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08/03/15

Movie mistakes: Why movie stars find solace in what they know and remakes make us queasy

This past weekend, two movies that seemed all too familiar delivered in big ways, albeit on opposite ends of the spectrum.
"Mission Impossible," the popular television show that was rekindled on the big screen by Tom Cruise nearly 20 years ago had yet another installment hit the box office and cruised to an impressive debut in its first weekend. The film has had decent to good reviews, and the "Mission Impossible" film franchise has done extremely well financially, so why not give it a shot?
Well, a few reasons come to mind, namely the recent lack of success for "Terminator" with Arnold and company. Schwarzenegger returned as the cyborg this summer and bombed, and Cruise is hardly the bankable action slash movie star he once was.
The recipe for disaster seemed in place, but Cruise and his crew came through solidly for a number of reasons versus why Arnold is sulking after his "Terminator" tanked. For starters, Cruise looks as though he hasn't aged since "Risky Business" so buying him as an action star isn't quite so far fetched. Schwarzenegger reeks of rehash, and the "Terminator" franchise, unlike "Mission Impossible" didn't have a series of forgettable movies to its credit. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" in 2003 and the awful "Salvation" set the franchise back light years versus the first two installments from creator James Cameron.
Cruise can't argue the point that if he's not playing the title role in "Mission Impossible," then he's not the layup, 100 million dollar box office man he once was, but you never know what springboard could be set up for him after yet another winner in this franchise.

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On the flip side, who really likes remakes of movies? They absolutely reek of a lack of creativity, and nothing is quite more apparent than another movie that opened over the weekend: "Vacation." The classic that originally starred Chevy Chase as the bumbling Clark Griswold is pure comedic gold. What we got as an audience this weekend from Ed Helms playing grown up Rusty Griswold doing the same family trip to "Wally World" was comedic garbage served up with zero laughs.
Not that we should be surprised.
"Vacation," much like most movies that did wonders as an original, should be left alone and enjoyed in their first incarnation. Nothing is more painful than seeing a modern day version of a movie that captivated you as a child or even as a younger adult molded into the muck that was the new "Vacation."
Some aren't so bad, such as "Mad Max," for instance, but most are downright awful. Even when movie studios talk about remaking movies like "Death Wish," or "Die Hard," you just want to roll over in your movie chair and fall flat on that sticky soda ridden floor and start kicking your feet in disbelief.
It's one thing to keep a franchise afloat on namesake and name value; that at least has some continuity to it. Pulling out old movies and making them shells of their former selves is movie magic that backfires.

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