Per my usual Sunday morning ritual, this week I found myself at the local AMC for a pre-noon matinee. This week’s film of choice was 30 Minutes or Less starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, and Kenny Powers himself, the one and only Danny McBride. While I highly recommend the movie for its series of surefire one-liners and decent comedies, the film itself was overshadowed by the atrocity that immediately preceded it.
Perhaps, I’ve been neglecting my geek-bone and not been following the latest movie news as I should, but I was taken aback to see the trailer for the upcoming movie The Sitter, starring John Candy’s heir apparent, Jonah Hill. Though the title is different and there’s no official affiliation to it, Stevie Wonder himself can see that this flick is a clear remake/retelling/rip-off of the 1987 classic Adventures in Babysitting.
In all fairness, I realize that the relevance of Buick Station Wagons have gone the way of the Pet Rock and that Thor is busy patrolling the streets of Cleveland with the other Avengers, but what a sad day it’s become for America and teenage males when we trade in Elisabeth Shue for the played-out tomfoolery of Hill. I get it, times change. Huey Lewis is off playing state fairs, the Cold War is a distant memory, and Madonna bears a closer resemblance to Skeletor than to a ‘material girl’. But how in the hell did we go from the mid-80s deliciousness of Elisabeth Shue to the super slo-mo slapstick of Jonah Hill?
Hollywood is rich with needless remakes from the ‘70s and ‘80s, but until now they were widely relegated to the world of action and horror flicks. Not that I’m okay with this, but in truth, they’ve all been quit easy to ignore or dismiss. Seriously, who will ever think of Jason Momoa when thinking of Conan the Barbarian, or Jackie Earle Haley when contemplating the terror inflicted by Freddie Krueger? But when the industry begins reincarnating films that so richly belong to a specific era in order to turn a quick buck, I’m left with no other option than to blame the star who attaches himself to such a feature. In this case, it’s Jonah Hill.
The dude should know better. Despite playing essentially the same character from 40 Year Old Virgin through Get Him to the Greek, the guy is already a bonafide comedic star who has displayed more than a shred of talent. But, maybe in light of his recent weight loss (props to homeboy – he’s dropped like a Franklin on the Toledos), he managed to shed the roll that his better-judgment called home.
As this latest effort is sure to shore up over $80 million domestic, it’s bad enough that a group of teenage boys will go see it, laugh their mid-pubescent asses off to it, and never once realize the wonder that was Elisabeth Shue, post-Karate Kid and pre-Leaving Las Vegas. With all due respect to Molly Ringwald and Lea Thompson, she was the ultimate- girl-next-door-fantasy, hands down. What’s worse is that this doesn’t appear to be Hill’s lone venture into the rehash. The actor co-wrote and will be starring in the comedic retelling of another 80s hallmark, 21 Jump Street. You can’t blame a guy for cashing in, but if he’s not careful, life will surely imitate art imitating life as he’ll find himself going the way of Richard Grieco: Direct-to-Video.