One, Two, Three-make
From Carrie Rickey's "Flickgrrl"
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The Bourne Ultimatum
Pirates of the Caribbean 3
, 2007 was definitely the year of the three-quel, industry slang for the third installment of a movie trilogy. Might
I Am Legend
(that's Will Smith above, with the last dog on Earth
) usher in a season of the three-make, my coinage for the scenario so durable it gets made three times?
The first time around for Richard Matheson's sci-fi thriller
I Am Legend
The Last Man on Earth
(1964) starring Vincent Price in the title role. Second time was
The Omega Man
(1971) with Charlton Heston.
If the highly anticipated
becomes the canonical screen version of this story, it wouldn't be the first time a three-make surpassed its prior two iterations. The most famous example of this phenom is
The Maltese Falcon
(1941), John Huston's classic with Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, which followed the 1931 version with Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels, and the 1936
Satan Met a Lady
with Warren William and Bette Davis.
I have screenburn this week from seeing too many movies. The only other three-makes I can think of are
The Front Page
(1974) with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau - which wasn't as good as the 1931 original with Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien, or a fraction the fun as the 1940 Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell remake
His Girl Friday
. It was made again in 1988 as
, with a broadcast news setting, starring Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner. (For more examples, see the blog.)
What is it about these stories that make them evergreens? Can you think of other three-makes as good or better than the first two versions?
Guilt & Pleasure
From Dan DeLuca's "In the Mix"
» READ MORE: http://go.philly.com/inthemix
Can one exist without the other? With the Jewish culture quarterly of the same name you get both for the price of one ($8.95, at my local Borders). Guilt & Pleasure's new The Sound Issue interviews "Jewtastic" DJ-producer Mark Ronson, and considers Jonathan Richman, MC Serch, Andy Statman and Leonard Bernstein, among others while containing "not one mention of the word Mattisyahu." (Somewhat embarrassingly, the mag misspells the Hasidic reggae singer Matisyahu's name, right on the magazine cover.)
The cover story is a reprint of a 1972 National Lampoon comic about Bob Dylan called
The Ventures of Zimmerman
, drawn by DC comics artist Neal Adams. The art looks great, but the story - cowritten by Tony Hendra, the satirist and Spinal Tap costar who wrote the acclaimed 2004 memoir
Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul
and then got embroiled in child molestation accusations - is a strange spin on Dylan-as-businessman. It aims to "raise a slew of questions about the perception of Jews inside and outside the music industry." All it really winds up doing is showing that long before Todd Haynes'
I'm Not There
, artists have taken experimental approaches to Dylan, only to see his essence get away, yet again.
The piece I really loved in Guilt & Pleasure, though, is by Albert Maysles, the documentary filmmaker whom Jean-Luc Godard once called "the best American cameraman." Along with his late brother David, Maysles directed
What's Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A.
, not to mention
, which was turned into a Tony Award-winning musical in 2006. Maysles' short essay, "Cornet," is about his father's horn, Wynton Marsalis, and death. (Go to the blog for a link.)