Top Fives: Homages

Posted by: S.P. Young  //  May 13, 2014 @ 12:30am

Filed under: Top Fives

One of the reasons why popular works of fiction remain well known through the ages is because they get homaged in later works of fiction. Homages are done to pay respect to these original works. When a movie or a television show is homaged, it keeps the original relevant, jewelry importer and fans of the original are usually glad to see the homage. The best homages are done in a way where it adds something to the original, in such a way where the value of the original is elevated. This top five article looks at five homages that were done respectfully, and with a lot of careful thought put into them.

#5 - Cape Fear (1991 remake) // The Simpsons - "Cape Feare."

Cape Fear was one of those movies that showed what a complete joke the justice system really is. It reminded us that the system was totally ineffective at dealing with criminals and in protecting the innocent. The villain was menacing as all hell, but he was allowed to be that way because the justice system let him get away with it. Cape Fear was all about innocent people being at the mercy of a dangerous and relentless criminal, with minimal help from the useless justice system. In the world of Bart Simpson, he and his family were haunted by Sideshow Bob, who wanted to get back at Bart. The script from Cape Fear was such a great fit for this revenge plot, that an entire episode of The Simpsons homaged Cape Fear.

Take a look at these shot for shot re-creations of Cape Fear, as done by The Simpsons. The faithfulness to the original material alone is worth a few laughs. It is hard not to appreciate the work that had gone into this, when you do a scene by scene comparison.

Leave it to Homer Simpson to be the one to ruin the movie for Sideshow Bob. It was these moments of comedy gold that made "Cape Feare" so awesome. The true beauty of this episode was that it gave a new look at the movie. Once you have watched The Simpsons episode, you will never look at the movie the same way ever again. What used to be a bone chilling thriller, turns into a hilarious dark comedy in all its subsequent viewings.

#4 - Le voyage dans la lune // Smashing Pumpkins - "Tonight, Tonight."

There is not much to say about Le voyage dans la lune, that has not already been said before. If you have not yet watched it, then you need to see it. The fact that it was released in 1902, only makes this short silent film that much more endearing Wholesale Fashion Jewelry and impressive. This was proved even more true in the nineties, when the Smashing Pumpkins released a video to their hit song, "Tonight, Tonight," which was basically a remake of Le Voyage dans la lune.

Presented in the form of a music video, "Tonight, Tonight" had the plot of the trip to the moon, and shots of the band playing were placed between the story. The story itself had a few minor changes from the original. It was shortened, simplified, and even added the aws download bit at the end that took place under water. On top of that, the thing was in colour and beautiful to look at. The magic touch came in that it matched the feel of Le voyage dans la lune. All the changes added to the original movie, without ever betraying it.

Ninety something years later, a whole new generation(s) was introduced to Le Voyage dans la lune by this music video. In this process we were reminded of how far film technology had progressed, yet how the original remains timeless. More importantly, music videos with plots such as "Tonight, Tonight," do something that could not have been predicted back in the silent film era -- these music videos have become the modern incarnation of the silent film.

#3 - The Phantom of The Opera // Highlander (The Series) - "The Beast Below."

Most people have figured out the plot to The Phantom of The Opera, by just seeing references to it, and without ever having read the book, seen the movies, or sat through the plays. When the Highlander series homaged The Phantom of The Opera, what made it unique was that it did it in a way that mixed the roles around. The role of the phantom was given to Ursa, the music loving immortal that was raised in the woods. He was mistaken by society to be a monster, but he was actually a kind soul.

However, the real monster turned out to be the lead singer of the band. In the role of the soprano was Carolyn. A has-been that never lost her attitude problem, and felt intimidated by her back up singer. As Ursa had feelings for Carolyn, she tried to manipulate him into kidnapping and killing the back-up singer. As Ursa was not truly evil, he did not finish the job. This greatly upset Carolyn, but before things could get any further, she got Ursa to turn on MacLeod, the do-gooder Highlander protagonist.

The reluctant fight would find its way all the way onto the rooftop of the Paris Opera, making it one of the best locations ever shot for a Highlander series episode. Instead of the role of the monstrous phantom getting hunted down, it was Ursa that came after MacLeod, who did his best not to fight him. The episode would end in Carolyn showing her true colours to Ursa, and MacLeod finding Ursa a home in a monastery, where he got to live safely and in the presence of music.

#2 - The Prisoner // Reboot - "Number 7."

The third season of Reboot revolved around Enzo Matrix growing up and having to find his way back home to Mainframe. When Enzo had to step up as the guardian to mend and defend Mainframe, his life changed in every way possible. After losing the game, Enzo had lost everything except for AndrAIa, Frisket, Bvlgari Jewelry and a damaged key tool. As he had no home, he would use the games to jump from system to system, hoping to eventually luck out and land in Mainframe. He had virtually no identity. He was just some renegade guardian guy that was trapped inside the prison that was outside of Mainframe. Just who was Matrix? Some guy hunting down his sworn enemy, only to become what he hated? This was addressed, as Reboot paid homage to The Prisoner in "Number 7."

The finale to The Prisoner, despite being consistently intelligent in its writing, also happened to be completely impenetrable to viewers. It was hard to really figure out what the story was about. What made this Reboot episode so great, was that it had all the memorable parts of The Prisoner finale, and used the confusion of it to tell a better story of its own. In the context of the Reboot episode, it actually made sense for the story to be dreamlike and incomprehensible.

"Number 7" took all those questions of identity, being trapped, and the meaning of life, and answered them in court. It was done in such a way that was both personally stinging to Matrix, yet hilarious too. The scene where Hack and Slash came out of the floor, singing "Dem Bones," has got to be one of the funniest moments ever on Reboot. A good homage does not just reference the original material. It also makes it fit in its new universe, and adds its own unique emotional impact to it.

#1 - The Crow (1994 film) // Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - "We'll Always Have Cyprus."

The story of Hercules is one that centers around the issue of grief. In the bitter and never ending feud with the Olympian deities, Hercules was left as the only surviving member of his family. As a means of coping, over the next few years Hercules and his best friend, Iolaus, would wander all across Greece. They both had no homes, jobs, or any real goals in life except to go from town to town helping people. In season five of The Legendary Journeys, Hercules encountered further cruelty from the gods, this time costing Iolaus his life. In dealing with the death of his best friend, Hercules expanded his endless wandering beyond Greece by journeying alone on a ship.

One of the places he sailed to was Eire, where he met Morrigan. For a moment, it looked like things were going well between the couple, until Morrigan disappeared. She would make a return on the show in "We'll Always Have Cyprus," to have that dreaded explanation talk with Hercules. On a side-note, Morrigan was played by Tamara Gorski, who is from Winnipeg. We here at Showbiz Monkeys have this compulsion to point out anything Winnipeg related, because that is where we are based in.
Poor Hercules. The guy usually resolves his problems in one of three ways: 1) beating people up; 2) lecturing people, or 3) running away from them. Just look at him, trying to get the hell away from Morrigan, and continuously change the topic to helping other people. As Hercules could not shake Morrigan off, he was going to have to do something different. He would have to open up, and talk about his feelings on how Morrigan ditched him. But not just yet.

There were actually two stories going on in this episode, both of which were told in flashbacks. The first story was that of Hercules and Morrigan, and how they ended up being apart from each other. Morrigan, like Hercules, was the child of a deity and a human, and she too was screwed over by the gods of her own country. After her reformation, it really seemed like Morrigan was a perfect match for Hercules, as they had so much in common. So what could explain her mysterious disappearance?
The second flashback story was of Havisha, which was basically identical to the plot of The Crow. After Havisha got proposed to, she and her fiance were senselessly murdered. The only meaningful storyline difference between this plot jewelry distributor and The Crow, was Havisha having gone to the Oracle to seek an answer about the future. Coincidentally at this same time in the flashback, Hercules and Morrigan were together in Cyprus, and Hercules had just agreed to marry Morrigan.

In the present, it would take Hercules having to sit still and sling a battle injured Morrigan to stop him from running off. Morrigan finally got her wish as the two of them had to stay put for a moment, and have that talk. What they had to say to each other was actually pretty depressing. Morrigan explained that she left Hercules on the night of their engagement because she had gone to the Oracle to obtain a vision of the future, which predicted unhappiness for Hercules, should he move to Eire to be with Morrigan.

Hercules was rightfully angered, as he felt it should have been a joint decision. In addition, Hercules responded by being his usual self, choosing to emphasize the needs of other people over his own needs. Hercules thought that having the blood of the gods meant having to serve and protect people, which he believed that both he and Morrigan should do for their respective lands. That and how he could not deny Morrigan of her own happiness, should she move to Greece, even if she wanted to.

"We'll Always Have Cyprus," is easily the best written episode of The Legendary Journeys. It is good to have an action hero genre show take its emphasis off fighting the bad guy of the week, and tell a story of the hero himself. This breaks the formula in a positive way, as it adds depth to the characters and the show. What makes this particular episode's script so outstanding, was the way the story of Hercules and Morrigan contrasted with the plot of The Crow.

In Havisha's story, just like in The Crow, you have a young couple that valued every moment together, but had their lives cut short. The story of Hercules and Morrigan, showed how different two people that could and should be together, spent their time together. Instead of going forward with a relationship, they both desperately found awful excuses to not be together. Morrigan took the Oracle's unreliable advice. Hercules had a fear of getting hurt again. Even when the Oracle admitted that she could be wrong in her predictions, and Morrigan wanting a second chance, it was not enough for Hercules. His stubborn nature that he developed to protect himself from further hurt, only prevented him from finding happiness for himself. Worst of all, Morrigan leaving was such a severe blow that it reinforced the unhealthy ways that Hercules used to cope with grief and loss. In the end, Hercules and Morrigan were two people that could be with each other, but have foolishly chosen to not be together. Havisha and her fiance, on the other hand, are two people that want to be with each other, but were denied this life together.

The addition of a parallel story (the Hercules and Morrigan plot) in this episode was what expanded the entire point of The Crow. Today is the twentieth anniversary of The Crow. In these last two decades, this episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, has done more for The Crow than any of its official follow up materials. It managed to tell a relevant story that had nothing to do with revenge. This is why "We'll Always Have Cyprus" got the #1 spot on this top five list.

Where this homage succeeded, was in going further by stressing the message of not getting stuck being unable to live life because of past pains. It was a reminder that time is limited, and to not take things for granted. For an homage to be more than just a cut and paste, Thomas Sabo Jewelry and to have this much depth to it is rare. It is a display of a sincere and devoted appreciation of the original source material on the part of the writer. In the end, these same sentiments are also felt by the viewer as well.

Tags: The Prisoner, Reboot, Smashing Pumpkins, Highlander, Phantom of the Opera, Tamara Gorski, The Simpsons, Cape Fear, Hercules, The Crow

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