Year 8, Day 220 - 8/7/16 - Movie #2,415
BEFORE: I did subconsciously put together a summer-themed chain last week, didn't I? Nothing says "summer" more than the Beach Boys, a road-trip vacation, and some time in a hot tub, right? (Time machine optional) Plus there were little trips to Los Angeles, and a futuristic theme park a bit like Disney World, and we went to Walley World, too. Tonight I keep the summer theme going (sort of) with a story about a plane stranded in the Gobi desert. And Hugh Laurie carries over from "Tomorrowland".
Yep, another remake tonight - might as well get it out of the way.
FOLLOW-UP TO: "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965) (Movie #468)
THE PLOT: Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.
AFTER: I can't believe I've watched nearly 2,000 films since watching the original 1965 film. I remember the original quite clearly, and watching this one drove home the same points, because they didn't change all that much. Oh, sure, now the film is in color and the cast is more ethnically diverse, but it's mainly the same. And that proves to be something of a problem where remakes are concerned - it's probably difficult when making a remake to determine what to change and what to leave alone. Here they clearly erred on the side of caution and changed almost nothing, which leads to the question - why bother remaking the film at all?
OK, there's a new audience out there who may not watch classic films, and not be aware of the original. But they can go find it! I haven't posted my review of the new "Ghostbusters" yet, but those filmmakers faced the same problem - what to change, what to leave alone? They kept the basics of the original story, but updated a number of things, clearly trying to find the right balance, and make a story from decades ago a little more relevant to modern audiences. With regards to gender, there's a female engineer in this film, something that would have been shocking in 1965, but these days - it's no big deal. Though I guess the world's still not ready for female Ghostbusters, go figure.
They even kept the same big "twist", and if you've seen the 1965 "Flight of the Phoenix", you probably know the one I mean. No spoilers here, but there was an easy way to update that character's big revelation, there are secrets that he could have had that would be more modern and still been just as shocking. But I'll say no more.
I guess the other reason to update would be to use more modern effects, they can do things with pixels these days that would have had to been done live in 1965. Plane crashes, for example, can now be done in a film without damaging any plane in the real world, or putting any actors at risk. And they look great, even though for many people plane crashes are the stuff of nightmares.
But the film is really about what people can accomplish when they work together and put aside their differences. Oh, and not give in to their basic instincts, which could have turned these men into cannibals, or deranged lunatics fighting over the one woman in the group. There are probably some people in America who would resort to cannibalism after just an hour or two stuck in an elevator.
Also starring Dennis Quaid (last seen in "Something to Talk About"), Tyrese Gibson (last seen in "Legion"), Giovanni Ribisi (last seen in "Lost Highway"), Miranda Otto (last seen in "The Thin Red Line"), Tony Curran, Sticky Fingaz (last seen in "Clockers"), Jacob Vargas (last seen in "Dragonfly"), Scott Michael Campbell, Jared Padalecki, Kevork Malikyan, Paul Ditchfield.
RATING: 5 out of 10 cans of peaches