We saw the Home Sweet Home Alone trailer yesterday, the sixth film in the franchise. And before long, viewers saw not only a striking resemblance to the original film, but a shot-for-shot match-up throughout the trailer. Consequence at YouTube did the job for us. Home Sweet Home Alone in return for Home alone. To go!
Apart from the side-by-side ‘tribute’ that is paid Home Sweet Home Alone, directors have been giving props to their heroes since the beginning of the film. Some of our favorite scenes in our favorite movies are the ones that the viewer and director can celebrate together with their shared love for that scene. Many come to mind.
Jon Favreau came swinging (eh?) as he wrote and starred in swingers. He gave his heroes the nods he and the fans agreed on. The tribute, using the walk through the kitchen to the club shot, to that of Martin Scorsese Goodfellas, though awkwardly ambitious, and, you could see, was sincere.
He also gave us the Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dogs walk that made us all giggle.
Boogie nights director Paul Thomas Anderson knocked it out of the park with the club’s incoming shot. Four minutes of one seamless camera shot. It is beautiful. While it may not be a tribute to Scorsese himself, we can all see that he praised the concept.
Movies like the remake, that is, an almost exact replica, of Psycho created by Gus Van Sant can be described as nothing less than a bow to the sensai, Alfred Hitchcock. The score is reused with new arrangements by Danny Elfman. The script has minor changes. The cast included Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche and William H. Macy. The movie was a flop, but worth watching. It all stemmed from an experiment to see if an incomparable masterpiece could receive the same warm embrace from new viewers unfamiliar with the original and its critics. Van Sant was repeatedly told that his original works were not as exciting to film managers, as perhaps a sequel to something else. He used his clout after the success of Good Will Hunting to test his theories and those of the studios.
Years later, he discussed the results on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. “So it didn’t work. But the idea was if you could recreate something and it would repeat the box office. That was the kind of weird science experiment… It’s more important now I think, because people like you ask questions about it. It lives more now than when it failed, just with the art world or the modern world.”
So we’re in the midst of a remake, reboot, sequel, threequel, spin-off, reimagining, origin story, reel and repeat era for film and TV that continues to break Home alone. I write an article about one of the above almost every day. Boos and cheers follow in equal measure. I don’t always end those articles with this question, but I always put it in my head. Is there a formula for the embraced reinvention? I’d love to hear your theories. I think a regular part of the equation is the original cast members. This commercial is only a small part of my hypothesis.
Topics: Home alone