Friday, October 22, 2010

more October

Over the last two weeks, the only new releases I watched were House of the Devil, Night of the Demon, and Get Him to the Greek.

House of the Devil was filmed using 80s techniques, set in the 80s, and seemed one of those babysitter thrillers, where you spend most of the running time getting to know the character. The actual suspense wasn't as intense as I like, the characters (beyond the babysitter) weren't developed at all, but the set design was awesome. Loved seeing the old phone on the wall, with the looooong cord, and other 80s details. Was also nice seeing Dee Wallace and Mary Woronov in horror films again. But otherwise I wasn't stimulated, and won't remember this movie in a month.

Night of the Demon, on the other hand, I did like a lot. It's a remake of the 1988 film, and Adam Gierasch chose just the right amount of blood, boobs and guts to copy. I like Monica Keena (Dirty Bird, Freddy Vs. Jason, Crime and Punishment in Suburbia) and it was odd seeing her breasts being the smallest of the cast.

Shannon Elizabeth played the senior member of the party, with black hair and lots of attitude (departure from American Pie or Th13teen Ghosts demeanor). Eddie Furlong (Pecker, Terminator 2) was the low-level drug dealer, and was almost unrecognizable due to getting very pudgy. Speaking of unrecognizable, the makeup was outstanding. Once the characters start getting demonized, due to kissing or exchanging other bodily fluids with other demons, they become unique. There are seven characters, to correspond with the seven higher demons who are looking to become flesh. The story is unfolded rather ridiculously by characters who either know too much or act too dumb, but the effects are beautiful, so it's easy to overlook. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes gore and breasts, and doesn't mind swearing in their horror.

Get Him to the Greek: I did like Russell Brand a lot as Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, so I was eager to see this. Didn't get around to seeing it in the theater, so watched it first off as soon as I got the DVD. As before, his character is stellar and captivating, although it's a bit Wayne's World when he starts showing emotions beyond sexual desire. Fun seeing him reunited with his da, Colm Meaney of Star Trek fame. And every musical production number had me laughing out loud. But the in-between story was less compelling. Didn't really feel for Jonah Hill's character or situation which felt very cardboard. The bulk of time was filled with celebrity cameos, which didn't add to the story. Seeing Sean Combs as producer Sergio was a fun ride though, and the whole "furry walls" drug trip will be remembered. (Song/video here.) Aldous' long-time girlfriend Jackie Q also had some fantastic songs, such as "Ring 'Round."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"new" releases October 2010

Frozen: Sound design decent, some music, but mostly ambient sound of wind and animal howls and crunching. Three kids pay a chair lift attendant to go up one last time before the end of the weekend/weather rolls in, and when he goes off duty on Sunday night, there is miscommunication about how many customers are still on the mountain. Two best guy friends and one's recent girlfriend are the protagonists.
Their choices range from jumping down off the highest point, climbing up to the cable and sliding along to the next chair/post and down that ladder or trying to last until the next Friday. Effective frostbite makeup, frozen tears & snot, skin tearing from sticking to metal... Open Water on a ski lift (will all survival movies be compared to that one from now on? Thirst was "Open Water in the desert..."). Emotional intensity is nice but sudden switch from nice guy to asshole is odd for Shawn Ashmore. Wish there had been more lead-up, more gradual transition there. And the plot line about urination was a nice touch too, realistic.

I watched 45 minutes of The Human Centipede (before getting sick to my stomach and turning it off). Typical stranded tourists in a foreign country, getting caught up in situation beyond their control (can't begin to count how many movies contain that plot line). The specific punishment meted out by the madman who captures them is new, and portrayed well enough, but really not planning on seeing the sequel either. Ugh.

The Oxford Murders: I love Spanish directors. I loved earlier works by Alex de la Iglesia such as Accion Mutante. Stars Elijah Wood as a physics/math student who has come from America to study under a specific professor (John Hurt) who embarrasses him at first meeting.
Alex Cox (of Repo Man, Sid and Nancy fame) appears briefly as Kalman, a crazy mathematician in The Oxford Murders. It's like a cross between Pi, The Butterfly Effect, Johnny Depp's The Ninth Gate and another Spanish movie I got from Redbox, Fermat's Room. I like the characters, the setting, the build-up, the pacing, and the bulk of the plot. Not sure if it was the editing or the original script, but something was off, making the plot not as satisfactory as it could have been. Feels like it should've made for more of an academic ending, but became more simplistic instead. Worth at least one viewing, but I won't be buying it.

I did buy Suck! The Movie, a Canadian release by Alex Stefaniuk. Very much fun, all the way through! I got this, sight unseen, because Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Moby, Alex Lifeson of Rush and Malcolm McDowell appear in it, and was highly satisfied with how the director utilized them. I liked the surreal colorization, the bizarre world it's set in (complete with stop-motion animated travel sequences), and found the plot and characters interesting enough to follow into a sequel, if that's where it leads. It's about a second-rate band that's been together for about ten years when they run into Queeny (Dimitri Coates, who looks naturally like Johnny Depp's Hatter makeup from the most recent Alice incarnation). The first character to be transformed into a vampire during this story is played by Jessica Paré, last seen as the topless girl having sex with married time-traveler Craig Robinson in Hot Tub Time Machine. Her vampire makeup is most excellent, with blue blue eyes (making her look less like Liv Tyler), pale pale skin and fabulous red lips. The sleazy band manager who sees them going nowhere (Foley) comes back to the band once she transforms the other members one by one, and they start becoming popular. The band members have the familiar choice whether to stay immortal and feed on humans or go back to being negligible talent. Check out for more info!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy's last films to be finished up after her death include a made-for-TV movie called MegaFault, a spooky sexual thriller called Across the Hall, a possession thriller called Dead Line, and Abandoned, a mind-fuck up there with Spanish Prisoner. Something Wicked is still in post-production. Here follows the thoughts I have on what I've seen.

She's got scary collagen lips and eyes bulging out of her head, likely due to drastic working out and weight loss. I like her personality; I like when she plays crazy. In MegaFault, she's a scientist with a husband and daughter who is trying to save lives from the earth's upheaval. She is convincing, but the movie is pretty typical made-for-TV.

Dead Line is a step up from the corniness of the previous title. She's a writer, not quite as convincing as an intellectual loner. But when things start repeating and when she reacts to the potential ghosts/imagined issues around her, she does well.

Across the Hall is a serious thriller, where she's a woman screwing around with the feelings and bodies of two best friends. The jump scares are conventional, but the tension that is built up is top notch. There were a few times when I actually held my breath for fear of the character appearing on screen hearing me. Total suspension of disbelief.

I am just finished watching Abandoned, where she stars with Dean Cain as a girlfriend taking her boyfriend into the hospital for orthopedic surgery. The hospital is transferring all patients over to another location for reconstruction, and somehow her boyfriend slips through the paperwork and can't be found post-op. Is she having a psychotic breakdown due to her mother's death four months ago? Is her boyfriend a figment of her imagination? Or is there something bigger going on? I was caught up in the plot twists, though we've seen them all before, because of the believable performances, well-done sound design and subtle editing. Not sure about the hair/wardrobe, which seemed a little unrealistic, and all of a sudden springing an important plot point more than half-way through the film was a jarring note, but otherwise, this is definitely worth a viewing, especially being her last role.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


In many ways, I am the opposite of the troublemakers known as SpielBay. They detest the machinations, repetitions, money-hungry smash-bash-and-grab cash movie-making practices of Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay and any other Hollywood types. I wait to have an opinion until the final product has arrived, maybe because I'm more comfortable participating in an audience scenario than as performer. Many times I agree that the old, pre-CGI films were better, but there are occasions when I can see the value of a remake, of a new retelling of a story that wouldn't be appreciated if it were only told in the old way. Hopefully we all take each others' opinions into account, and finally decide for ourselves what is of value to us, rather than making universal, snap judgments.

I recommend watching their videos and other projects HIGHLY.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

gods and monsters

--What is with religious, end-of-the-world spectaculars?

Just watched The Seventh Sign with a young Demi Moore. Same story as The Omen, The Prophecy, and most recently Legion: end of the world is upon us, who will sacrifice themself to save the rest of mankind? And with a title that is reminiscent of Bergman's Seventh Seal, no less. It seems the filmmakers believe that the subject matter is weighty enough, there needs to be no more put into it, thought-wise, humor-wise, entertainment-wise. Just "look upon me, and despair."

Even if these films are not remaking each other, it sure feels like a rehash, every time you see the same story. Why not go WAAAAAY back, to the times "when gods were petty and cruel..."

(pic from

I also saw Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief recently. It felt more like I was hoping the remake of Clash of the Titans would be: light, introductory for those who haven't read the mythology, colorful and fun to watch. Although it was rated PG, it had enough (relatively) subtle innuendo, particularly coming from the mouth of the satyr, to satisfy the adult in me, while not dragging me down too far into the back story. I know fans of the books series protest any and all changes made in transferring text to screen, but what are ya gonna do? Absolute, unerring faithfulness to the source material will be criticized for not being snappy enough, not being visual enough, not original enough. Only thing to do is regard each as its own separate entity, and hope that both will be worthy of your affection. If not, think of it as a learning experience--you've discovered yet another thing that doesn't measure up, so the ones that do will be that much better.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Spit On Your Grave.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978), originally called Day of the Woman. The original scarred me for life, since I was still in the movie-watching phase when I felt like everything that was convincingly portrayed on celluloid COULD conceivably happen to me. Between this and Last House on the Left, I was left with a very dark view on backwoods and rural sex practices. The cinematography was done so subtly in the first part, it seemed the cameraman was a peeping tom, getting thrills from watching our protagonist, almost documentary-style. The sound design is stark, not allowing us to get distance from the events on-screen, by limiting the score to source music only.

We get to know the female author Jennifer Hills as she settles into a distant country home in order to finish the story she's working on. Some "generous" locals decide to help their handicapped young hanger-on learn about sex, by stalking her and showing him how it's done. The movie shows them playing with her like cats with a mouse, letting her getting away, then brutally attacking her again. They finally leave her for dead, but somehow she survives her horrific injuries and goes home to heal.

The second half is the story of her revenge on the group of men, managing it any way she can. I've read arguments that this is glorifying rape, that this is a feminist film, that there is no message behind this movie because it is simply exploitation, and that the woman takes back her power at the end. Which do you believe? Is it a "grit your teeth and endure it" kind of story, or is there a bottom line?

I'm glad I saw the original, but I will not be seeing the remake, because as long as it conveys the same message, it's unnecessary. I did not enjoy the experience of sitting through it the first time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday evening

week of May 25th, 2010

I watched a good chunk of the new releases yesterday. Alice in Wonderland, Leap Year, Cornered, and tried The Tooth Fairy but hated it.

AIW: not your typical story. Tim Burton makes it a return to Wonderland, after Alice is grown up. I've seen many adaptations (including the SyFy Channel one and Kate Beckinsale as a blonde one) and I enjoyed this version. Plus it was pretty to look at. But I didn't care about 3D-ness of it. Only 3D I've really loved is Spy Kids 3D.

Leap Year: Enjoyed this. Girl follows her boyfriend to Ireland where he's at a conference, so she can propose to him on February 29th. Gets diverted to Wales, then Dingle, because of bad weather and has to find her way to Dublin. Predictable and shallow yes, but sometimes that's all you want from a movie. Comforting.

Cornered: Group of friends who own/work at/spend time at a failing convenience store lock up for the night and play poker upstairs. Find an unwelcome visitor and start dying in the methods they had come up with during a theoretical conversation earlier. Again, not terribly deep, but kind of satisfying. If I want a really good slasher film, I'd go for Sorority Row instead.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Predators. Directed by Nimród Antal, produced by Robert Rodriguez. Eight people wake in free fall to find themselves hurtling towards an alien planet, equatorial jungle in nature. These humans are played by Danny Trejo, Topher Grace, and Adrien Brody among others. They even are assisted at one point by Laurence Fishburne!

Rather simple story of trust, co-operation, ambiguity, power & control. Fun joyride of who will survive (Ten Little Indians-style) and how. I'm going to have to watch it over again from the beginning, paying more attention to see if hints were dropped earlier as to the ultimate ending. I suspect there is more to it than at first viewing. Love, love, love the casting, the set dressing, the makeup, the sound design...

Saw it with a few fans of the franchise, who noticed several tips of the hat to the original Predator, and said this was a companion story, not a reboot of any kind. I also learned it totally ignored the Vs. Aliens series.

And...I would like to lick honey off Adrien Brody's six-pack.

Friday, July 9, 2010

causes of zombification

Rewatching the remake of The Crazies today, thinking about how many other zombie/infection movies start with the water.
Found another post listing a few of those watery films here: ALL THINGS HORROR.
So I went on to think about examples of other virus/unexplained source of a zombie-mutating horror.

  • 28 Days Later (2002)/28 Weeks Later (2007)
  • [Rec] (2007)/Quarantine (2008)
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  • Day of the Dead (1985)
  • Demons 2 (1986) - yeah well, demons released from the TV count as zombie-like behavior.
  • Dead Alive (1992) - the bite of the Sumatran rat-monkey (pic from
  • Night of the Comet (1984) - was, of course, the gases of the comet passing through earth's atmosphere.
  • Night of the Creeps (1986) - aliens (pic from
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968) - unexplained
  • It Came From Outer Space (1953) - aliens
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, 1978, 2007) - aliens
  • Return of the Living Dead (1985) - government cover up of unexplained fluid
  • SLiTHER (2006) - aliens (pic from

and of course, Stephen King's Dreamcatcher (2003), which uses all of the above, essentially.

If you were to make a zombie (or zombie-like) film, which cause would you choose? or would you leave it ambiguous?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

parodies and recycling

It started with Scary Movie.

Then moved on to Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie... Add to that list Not Another Teen Movie, Meet the Spartans, and most recently, I saw The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It. So disappointed. The actors were just doing horrible impersonations of the originals. The situations were given, predictable, not interesting or entertaining at all. Why would a studio give money for this kind of movie? What will be the fate of the newest one announced, Vampires Suck?

Good parody/recycled material includes the works of David Zucker & Jim Abrahams (Airplane, Hot Shots, The Naked Gun, Top Secret! and The Kentucky Fried Movie).

Do I just remember these films nostalgically? Or were they actually better than today's parodies are? I remember clever quips, brilliant in-jokes, admirable hair and costuming. I still quote many lines from Top Secret! such as "Things change, people change, interest rates fluctuate..."

Agree or disagree? Tell me why you think so!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Have you seen a lot of erotic thrillers? Exotica, 9 1/2 Weeks, or the one that Chloe (2009) is based on, Nathalie (2003)? IMDb has a list.

This remake was done by Atom Egoyan, who is Canadian and has rather a European sensibility to his films. The new screenplay is by Erin Cressida Wilson, whose previous work includes the screenplay of Secretary and Fur: An imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus. In the commentary, they talk a lot about the decision to use Toronto as itself in this film. They also discuss the use of reflection in mirrors, windows and other surfaces. Trying to find yourself in someone else is rather a universal action, and often goes hand-in-hand with mid-life crises. What's interesting about this is that the wife is the one discontent with her life, trying to figure out what to do, how to become more herself, instead of the husband.

(picture from

Again, I can't comment on how the original compares with the remake, due to not having seen the French film, but I enjoyed the newer version, and it made me think about the topics within, even beyond the viewing of it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dawn of the Dead

Here's a daring step: only one week into my blogging journey, tackling what I'm guessing is the second most hotly contested remake amongst my friends (after Transformers).

1978: George A. Romero creates Dawn of the Dead.
2004: Zach Snyder's Dawn of the Dead is released.

Romero's version starts out at a television studio where we meet Stephen (Flyboy) and Francine (TV executive girlfriend), watching live action on-screen, but distanced by media. The other two main characters, Roger and Peter, are SWAT team members, already deep in combat with the zombie invasion. The original gives us some of the best spoken lines in the zombie genre (as referenced on IMDb):

[Fran and Stephen are observing from the roof of the mall]
Francine Parker: What are they doing? Why do they come here?
Stephen: Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.

Francine Parker: What the hell are they?
Peter: They're us, that's all, when there's no more room in hell.
Stephen: What?
Peter: Something my granddad used to tell us. You know Macumba? Voodoo. My granddad was a priest in Trinidad. He used to tell us, "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth."

The original feels like several movies rolled up into one, as it switches from romance/buddy cop/survival flick, to a description of day-to-day life in a mall, to humorous motorcycle romp in an indoor location (possibly inspiring 1980's Blues Brothers' mall scene?). The newer version is more consistent in tone throughout, does well in building and keeping the tension as well as allowing occasional laughs to break and rebuild tension.

Kenneth: Is everyone there dead?
Steve: Well, dead-ish.
Kenneth: [more firm tone] Is everyone there dead?
Steve: Yeah, in the sense that they all sort of, uh... fell down... and then got up... and started eating each other.

CJ: [after everyone enters an elevator to escape the zombies] Hey... I like this song.

Televangelist [Ken Foree's cameo role]: Hell is overflowing, and Satan is sending his dead to us. Why? Because, you have sex out of wedlock, you kill unborn children, you have man on man relations, same sex marriage. How do you think your God will judge you? Well friends, now we know. When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.

Complaints that have been made about Zach Snyder's version include that it's just a feature length music video, that there's no character depth, that it's so fast-paced there is no chance to connect with the characters, and that zombies should never be fast, and that there's too much swearing (!). Complaints on the original include poor effects (early Tom Savini, pioneering his vision of how gore should appear on-screen), make-up, and its general dated feeling.

High points of the original include that Romero took his original concept of Night of the Living Dead, and built upon it, expanding upon the mythos. He truly made the most of his "Let's hide in a mall" idea (a new concept to the public at the time), and gave us very strong, interesting characters who made their situation memorable and intense. The realism of the environment, and the memories that it evokes of personal experience in 70s-era shopping malls, connect with older viewers, giving it a feeling of "this could happen." The newer version also has some strong characters who I can see fitting into archetypical positions, good dialogue (written by James Gunn), and excellent effects. The supersaturated color palette lends to the overly caffeinated, dream-like, sleep-deprived feel of the film.

My take is that each has to be viewed and judged on its own merits. If you can't suspend your disbelief of blue-skinned zombies, then the original is not for you. If you can't suspend your disbelief of fast-moving zombies, the the remake is not for you. But it is possible to enjoy both, as I do, when you take them for what they offer, and view each with an open mind.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Horror Lite

House On Haunted Hill
Thirteen Ghosts
House on Sorority Row
House of Wax
The Hitcher
When A Stranger Calls
The Stepfather

These were all classic horror titles, but now they've been remade. My opinion of these offereings is, "You get out what you put in," or for the geeks among us, "Garbage in, garbage out." For the most part, the new takes on these titles are more shallow, less worth multiple viewings, but I will make exceptions for William Malone's Dark Castle company, as well as the new Sorority Row. I loved the characters in these few, admired the non-gratuitous deaths (even Chugs' choking on a wine bottle I found entrancing, rather than the eye-rolling "of course" reaction I had to the other films), and want to see more in the same vein.

These exceptions prove once again that it's not intrinsic to a remake to be ridiculous and unnecessary, but often times that is the aftertaste when the director/casting/wardrobe/production designer/sound designer don't make the new movie their own vision. I have seen Thir13en Ghosts over 20 times since it came out, and I admire it every time. The amazing special effects, visual effects, and makeup to make those ghosts come alive show the effort and imagination of all involved, and how you can take a small idea and make it live in a much grander fashion. The house of glass with all those sigils and spells marking the glass should be remembered as another labor of love, as opposed to the sterile environment of the remake of When A Stranger Calls.

Tony Shalhoub, F. Murray Abraham, Rah Digga and Matthew Lillard give their all in Thir13een Ghosts. Their presence, and the gravitas they lend to the production, builds into the feeling of this being a solid, stand-on-its-own kind of film, rather than the "meh" feeling that comes from other productions.

Agree? Disagree? Have more titles to add to this list? Let me know!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Prisoner

For the past four days, I've been attending CONvergence, the yearly Minneapolis science fiction convention that takes place on the first full weekend in July. One of the panels I attended was in regards to The Prisoner. There was a 6-episode "remake" of the original 1967 TV show that aired in fall of 2009. Much of the discussion was spent in comparing the two different versions.

Apparently the new version had more in common with the Matrix, Lost and other alternate reality shows than with the original series. Many of the panel attendees agreed that they appreciated the ambiguity of the original more than being handed answers. We discussed whether that was the British vs American way, or 60s culture (post Cold-War) vs modern day. Other topics that arose was whether it was better to have a longer season, which may seem stretched and improvised, or a shorter season that is very well orchestrated.

The new version paid homage to the original not only in the setting of "The Village," but also in the episode titles, such as Schitzoid, Harmony, Anvil (instead of Hammer Into Anvil, Living in Harmony, and The Schitzoid Man). Since it had double the running time, it had more of a leisurely pace, time to get into the mind of our characters, rather than the immediacy of the remake.

Conclusion: If you have time to invest in thinking about the repercussions of reality vs what exists only in one man's mind, the second Prisoner series might be worth giving a try. But the original seems to be superior in every way, so hold off on seeing it until after you give the first a try, lest you be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Thing

The original was made in the early 1950s and was released as The Thing From Another Planet. John Carpenter's love for it led to it being featured in Halloween, and being remade in 1982, starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, and Richard Masur. Everything comes together so well in this version, starting with the visuals that led to an oppressive state of paranoia, continuing on with the music, through special effects (of the time, of course) leading to the overall tone. Read another fan's complete love of all things Morricone here.

Another feature of this movie that stands out among others is its all-male cast. It seems to point out that the fear of being violated and implanted with the alien, in the midst of a group of males who have been isolated for far too long, becomes the predominant dread of its audience. Compare this with the all-female cast of The Descent, where being trapped within a dark, unexplored space with mysterious semi-human killers is the main thrust. The fun of this type of monster/thriller/suspense film is in its ambiguity. You can see it as simply entertaining on a superficial level, with people fighting for their lives. You can see it as a political/medical allegory, in tune with the times in which it was made. Maybe the next time you watch it, you can focus on its gender strengths and weaknesses, see how the power structure could have shifted if there had been women cast in each role.

There have been several other suspicion-based stories set in the Arctic/Antarctic that follow in this movie's footsteps, but so far none have come close to achieving the epic status of this strong example. Recently I've seen The Thaw, which looked like it was trying to live up to the heights of Carpenter's work but couldn't. The characters didn't have the same withdrawn duplicity of Brimley and Masur, the music didn't attack your soul in the same way, and overall feel was disappointing.

There seems to be another version in the works, 2011's The Thing. Going to hold out to see it before judging, but it has very big shoes to fill before it can achieve the greatness of the 1982 version.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let the Right One In/Let Me In

Who saw the disconcerting 2008 Swedish vampire film?

Who saw The Road with Kodi Smit-McPhee as the Boy? (pic from

Who saw Kick-Ass with Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl? (pic from

They are the new actors who are paired in the remake Let Me In.

Check out the Early Review, from

IMDb "Best Horror Remakes"

In an attempt to increase my list of titles to write about in future posts, I stumbled upon this on IMDb, the top 136 remakes as rated by their visitors. Stay tuned for further thoughts on the validity of this list. Or leave your own ideas in the comments here!

Escape From New York

Loved, loved, loved the 1981 classic, starring Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, and Adrienne Barbeau, and written/directed by John Carpenter

The remake is due for release in 2013, potentially starring Timothy Olyphant and directed by Breck Eisner, who both worked on the remake of George Romero's The Crazies. Eisner has respect for the original works he is tackling, uses good judgment in retaining and removing what does and does not work for the current time. Agree or disagree? This article in Cinematical recommends a whole new origin story for Snake Plisken, instead of using it as a remake/origin mishmash. My thoughts? I'd rather see a whole new story, and allow new fans to go back and view the original in all its glory. And while you're at it, do the same for the Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. It is splendid the way it is, but could use a new story to be told about the same characters.

American remakes of Asian film

As listed in,

With all the typical Hollywood quick-cut-editing slasher movies out there, these (among non-remade ones like Audition & Oldboy), present something different to experience. My overall opinion is that it is so totally unnecessary to redo them with American actors, since reading subtitles (or listening to English dub if absolutely necessary) is part of the spookiness that is essential to these films. It seems a waste of money to "dumb it down" in order to reach a broader audience. The main reason I would approve of any of these is to introduce the genre to those who might not have been exposed to it before.

There will be another entry discussing "torture porn," but I like the originals of these titles for the completely unearthly feel I have in watching them. I am transported into the world and feel what the characters feel, instead of being rooted in my living room. When they are remade with American voices, faces and settings, it takes away from the displacement. The remakes do provide jolts, and I appreciate The Ring for introducing me to the genre, but they don't come close enough to the depths (the heights) to which the originals took me.


I love movies. I love becoming immersed in the story that's being unfolded before me. A successful movie is one that captures your emotions. It makes you want to live in that world & spend time with those characters, or, contrarily, feel very glad you can return to your own safe haven instead of staying in that world.

When a film is remade, the best case scenario would be if it were updated, but keeps the same "wish I were there" vibe as the first. This is also the most rare outcome, since in changing directors, time frames, actors, and every other detail from the first, you are bound to disappoint someone. But sometimes, few and far between, new creations can match or surpass the original.

The scope of what I want to explore in this blog includes films based on TV shows and films based on comics as well as films based on other films.

Comments are highly welcomed, but abuse (of each other, the directors in question, or me) will not be accepted.