Fire up the flame war, because I'm about to admit to another crazy opinion: John Carpenter's Escape from New York is boring. It's a great concept -- that of Manhattan being a maximum security prison in which a military prisoner must seek and rescue the President of the United States in order to receive a pardon. The movie is even relatively impressive considering its low budget, regardless of how dated it now looks. But it just doesn't have enough going on to garner as much praise as it receives. Maybe if I'd seen it 25 years ago I would have the same fondness that its fans have, but I saw it this year and was seriously disappointed; and yes, I was extremely bored. Because of this crazy opinion, I actually wouldn't mind seeing a well-done remake. Unfortunately, I don't believe I will get to see such a thing considering the directors so far linked to the job. First there was Len Wiseman (I still haven't seen Live Free or Die Hard, so I can't judge him completely). Then there was the much worse news that Brett Ratner was taking the helm. Fortunately, we can count him out too, as Aint it Cool News has relayed an email claiming Ratner himself denied his involvement.
I'll admit one other thing, that may save me from too many flames: Kurt Russell is the only Snake Plissken. No matter who New Line gets to direct the EFNY redo, the studio might as well save themselves some pain by changing the main character's name. Technically there's no reason to do this, but for those of us who associate Russell with Snake, it would be a wonderful, narratively insignificant change (I even have a suggestion for a "new" name: Ben Richards). Yeah, I know I just saw the movie for the first time within twelve months, but even without sitting through the thing, I spent the last 25 years with the image of Russell with the eyepatch in my head. That means he's a part of the pop-cultural consciousness. Giving us a new Snake, at least by name, is like trying to re-introduce Mickey Mouse as a rat. Or Ronald McDonald as a bearded lady. Or Willy Wonka as Michael Jackson. Anyway, that is my invitation for scrutiny for the day, and I'm sticking by it. The Escape from New York remake, hopefully starring Gerard Butler as "some other dude with an eye patch," is due in 2009.