Daily Dirt:Sometimes, the remakes are better — much, much better

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Dec. 15, 2021

Gunfighter, secret agents, zombies — sometimes they’re all better the second time around … welcome to the three thoughts that make up Vol. 158 of the Daily Dirt.

1. A few nights ago I got sucked in into the 2016 remake of “The Magnificent Seven”.

I hadn’t watched it in a couple of years and had forgotten what a quality movie it was. Nothing better on a cold December evening than one spent in an easy chair with entertainment provided by the old west and plenty of gratuitous violence. While watching Denzel Washington (as Sam Chisholm) defeat an army of bad guys, I got to thinking about other remakes, and which ones were my favorites.

Here’s the list I came up with — my top three and a couple of honorable mentions:

Gold medal: “Casino Royale” (2006), which is not only heads and shoulders over the 1967 movie of the same name starring David Niven, it is arguably the second-best of the James Bond films featuring Daniel Craig. The ’06 version also laid some important groundwork for future Bond films. “Casino Royale” was more than a remake, it was a landmark.

Silver Medal: “The Magnificent Seven” (2016) remake was a far more believable version than the 1960 classic (yes, it’s still a classic even if it’s not as effective as its latter-day counterpart). Washington is the dominating character is a more appealing cast that includes Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. Look close if you happent to watch this in the next couple of days for Luke Grimes in a secondary role — he’s one of the stars of the megahit “Yellowstone” on the Paramount Network. The 1960 version gave us Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson as headliners — not bad, just not quite as good as the 2016 remake.

Bronze medal: “Scarface” (1983) gave us the famous line from Al Pacino, “Say hello to my little friend!” The 1983 remake will forever be remembered for its bloodbaths (hey, we’re dealing with gangsters) and its over-the-top attitude that almost begged for comic relief. The original “Scarface” dates to 1932 and was highly controversial at the time for its violence.

Honorable mention I: “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), starring Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, George Clooney and a solid cast of others was smooth and far more appealing than what I felt was a rough-around-the-edges 1960 version that gave us Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and other Rat Pack types.

Honorable mention II: The “Dawn of the Dead ” 2004 remake upped the zombie apocalypse and accompanying gore a full notch or two over its 1978 original, which was borderline incredible in its own right. We owe today’s “The Walking Dead” universe to the foresight of director George A. Romero, the man who first brought the dead to life, beginning with 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead”. All hail the late George A. Romero.

2. Here’s five of Facebook’s best contributions in recent days:

  • “Gonna go lay under the Christmas tree to remind my family that I’m a gift.”
  • “I accidentally swallowed some food coloring. I think I dyed a little inside.”
  • “Shipping problems have really hit the music industry. There are thousands of Otis Redding recordings just sitting on the dock of the bay.”
  • “Chicks dig scars. Pain is temporary. Glory is forever.”
  • “I bought a little bag of air today. The company that made it put a few potato chips in it.”

3. I found what I thought was an interesting list of the rudest celebrities on discover.alot.com. Here are some who made the website’s top 20. The responses were pulled from Reddit:

  • Andy Griffith: “Andy Griffith would shoot at you if you trespassed on his property. My grandpa lived nearby and said that Andy was always shooting at people.”
  • Oprah Winfrey: “A rude, ungrateful, entitled (blank).”
  • Tom Cruise: “Irreverent turd.”
  • Frank Sinatra: “My grandpa worked closely with Frank Sinatra for many years. He was a womanizing self-centered jerk.”
  • Adam Levine: “You can smell him from a mile away. He smells like a rotting ashtray.”

Steve Fact O’ The Day The words Steve and man bun have never been used in the same sentence.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Turd is an underutilized word.

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