Sunday, June 06, 2010

Please Hollywood, Don't Remake Jaws

A few months ago, the website Cinema Blend announced that Universal Studios is planning on remaking the classic horror-thriller movie Jaws, which originally came out in 1975 and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The Cinema Blend article went on to specify this Jaws remake would be released in 3-D, and that one of the stars of the movie would be no other than Tracy Morgan, he of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock fame, to portray the Matt Hooper character (played in the original by Richard Dreyfuss).

I don't know if any of this is true. There's probably at least a kernel of truth to it.

But what I do know is true for me is that I hope, desperately hope, none of it's true.

Some things are sacrosanct, even for Hollywood. No one has dared to remake Gone With the Wind, or Casablanca. No one has to try to remake even Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, at least not yet. There's a reason such movies haven't been remade. They shouldn't be. They were perfect for what they were when they came out in the theaters.

For me, Jaws is such a movie. It is beyond being just a horror movie, or being a thriller about a shark. It's a downright spiritual movie. What, you don't think there's anything to Jaws beyond a shark eating a bunch of people? Well, you're wrong. Jaws is a tale with many themes, one of my favorite from the film being the relationships of men towards one another, especially men of different backgrounds from different times and different cultures (though admittedly all American, white males in the original film). Also, here is a tale of man having to deal with more than his own ego, an ego that has run up against something that is beyond himself, while also having to tackle the machismo that comes of three men out hunting. Then there's the family relationships, of the mother and children left behind as the father goes out to hunt a beast most deadly.

And for me, the shark in Jaws was never just a shark. It was a spiritual thing, though one of evil. A demon, perhaps. There are hints of this throughout the film, especially during the hunting scenes. This Great White shark is not only larger than any ever seen before, but it is also stronger and smarter. It has a personality, and it seems to have a sense of vengeance and/or retribution about it.

Now, about Tracy Morgan. I like Mr. Morgan's acting. He's a funny guy. I love seeing him on television and in movies. But he's a comedian, and I don't want to see such a good dramatic film as Jaws ruined by throwing in some corny one-liners.

And I won't even go into the 3-D idea other than to say it's awful. I'm sorry, but even with today's technology, 3-D isn't all it's cracked up to be. It looks silly.

There. I've said my pieces. Please don't remake Jaws, Hollywood. Isn't there another slasher flick from the '80s you could rip off?

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