Tag Archives: remake

Spike Lee’s Pumping New Blood into Oldboy

When the remake to the Korean ultra-violent classic Oldboy was announced, it originally had Steven Spielberg attached to direct and Will Smith to star. Needless to say, I was worried. Very worried. This is one of my favorite films, and I don’t want its brilliance to be tarnished by some sub-par regurgitation. A gruesome film such as this should not be recreated by Spielberg and Smith. Although incredibly talented, they’re a bit too wholesome.

Sweet bloody revenge. Josh Brolin likes that.

Sweet bloody revenge. Josh Brolin likes that.

The film’s story follows a man who has been held captive (15 years in the original, 20 years in the remake) in what looks like a studio apartment in a low-income apartment complex, blamed for the murder of his wife, and then finally set free with no explanation as to why he was held captive or why he was freed. He then proceeds to seek out gloriously bloody and merciless revenge against his mysterious captor.

A remake (or re-imagining, as Spike Lee calls it) for this film calls for a director who can make a gritty, dangerous film and not have fans worry that it might get a PG-13 rating, that’s Spike Lee. This film needs a leading man with a great amount of range and the ability to come off as menacing, that’s Josh Brolin.

I’m not a die-hard fan of Spike Lee’s films, but I do respect his work nevertheless. However, I am a fan of Josh Brolin’s work and just from watching this trailer, I believe he will do an incredible job.

I cannot wait to see him go off on some people during the hallway hammer fight scene, one of the most epic fight scenes ever.

I wonder if he’ll cut his own tongue off.

And I’m pretty sure he slits Samuel L. Jackson’s throat too. Not that I dislike Sam Jackson but it’ll sure be cool to watch.

Follow the dotted line.

Follow the dotted line.

I’m rambling…

Anyway, I have been eagerly awaiting this film’s release for a while now, but I have to wait just a bit longer. It doesn’t come out until October 25th, so the red-band trailer will have to do for now. I’m probably going to have to watch the original multiple times until October.

Spike and Josh, don’t fail me.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer:

And if you haven’t seen the original…shame on you! Go watch it! Here’s the trailer for it:

Oldboy (2013) stars Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Elizabeth Olsen, and Samuel L. Jackson, and is directed by Spike Lee.

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The Glory Days of Gore

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers as well as several descriptions of violence and gore. If that’s not your thing, navigate to another article. I’ll try not to take it personally.

Gone are the days of the moldy-faced demon. (Source: www.blastr.com)

I don’t know why it took me so long to watch The Evil Dead. During my junior year of college, I lived with a friend who attended the live musical, read Bruce Campbell’s books, and coveted her boyfriend’s Army of Darkness t-shirt. This year, the IT guy at my workplace raved about Sam Raimi’s 1981 classic for months leading up to the release of the reboot. No matter where I turned, I saw evidence of the film’s cult followers. I decided it was time to join them.

Objectively, one could say the effects and storyline of The Evil Dead have not aged well. The gore occasionally looks a little too much like chocolate syrup, the bodily secretions too much like rice pudding. Cosmetics used for demonic effect often call to mind a Tammy Faye makeover gone awry. Yet, there’s something about its B-movie aesthetic that appeals to my sensibilities.

Through its innumerable campy chills, The Evil Dead reminds modern viewers—especially those accustomed to big budget, impersonal productions—that earnest filmmaking exists. Raimi’s attempts to scare and repulse are pure and unpretentious; The Evil Dead strives for nothing other than twisted entertainment. Often, that sort of straightforwardness relegates movies into a cinematic void. In the case of The Evil Dead, simplicity provides the substance. It makes the film worth appreciating decade after decade.

“It’s raining blood, Hallelu…” Wait. Are you serious? (Source: www.deadites.net)

Despite being produced by Raimi and Campbell, the new Evil Dead (in addition to ditching The in its title) fails to deliver the same charm as its predecessor. The plot is more developed, the effects more realistic, the violence more plentiful.

Overall, it’s just plain more. By the time the final skin-shredding, blood-spewing horrors take place, one feels slightly browbeaten. That’s because the outrageous happenings overwhelm instead of engage, isolate instead of invite. Somewhere within the process of modernizing the film, the filmmakers lost sight of what made the original so great.

If Raimi devotees are willing to wade through the gore, they might discover enough Easter eggs and homages to deem Evil Dead a worthy reboot. I wish those fanatics the best. In the mean time, I will look to Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness for another dose of hokey horror.

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Mockingbird Lane

The new Munsters. (source: huffingtonpost.com)

(I’m gonna try not to give away too much, but there might be a few SPOILERS.) 

Mockingbird Lane, it’s The Munsters remake.

So, let’s just say that I’ve been waiting for this remake for a while now and was quite worried that it might not make it onto the small screen. It was originally intended to be a series, but NBC made a last minute decision to pass on it. However, thanks to some persuasive tactics on the part of Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2: X-Men United) and Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls), they managed to get the pilot run as a Halloween special in the hopes of getting the series green-lit.

Hopefully, it works!

The pilot starts off with a scout troup sitting around a fire during a camping trip, when suddenly, they’re attacked by a “baby bear,” which turns out to be a werewolf. They manage to escape to the safety of the scout master’s truck, where they wait until morning.

The next morning, one boy asks “Where’s Eddie Munster?”

Shortly after, Eddie (Mason Cook) appears from behind a bush, with no memory of the events from the night before. From there, the rest of the family is introduced.

Thanks to Eddie’s werewolf incident, the Munsters have to move. While real estate hunting, Marilyn (Charity Wakefield) discovers their new home at the legendary 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Shortly after the acquisition of the new home, Herman (Jerry O’Connell) shows up to inspect the new home. There’s even a clever throwback to the original Herman’s square head. When night arrives, Grandpa (Eddie Izzard) and Lily (Portia de Rossi) are delivered in crates, rounding out the not quite normal family.

Just like the original show, the family knows what they are…all except for Eddie. He thinks he’s normal like Marilyn and doesn’t know that he’s actually a werewolf. The pilot partially revolves around how the family will tell Eddie about who or what he is. There’s a bit of a family power struggle between Herman and Grandpa, involving who will tell him and how they’ll tell him. It’s a deciding factor in their struggle to be head of the household, which is the other plot point.

Marilyn and Grandpa visit the neighbors. [source: latimes.com]

Grandpa seems to be the focus of the show instead of just a secondary character, which is perfect because Grandpa is played by the incomparable Eddie Izzard. Quite possibly the most excellent casting choice made for this, I must say! He plays the part in a darkly cynical and humorously sadistic manner, seeming to fit perfectly in the role. All of the best one-liners from the show come from him. If you’re a fan of Eddie Izzard, you don’t want to miss this.

The one person I was worried about was Jerry O’Connell. I had my doubts about him being cast as Herman, but he won me over. He wasn’t dopey and bumbling like the original, which was a good choice for this remake. He played the part more as the charming, caring, slightly goofy sitcom father, and I think that’s what swayed me. I take back the doubts I had about him.

Portia de Rossi and the rest round out the cast quite nicely and put a very interesting spin on these old favorites.

Lily Munster and some unorthodox fashion designers. [source: joblo.com]

The special effects weren’t overdone just for flashy spectacle; everything fit nicely. Grandpa’s initial transformation from a large group of rats into his undead form and his giant bat-like form, Lily forming from smoke into herself and spiders dropping down to form a dress of webs around her, as well as the first and only appearance of Eddie’s faithful pet dragon, they all looked and worked beautifully. The story was solid, an edgier and darker twist on the original without losing any charm or humor.

This wasn’t The Munsters of yore. This was The Munsters for a new era, and one I hope is ushered in quite swiftly by NBC, because the pilot felt like the story was unfinished and left me wanting more. I mean, it is and I do, which is what a good pilot is supposed to do…leave you wanting more.

This is just the setup, reintroducing us to The Munsters, and the story needs to be continued, so we can get to know the “new” family on the block. But, if this is what NBC is going to leave us with, I’m going to be saddened and disappointed for quite some time.

At least until Bryan Fuller’s next project.

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