At the cinema: Remakes, sequels and Christmas classics

By Jarett Theberge

9 December 2021

Steven Spielberg has nothing else to prove. He’s quite possibly the most influential director in the history of cinema with blockbusters like "Jaws," "Jurassic Park" and "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial," and heart-wrenching dramas like "Schindler's List."

Nonetheless, he has no signs of slowing down after five decades of directing features. With all the experience (and Oscars) under his belt, this December we get to see his attempt at remaking "West Side Story." The beloved 1961 musical that was adapted from a 1957 Broadway production still holds up in the digital age, but will Spielberg’s piece replace it as the new classic? See "West Side Story" starting on 10 December at Camana Bay Cinema and find out.

Following on with the recent trend of sequels after long gaps — like the 35-year gap between "Blade Runner" and "Blade Runner 2049" and the 17-year gap between "Bad Boys II" and "Bad Boys for Life" — the Matrix film franchise is back with a new instalment 18 years after "The Matrix Revolutions" seemingly put an end to the story line. In "The Matrix Resurrections," Lana Wachowski is back — but without her sister — directing returning actors Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith. Twenty years after the events of "The Matrix Revolutions," Neo is plagued by strange memories. One red pill later, he finds himself back inside the Matrix. See it starting on 24 December.

Director Robert Zemeckis' "The Polar Express" is one of those unforgettable Christmas movies. If you watched it as a child, it captured the intimate magic and mystery behind Christmas that few other holiday films could match. If you watched it as an adult, you’d probably be constantly wondering why all the characters look that way and end up knowing the definition of “uncanny valley” by the end of the second act without even realising it. See it as one of the holiday-themed Kids Club features on 11 December. 

"National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" is the most overtly American Christmas movie that has ever been made. Period. In fact, most of the Griswold family’s comedies of error fit this description of poignant American culture parodies. In "Christmas Vacation," head of the family Clark takes his family to cut down a Christmas tree, struggles to construct the perfect holiday lights display, gets too cocky when sledding down a hill, hosts his quirky extended family for the holidays, watches old home movies, all the while banking that his performance at work will give him a big enough end-of-the-year bonus to install a swimming pool as he climbs the corporate ladder. Get in your car, burn some dust and tell the people behind you to eat your rubber on your way to see "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" on 14 December.

This article originally appeared in the December 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

movie poster

You may also like: