Monday, July 4, 2016

It had to happen...

...sooner or later.

It is something that I dreaded. More than anything. 

I noticed it accidentally while I was driving last Friday, going somewhere. Then, at a stoplight I noticed one of those film crew signs, usually taped or stuck onto a stop-light pole.

I always have a look to see what movie was being shot. It's pretty common here in the valley since several studios are in the area. But that's when I saw it.


One word and a generation is going to be very unhappy. I shook my head, cursed and drove away. Why?   Why?

Bullitt is going to be remade.

Bullitt is one of our signature movies, one of the best. So if you don't know the movie, this is a quick study. The movie was released in 1968 and became a classic cop and bad guy movie that virtually everyone saw.

And it was arguably the best movie that Steve McQueen made, even if there were a few other good ones. He was great in The Magnificent Seven and even better in The Great Escape

But Bullitt belonged to him.

San Francisco cop Frank Bullitt. Get it? Who loses a bad guy and has to find the guys who killed him. Simple plot, right?

But the movie  belonged to McQueen with the exception of one other item. And that was his 1968 Ford Mustang with more power than any five car today. 

So now, back to the crew sign. I had remembered someone would probably remake Bullitt but somehow we boomers thought nobody would dare remake it. I glanced through the Hollywood papers and there it was.

Bullitt was going to be remade, and to bring more insult, Frank Bullitt would be portrayed by Brad Pitt. I will not say those two words again.

Why was the original so good? It was one of those "Perfect Movies," like the original Terminator, like Casablanca or The Searchers. Perfect movies aren't always the biggest or the best, they were just... perfect. Casting, location and the 1968 Mustang.

You can ask any real filmmaker what their perfect movies are. You'll be surprised but chances are you've seen them too.

Now, you will hear about the "Best car chase ever," although the millennials will have their own choices. Bullitt didn't have CGI effects, just real driving and some of which McQueen did himself. And racing through the hills and streets of San Francisco at high speed still works when you watch it. Because it's real.
 Whenever you hear someone say "the car chase", everyone else knows which one.

Sure, the car chases now, all fixed with CGI are ballet-like but the Mustang was real and the bad guys and their Dodge Charger were real. Everything was real.

So what's my beef?

How about this...
Yep... my own 1968 Mustang. Bought it in 1969 and had it for years. The perfect car even today. I paid just under $2000 in 69.

Yep, my own 1968 Mustang. I bought it one year older, 4-gear 302 Ford engine. All I wanted in life. 

Me an' my Mustang 2nd-hand, waiting for me in a car lot on a winter cold evening many years ago. I was in my Jim Morrison mode, my ex and I had problems with the Mustang in 1972 on a road trip across Canada and had it repaired in a small town called Kamsack, Saskatchewan. It was also where a cafe refused to let us have lunch and told us to get out of town.

So keep your eyes open for Bullitt, now played by "that actor." But between then and now, go screen a copy of Bullitt.

There will be protests. I think many will refuse to even say the name of "that other actor" who's married to Angelina.

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