General News

Sounds Off: Please, Don't!

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Sep 04, 2001 | 12:04pm EDT

For me, it's been a summer of grumbling.

As I have written, that is what we, the movie-going public, do when studios offer us a steady diet of sequels and remakes.

And given that this summer--with a few notable exceptions such as Shrek--did not exactly wow us, we have come up with a list of movies that are currently in pre-production or production that we're begging the studios to cease all work on. Immediately.

Jurassic Park IV

We know this is on the drawing boards now. The stink on this franchise is worse than on my gym shoes. What can they possibly do to make this fresh? More dinosaurs? Been there. New dinosaurs? Done that. The original cast members shouldn't even take the producers' calls anymore.

Barbarella

Drew Barrymore has been mentioned in connection to this remake of the Jane Fonda vehicle. OK, we say enough of Drew in Charlie's Angels. More than we wanted to, in fact. Plus, classic camp such as Barbarella is almost impossible to remake decently.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2

I know. I love looking at Angelina Jolie, too. I love watching her kick some major booty, as well. But can anyone say, "One and done?" I know I can. This movie was soulless, gutless, and a major disappointment even for the video game's aficionados.

Planet of the Apes 2

Another of those "one and done" type movies. As much as I liked it-hey, there's nothing wrong with vapid fun--I'm thinking it was monkeys who wrote this script. Unless they find some better writers on the planet Mark Wahlberg ultimately landed on, this franchise is better off staying lost in space.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The Gene Wilder original was so perfectly done, I don't see how anyone could think they could improve upon it. Wilder's Wonka toed the line perfectly between manic and mirth. If Robin Williams takes over the title role, as is rumored, Wonka will be more sickly sweet than the candy he produces.

The Mummy III

Talk about aging poorly. I know the second installment did monster box office--get it, monster, mummy?-but, please, please don't back to the crypt again. Much like the Jurassic Park franchise, there isn't much more that this series can show us. Unless they start thinking about Bride of the Mummy. (Kidding, of course.)

The Philadelphia Story

Can anyone match Katharine Hepburn's clever moxie? Jimmy Stewart's earnest, lovable, bumbling journalist? Cary Grant's tux-encumbered suave persona? We think not. The 1940 original remains as wonderfully piquant a love triangle as has ever graced the screen. There's not a director out there who's shown they could handle this material without making it overly saccharine.

Other series/movies that need to be let lie: Rush Hour, The Matrix 3 (a second one's OK, but a third?), Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal, and yes, Austin Powers, baby.

Fall can't come soon enough if it starts offering us some real meaty cinematic fare to digest.

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