Anyway, over at Runnin' Scared, Roy Edroso compared what "New York on film means now, and what it meant when the 1974 Joseph Sargent version ... was new." He seems to sum up exactly why I'm not hurrying to throw $12.50 at the theater.
A few of his points:
"In the 1974 film, the low-ceilinged control center, the glimpses of grim city streets, and Mr. Green's crummy walk-up at the finale suggest enough of the battered old New York to make an impression. There aren't too many physical details that stand out in the new 123..."
"The old film has a comic undertone that the new one can't afford. 2009's jacked-up pace is part of it, but it's also a philosophical difference. In the new film everyone's playing for high stakes all the time, clenched like fists. In the old film, most characters show some weary resignation, which is something city folk have to learn if they're to keep going."
Not to mention John Travolta's hammy theatrics.
And here's a little filmstripesque sequence from the first film... when the transport of the ransom money gets sidetracked at Astor Place.
5 New York 70s Movies We Are Terrified to See Remade
Previously on EV Grieve:
New York City subway films of the 1970s
The ransacking of Pelham One Two Three