Sequels, remakes and Natalie Portman

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Natalie
Portman

has been doing some press lately for Mr. Magorium’s
Wonder Emporium
,
but she’s been talking about more than Mr. Magorium.

In an interview with MTV, she made it clear that she’s
done with the Star Wars franchise. No more Padme for her.

Ignoring for the moment the
unlikelihood of her being approached for a sequel due to her character’s
death in Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,
I applaud this declaration heartily. I don’t hold her responsible for
her execrable performance in the Star Wars prequels, because everyone
except Ewan McGregor was horrible in these affronts to fans of
the original Star Wars franchise. Still, when watching her affect-less
performance in that dreck (you’re wondering how I really feel, aren’t
you?), I had to remind myself that I like Natalie Portman as a performer.
(I first saw her on Broadway as Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank.)

I wish her abdication
were a statement about the general suckiness of the prequels. But it’s
not. She told MTV, “I’m so honored to have been a
part of [the 'Star Wars' prequels]. I got to basically latch on to this
thing that was a huge success before I was ever involved.”

It seems she has a general anti-sequels
principle. “When something works, you don’t touch it. You try to create
something new that’s positive.” This means she also will not reprise
her critically acclaimed role of Matilda in a possible sequel
to The Professional.

The MTV
Movies Blog
then
notes that Portman’s “don’t mess with perfection” stance is a little inconsistent,
given that she’s about to film a remake of a 2004 Danish movie, Brødre
(The Brothers). One might argue that remakes are more disrespectful
of original movies than are sequels.

All of which got me thinking
about sequels and remakes and whether I like any. I definitely like
some sequels. To go back to the original source, The Empire Strikes
Back
is an amazing sequel to Star Wars. Superman 2
was excellent. I loved the lesbian-sounding song “When She Loved Me” in Toy Story
2.
And, of course, there’s Aliens.

And Grease 2 holds a special place in my heart.

When it comes to remakes, I
gagged at the thought of Psycho, The Bad News Bears and

The Manchurian Candidate. Although I’m sure there are others, the
only remake I can think of that I liked was Freaky Friday.

Lindsay
Lohan
had so
much promise. Sigh.

What do you think? Are sequels
more or less respectful than remakes? What sequels and remakes do you
love or hate?

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