Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Blog About One Picture

Back in 2007 we got to see the 3rd film in director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film franchise. The previous two installments were both critical and commercial hits, while part 3 made more than enough money, most found it to be a big let down that was lacking in story, and sloppy in execution.

Even though many were not totally thrilled with Spider-Man 3, news came quickly that Raimi was still going to work on another installment with Tobey Maguire and a rumored villain in John Malkovich as the Vulture. But almost immediately following these rumors and reports, Sony announced completely out of left field that they would no longer be persuing a 4th Spidey film with Raimi due to the typical Hollywood “creative differences” and instead launch a complete franchise reboot with (500) Days of Summer director Mark Webb at the helm.

Now I get things not working out with a director and wanting to try something new, but when Bryan Singer left X-Men, they didn’t start all over. When Tim Burton left Batman, they got someone else and kept it going, and those were a bit worse than Spider-Man 3. Spider-Man 3 made plenty of money despite some bad reviews so there was no real reason to start from the beginning like it was a flop.

But the decision was made. Screenwriter James Vanderbilt’s original script for Spider-Man 4 was going to be reworked into an all new origin story for Peter Parker and Andrew Garfield (pre Social Network) would be plucked from obscurity and become the new Spider-Man.

So despite a little bump in the road, a new Spider-Man movie was happening and things began moving fast. But the fans didn’t seem happy. Most message boards and other nerdy outlets were filled with comments of unhappiness and criticizing a movie that they haven’t even seen yet.

I haven’t seen the movie either, and although I was a little skeptical of the whole idea of rebooting what many call one of the greatest franchises in comic book/movie history, I was also excited to see what they would do with it. Mark Webb has proven himself to be a talented director who focuses a lot on character while not forgetting the visuals and Andrew Garfield certainly looks the part and now after seeing The Social network, I’m confident he can play the part.

Then, a few days ago the first official image of Garfield in the Spidey-suit hit the internet. Some fans are still saying no thanks to this reboot, but that image sealed the deal for me. I’m pumped to see a new take on the web-head that is just as true to the comics, but isn’t a 2nd rate attempt at the franchise. The suit looks like a fantastic mix of comic accuracy and urban realism. If you look closely at the wrist, you can see that the creative team opted for the mechanical web shooters from the comic books rather than Raimi’s organic ones. It’s only one image, but it proved (to me anyways) that these guys know what came before and totally respect it, but they also have no desire to repeat it. I’m gonna welcome this movie with open arms, and hopefully I won’t come out of the theater in the summer of 2012 disappointed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Blog That You’ve Read Before

For the past few years we’ve seen a steady increase in remakes at the movies. James Cameron’s Avatar and Christopher Nolan’s Inception are about the only 2 movies in recent history that have made huge numbers at the box office that aren’t based on a previous film, comic book, or any other pre-existing property. A lot of people complain about the lack of originality in the movies and question weather or not Hollywood is out of ideas.

Now I can agree with the fact that we’re running a little low on complete originality at the cinema, but I don’t believe remakes are completely worthless. I’m always interested to see a new take on an old favorite. It’s fun to see a different film maker’s take on a familiar subject and with the advances of technology and visual effects it can be exciting to see how a classic film would look with today’s resources.

I even think there are certain films from yesteryear that could benefit from a remake. One’s that had great visuals but didn’t have the budget to fully realize them. One’s with epic stories, but no thoughts of a franchise that would eventually (and unfortunately) come. Here’s a few movies that if remade with the right group of people, could be amazing.

Road House

To many, this action classic falls in the “so bad it’s good” category. I’m inclined to agree with them, but I also saw it as a franchise that never was. Patrick Swayze’s Dalton could have easily been the American counterpart to James Bond. Every movie Dalton goes to a new bar, with a new chick, and a new bad guy to take down. Its biggest obstacle as a remake is that most probably couldn’t see anyone filling Swayze’s shoes in the role of the bouncer who’s nice…until it’s time to not be nice.


This franchise of a swashbuckling immortal clansman is the constant subject of parody these days and I’m a firm believer that most of that is thanks to the sequels that make absolutely no sense. The original Highlander as a stand alone film I still say is an epic classic with it’s biggest flaw being (spoiler alert) that it completely ended the story, leaving no logical opening for a future installments. This is of course why we get a Highlander 2 where the immortals turn out to be aliens in the future, and a third installment that completely denies the second’s existence, and a few more after that are practically unwatchable. When the remake finally gets moving (and it will), hopefully the film makers involved will lay out the story with plans of a franchise. I personally think it would be amazing to see a trilogy filmed back to back Lord of the Rings style and have each film set in a different time period and shot by a different director. Tell me that wouldn’t be awesome!


The first two (of what a billion now) Hellraiser films are still pretty good by today’s standards in the make up and gore department. But now that so many horror movies are going the Batman Begins route and diving deeper into the psychological and character end of their killers, I’d say it’s time Pinhead came back to the big screen and give all the people who like the lackluster Saw franchise something to really be afraid of. I say get someone like Hugo Weaving to play pinhead and make his journey from man to cenobite the main story arc, and leave the sequels to expand that along with the originals tale of a broken families handling of the mysterious puzzle box. The rumor is Dimension Films has a director attached and a script that will be more teen focused with a PG-13 rating. i.e. It will suck big time.

What other classics do you think need to be remade?