So tonight I finally got around to watching the new Denzel Manchurian Candidate. Oy. First of all, weirdo cameo appearances by people like Al Franken as a TV pundit (why? how?) and Oprah hanger-on/best friend Gayle King as a reporter (did anyone but me catch that) made NO sense to me.
With vacuous and sweeping references to the Patroit act and the threat of terrorism, the new Denzel Manchurian Candidate was a real MoveOn.org bummer fest. What was originally a brilliant, abstract examination of encroachment on the individual is now a silly, "they are mobilizing against us, fellow boomers, we must re-subscribe to the Nation RIGHT AWAY" partisan diatribe. What was timeless is now mired in specificity. Even Meryl's hilarious Hilary aping can't save this sinking ship, Celine.
What's interesting to me about the original 1962 Frankenheimer version, other than the greatness of the art itself, is that the star, Frank Sinatra, bought the rghts and effectively buried it in the wake of the Kennedy assasination. It seems like a such a grandly Sinatraian act - both touchingly considerate and chivalrous, and totally meglomaniacal. I mean, WTF did this mind control metaphor have to do with JFK? Not even my bro Oliver Stone went there!