On Saturday, my wife and I went to see Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage, which is a strange mix of UFOlogy, panspermia, the destruction of Earth by fire (2 Pet. 3:10), the Edenic Tree of Life, and determinism vs. randomness. Cage’s character, John Koestler, is giving a lecture to his astrophysics’ class at M.I.T. when he presents the conundrum of determinism vs. randomness.1 When the class asks him what he believes, he picks randomness. “There is no grand meaning, there is no purpose.” He ends the session with “I think s**t just happens.” The perfect summary of an atheist’s worldview.
Movie remakes can be hazardous. Few can compete with the originals. Several come to mind: Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mighty Joe Young, Sunset Boulevard, The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Lady Killers, Planet of the Apes, Psycho, 12 Angry Men, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Miracle on 34th Street. There are exceptions: The Man Who Knew Too Much, Ben Hur, Tombstone (a remake of My Darling Clementine), Ocean’s Eleven, and The Dark Knight. In other cases, both the original and the remake are good: Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, Omega Man and I Am Legend, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, King Kong (this does not apply to the 1976 version starring Jessica Lang).