Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wronging Rights

Channel 4 screened The Manchurian Candidate last night. That’s a spectacular movie, deftly balancing political satire with a truly nail-biting thriller. The disorienting brainwashing sequence is an absolutely astonishing piece of film-making. Having grown up watching Angela Lansbury play dotty old dears in the likes of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, seeing her as the steely, politically ambitious player was a revelation.

The only problem was, it wasn’t John Frankenheimer’s 1962 Cold War masterpiece but the godawful fuzzy remake directed by Jonathan Demme that just seemed to waste a lot of good acting talent. However topical and relevant they tried to make the script, the remake just lacked the visual flourishes or novelty of the original.

Once again the question of why old films are being remade rears its ugly head. Is it just down to an extended poverty of original ideas? When films like Dragon Wars and Resident Evil: Extinction get made and released that pretty much answers the question right there. Then again are these new films for a new audience?

Either way, it isn’t going to get better. recently posted a list of the movies the studios are prioritising before the impending Writers Guild, Directors Guild, and Screen Actors Guild strikes next year.

Disney has Robert Zemeckis lined up to remake A Christmas Carol – probably using that creepy animation style he’s become so inexplicably attached to.

Sony have Tony Scott set to violently smashcut his way through The Taking of Pelham 123.

Fox has hacks-for-hire Roland Emmerich and Scott Derrikson set to mess on the science fiction classics Fantastic Voyage and The Day The Earth Stood Still respectively.

Over at Universal Robert Rodriguez is going to do the really nasty to Barbarella.

Any one of these would have the average moviegoer of a certain age screaming, “NO! NO! NO!” but it gets worse.

Warner Brothers are planning to remake Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen.

The director attached is Guy Ritchie.



At 11:30 pm, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

Oh fuck. I’m going to have nightmares now...

At 9:08 am, Blogger Ian said...

Oh well, at least there's Riddley Scott's new movie to look forward to.

A film based on the game of Monopoly (I kid you not!).

It's now offficial: Hollywood really is scraping the bottom of the barrel.


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