So here we have a very noisy trailer for the totally unnecessary US remake of Let The Right One In, which was mostly quiet and all the scarier for it.
I am by default opposed to this sort of remake – the immediate do-over in American English as soon as a film finds any sort of success abroad. It seems like fixing something that ain’t broke for lack of any better ideas.
Is Josh Tyler’s review of The Backup Plan, the latest cliffside impact of Jennifer Lopez’ long, spastic plummet into the Canyon of Obsolescence:
The Back-up Plan is one of the ten most terrifying movie experiences of my life. The other nine movies on that list are a motley and varied assortment of everything from M. Night Shyamalan to Hitchcock, yet this one is in a class of its own. I can only assume from the bubble-gum pop blaring out of the theater’s speakers that it was director Alan Paul’s intention to create another one of those bland Jennifer Lopez romantic comedies which seem to do so well. But replace The Back-up Plan’s secretary rock score with music composed mostly of chillingly high-pitched string instruments and you’d have the scariest movie of the year.
That’s the dumbest paragraph in the review, and it still makes me giggle.
[h/t Pajiba, which has also been nice enough to post Fyre’s review of The American Way of Death. See how I brought all that together? It’s like the circle of life. Hakuna Matata, bitches.]
SonicRob: Ridley Scott has a Robin Hood movie coming out with Russel Crowe FyreHaar: Old news SonicRob: looks ordinary SonicRob: trailer is out FyreHaar: Sienna miller had been cast as Marian, but they changed it cuz she was too young for Crowe SonicRob: it’s Cate Blanchett FyreHaar: fucking a right SonicRob: still looks boring FyreHaar: it’s Robin Hood FyreHaar: Errol Flynn took it, beat it, sexed it and wrapped it in a bow FyreHaar: nothing left to say SonicRob: well this is another one where he’s all grim and revengey SonicRob: being Robin Hood looks like no fun SonicRob: you’re just dirty and angry and sometimes covered in blood FyreHaar: and somehow getting your revenge makes you happy and fulfilled!! FyreHaar: there’s no PTSD in medieval times! FyreHaar: would you like a pepsi with that?
FyreHaar: have you realized that Bigelow and Cameron are exes? Sonic Rob: I have Sonic Rob: it is a big deal about the Oscars Sonic Rob: battle of the exes blah blah FyreHaar: but seriously I hope she wins FyreHaar: a woman hasn’t won FyreHaar: only the fourth nod Sonic Rob: the movie was good Sonic Rob: Dunno about best movie of the year Sonic Rob: Cameron may win it simply for dollar signs Sonic Rob: which would say something about the academy FyreHaar: it was a towering achievement FyreHaar: and if LOTR won it makes sense that avatar would win FyreHaar: they both pushed organizational and technical boundaries Sonic Rob: it is a powerful bit of technique, granted Sonic Rob: but the film itself Sonic Rob: I don’t know Sonic Rob: there is more to a film than how hard it was to make
There are rumors about a Hollywood version of the first novel.Yellow Bird executive producer Søren Stærmose confirmed in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen that negotiations for such a version are taking place. These would not be simply US remakes of the Swedish films, but rather new Hollywood films based on the books. In the interview, Stærmose stated that the US films might be produced similar to the Yellow Bird co-produced Wallander TV Show starring Kenneth Branagh, shooting in Sweden using English-speaking actors. He also said that it is up to the director, and the story could just as well take place in another country, such as Canada. According to The Guardian, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt are all interested in playing the central role of Mikael Blomkvist;
I’m a bit giddy with the prospect of using more than one sentence to talk about a film, so excuse me if things are slightly fragmented.
It took an hour or so for me to get into the right frame of mind to enjoy Avatar. Once I stopped worrying about the narrative in any way, things really clicked for me. The cliché-a-minute plot and ham-handed politics receded into the background and I just let the pictures and noise wash over me. The best analogy to the experience that I can think of on short notice is The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. The story gets you from room to room, spectacle to spectacle and is otherwise disposable. There is no event in the plot that is not foreshadowed at least 30 minutes in advance; no matter how violent events may become they are never confusing and rarely even remotely surprising. I enjoyed Avatar much more as an amusement park ride than as a piece of cinema.
To that end, seeing it in 3D IMAX was certainly the way to go, as I imagine it upped the “constantly exploding in your face” factor a great deal. Like some folks, I had a bit of a headache after the show; maybe I’m not made for that brand of 3D, which had me seeing double every now and then. Maybe I’m not made to watch 3D for two and a half hours. Who knows?
But you can’t have it all. That said, the female cast of Nine are all very attractive women. While watching the ominpresent trailer once again last weekend (in the warmup for Sherlock Holmes, of all things), something caught my eye. I scooted home after the film, put the Baker to bed and fired up IMDB to check some numbers. Lo:
And, of course, there are also Dame Judi and the lovely Ms Sofia Loren, whom I am too much of a gentleman to inquire after. My point being that this movie is banking on the attractiveness of a cast of women who are all over the age of 30.
Now, you and I can easily shrug our shoulders and say “Well, of course women over 30 can be attractive. That isn’t remarkable.” The remarkable thing to me isn’t that you and I know it, but that the Weinstein Company knew it and didn’t push for, say, Kristen Stewart to be shoehorned in as a draw to the CW crowd. Megan Fox. Scarlett Johansson. Hayden Panettiere. Just writing this list makes me wish I were dead.
In a perfect world, age wouldn’t be an issue. Good actors would get high-profile roles. It would be a point of nonsensical obviousness that each of the many phases of life has its virtues and attractions. Everyone would accept that glamour is available to anyone who wants to work at it.
Boring, shitty actresses who strive to achieve the Prettiest Common Denominator would achieve nothing.
But, until that world comes to pass, I’m going to feel a happy little thrill when talented women with unusual looks, a normal body, or a birthday before the commonly accepted leading lady cutoff date are cast in roles that airily, defiantly presuppose their ability to be desired.
It’s been quite a task to slog through, but we persevered and here we are. So now that it’s over, what did this all prove? I don’t really know what I was going for with this little experiment. 150 movies was sort of an arbitrary sum; I picked it because it was somewhere between “impossible” and “unimpressive”. The 1-sentence limitation started out as an afterthought to the actual watching of the films, just a way to get any left-over reaction out of my system and prove I’d actually watched it. These days it sort of seems like the important part of the experiment. I guess the quickie reactions are reminiscent of movie-poster pull-quotes or those little subheadings on movie reviews. They reek with the musk of my great enemy, Metacritic. I think that we have found ourselves swamped with so many options for how to divert our attention that a single sentence is all that can be spared to base a judgemnet upon before we need to look elsewhere or risk falling behind. It’s likely that some of my reviews completely bought into this habit we have developed of attempting to boil every cultural product down into a 1-line sales pitch. I like to think that some of them were more like satires or inversions of that tendency.
Let’s finish this:
Dec. 29Law Abiding Citizen – Sports more icebox logic than Spock’s Frigidaire. 148/150 Dec. 29Fanboys – Nerd camp; not as in chess camp, but as in gay camp. 149/150 Dec. 30Zatôichi – Probably the best ultraviolent samurai slapstick musical I saw this year. 150/150