CINELATION | Movie Reviews by Christopher Beaubien
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Woe, Originality, Woe!

Written by Christopher Beaubien • June 26, 2008 • 3 Comments


June 23, 2009: This article works best when regarded as a contingent whole from a distance rather than one meant for scrutinizing. By recognizing the existence and length of “Woe, Originality, Woe!”, the point is made as sharp as a slashing celluloid projector — fingers and palms are cautioned.

Have you recently felt waist-deep in the remakes that Hollywood is churning out at us? Those suits are approving them faster than a greasy teenager can wrap up and deliver an equally greasy feces-spotted burger. Now you have to understand, the execs are timid and frightened of green-lighting anything new and original. After all, anything untried could fail and cost them their job.

So far this year we’ve seen Peter Segal helmed Get Smart, The Eye, Shutter, Prom Night, One Missed Call, Funny Games, etc. With the exception of the Steve Carell flick, they all sucked, but that didn’t stop future Idiocracy members from making them profitable, which ensure more and more remakes…

Get ready to duck and cover because here they come!

TRAIN (2008) by Gideon Raff < Terror Train (1980) by Roger Spottiswoode.

The Echo (2008) by Yam Laranas < Sigaw (2004) by, you guessed it, Yam Laranas. It will be like George Sluizer remaking his chilling masterpiece Spoorloos (1988) into the Americanized (re: shitty) The Vanishing (1993).

The Valet (2008) by Bobby and Peter Farrelly < La Doublure (2006) by Francis Veber.

Star Blazers (2008) by producer Josh C. Kline < The Japanese anime series Star Blazers (1979). The upcoming movie will be live-action; just think Thunderbirds (2004) — question: did that hurt?

Race with the Devil (2008) by Chris Moore < Race with the Devil (1975) by Jack Starrett.

It’s Alive (2008) by Josef Rusnak (The Thirteenth Floor, 1999) < It’s Alive (1974) by Larry Cohen.

Anguish (2008) < Angustia (1987) by J.J. Bigas Luna. It involves a serial killer who collects eyeballs by force for his mother’s keepsake. For some odd reason, this reminds me of the surreal Alejandro Jodorowsky masterpiece Santa Sangre (1989).

Possession (2008) by Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist < Jungdok (2002) by Young-hoon Park.

The Host (2008) < Gwoemul (2006) by Bong Joon-ho

It’s a Ferrara twofer: The Driller Killer (2008) by Andrew Jones < The Driller Killer (1979) by Abel Ferrara.

Bad Lieutenant (1992) by Abel Ferrara > Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) by Werner Herzog. Nicolas Cage takes on the infamous Harvey Kietel role. This is the only one I’m looking forward to.

Battle Royale (2008) by Kinji Fukasaku < Batoru rowaiaru (2000) by Kinji Fukasaku

Oh Gawd! They’re even remaking Oh, God! (2008) from the 1977 George Burns semi-classic by Carl Reiner.

Sharky’s Machine (2008) by Phil Joanou < Sharky’s Machine (1981) by Burt Reynolds.

Crossing Over (2008) by Wayne Kramer < Crossing Over (1996) by Wayne Kramer. The 1996 version is a 35-minute short that’s being adapted to feature-length and is starring Harrison Ford, Sean Penn, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd.

Coffee break time! | INTERMISSION | I’m back.

Flirt (2008) < Flirt (2005) by Jaap van Eyck. Not the 1996 Hal Hartley one.

Bangkok Dangerous (2008) by Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang < Bangkok Dangerous (1999) by the same Thailand directors.

Revenant (2008) by Randy Robinson < Le Revenant (1903!) by Georges Méliès. This is officially the oldest remake of all time by 105 years. “Florence, get Guinness on the phone!” “Right away. Genghis Khan Capone.”

My Sassy Girl (2008) by Yann Samuell < Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo (2001) by Jae-young Kwak.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) by Scott Derrickson < The 1951 Robert Wise classic.

Brothers (2008) by Jim Sheridan < Brødre (2004) — an excellent drama by Susanne Bier.

Harry and the Butler (2008) by Steve Bing < Harry and the Butler (1961) by Bent Christensen.

Strangers on a Train by Noam Murro < The 1951 Hitchcock classic. I remember how well received Gus Van Sant’s Psycho (1998) was.

Even India is doing a remake with Kurbani (2008) by Feroz Khan < Qurbani (1980) by the same director. But we can forgive India just this one.

And here’s what to be remade in 2009: The Evil Dead, The Seven Samurai (NO!), The Wolf Man, The Birds, Friday the 13th (what do the suits do after ten sequels, they just renew it!), Death Wish, Hellraiser, Rififi (NO!), Mute Witness, Kiki’s Delivery Service (!?!), Piranha 3-D ,yes you just read Piranha 3-D, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (by the guys who brought us the Ask A Ninja webisodes – might be fun.), The Last House on the Left, Fame, Magnum P.I., The Tingler (I wonder if they’ll bring back the electric seats!), and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which is based on the James Thurber short story.

Wow! Hollywood has turned into a real ouroboros. (“I don’t know what that means?” – Donald Kaufman) Oh, if only Donald Kaufman hadn’t gotten into that lethal automobile collision than we’d be getting more original fare like The Thr3e (re: Identity (2003) by James Mangold).

We live in sad times. Have you scalded your eyes yet with the new Disaster Movie trailer? Those Hollywood anus-lickers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have made another lame-brained parody movie. Not only does Disaster Movie make fun of such “disaster movies” as Enchanted, Juno, Sex and the City, and HancockHancock!? What the hell, Friedberg and Seltzer? Hancock hasn’t even been released yet!

I yearn for the quality parody movies like Top Secret (1984) and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988).

Word to anyone even considering buying a ticket to Disaster Movie: Don’t be a Idiocracy member. Do me a favor come August 29th, just spend your Friday night watching clips from Ask A Ninja. It’s better than watching a remake.

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  • Josh C. Kline

    Star Blazers…don’t think Thunderbirds. For general tone, think somewhere between Aliens and Hunt for Red October.

  • Christopher Beaubien

    I hope the film Star Blazers does live up to that conceit, Mr. Kline. I would rather be proven wrong than suffer an incompetent film.

    Note: Mr. Kline is also producing an upcoming film titled “Challenger” about professional drag racer Mickey Thompson and his wife’s murder case in 1988 and their killers.

  • Sara Seermique

    Good job.