I had a sleepy Sunday evening so I popped on the tele and saw a few episodes of "Battlestar Galactica" and "Salem's Lot."
I watched the old TV film of Salem's Lot quite recently so I was a little bit intrigued to see what this version (with Rutger Hauer, Donald Sutherland and Rob Lowe) would be like. To be fair, there are certain aspects of the newest version which capture King's book more faithfully, such as Mr. Barlow talking to his victims. As actors go, I think Rutger and Donald play creepy types very well as they have such amazing faces and voices. In Rutger's case, I suppose it owes a lot to a lingering impression of his replicant in Bladerunner. I was unimpressed on the whole; it just seemed to lack the atmosphere of the 1979 version, directed by Tobe Hooper.
The Battlestar Galactica remake would have had me chucking popcorn at the tele if I ate that rubbish. The fact that Glen A. Larson worked on the show doesn't save it. Was I just tired, or is that blonde girl called Starbuck? Starbuck is in the A-Team and looks like this guy. And what on Earth is it with human looking cylons and the new centurions? The old-look Cylons were, as far I am concerned, one of the best designs and best sounding sci-fi monsters ever - see this pretty cool fan made video! Don't even get me started on the soap opera nature of it all....
It's not that I am totally against remakes - Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula is a beautiful film which (apart from the reincarnation and Ryder/Oldman love bit) is miles ahead of anything going under "Dracula" and also so very faithful to Stoker's book.
It seems that there is a real poverty of ideas. My step-dad used to sit and ask me all the time why I wanted to watch this or that rubbish on TV ( the David Frost episode with John Cleese on "How to Irritate People" has a skit which could have been written with him in mind!); maybe it is my age, but I too think there is so much crap on tele. Stupid game shows, stupid reality shows, stupid crime shows, stupid comedies that aren't funny, stupid soaps and, in case you missed them, endless repeats. Is the quality - or rather the lack of - telling us something about the bankruptcy of capitalist culture? I certainly stay clear of the tele most of the time. Only Doctor Who, a sporting event or a David Attenborough documentary can grab my interest these days. A good bit of TV is a rare find these days (e.g. the X- Files was one of the really great shows.)
I tend to listen to the radio and, when I do, I listen primarily to Radio 4 and programmes like Costing the Earth, In Our Time and the Week in Farming.
Of course, when it comes to remakes, the ultimate heresy of our time is Mel bloody Gibson thinking he can do "Edge of Darkness". Screw that rubbish; see the six episodes with Bob Peck and haunting Kamen/Clapton soundtrack.
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