— by CAM SMITH —
One of my many steadfast theories in reviewing movies is that, among the many hurdles any critic faces when presenting their argument to a reader, there are two particular matters of taste that are impossible to debate or overcome: sense of humor and nostalgia.
Just as even a horrible comedy like “Wild Hogs” has an enthusiastic audience out there who double over with side-splitting laughter every God-forsaken time John Travolta’s character gets a face-full of fake crow, there’s a mass of people willing to put up with any steaming pile of dreck that’ll give them even the slightest whiff of their skipping-through-the-dandelions days of yore. It doesn’t matter how obscure or cruddy the franchise is, if Hollywood makes it, they will come.
According to Merrick over at Ain’t It Cool News, Disney — which previously attempted to play the lucrative nostalgia card with April’s “Race to Witch Mountain” — has just announced that a remake of the 1979 sci-fi snoozer “The Black Hole” is in the pipeline.
In case your mind is hazy — or you have enough sense to purge listless junk like “The Black Hole” from your memory banks immediately after enduring it — the film, set in the year 2130, detailed the galactic misadventures of the research ship USS Palamino. The spacecraft is staffed by Robert Forster, Anthony Perkins and a cheesy-looking R2-D2 rip-off named V.I.N.C.E.N.T., who, upon rescuing a crazy spacecraft disaster survivor (Maximilian Schell), have their vehicle hijacked and forced into the oblivion of the titular astronomical event.
Although not an inherently bad premise, the flick had no real identity of its own, shamelessly aping influential hits like “Star Wars” and “2001,” but with only a tiny smidgeon of their creativity and intelligence. It was also syrup-paced and inexplicably kid-unfriendly, with an excessively grim and disturbing protracted last act.
And yet, despite a universe of crippling flaws, the movie has managed to amass a small, but loyal, cult of admirers who would no doubt gleefully flock to a contemporary update.
Perhaps that’s the reason director Joseph Kosinski and producer Sean Bailey — who are currently wrapping up production on that other semi-dubious resurrected nostalgia-property “Tron: Legacy” — have beamed onto the project, intent on “reinventing” the original effort. They’ve recruited screenwriter Travis Beacham (who has a story credit in this summer’s “Clash of the Titans”) and will hopefully, for the audience’s sake, be able to succeed where the 1979 team woefully failed.
Yet, stubborn pride aside, I have to admit that remake projects of this nature are far more intriguing than those which only aim to leech off of established classics. It’s easy to make a synthetic carbon-copy of a great idea, but pulling out the alchemy books and attempting to turn cinematic sludge into gold? That’s a tricky prospect worth cheering for. So, bitter as I may be from my own experience with the property, I’ll certainly be there to check out whatever ultimately ends up on celluloid.
So how do you guys feel about a “Black Hole” remake? And for that matter, in what regard do you hold the original film? Light up the comment section and let me know!
(Editor’s note: The following is a fan-made trailer of the original movie, featuring music by Mike Merryman — who edited the trailer. It contains spoilers from the movie.)
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.