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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

Ersatz Movies
Topic by: ahogue
Posted: June 2, 2005 - 11:13 AM PDT
Last Reply: June 16, 2005 - 5:41 PM PDT

page  1  2  3      prev | next
author topic: Ersatz Movies
ahogue
post #1  on June 2, 2005 - 11:13 AM PDT  
I was just looking up Andrew McCarthy (don't ask) and was startled to find that this Stephen King rip off of Lars von Trier's brilliant TV horror soap opera The Kingdom is on DVD and available on GC!

I haven't seen it and there are no reviews. Anyone seen it? Is it really awful?

I hate remakes of films/tv shows that were excellent in the first place. I still won't watch anymore Soderbergh after his awful smirky remake of Solaris. Has George Clooney every been so miscast?

I just don't see the point of such remakes. It seems to me these filmmakers count on their audience not having seen the originals, which strikes me as somewhat dishonest.
Eoliano
post #2  on June 2, 2005 - 12:57 PM PDT  
> I hate remakes of films/tv shows that were excellent in the first place. I still won't watch anymore Soderbergh after his awful smirky remake of Solaris. Has George Clooney every been so miscast?

Uh, Batman gets my vote, and I didn't think he was miscast in Solaris or that it was that bad a film... Okay, it wasn't Lem or Tarkovsky, but it wasn't that bad.
woozy
post #3  on June 2, 2005 - 1:05 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 11:13 AM PDT ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I was just looking up Andrew McCarthy (don't ask) and was startled to find that this Stephen King rip off of Lars von Trier's brilliant TV horror soap opera The Kingdom is on DVD and available on GC!
>
> I haven't seen it and there are no reviews. Anyone seen it? Is it really awful?
>
> I hate remakes of films/tv shows that were excellent in the first place. I still won't watch anymore Soderbergh after his awful smirky remake of Solaris. Has George Clooney every been so miscast?
>
> It seems to me these filmmakers count on their audience not having seen the originals, which strikes me as somewhat dishonest.
> ---------------------------------

But if the audience *had* seen the original there'd be no point in the remake. I agree with you but to play devil's advocate, I can see the appeal of wanting to bring a highly intelligent concept of a highly intelligent film to the mass market american audience. I can't thing of a single case where the results weren't terrible but why give up hope...

> I hate remakes of films/tv shows that were excellent in the first place. I still won't watch anymore Soderbergh after his awful smirky remake of Solaris. Has George Clooney every been so miscast?

THis Solaris is on my list for curiosity only. What I hate is watching the films without knowing they are remakes and thinking first "Hey, this is a ripoff" and then realize "No, it's a crappy remake". That Nick Cage/Meg Ryan flick "City of Angels" was just painful.

>I was startled to find that this Stephen King rip off of Lars von Trier's brilliant TV horror soap opera The Kingdom is on DVD and available on GC!
>
> I haven't seen it and there are no reviews. Anyone seen it? Is it really awful?

I never even heard of it. I've been meaning to get around to see the original "The Kingdom" (your link is for Andrew McArthy by the way). What's it about and like and why is it brilliant?

If I were you I'd rent the rip off and expect it to be awful. (I have a very compelled curiousity).


ahogue
post #4  on June 2, 2005 - 1:08 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 12:57 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > I hate remakes of films/tv shows that were excellent in the first place. I still won't watch anymore Soderbergh after his awful smirky remake of Solaris. Has George Clooney every been so miscast?
>
> Uh, Batman gets my vote, and I didn't think he was miscast in Solaris or that it was that bad a film... Okay, it wasn't Lem or Tarkovsky, but it wasn't that bad.
> ---------------------------------

Well, if you consider the material he had to work with, and what he made out of it, I'd personally call it a big disappointment -- at least.

But no, a part of me just thinks it's vandalism and that part will not be persuaded.
underdog
post #5  on June 2, 2005 - 1:20 PM PDT  
I didn't see much point in the made-for-TV Kingdom (Hospital) remake, although as it turned out it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared it'd be. Certainly doesn't hold a candle to the original in terms of audacity, and yes, originality, or in terms of how compelling it is. But it wasn't bad.

Pointless, yes.

Sometimes remakes can make sense if they're a full re-imagining of the original, or of the original source text, as in the case of the Willy Wonka movie coming out soon.

But there are certain directors that no one in their right minds should ever consider remaking, anyone who is fully and completely an auteur, like Hitchcock (who has been remade a couple of times, I believe, and fruitlessly), Tarkovsky, Kurosawa (who has certainly inspired many films), Von Trier, for example.

Unfortunately there are many people not in their right minds in Hollywood. And desperate for proven source material.

ahogue
post #6  on June 2, 2005 - 1:29 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 1:05 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On June 2, 2005 - 11:13 AM PDT ahogue wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > It seems to me these filmmakers count on their audience not having seen the originals, which strikes me as somewhat dishonest.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> But if the audience *had* seen the original there'd be no point in the remake. I agree with you but to play devil's advocate, I can see the appeal of wanting to bring a highly intelligent concept of a highly intelligent film to the mass market american audience. I can't thing of a single case where the results weren't terrible but why give up hope...
-------------------

Listen, I hate to sound like a snob, but people who can't handle some subtitles or who never look past the new releases section are probably not going to appreciate your act of generosity.


>
> >I was startled to find that this Stephen King rip off of Lars von Trier's brilliant TV horror soap opera The Kingdom is on DVD and available on GC!
> >
> > I haven't seen it and there are no reviews. Anyone seen it? Is it really awful?
>
> I never even heard of it. I've been meaning to get around to see the original "The Kingdom" (your link is for Andrew McArthy by the way). What's it about and like and why is it brilliant?
-----------------------------

Yikes, sorry. The Kingdom (accept no substitutes)!

It's about hm...well, more or less about a haunted hospital. What makes it brilliant is that it's extremely creepy, a lot of fun in a soap-opera way, and actually sometimes rather deep. It is incredibly skillfully made for a TV show.
Eoliano
post #7  on June 2, 2005 - 1:32 PM PDT  
> Well, if you consider the material he had to work with, and what he made out of it, I'd personally call it a big disappointment -- at least.

Disappointing, agreed... The score was quite good though.

> But there are certain directors that no one in their right minds should ever consider remaking, anyone who is fully and completely an auteur, like Hitchcock (who has been remade a couple of times, I believe, and fruitlessly), Tarkovsky, Kurosawa (who has certainly inspired many films), Von Trier, for example.

Ersatz Hitchcock... and Von Trier for me entirely ersatz mien schatz... ^0^
ahogue
post #8  on June 2, 2005 - 1:35 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 1:20 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Sometimes remakes can make sense if they're a full re-imagining of the original, or of the original source text, as in the case of the Willy Wonka movie coming out soon.

> ---------------------------------

Absolutely. In this case the remake can sometimes be better than the original, or at least a justified re-imagining of the same material. Only example that jumps to mind at the moment is Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Okay, not a great film, but certainly better than the thinly-vieled anticommunist propaganda which provided its source.
Eoliano
post #9  on June 2, 2005 - 2:03 PM PDT  
> Only example that jumps to mind at the moment is Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

That's an excellent example... I really dig Kaufman's film, though not nearly as much as The Right Stuff, but I thought his updated reimagining of on Body Snatchers was pitch perfect -- and what a cast...

> Okay, not a great film, but certainly better than the thinly-vieled anticommunist propaganda which provided its source.

The original could be taken as being anti-McCarthy as well as anti-communist... I don't know what Siegel really had in mind, but considering what Hollywood had gone through with HUAC and how the Hollywood witch-hunt had destroyed to many lives, I'll go with it being a metaphor for anti-McCarthyism. Anyway, it's ultimately about the loss of identity and individualism that comes from enforced conformity, and that's pretty much what still comes through and what makes it one of the most subversive films of the 50s and why it's still relevant today.
dpowers
post #10  on June 2, 2005 - 2:08 PM PDT  
i think north by northwest could be remade quite nicely. actually, any of the less experimental of hitch's films could be brought into the present without too much trouble. rebecca, shadow of a doubt, notorious... maybe people are scared of them or hold the experiments in too high esteem, or maybe they're producer-bait - it's too hard to move toward them without every hack in hollywood descending upon you and thrusting useless gimmicks and hot faces into the process.

well there's the other problem, that hitch represents the high point of filmmaking based on that kind of acting. there have been two generational changes in acting since then.

remaking tarkovsky seems totally absurd. not that i minded it for solaris. for the others, what's the purpose? for that matter what's the purpose of remaking any non-pop film.

kurosawa... whatsa matta, don't like the magnificent seven?
ahogue
post #11  on June 2, 2005 - 2:27 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 2:03 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Only example that jumps to mind at the moment is Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
>
> That's an excellent example... I really dig Kaufman's film, though not nearly as much as The Right Stuff, but I thought his updated reimagining of on Body Snatchers was pitch perfect -- and what a cast...
----------

Hey...I just noticed that there's a Don Siegel credited for Kaufman's version. Did they give the original director a cameo?



>
> > Okay, not a great film, but certainly better than the thinly-vieled anticommunist propaganda which provided its source.
>
> The original could be taken as being anti-McCarthy as well as anti-communist... I don't know what Siegel really had in mind, but considering what Hollywood had gone through with HUAC and how the Hollywood witch-hunt had destroyed to many lives, I'll go with it being a metaphor for anti-McCarthyism. Anyway, it's ultimately about the loss of identity and individualism that comes from enforced conformity, and that's pretty much what still comes through and what makes it one of the most subversive films of the 50s and why it's still relevant today.
> ---------------------------------

Fair enough. It has been a while since I've seen it.
ahogue
post #12  on June 2, 2005 - 2:38 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 2:08 PM PDT dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> i think north by northwest could be remade quite nicely. actually, any of the less experimental of hitch's films could be brought into the present without too much trouble. rebecca, shadow of a doubt, notorious... maybe people are scared of them or hold the experiments in too high esteem, or maybe they're producer-bait - it's too hard to move toward them without every hack in hollywood descending upon you and thrusting useless gimmicks and hot faces into the process.
> ---------------------------------

Hm. But what would be the point of remaking Shadow of a Doubt or Notorious? Or even NBNW, really? They may not be his most flashy films, but they are still major achievements not easily be surpassed. I can't think of anyone alive who could remake North By Northwest and improve upon it for what it is: a silly adventure film.

Hm. The other two, perhaps. In some sense the cheesy adventure would be the hardest to do.
woozy
post #13  on June 2, 2005 - 3:47 PM PDT  
> -------------------
>
> Listen, I hate to sound like a snob, but people who can't handle some subtitles or who never look past the new releases section are probably not going to appreciate your act of generosity.
>
Yeah, that's sort of how I feel. But, devils advocate again, just as people like to make movies out of books, plays, or other media, I imagine some people like to make movies out of ... movies.

Of course, my person feeling, is if you have a desire to make a movie at all you should ask yourself, what originality or inovative flair will I give this flick. If the answer is none (first two Harry Potter movies) then don't make it. If you really want the American public to see Solaris finance releasing and promoting it.

Now there have been many good remakes. None are popping to mind right now (well, Herzog's Nosferatu for one), but in these cases the remaker had a reason and an interpretation for the remake.

There's something arrogant though, about taking a contemporary foreign film and thinking "well, no americans will see this so I'll make an american version". Quite different than saying, "I'd like to make a modern version of this classic where I emphasize a certain theme that I particularly believe should be expressed."

> It's about hm...well, more or less about a haunted hospital. What makes it brilliant is that it's extremely creepy, a lot of fun in a soap-opera way, and actually sometimes rather deep. It is incredibly skillfully made for a TV show.
>
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, but ... do I hafta read the subtitles? (Just kidding. It's on my list now.)

woozy
post #14  on June 2, 2005 - 3:59 PM PDT  
>
> Hm. But what would be the point of remaking Shadow of a Doubt or Notorious? Or even NBNW, really? They may not be his most flashy films, but they are still major achievements not easily be surpassed. I can't think of anyone alive who could remake North By Northwest and improve upon it for what it is: a silly adventure film.

Matter of taste. Silly adventure films are pretty terrible these days but I can see someone wanting to make a fun tight little silly adventure film based on it. Of course, if he tries to out-hitchcock hitchcock it'd be an utter failure.

But why not remake these films.

The Magnificent Seven was a remake of the Seven Samurai. Still trying to remember good remakes...
Eoliano
post #15  on June 2, 2005 - 7:40 PM PDT  
> Hey...I just noticed that there's a Don Siegel credited for Kaufman's version. Did they give the original director a cameo?

There are two cameos, Don Siegel and Kevin McCarthy. Siegel plays a taxi driver and McCarthy more or less revises his role from the end of the original.

I still can't imagine it being worthwhile for anyone to remake North by Northwest, I mean, just consider Demme's tepid remake of Charade which many consider a poor man's North by Northwest... and Shadow of a Doubt is almost perfect and Notorious is perfect, so why bother?
ahogue
post #16  on June 2, 2005 - 9:03 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 7:40 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I still can't imagine it being worthwhile for anyone to remake North by Northwest, I mean, just consider Demme's tepid remake of Charade which many consider a poor man's North by Northwest... and Shadow of a Doubt is almost perfect and Notorious is perfect, so why bother?
> ---------------------------------

I agree with all of that. I guess what I meant was that I could see someone coming along and giving a radically different and interesting treatment to Shadow of a Doubt and Notorious. While I agree they are essentially perfect as they are, there is so much meat in each of them that a really talented filmmaker could perhaps take them and make something different out of them.

North by Northwest, on the other hand, is perfect for what it is, but there is so little to chew on there that I wonder how someone could do a decent remake without trying to "out Hitchcock Hitchcock".

I can't imagine it, but I suppose Soderbergh would be willing to give it a go. ;)
ahogue
post #17  on June 2, 2005 - 9:19 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2005 - 3:47 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Yeah, that's sort of how I feel. But, devils advocate again, just as people like to make movies out of books, plays, or other media, I imagine some people like to make movies out of ... movies.
----------

Because they are...the same medium? Does anyone rewrite novels?



>
> Of course, my person feeling, is if you have a desire to make a movie at all you should ask yourself, what originality or inovative flair will I give this flick. If the answer is none (first two Harry Potter movies) then don't make it. If you really want the American public to see Solaris finance releasing and promoting it.
--------------

Exactly. But that definitely won't make any money. So instead we need George Clooney, and one of the main characters (a frazzled old man uncertain of his sanity) needs to be remade into a wise-cracking young computer geek. Tack on a trick ending and you've got a winner. (Well, actually I don't think it did very well.) Forgive me, but that film really bugs me.
woozy
post #18  on June 3, 2005 - 12:23 AM PDT  
> Because they are...the same medium? Does anyone rewrite novels?
>
Sure

they

do.

Quite

frequently

actually.

But those all demonstrate my point that they have something to add. (The last one, by the way, is quite interesting in that it is a near scene by scene retelling of "The Hobbit" as "hard science" science-fiction which, although it amounts to no more than a clever exercise, it really works well and is very charming and a very enjoyable read.)
kolohe61
post #19  on June 3, 2005 - 1:43 AM PDT  
Speaking of The Kingdom, if you have disc two, SEND IT BACK!!!! I've been waiting over a month for it! LOL
ahogue
post #20  on June 3, 2005 - 9:21 AM PDT  
> On June 3, 2005 - 12:23 AM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Because they are...the same medium? Does anyone rewrite novels?
> >
> Sure
>
> they
>
> do.
>
> Quite
>
> frequently
>
> actually.
>
> But those all demonstrate my point that they have something to add.
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, I think that's using "rewrite" a little more loosely than I would use it. IMO, Ran is not a "remake" of King Lear, nor is The Magnificent Seven a remake of The Seven Samurai. If that were true, what would keep Dracula, Dead and Loving It from being a remake of Nosferatu?

Actually, that might make Dead and Loving It a lot more fun to watch...
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