All Articles Tagged "remakes"
No More Remakes, 3D Versions, Sequels Or Slave Movies–Can We Get Some Original Ideas On The Big Screen?
We’ve only gone through a few months in 2013, but so far, I’m not mad impressed with what has been offered to us as moviegoers and what is on the way to the big screen this year.
While sitting in front of my television this evening, I saw a commercial for the 3D version of Jurassic Park (how old is that!?), another one celebrating G.I. Joe: Retaliation hitting number one at the box office, and I recently saw online the release date for Twelve Years a Slave was recently announced (December 27). When will it all end?
The numerous remakes, from the Sparkles of last year to this year’s releases of sequels for Evil Dead, Iron Man, Star Trek, Despicable Me (though I might have to check that one out), Thor, Hobbit and billions of others mean this will be another year of a huge lack of creativity. Even some of the independent films I’ve checked out so far have been a little stale. And in a moment of bad judgment, I decided to let the trailers for Tyler Perry’s Temptation woo me in to a big movie theater and per the usual, things didn’t end the way I had hoped. Blame it on predictability.
All of these things leave me to wonder, what has happened to creative storytelling in films over the years? You know, complete films with morals, surprise endings that made you go “Whaaaaaaaat!?”, characters you admired like you knew them personally, and stories that just kept you glued to your seat? These staples in film have been pushed into the background for too many parody movies, sad remakes of movies our parents went to the theaters to see back in the day (really, do we need that Carrie remake??), one too many horror films, enough I-got-drunk-now-lets-party-and-tomorrow-we’ll-forget-everything-that-happened films, and predictable rom-coms. Is this really all that big studios are willing to shell out money to make and all they think we want to see?
There are enough books by prolific authors out in the world for all of us to know that there are some really imaginative and just plain ‘ol dope stories needing to be brought to the masses on film. From books like The The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz to Wild Seed or Kindred by Octavia Butler, Sula by Toni Morrison, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (I know there was a miniseries based on it though…) or Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin (we can go even further back if you like), I’ve played enough of these novels in my head like they were movies, and I’m thirsty to see someone adapt them for the big screen. If done right, these can have as big an impact as turning a book like PUSH into Precious did a few years ago.
And can we get some more heroines on screen? And not your conventional ones? Like a Nola Darling in She’s Gotta Have It? Diana Guzman in Girlfight? Maggie in Million Dollar Baby–anybody?
I just honestly miss the days of new movies that were so great that they got passed on by word of mouth and when you watched them, they were just as good as people hyped them up to be. Movies that explored ways of thinking that you’d never imagined, including the possibility of being able to erase an ex-lover from your mind forever (and then deciding at the last minute that those memories were too great to get rid of), the idea of being able to stop murders before they happen, or the hunt for serial killers who plan murders that go after people who openly commit the seven deadly sins. Even stories that made you look with depth at incredibly real and sad issues (such as, how possible sexual abuse can affect the sex lives of victims as they get older–see Shame). And I miss movies about black folks that weren’t just rom-coms (and if they were, they were damn good ones) or about black female characters always and only going through terrible things, including dealing with abuse or tepid home lives. Beasts of the Southern Wild was a refreshing look at black folks trying to thrive after Hurricane Katrina–can we have more of these stories? All of these types have been done to great results, but these days, all we’re being served is the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. What’s up with that?
But then again, as I said, it’s early in the new year, and the movies could definitely get better (we all know the last few months of the year bring out the heavyweights to prepare for Oscar season). But until then, I think I’ll cling to my Netflix subscription and enjoy my blasts from the past in filmmaking, because the present gets two thumbs down…
“When one door closes, another one opens” is probably a philosophy that actress Vanessa Williams is well acquainted with these days. Last month we reported that ABC made the decision to pull the plug on her television drama 666 Park Avenue due to the show’s plummeting ratings, which sort of left the actress unemployed. Luckily for Vanessa, she’s a hot commodity who rarely goes without a gig for too long.
According to The Grio, the 49-year-old actress has just been signed to star in a Broadway play entitled “The Trip to Bountiful” alongside Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Condola Rashad. The play, which will be directed by Michael Wilson is referred to as the “revival” of two-time Oscar winner, Horton Foote’s original play, which explores the topics of acceptance and returning home. The play made its Broadway debut in 1953 and was turned into a film in 1985. What is interesting is that similar to A Streetcar Name Desire, this play is being sort of redone by African American actors that will star in roles that have traditionally been played by White actors.
USA Today is reporting that Cuba and Vanessa will be playing the son and daughter-in-law of Cicely, who’s role is that of an elderly woman who is seeking to revisit her small hometown in Texas.
“The Trip to Bountiful” will only be on Broadway for a limited time, fourteen weeks to be exact. Previews will begin March 31, 2013 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and is scheduled to open April 23, 2013.
This is great news. It’s great to see how Vanessa Williams always bounces back and I am excited to Condola Rashad progressing in her career as an actress. She did such an amazing job in Steel Magnolias.
What do you think of Black actors and actresses starring in remakes of plays and movies that originally had predominately White casts? Willing you be going to see the play once it opens in April?
Queen Latifah, Jill Scott And The Ladies Of The “Steel Magnolias” Remake Are Sittin’ Pretty In Promo Pics
Anybody else excited about the Steel Magnolias remake? Initially, I wasn’t, being that I’m not a fan of remakes, especially ones of really, really good movies. But I’m always down to support the sistahs! Especially Queen La. Latifah, who is a producer for the Lifetime remake, has released promotional pictures of all the ladies dolled up. The movie is set to debut on the Lifetime Network on October 7, and stars not only Queen Latifah (as M’Lynn), but Alfre Woodard (as Ouiser), Phylicia Rashad (as Clairee), Jill Scott (as Truvy), Condola Rashad, Phylicia’s daughter (as Shelby) and Adepero Oduye, of Pariah fame (as Annelle). Check them out:
That hair on Queen = FRESH. She looks like she stepped straight out of a CoverGirl ad.
As pretty as that blue dress is on Alfre, she looks stunning in this gold gown.
Work Adepero! And the hair is looking wonderful as well. Can a sistah get some product recommendations please?
Both Phylicia and Condola look beautiful. And Condola is her father’s twin (Ahmad Rashad)!
Heeeeeey Jilly, girl! Looking good!
So are you excited about the remake? Will you be tuning in?
*Photos courtesy of Gossipwelove.com and Mylifetime.com.
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If you didn’t get the memo already, Hollywood has run out of fresh ideas. When there are no more fresh ideas, you reach back and start trying to redo a good thing. That’s where remakes and the blasted sequel come in to play. In the last year alone we learned that there would be remakes of the movies Sparkle, Annie, A Star is Born, Steel Magnolias and a third sequel to Bad Boys, all with black leads this time around. While some sequels and remakes can actually be better than the originals (The Godfather II, Toy Story III for example), most do a great job of making fans pissed (or worse, making them fall asleep). These were a few that had me ready to start a riot…or something of the sorts…just know I didn’t like these movies at all.
PS, Be prepared to click. I warned you, so hey…
Carmen: A Hip Hopera
Really? This might have been one of the worst movies of all time. OF ALL TIME! *In a Kanye voice* Granted, it was only a TV movie, but Bey, Mos Def, Mekhi Phifer and the rest of them should have known better. A remake of the classic movie Carmen starring Dorothy Dandridge, which also came from a Broadway play and book, Beyoncé plays the lead as an aspiring actress who uses folks to get to the top, including Phifer’s character of Derek. While it was a nice attempt by Robert Townsend, the acting is HORRIBLE, and if you were wondering, not just by Bey Bey. The music bits were a tad bit corny, and the adapted storyline just didn’t work. But I should have known the movie wasn’t going to be all that deep. Anything with Da Brat as the narrator, Wyclef as a tarot card reader, and Bow Wow as a jailbird (even though he was barely out of puberty) just won’t go well…
An interesting remake is in the works. Lifetime, in conjunction with Broadway director Kenny Leon and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, is bringing back the 1989 classic “Steel Magnolias” with an all-black cast.
The movie is about the bond between women living in the same parish in Louisiana as they go through different life experiences — pregnancy, marriage, death of a loved one, health risks, etc. The original movie featured an ensemble cast of highly regarded actresses: Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts.
Since the upcoming remake featuring black actresses will still be set in Louisiana, perhaps the directors can throw a little Creole flavor in the mix — I’m seeing Lynn Whitfield and Jurnee Smollett from “Eve’s Bayou.” Since Leon already worked with Phylicia Rashad when he directed “A Raisin in the Sun” in 2004, I hope he’ll make her a part of this as well. I have a feeling the movie could end up as a cross between the original film and Tyler Perry’s interpretation of “For Colored Girls,” but without the poetic style. Maybe “The Women of Brewster Place” would be a better comparison. Either way, as a Lifetime junkie, I’m pretty excited about this.
What black actresses would you like to see fill these roles?
By Torri R. Oats
With the announcement of the remake of ‘70s classic “Sparkle” getting the green light, we have to ask: Is there any originality in Hollywood? Looking at the 2011 film schedule, a record-setting 27 sequels, prequels, reboots and remakes are on deck. Thus, one would be hard-pressed to answer affirmatively, as retreads will account for over a fifth of film releases this year. With studios regularly spending hundreds of millions of dollars on producing and marketing a single film, they are increasingly focused on “sure things,” instead of looking for the next “Do the Right Thing.” It’s a great business strategy, as this record-breaking summer has proved, but is it a great creative strategy? For black films, the remake has at times proven to be lucrative and dynamic as a vehicle to promote African-American stars to mainstream audiences. Let’s take a look at some of Hollywood’s black takes on classic stories. Sometimes a do-over with a black cast — or a black cast recast in a modern setting — is all a film needs to sell it to the public once again.
Sparkle (Estimated release: 2013)
A successful singing group made up of sisters must cope with the ups and downs of fame, including drugs.
Salim Akil’s last film, “Jumping the Broom,” was a surprise hit with a total box office haul of over $37 million with a $6.6 million budget. After that kind of success, Akil was empowered to write his own ticket. His project of choice? A “Sparkle” remake with a cast led by Whitney Houston in a comeback role and Jordin Sparks as the youthful star. This highly anticipated remake has been in the works for quite some time.