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LMPE
I connect the most dissimilar things
12:43 PM on 07/31/2010
Every time that Hollywood remakes a foreign movie, I just assume that it's going to suck ("The Birdcage" and "Insomnia" were pleasant surprises).

I had no plans to see "Dinner for Schmucks" anyway.
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
01:21 PM on 07/31/2010
few people do, at least the ones I speak to.
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Aquarius17
12:36 PM on 07/31/2010
As an AVID classic movie fan, I am horrified by remakes. Some time ago I saw an article about a remake of "Harvey." How could they? I hope saner minds have prevailed.

The remake of "The Women" didn't compare to the original. And, while I like Steve Martin, how dare he remake "Cheaper by the Dozen" or "Father of the Bride?" These were made flawlessly in their time and the new ones are cheap imitations in talent and feel.

If they can't come up with new stories they should just shut down Hollywood.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
01:04 PM on 07/31/2010
The sharp bite and wit of the original "The Women" was cut out of the film and when you take a play that depended as in the original film version with speaking quickly and updtae to the modern era it loses all it's power and strength. Still, how could anyone today compare with Rosiland Russell as Sylvia Fowler. The fast talk, her snappy way with a line. She was already set on the raod to play Auntie Mame with that role alone.
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
01:17 PM on 07/31/2010
and let's not forget his girl friday!
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stagebandman
I try to be nice....
02:31 PM on 07/31/2010
Actually, they already remade Harvey several times. In 1958, Art Carney played Elwood P. Dowd on the DuPont Show Of The Month. In 1970, the Germans gave us Mein Freund Harvey starring that stalwart, Heinz Ruhmann. In 1972, James Stewart himself reprised his role in a live TV presentation, but the best of the bunch was a 1996 version that may have been done by Disney. It sat on the shelf for 3 years and finally got on TV. Too bad, because it is really a pretty good version, as I recall. Harry Anderson, Leslie Nielsen, Swoosie Kurtz, Jonathan Banks, Jessica Hecht and the great William Schallert. Of course, when you're dealing with material that started as a play, it's a completely different bag.
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
05:22 PM on 07/31/2010
loved jimmy in that one. his favorite part.
04:25 PM on 08/02/2010
There is a difference between remaking a movie and re-imagining a play as a film. Don't know which "Dinner" falls into (I'm guessing the former), but filming Harvey or The Man Who Came to Dinner again doesn't seem any weirder than filming HenryIV or King Lear. It's not a fine line but blurry, of course. My visceral reaction to the remake of The Lion in Winter was that "it" had already been done. On the extreme, though, is the morbid stupidity of the "remake," shot for shot, of Psycho. Filming a play is not radically different from producing it live, but it you decide to "remake" the play, you better have Tom Stoppard's creativity.
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Halsey
"There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. T
11:08 AM on 07/31/2010
I'd like to toss this out there. If "American" movies are the be-all, end-all, why don't EU production companies remake our films? My guess, they know their audience and have original thinkers who still see movies as art (yes with exceptions). Can you imagine a Hollywood take on the White Ribbon?
I've no interest in even renting schmucks when it comes out on DVD in 3 weeks but can hardly wait for Vahalla Rising to come to LA.
And yes, Martin, who I really like, as Clouseau was an affront to the senses.
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sharonsj
old, cranky liberal Democrat (for the time being)
02:25 PM on 07/31/2010
Why don't European companies remake our films? American movies have stupid plots, no characterizations, lousy dialog, and are entirely dependent on special effects. There is no substance for anyone creative to work with.

Movie attendance keeps going down, along with the American I.Q.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
02:41 PM on 07/31/2010
I supose they have too much real national pride to remake the crap we make here.
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brahdog
hello walls
11:42 PM on 07/31/2010
they don't remake american movies because they play and make money in foreign markets. duh

and nostalgia just isn't what it used to be, isn't it, grandma
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cityprole
old,sly, crafty,arty, leftie
11:01 AM on 07/31/2010
The authoir said it all; he referred to the French original as 'delightful, intelligent"..I can't even remmeber the last time i actually went to the movies..not only are most of them totally lame, but the sound is blaring, I hate paying for commercials and trailers, and patrons are really obnoxious..not a pleasant experience, and they want premium prices these days to hate the movie...
It's going to take a good ten years for the industry to get over this ridiculous notion that everyone wants movies that require the intelligence of a boiled vegetable to enjoy..
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01:23 PM on 07/31/2010
you forgot to add "get off my lawn,"
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cityprole
old,sly, crafty,arty, leftie
10:59 AM on 08/01/2010
Sorry don't know the reference..but i don't have a 'lawn' anyway..that is so suburban! :P
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theredqueen
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10:43 AM on 07/31/2010
The Women 1939, great - The Women 2008, not,

and the list goes on.
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01:24 PM on 07/31/2010
Scarface?
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theredqueen
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02:35 PM on 07/31/2010
Very true.
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MikeDu
Both salubrious and lugubrious concurrently.
10:02 AM on 07/31/2010
You get the feeling there's a certain 'something' that Hollywood producers think American audiences *don't want*. Because every time they remake a foreign classic that certain 'something' is always missing. And you get the impression it wasn't simply left out, it was forceably extracted like a tooth pulled without anethetics. The resulting film is often painful to watch.

Fortunately for American producers, and unfortunate for us, recently filmed foreign originals are coming to resemble Hollywood more and more. They've extracted that certain 'something' themselves.
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:44 AM on 07/31/2010
I agree- witness "girl with dragon tattoo".
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
08:54 AM on 07/31/2010
La Cage was far superior to Birdcage however the american version of La Femme Nikita --"Point of No Return"--with Briget Fonda was superb.
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StevieTheK
On n'oublie rien, rien du tout
10:21 AM on 07/31/2010
interesting, I far far preferred "La Femme Nikita". Chacun å son gout!
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:43 AM on 07/31/2010
I preferred the french version as well.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
01:17 PM on 07/31/2010
I like them both equally.
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LMPE
I connect the most dissimilar things
12:40 PM on 07/31/2010
Part of why "The Birdcage" came out so good was because it was right after the Republicans had taken control of congress - based on Newt Gingrich's Contract with America (which I call "Contract against America") - and the movie portrayed a senator who founds The Coalition for Moral Order...and one of his colleagues is found dead with an underage prostitute.
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
01:22 PM on 07/31/2010
also nichols and may, hackman, robin williams.
thought nathan lane hammed it up though.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
01:24 PM on 07/31/2010
Birdcage didn't work for me because I really think Nathan Lane was miscast. I love Lane; he's very funny and does wonderful work--on broadway--yet in Birdcage, when you compare it to the french version, he's not light enough and there's a but heavy=handiness to him (and not in the and not cartoonish enough. Let's face it, the original character was more or less a cartoon.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
08:48 AM on 07/31/2010
John: So glad you have something posted here now. I made a terrible mistake and need to get in touch with Huffpost by phone and can't fund a telephone number. I E-mailed them twice and then immediately lged out of my E-mail a and don;t want to open it again. It has to do with open access to my personal E-mails. Do you have a number I can call, and if so how do I get it since I can't open my E-mails to get a message without comrpomising them? If you moderate this blog please don't post this ok and thanks. I'm really in a quandry here and am very nervous about his.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
08:54 AM on 07/31/2010
Well, I see this is posted. :(
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:47 AM on 07/31/2010
I have no number but can't you get help via technical support on their site?
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
12:50 PM on 07/31/2010
I E-mailed them twice. There must be a phone number and I can't check my E-mails without signing in.
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SShaw490
War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left
08:01 AM on 07/31/2010
I'm certainly no movie expert, but I thought it was a lousy movie, and I'd give it a D+ only because Steve Carell is a naturally funny guy. I may be judging it harshly because my 16 year old son went to see it on a first date with a 15 year old girl, and I thought its constant sexual references were too much for a PG13 movie - I think the director cynically tried to get as close to the line as he could. But overall, it was a movie that I would never recommend to anyone of any age.
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:48 AM on 07/31/2010
amazing the critics were as generous as they were!
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Puller58
Man of Mystery
06:40 AM on 07/31/2010
Remakes reflect the hope that if something was successful before, it'll be successful again. And it only takes a few to keep that hope alive.
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:49 AM on 07/31/2010
I suppose but the overall hit rate is low.
04:13 AM on 07/31/2010
Pro remake or not... It always flabbergasts me that we need to re do all foreign movies to enjoy them!

"Le diner de cons" was an amazing movie. I can't see how any actor could ever do better than Jacques Villeret as the bumbling idiot...
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:50 AM on 07/31/2010
I think that's the point right there: no actor could!

how about steve martin as clouseau? yikes!
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RedDogBear
01:31 AM on 07/31/2010
"Though some will undoubtedly differ with me on this, even Mike Nichols's The Birdcage (1996), by far the most successful Veber adaptation this side of the pond, pales next to its predecessor, La Cage Aux Folles (1978)."

I can't believe any sane person would differ with you on that. Certainly not me.

You didn't mention one of the most horrendous remakes of all time. The Richard Gere version of Breathless. Not that the remake was so bad just that the original was so perfect it was a sin to make a cheap copy.
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:51 AM on 07/31/2010
good one- or how about "psycho"?
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
01:39 PM on 07/31/2010
How about the american version of "Diobolique". So bad I forget the title. It was a Sharon Stone vehicle to make her appear as a serious actress.
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01:05 AM on 07/31/2010
"American remakes of foreign hits are most often inferior"

American remakes of american hits are often inferior. I cannot tell you the last time I went to a movie or bought a dvd. I watch a LOT of TCM or documentaries.

The studio heads etc. don't give a crap. If you go to a movie, they got your money whether you like it or not. And they use your numbers as if you did like, even if you didn't. These ppl have not a bit of shame in the world.
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:53 AM on 07/31/2010
that's why I, like you, choose not to go.
wish more followed our lead.
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03:45 PM on 07/31/2010
Absolutely.
12:50 AM on 07/31/2010
Excuse me, but aren't the people in charge of creative decisions in Hollywood a buncha schmucks? That's the only thing that explains so many execrable films over the past 10 years. I believe this project got made because they heard the title and thought it was about them....
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:54 AM on 07/31/2010
haha- love it!
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StevieTheK
On n'oublie rien, rien du tout
11:17 PM on 07/30/2010
Given that "Schmuck" literally means "Penis" in Yiddish, I am cringing just a little at the continued mainstreaming of vulgarity that this represents, along with a prime time TV show called "Shit my Dad Says"
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RedDogBear
01:21 AM on 07/31/2010
I agree but I think that ship has sailed. Its funny because I was passionately for Lenny Bruce and Frank Zappa. As Frank said so concisely "its just words". And I still think that. But what I hate is that all the power of words has been lost. Its not so much the vulgarity that I mind but the stupidity.
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StevieTheK
On n'oublie rien, rien du tout
07:24 AM on 07/31/2010
You and I are in accord.
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
10:52 AM on 07/31/2010
right on.
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Steamboater
Forget hope. Agitate.
01:33 PM on 07/31/2010
Well, I posted this much earlier and it didn't show so I'll try again. Things change and so do meanings of words. The word, "schmuck" meant penis for a very long time adn din yiddishm it was the worst thing you could call anyone, but also for a long time it's been used lightley as a throwaway, as when you see someone who goofs off and and makes an fool out of himself and you silently say to yourself, "schmuck". It's used in the same way 'yutz' is used, a bastardized version of 'putz' which also means penis. All in all, if anyone knows the yiddish word, 'schmendrick', there you have it as that's how 'schmuck' is so often used today--goofball, dweed, doofus, bozo etc. In regard to the post I posted earlier here about Huffpost and my mistake and my E-mails, what a schmuck I was to have made that mistake I posted about. :)
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John Farr
isolates and celebrates the best movies available
02:26 PM on 07/31/2010
no-just a schmendrick- lol