I have been as critical of Hollywood's lack of imagination this year as anyone. Too many remakes. And yet... Two upcoming movies make me think that not all remakes are bad. First, even though I'm not going to see it, the idea of having Billy Bob Thornton star in the "Bad News Bears" remake seems inspired. The ads show a little bit too much "Bad Santa" for my taste but all in all, BBT is the only one in SAG who could carry off a 2005 version of Walter Matthau's uber-curmudgeon Buttermaker.
The second movie, which I am planning to see, also relies on the proper casting to seem like a winner: Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Depp has done some marvelous work. If his characterizations are based on individuals (Jack Sparrow as Keith Richards, or was that Keith Richards as Jack Sparrow?) and I've read that Depp's Wonka is based on Marilyn Manson, then more actors should try the technique. It works. What finally makes the new Wonka movie a go-see and "Bears" a no-see is that modern special effects should make the chocolate factory a fargin' miracle.
But for now, the balcony is ... no, that's another fat guy at the movies. Never mind.