Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 25

            I decided to do the 30 day movie challenge as a blog series as it ties into my blog activities rather easily and I am once again not blogging my usual series with regularity in spite of saying that I would.
            Today is "A Movie that I think should not be remade".  A movie only ever needs to be remade for a small little group of reasons.  One might be that the concept or themes failed to be adequately explored in the original material, that the characters and universe could have supported a deeper exploration of the material (yesterday's suggestion of "Highlander").  Another reason is that the idea was good, but poorly executed, creating a vision that had so much potential but due to poor acting, or poor effects, or just a bad camera the movie is held back by arbitrary and fixable limitations ("Clash of theTitans" versus "Clash of the Titans", which will have to get remade again in a few years because the main actor is so far below adequate).  The last reason is that it is a recognizable mythos that regardless of number of iterations so long as a smart artist is put behind it the characters in question can deliver a new and engaging story ("Batman and Robin" versus "Batman Begins").  But there are times in which movies are good enough, and hold up well enough over time that no remake would ever be really warranted, this holds true especially for movies heavy in dialogue, or those that speak very much to a time and place, the movie I picked today does that.  What film do I think emboldens its era well enough, and has production values that meet the needs of the narrative unquestionably?  "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington".
Trailers back in the day were more of the "It's good, go and see it" which was a far cry from the trailers today which show you why you should go see something.

            This is my second favorite movie of all time after "Fight Club" and they fall on the same themes (beating back against a corrupt system that is out to marginalize or destroy you) but fall so far apart on the methodology scale of things that they are not even recognizable.  "Fight Club" seeks to tear down the corrupt system with bombs, while rejecting modern society through acts of violence visited on each other, "Smith" embraces the ideals of the system, and uses the systems own rules to expound his position as an honest man who is being attacked by those who have hijacked the system.  I suppose there is also a parallel in that Smith was a boy scout leader, and Tyler was a leader of a men's social organization for guys who felt like society treated them like children.

You know how much that office/apartment costs on the retail market?  More than a Senator could afford, must be a lobbyist's base of operation

            The plot of the film is this: After a senator dies the 40 something Smith (Jimmy Stewart) is appointed by the governor to take his place, Smith is surprised by this as he has done nothing but be a community leader even though his father was in politics.  Turns out Smith was appointed more or less as a publicity stunt and is expected to just slack jaw his way through Washington.  When Smith proposes a bill to create a national campground on land political bosses were planning on destroying to built an unnecessary public works project, the bosses falsify evidence that Smith is trying to use his office to profit off of his park idea.  Smith filibusters the Senate in hopes that his words will show him to be innocent.  He is tremendously boned.  Much like everyone who was involved in the Keating Five loosing a huge amount of face in the real world regardless of how little or how much they knew was going on (that being one of the initial reasons I wasn't going to vote for Senator McCain, before Sarah Palin came along and dwarfed all other reasons).  And the end of the movie is rather hope inspiring, though I will admit that it is unlikely.

Though ending on this image would have been a little dark.
             Go watch this classic movie.  It stars Jimmy Stewart, who was very much the precursor to what Tom Hanks has been for the last 30 years, a very nice everyman who is easy to identify with and respect.  The sets look authentic to Washington, and even the black and white element helps place this movie in the time of its creation as it deals with themes that were very much part of the time.  I would love to see a movie like this one in modern times, and I think that "Thank You For Smoking" was about as close as I could hope for, with maybe the short lived television series "Mister Sterling" (that was criminally under rated and only failed because it was created in the storm of political shows that appeared following "The West Wing" becoming the best Television show of all time.

Go watch this too, it is awesome.

            If you liked my take on this movie, please click the Google "+1" button in the comments section, post the link on your facebook, or send people over from anywhere else you might social network.

No comments:

Post a Comment