Big time movie re-releases should die in a fire.
This is going to be a bit of a rant, so I’ll keep it brief…
If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably been inundated by ads for Jurassic Park 3D. Besides Star Wars and Batman (the ’89 Keaton/Nicholson vehicle), Jurassic was the most important movie in my young life. I love the original and still do. But I will not be going to see the film’s return to theaters, because it will not be the movie I cherish.
This isn’t just because the movie has been converted to 3D–well, it is–but it’s also about integrity. Integrity of art, integrity of vision, and integrity of the our relationship with the film, the director, and our memories. Sweeping changes to the texture and content of the film damages all of those things.
I know that there are filmmakers out there who will disagree with me, and that’s fair. Film, more than other mediums, has a history of remixing, director’s cuts, extended cuts, and so forth. I’ve appreciated all of those to varying degrees over the years, but increasingly I find myself seeking out the original experience, and more and more, those are lost to “improved” versions that undermine the spirit of the original.
What kills me is when these so-called enhanced editions replace the original. It’s like bullshit historical revisionism. Those Secret Service mooks have always been brandishing walkie talkies at those kids. Greedo always shot first. These kinds of changes irrevocably alter the character of the film, and not for the better.
I want to caveat that I absolutely LOVE going to screenings of classic films, so this isn’t about films coming back after their prime. Some of my fondest movie memories are times spent watching cult classics like Flash Gordon and the Goonies at the local beer-theater (I think the beer helped, but anyway…). So suffice it to say, I’d love to see Jurassic Park in all it’s unadulterated glory, twenty years after it first blew my little brain. It’s too bad that this isn’t the movie I remember.