News Column

Reading Eagle, Pa., George Hatza column

December 1, 2013

YellowBrix

Dec. 01--When I heard recently that plans were in the works to make a sequel of the classic Frank Capra film "Its a Wonderful Life," the first thought to pop into my head was, "Why?"

Obviously, the answer is to make money. But why ruin a perfect film just because you can? And the notion of turning the movie's premise inside out, showing the grandson of George Bailey (the Jimmy Stewart role) how much better the world would be without him, reveals a lack of imagination.

It has bomb written all over it.

That said, there are a few other movies I hope no one ever plans to tinker with.

Stay away from Roman Polanski's "Chinatown." I never want to know what happens to Faye Dunaway's sister/daughter.

And don't touch "Casablanca." A sequel would destroy the romance of the original. You see, you're not just making a new movie, you're changing the original. Not a good idea.

At least in some cases.

I can think of a handful of sequels that were worthy of their originals and actually enhanced them.

Martin Scorsese's 1986 sequel to "The Hustler" (1961), "The Color of Money," brought Paul Newman the Oscar he should have won 25 years earlier. However, "The Color of Money" is a great picture on its own and does nothing to mutate "The Hustler."

I love James Cameron's "Aliens" (1986), an action thriller that, with a different approach, proved as terrifying as Ridley Scott's 1979 haunted-house-in-space masterpiece. And it still continued the original dramatic through-line.

And Sigourney Weaver, as the intrepid Ripley, earned a chance to develop the heroine she became at the end of the first film.

"The Godfather, Part II (1974)," some would argue, was better than "The Godfather" (1972). It certainly was as good, and it explored fissures in the central relationships that emerged in the first picture.

Sometimes, rarely, a sequel can work.

Contact Entertainment Editor George Hatza: 610-371-5075 or ghatza@readingeagle.com.

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(c)2013 the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.)

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