Friday, December 3, 2010

Do We Really Need A New Rooster Cogburn?

Jeff Bridges as Rooster?
Sorry, that's not
Rooster Cogburn.
Here we are living in 2010.  A world where computers can generate just about any image our minds can imagine.  A world where movie special effects can produce just about any scenario a director can think up.  A world where we're using this virtually unlimited creative ability to remake old low-budget TV shows like The Dukes of Hazard and The A-Team for the big screen?  Really?

This is Steve McGarrett
Is it true that axiom that the smarter our computers get, the dumber we get?  Are we truly out of new and original ideas.  I was thinking about this the other night while I was watching the new Hawaii Five-O.  Perhaps that's not fair--there are shows on TV that are fresh and original, like NCIS (which they've now copied and run back to back).  Wait . . . how about CSI (there's like twenty of those now aren't there?).  Okay, the quality of TV may be at an all-time low, but maybe TV is not the best example. 

I'm sure this is going to be great!
Spiderman: The Musical!
Let's look at the artistic and creative world of Broadway.  I just can't wait to see "Spiderman: The Broadway Musical."  Or maybe head to the theater to see a remake of True Grit.  Of course the original is probably one of the most perfect examples of the Western ever made by Hollywood starring one of the greatest actors ever, John Wayne.  How could you improve upon that, and why would you even want to try?  It's not like you're trying to perfect something that fell short last time. 

Now this is, and always will be
Rooster Cogburn. The Duke
Seems that in our modern world, we should be able to do better than to just regurgitate what's already been done before.  Can't we have a truly original idea, or are we just going to continue to plagiarize ourselves until all original thinking is gone forever.  Every time you copy something, it gets fundamentally weaker, and it seems to me we aren't always dealing with the strongest material to begin with.  Consider this while you're watching the new version of The Wizard of Oz.  At least when it comes to remaking old movies, they're remaking good ones.  It would make no sense to remake bad ones, like say the 1982 Disney flop TRON.  What?  You're kidding right?  In 3-D? That's great.  I can't wait to see that. Now will Jeff Bridges be reprising his role in TRON, or is he too busy filming the new True Grit in the lead role of Rooster Cogburn?

Bet you can't see him as Rooster Cogburn now.  "Fill yur hand
you son of a bitch!"  See it just doesn't work, does it?
Okay, so I'm just ticked off that somebody is messing with a John Wayne movie.  But John Wayne dedicated nearly half a century to making films, and True Grit is one of the best examples of his work, in fact, he won his only Oscar in the part. Those movies represent a persons life work, and isn't is just a little disrepectful for somebody to come along and marginalize that accomplishment by trying to duplicate it with little possibility of improving upon the original? 

No wonder people question if America's best days aren't behind her--at a time when so many things are possible for the very first time in our history, it just seems like we're out of ideas about how to use it.

4 comments:

  1. It's not actually a remake: the original movie is based on a book and this one is based on the same book (I'll wager it follows the book more closely, too, but I could be wrong). Perfect casting for this one, I'd say. I am very much looking forward to comparing the way Bridges says his lines with the way Wayne did.

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  2. You might be right, but I still think it lacks imagination. Actually, in the book, the story is told by Mattie looking back on it as an old woman, and if I remember right, she winds up losing an arm during her adventure with Rooster. I'll try and maintain an open mind. We'll see what they do with it.

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  3. Todd, I was very skeptical too on this new version. It wasn't bad though. The Duke can never be replaced, but Jeff Bridges does a great job at the role.

    -Bro. Barry

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  4. I did watch it finally, and I must say (begrudgingly) that it wasn't bad. Sorry, Duke.

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