'REMAKE REWIND - Gloria' (1980 & 1999)
(Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, George C. Scott, Sharon Stone, et al / DVD / PG+R / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York. Check out the classic from 1980 or the remake from 1999 and you can decide for yourselves which version is better.
DVD Verdict: The 1980 original is one of my favorite movies of all times. Gena Rowlands is a powerhouse actor in this gutsy film about survival, courage and compassion set in the fast-paced, gritty New York City of the 70s. The acting all-around is exceptional. The film is riveting from beginning to end. You get swept up in Gloria's dilemma right away. The scene where she has to decide whether to save herself and turn the kid over to his assassins is very believable as you can see and feel how desperate one would be in such a dire situation. Another great scene is at a Penn Station coffee shop where she confronts the stalking mobsters at a nearby table. You can hear a pin drop in that restaurant as she stands there saying, "I'm Gloria. My hand is on my gun in my purse!"
1999's remake, and I use that word lightly, begins with Gloria being released from prison having done her time the right way and never mentioning anything about her mobster boyfriend Kevin or his boss Ruby. She returns to find that he has not kept his end of the bargain. Also in Kevin's custody is Nicky Nuñez, a 6 year old boy whose family was killed for a disc of incriminating information. Gloria feels that the murder of a child is a step further than she can deal with and takes him and the disc. As the mob hunt them down Gloria realizes her chances of survival are slim and tries to work out how to save Nicky. Sharon Stone with a Bronx accent? British actor, Jeremy Northam, copping same accent to sound like a mafioso? Ridiculous. Sharon must have agreed to do this movie to make a statement about her maternal side, wanting a baby, who knows! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.