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Remakes Are Better Than Sequels

This is true for your joints as well as movies. Fixing a swollen aching knee with cortisone is okay, for a while. Your knee is sort of like new, but then it disappoints. So you hive up extending the life of your old knee and you get that replacement knee. In a flash you realize that painfully hoisting up the old knee for an ice bag was a tedious waste of time. You needed something new. Movies really are like that, only different.

Especially when the producers are milking the sequels. Recently I saw the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. The sequel with Grindelwald had very few beasts and less of a plot. The worst was at the end you realize you’d been conned into the first part of yet another sequel. Likewise Disney is ruining the “Star Wars” franchise that managed to deliver on sequels before it was sold out. Now every single movie is an appetizer for what might come. Even Marvel’s “Thanos: End Game” was so not marvelous. And it was not an end game. It was annihilation. That means the only way back is some gimmick to undo time. It is one thing to introduce a thread for the next film (such as the last scene in “Aquaman”). But to string out decent stories like a taffy pull or chewing gum that has lost all its flavor is a waste of my time and money. Two resources as a Baby Boomer I have less and less of each day.

Arise the remake. Now we are talking. I loved the remake of “True Grit” with Jeff Bridges and Haliee Steinfeld. I could rewatch the female “Ghost Busters” every month with the best of the best female comedians Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. Hilarious.

Then there was Ocean’s Eleven all female cast which kicked serious butt with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kalig, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and the terrifically talented (just in “Crazy Rich Asians”) Awkwafina. The remake of “Alice in Wonderland” with Johnny Depp wasn’t half bad either.

This season we have been treated to “A Star is Born” with Lady Gaga who actually out did Judy Garland, no small feat. And to a “Spiderman” remake/retake animation that is so intense it’s a breakthrough in the use of telling a story. Not since “Fantasia” has animation reached this level of art form. If you want to see an amazing use of color, shape, sound and theme go see “Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse” today.

Then for a purely delightful evening go see Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt trip the light fantastic in “Mary Poppins Returns”. Supported by cameos with Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Collin Firth and the delightful Julie Walters (from “Momma Mia” fame and yes, okay, the “Momma Mia Here We Go Again” sequel did make me cry and was as good as the first one). This Mary Poppins has the occasional wink and a nod to the first one with a slight plot twist that the Banks children are all grown. But it is a remake in every way. New dance numbers, new music, new causes, even Burt lights lamps instead of cleaning chimneys. But it is all there. The kite, the animation, the wonder, the mean banker. (Some things never change). It is perfect in every way.

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So walk your spanking brand new replacement joints to the next theater, especially the places with the huge electric comfy recliner chairs, and enjoy the remakes this year. I think you’ll thank me.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to MenopauseShe hosts a local radio humor segment, “Baby Boomer Humor with Sassy Sally”.

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