Wednesday, December 02, 2009

5 Films that Should be Remade

Granted I'm the very uppity and angry first to lash out and bestow nasty names to any producer, director and/or studio who dares remake a film I hold high in respect or affection, but even dear ol' moi has a few ideas about some movies that do indeed very much deserve (for some reason or other) to be remade, and whom should be onboard to do it. To be honest, it all started after seeing Zach Snyder's kick-ass take on DAWN OF THE DEAD - so entertaining, well made yet absolutely respectful of the original, it begs the question what else would benefit such a revisiting. At the risk of finding myself dealing with the business end of someone else's nasty name-calling, here's the 5 movies I wish most to see re-hauled, with suggestions as to cast and crew.

1) The Ghost and Mrs Muir

If it wasn't for the 1960 TV show, very few would remember Rex Harrison's fantastic turn as Captain GregG. It is still indeed an entertaining, beautiful and engrossing movie, but one filmed in the 1940s and set even earlier; values have changed so drastically that much of its drama would be easier to miss for current generations of movie watchers than a good TV show on Fox ('cause, you know, those get cancelled in a heartbeat...). An update would be quite the mirror to today's technology: falling in love with a ghost, someone who can only offer nice words and dreams of bliss but nothing of actual substance. Now THAT is a nice metaphor toward online romance.

A remake had been looked at by studio execs from the late 80s to early 00s, more often than not with Sean Connery as Gregg - which would've been glove to hand back then, but Bond Prime is out of the game and quite old to play romantic lead without appearing downright creepy.If it was announced tomorrow, I'd like no one more than Patricia Clarkson to be the haunted widow (even at her age, my God what a beautiful woman) while as foul-tempered Captain Gregg I see the great Ed Harris.

2) The Shadow

Almost 10 years before the Dark Knight himself started stalking criminals of Gotham, a voice appeared on the radio simply as a narrator to other shows' characters: The Shadow, with his haunting laugh grew to become an icon of pulp crime crusader, until the dreadful Alec Baldwin vehicle of the early 90s. If Chris Nolan proved anything, it's that you can indeed take a classic character ruined by cheezy outings and make him the most compelling badass out there. Lamont Cranston deserves much more than where Hollywood has left him off for dead.

What you need here is to avoid the obvious Rich Playboy by Day/Dark Crime Fighter by Night gist; Bruce Wayne ruined it for the rest of 'em. Let's go back to the source and make him just the elusive man who knows what evil lurks, but not quite "V" either; let his identity be revealed little by little as a potential franchise goes along. Perfect eyes for the man with a scarf: Rufus Sewell. He's still got a few good years of leading man in him.

3) Logan's Run
Fantastic source novel, and although the Michael York healdiner of the 70s has its fans - shitty film, made even more atrocious by the spun-off TV show complete with a middle-aged looking robot. Bryan Singer had his eye on this one for the longest time, but I really can't get over how much I hated SUPERMAN RETURNS. Was he about to do the same 30 years too late hommage?
Let someone with a fresh vision do this one (and actually read the book first...). I say Kurt Wimmer - say what you will of ULTRAVIOLET, he's still the dude who made EQUILIBRIUM, which kicked all sorts of ass from here till Sunday. And let's finally give Ryan Gossling a good sci-fi role. Still peed off the guy wasn't retained for GREEN LANTERN.

4) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

What the HELL were they thinking??? The guy who did BLADE in charge of an Alan Moore adaptation??? Why not Joel Schumacher? Or Brett Stinking Ratner? or Uwe Goddam Boll?!?!? Say what you will about Zach Snyder's WATCHMEN, the guy followed the story and spirit of the source material. Stephen Norrington turned the incredibly rich and dark comic books into a Fox Network failed pilot - failed upward and went to theatres...

I'm not saying do a frame-for-shot adaptation as Snyder did, but at least follow the gosh darn story elements that made the books so good in the first place. First of all, Alan Quartermain is a bottomed out Junkie, not a hero. And Mina Harker is the leader, not a fanged pom-pom girl. Tom Sawyer? please... Let's have Lance Henriksen as the sickening-slim Quartermain,  and underrated beauty Caroline Dhavernas as Mina. For starters.


 5) Oh God
 Fitting title isn't it? All the more so since it stars John Denver. No disrespect to his memory, I just really never had it for the guy. And George Burns as God - cute, but, you know... Now, granted some may view BRUCE ALMIGHTY as an unofficial remake, but I beg to differ. OH GOD was a dramedy with a sense of philosophical journey to it, while BRUCE was Jim Carrey and splapstick. Isn't that an oxymoron?
A remake should follow the tone of the original with maybe some dark sarcastic humor, and much less Denver. I'd see someone like Shane Black directing it with, say, Alan Tudyk as the Denver character and as God...hmm... Bob Hoskins. Love that dude. Extremely versatile for someone his size and shape, plus he's a Brit so you got that posh accent for the character.

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