Tonight, eight friends and I gathered around for a Saturday Night Mini Movie Marathon. The theme: MOVIES THAT HAVE BEEN REMADE. The first film up was Whitney's choice, True Grit. The remake is coming out on Christmas Day and when you see who's involved, you'll be as excited as I am. Coen Brothers + Jeff Bridges + Matt Damon + Josh Brolin. Sounds good, yeah? But don't count out the John Wayne original.
The only thing I knew about True Grit was the name "Rooster Cogburn." And that's all I needed to know. The violent western was a HIT! Everybody loved it. You can head over to Dear Jesus to read everyone's comments about it. John Wayne (four years after having an entire lung removed!) plays an overweight cowboy with an eyepatch. He's hired by a teenage girl to capture her father's killer. Another guy who's hunting down the murderer throws a wrench into the gears and conflict ensues. Oh boy, does it ensue! Watch as fingers get chopped off, necks get noosed, and horses foam at the mouth. I usually steer clear of giving actual "ratings" to movies but I have to give True Grit an A+.
The second movie was our friend Aaron's pick. He went with The Ladykillers, another movie that the Coen Bros. remade. A lot of us really liked this one. I even liked it more than the remake. Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers star in this one. Like in the remake, a gang holes up in an old woman's house to plot their heist. The unsuspecting old bitty has no idea what's going on until it's too late...for the criminals. It's then that the old woman proves to be too much for these bad guys to handle. If you enjoyed the Tom Hanks version, you'll probably like the original even more. But be forewarned, this one features way less Irritable Bowel Syndrome jokes. If you rent the 1955 version expecing the pants-pooping...you're going to be disappointed.
Wait...wait just a second now...which American comedy classic is actually a remake of a French film released just a year prior to the U.S. release? That's right Three Men and a Baby or, as it was originally called, Three Men and a Cradle. This one's pretty different than it's American counterpart. While the Tom Selleck/Ted Danson/The Gute vehicle is totally squeaky clean while the Giraud/Boujenah/Dussollier vehicle spends the first fifteen minutes following the titular three men take extraodinary sexual risks with a slew of ladyfriends. Then there's the drugs (cocaine) and the depression (sadness). The plot development is a bit rocky but by the end, the French film has a much stronger emotional impact (as least it did for me) than the American one. I'm glad I chose this one. It was a good pick (but not as good as Whitney's.)