"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." - Jonathan Swift
Stop me if you've heard me say this before: "Ben-Hur will be a colosSal flop!" Well, guess what, I was right, yet again. Hey, it's not hard to do when remake retreads keep flowing out of Hollywood faster than police chases on the 101. But, in keeping with my promise to NOT bash the glut of remakes, I will instead chose to focus on those IN said remakes. Have you Hur-ed Morgan Freeman was in this remake? No, seriously, he is. My question is: WHY? He's a ratings juggernaut with cable's "The Story of God." So why, in God's name, did he sign on for this train wreck?
"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." - Henry David Thoreau
Let's take this one step further. Ben-Hur has Hollywood Christians Mark Burnett and Roma Downey among its producers. Look, I get it, God's Not Dead and Christian films... check that... ORIGINAL Christian films are doing pretty well with movie audiences. So, to me, Burnett, Downey et al saw the dollar signs when they signed on to attempt a Heston-like feat to force redux of a true iconic classic down our throats. Well, the sin of greed has spun its inevitable outcome - Hur netted just $11.4 million from 3,804 theaters (according to The Hollywood Reporter). So.. no cha-ching.... just cha-chunk. Amen.
"Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make." - Donald Trump
No, don't think I'm going all political on you... I just think that quote is perfect to lead into this final paragraph. And I love how all the Tinsel Town scribes are saying this is a rough Summer for remakes. Um, no. It's simply the continuation of the loathing from audiences about them. Remember the reboots of Psycho, Conan, Robocop or Total Recall? Yeah, neither does anyone else. And, I'm telling you now, just like I'm questioning Freeman, I's also questioning the great Denzel Washington for signing on for The Magnificent Seven rehash. It, too will go over like a lead balloon at the box office. Hollywood will say it's just the latest victim of the anti-remake summer. I say it is just the opportunity for a paycheck for great actors that I and others truly adore. And I get that, you gotta pay the bills. BUT -- as established as these actors are, don't you think they have their choice of any number of scripts and projects? Surely one of those has to be better (and more unique) than this! - MO