to virtual creative bankruptcy in Hollywood.

Two of the 18 sequels are installments of continuing stories — ‘‘Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,’’ ‘‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’’ — and have some excuse.

But 16 others don’t. Do we really need follow-ups to ‘‘Get Shorty,’’ ‘‘The Ring,’’ ‘‘Miss Congeniality,’’ ‘‘The Mask,’’ ‘‘The Mask of Zorro’’ and ‘‘Clerks’’?

Do we need a fourth ‘‘Batman’’ with a third star (Christian Bale) playing him? What are the odds on another ‘‘Pink Panther’’ movie, with Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau? Couldn’t someone have stopped George Romero before he decided to kill again with a fourth movie in the zombie series he began in 1968 with ‘‘Night of the Living Dead’’?

And hold your breath: Disney is reviving its ‘‘Love Bug’’ series with ‘‘Herbie: Fully Loaded,’’ in which the little car with the big heart joins the NASCAR circuit.

Among the 10 remakes on the schedule are two of the year’s most ambitious pictures: Steven Spielberg’s $130 million version of H.G. Wells’ ‘‘War of the Worlds,’’ with Tom Cruise; and Peter Jackson’s $110 million ‘‘King Kong,’’ with Naomi Watts doing the screaming.

Also filling a big canvas will be Roman Polanski’s version of Charles Dickens’ ‘‘Oliver Twist,’’ a story that’s been filmed nearly a dozen times.

Other remakes are genuine head-shakers. Another ‘‘The Longest Yard’’ with Adam Sandler in the Burt Reynolds role? Another ‘‘Amityville Horror’’? How about Tim Allen as a man fighting his inner canine in the remake of ‘‘The Shaggy Dog’’?

In the TV adaptations department, we have Nora Ephron’s ‘‘Bewitched,’’ starring Nicole Kidman as a reallife witch who’s hired to play Samantha in a film adaptation of the ’60s sitcom.

The hit comedy of the red states may be the film version of ‘‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’’ with Seann William Scott as Bo, Johnny Knoxville as Luke and Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke. Boy, howdy.

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