Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tracey Turnblad's hair's got roaches!

Inspired by a recent post by my fellow blogger Salty Sailor...I'd been meaning to say a few things about this myself. Yep, yet another re-make is about to be unleashed upon us, this time an "update" of the classic John Waters movie, "Hairspray". With an all star cast, including John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. It's also meant to be more "musical" than the original and is based on the recent Broadway production.

Like my pal Salty, I'm not sure of the point of this. I can't really see why they're making a new version of a film which didn't come out that long ago. Actually it was 20 years ago which I suppose technically IS rather a long time, so I take that back slightly. But it doesn't SEEM long to me. The original John Waters movie was slyly subversive and as a director he had a great twisted slant on things (even if "Hairspray" was considerably more "respectable" than some of Waters' earlier experimental movies which were positively outrageous e.g. one early film had a character eating dog poo).

I'm just worried that the new version will be diluted down into your average teenagers-in-lurve type rom com that we've seen so many times before. Maybe not entirely - after all, having John Travolta in drag as Edna Turnblad is an interesting enough proposition - see above for proof - although no-one can beat the late, great Divine in my opinion. As I was just saying about "The Devil Wears Prada", Hollywood does have a habit of "sugaring the pill" and I'm concerned that all the bite of the original will be lost.

Ah well. Will probably get my butt down the cinema this coming weekend and see for myself. After I've sprayed my hair and put on my dancing shoes, of course.


  • At 5:35 pm , Blogger Steve said...

    I must admit, I don't think that even the marvellous John T can live up to Divine. I think he may have bitten off more than he can chew. It'll be interesting to see Christopher Walken though. I'm sure I read somewhere that he actually trained as a dancer before he got into acting.

  • At 9:50 pm , Blogger matty said...

    what i didn't understand is why would you even need to cast a male in Divine's former role? ...I mean, she really did play it as an actor -- not a drag queen. It was a very different from other Water's films.

    I felt the same about the musical play. Why bother with a man in drag?

    And, Travolta just looked uncomfortable to me. However, gotta love that number with Michelle P and Christopher W!!!! ...that was really the only scene I fully enjoyed.

    (and I LOVE musicals)

    still, it just made me realize how much more i love the original film. I mean, you can't beat Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono!

    "I was Miss Crab 1945!"

  • At 2:54 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Christopher Walken is a terrific actor, brilliant in both "The Deer Hunter" and "The Dead Zone", and definitely a villain with ruthless ambition in the James Bond film "A View to a Kill"!

    If you're interested in sampling his dancing abilities, you might like to take a look at the video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMZwZiU0kKs

  • At 4:01 am , Blogger japanesewhispers said...

    I agree absolutely no need for a re-make. The original left some very large dresses to fill and I doubt this new all star cast will be able to fill them.
    There's no remaking classics only destroying them. It would be like remaking Rocky Horror. Please come up with new stories instead of insisting on destroying old ones

  • At 2:34 pm , Blogger matty said...

    He also danced in PENNIES FROM HEAVEN. ...which I really like but so few others seem to care for. Hmmmm...

  • At 12:51 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Hey ya'll...

    Thanks for all your comments...

    Steve - Yes, Divine was the best and made a career out of being a drag queen. Whereas John T is a mere beginner. And yep, Chris W was (still is?) a dancer. As Timewarden says, he shows off his dancing feet in the "Weapon of Choice" video (thanks for the link Tim!) - it's hilarious! Not to mention his flying abilities!

    Matty - Don't you think that Divine was "acting" the part of women in his other stuff e.g. Francine Fishpaw in "Polyster"? Although we were accutely aware that it was a he playing a she, Divine always carried on as though he WAS a genuine female - albeit in a sometimes OTT and camp fashion!

    So as it's shown in the US you've seen it now then!

    Timewarden - Yes, Mr Walken has definite charisma, presence and a palpable sense of "otherness" about him. However I thought he was rather camp, fey and silly as Zorin in "A View to a Kill" - let's blame the script rather than the actor!

    Japanese Whispers - Hello there! And welcome. I agree, this mania for remakes is getting out of hand. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it can work fabulously well, as with certain sci-fi TV programmes (ahem!) But some originality wouldn't go amiss...But I will still wait till I see the new "Hairpsray" before making a final judgement...

  • At 11:59 pm , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    Well, did you go see it yet?

    And can you even imagine a Rocky Horror re-make? No Chance... I hope.

    Geometry Teacher: Tracy Turnblad, once again your ratted hair is preventing another student's geometry education.

    Tracy Turnblad: It's feathered, not ratted.

    Geometry Teacher: Whatever you call it, it's a hair-don't

  • At 1:38 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Salty - no I haven't! Last weekend was too hectic and couldn't make the time. Soon I hope.

    To tell the truth, a Rocky Horror remake wouldn't surprise me.

    Great quote! Another of my faves was when Edna is ironing and discussing the current political climate with Tracy: "I don't know...these times they're a changing, Tracy. Something's blowing in the wind!" Or words to that effect.


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