Rachel Geman, Contributor
“The 2019 reboot of the venerable 1994 classic raises troubling questions about commercial greed’s leverage over artistic merit. Unless your kids think cartoons are too old-fashioned, stay home and watch less derivative fare!”
-virtually every review of “The Lion King”
“Ocean’s 9”: Ocean’s 8, but with men.
“Rear Windows 10”: Stuck at home due to the absence of any compelling reason to leave the apartment, a young brand manager realizes that every time this other guy gets a burrito or whatever, he himself is copied on the e-receipt via Square. When the other guy starts making larger orders at odd hours with more vegetarian options, it seems there may be a girlfriend in the picture. Then the average receipt size shrinks again. Where is the girlfriend?
“Rumor Has Had It”: Now married, Aniston’s Sarah Huttinger and Ruffalo’s Jeff Daly suspect that Jeff is the lovechild of Michael (“Tootsie”) Dorsey and either the Teri Garr or the Jessica Lange character. Subsequent franchise titles could include “Rumor Had It” and “Rumor Had Had It.”
“Frenemies, a ‘like!’ story”: Their great-grandparents were Holocaust survivors caught between Eros and Thanatos, meaning and nihilism. Almost 75 years later, young people navigate the challenges of syncing their calendars to the right time zone when an old friend, presumed dead because she hadn’t posted on social media in 15 hours, unexpectedly arrives.
“Stranger Danger Liaisons”: They dropped a decade in age in the first remake, now…actually, HARD PASS.
“Armageddon 2019”: In collaboration with Disney, a sick-of-traveling Asteroid is persuaded by a well-meaning and diverse set of astronauts and inanimate language specialists that it doesn’t really have to follow its imperative trajectory and crash into Earth. Instead, everybody wins if it visits another Solar System. With Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson as the asteroid, Lin-Manuel Miranda as the head rock linguist, Oprah as the Earth, and some white guy who resembles Bruce Willis as the person who almost stupidly shoots at the asteroid just when it is starting to grasp that the forces of thermodynamics are nothing compared to a good heart.
“The Money Printer”: No one actually knows if this is a remake or where this came from. A previously-obscure, and possibly non-existent, minor figure in the Marvel-DC Universe literally prints money for the franchise. The film is predicted to gross nine figures.
“The Bourne Adjustable Rate Mortgage”: A mature Jason Bourne must apply his ear for language, eye for danger, and still-impressive physical prowess to understanding his personal finances and investment objectives, mastering the kids’ core curriculum math, and meeting his Fitbit goals.
“Ghost-Ghostbusters”: Ghostbusters, but with neither women nor men. The ghosts are expected to self-bust.
“The Big Chillax”: College friends, thrown together because one of them invited the others over, hardly recognize each other in the three or four years since graduation. One has a successful mustard company, another is scarred from a brush with the gig economy. Someone who was sort of an asshole then is still sort of an asshole. The nostalgic soundtrack features Katy Perry, LMFAO, and Justin Bieber.
“50 Candles”: Samantha prayed they’d all forget her birthday since she lies about her age! But when an embarrassing and widely-reported Bumble App data breach exposes the truth, Sam must get to the local high school to explain to her 16-year-old son that she only started “dating” after her separation from Jake. Turns out Long Duk Dong, now known as LDD, is the new school principal and head of the Japanese language department. Sam apologizes for her family’s racism. Turns out it is LDD’s 50th birthday as well, and he’s chaperoning an 80s throwback dance that very night at the school. Sam brings a cake and they share a mirthless laugh over their mutual inability to blow out so many candles due to advancing age.
“A Star Is Born”: Because.
“Uber Driver”: Set in a sanitized New York City, a young Uber Driver becomes increasingly nostalgic for a lost gritty New York City when Uber didn’t have to compete with Lyft and Via.
Rachel Geman is a law firm partner, mother of two, game creator, and as of late an avocational (read: unpaid and as yet unpublished) writer. She can send you many legal briefs to read but she won’t. Her professional bona fides: https://www.lieffcabraser.