News Column

Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas, Lana Sweeten-Shults column

November 22, 2013


Nov. 22--Somewhere, angels who have gotten their wings are not happy about filmmakers brazenly spreading their wings and making a sequel to "It's A Wonderful Life," which is not such a wonderful idea.

Filmmakers should know by now you don't mess with a classic. They should know when it comes to perfection, leave it alone. Otherwise you might end up with some monstrosity like the creature in "The Fly," a mutant human-fly hybrid disaster that might not have been if the scientist in the film just left well enough alone.

It would be like someone trying to remake "Gone With the Wind" -- gasp! -- or come up with a sequel to "Roman Holiday" or, dare we say, remake "Star Wars."

Didn't anyone learn from the redone version of "King Kong" with Jessica Lange, and then another retooled version of "King Kong" with Naomi Watts that some things don't need to be remade?

And isn't it one of the rules we learned from "Scream" that sequels are rarely better or even as good as the original, except for maybe "Rocky II" or "The Godfather II"?

It also should be a rule that, with almost 70 years having passed between the original film and the new one, that the statute of limitations on a sequel has passed.

The "It's a Wonderful Life" sequel is set for the 2015 holiday season, according to Variety, and will be called "It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story," with a screenplay written by Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton. It will bring back some of the original cast members, such as Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu.

What really burns my toast about this whole "It's a Wonderful Life" sequel idea is that it just proves -- yet again -- that originality is a rarity in Hollywood.

Audiences have been treated recently to "Thor 2" and "Kick-Ass 2," "The Hangover 3" and "Iron Man 3." We have been the recipients of a new "Spider-Man" film, this one called "The Amazing Spider-Man," a mere five years after the third film in the first trilogy was released.

And just in case you missed it, this summer's "Man of Steel," starring Henry Cavill, arrived just six years after "Superman Returns," starring Brandon Routh.

We might not have any films to watch at all if it didn't involve a superhero, vampire, zombie or werewolf.

It's why innovative films such as "Gravity" and contemporary stories taken from the drama of real life, such as "Captain Phillips," are so amazing. They make me appreciate originality so much more.

I'm just thankful no one has decided to make a sequel to "A Christmas Story." No one better mess with Ralphie in his bunny pajamas.

Sometimes not messing with the classics is the most wonderful idea you could have.

"The Buzz" covers the world of entertainment, pop culture and the big-buzzed news of the day. Follow Lana Sweeten-Shults on Twitter @LanaSweetenShul.


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