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Posts Tagged ‘remakes’

This past weekend I got the chance to see the Indonesian action film, The Raid.

Needless to say, if you know me at all….you know that this film is completely my cup of tea. It’s the kind of action film I crave. Amazing fights, tight story, likeable heroes, hateful villains, kick ass score (which I am listening to right now as I write this) and wonderful direction.

So of course…..Hollywood wants to remake it.

So lets ask this question, the question everyone ask when they hear a film is going to be remade…WHY?

For the Studio, the answer is simple: it’s got an easy premise to redo and it’s got some name recognition.

Ok, I get that, but can I explain that isn’t really enough to remake this movie?

What’s there to remake? The premise isn’t such a high concept idea that you can easily see another take on it. This isn’t an Infernal Affairs to The Departed situation. It’s main appeal is that it’s simple. It’s a reason to have fights.

What I’m trying to get at here, is that The Raid works because of execution.

The way that writer/director/editor, Gareth Evans , and his star/fight choreographer, Iko Uwais, have crafted this film with razor sharp action movie accuracy is what’s blowing people away from this film.

It’s clear that Gareth Evans is from the school of showing clear fight geography,  a class that a few Hollywood directors should retake…or take if they haven’t yet. :::coughGaryRoss:::coughMichaelBay:::coughEVERYOTHERHOLLYWOODDIRECTOR…cough

My suggestion? Instead of remaking The Raid, learn from it. Watch it a few times, and listen to the audience. See  and hear what’s getting them excited.

Hollywood used to be the home of high adrenaline filled action films! Your telling me there isn’t a single script in the piles and piles of scripts you guys have underneath all the remakes,reboots, prequels, sequels, comic book movies, and TV show adaptions that you can’t retro fit to have your own The Raid?

I’m sure you do. You’re just not looking hard enough.

Sigh…your not even listening to me are you? That’s ok, I’ll just watch The Raid again.

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The trailer to the brand new  The Three Musketeer (in 3D :P) is up. Before I show you guys what I think of the new Musketeers film,I thought it would be cool look back on the film history of the Musketeers. There have been many film versions of the famous Alexandre Dumas story. Lets look at some of them….

1921, Starring Douglas Fairbanks as d’Artagnan.

1933, A contemporary revamp with John Wayne (!!) playing d’Artagnan (now renamed Tom Wayne)

File:Three Musketeers-1933-002.png

1939, a comedic version of the tale starring Don Ameche as d’Artagnan.

1948,  with Gene Kelly as d’Artagnan, and Vincent Price as Richeliu.

1973, with Michael York as d’Artagnan, and Charlton Heston as Richeliu.

Interesting enough, it will take 30 years exactly for the next adaptation to happen…

1993, with Chris O’Donnell as d’Artagnan and Tim Curry as Richeliu.

This was my first exposure to the Musketeer story, a movie that was clearly made in a post Kevin Costner “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” world. Notice how everyone is accent less.  I don’t think it’s a secret that the success of the Costner movie was the main reason this movie was made (down to even getting Prince of Thieves composer Michael Kamen to do the score and to have  Bryan Adams to also contribute a song like he did for Robin Hood.)

2001, with Justin Chambers as d’Artagnan and Stephen Rea as Richeliu.

I remembered that I really wanted to like this one, and the idea of combining the energy of asian action cinema sounded like a great idea. The problem is that they couldn’t pull it off, and instead it feels like a limp attempt at best.

So it’s ten years later, Hollywood decides to try it again. The recent success of the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie motivated the reason we’re getting another one, and much like how Disney’s Musketeers film resembles the Costner movie, this film clearly has a Holmes influence.

2011, this time with Logan Lerman as d’Artagnan and Christoph Waltz as Richeliu.

I think it’s safe to say this version will not be a straight adaptation of the book. Personally, I have issues with the director, Paul W.S. Anderson. He’s yet to make a movie that I really enjoyed. The cast seems good, and there are some nice looking fight scenes in this. It being in 3D doesn’t impress me, but it is what’s popular now. (They thankfully didn’t go and call it The 3D Musketeers…)

And that’s the interesting thing about having a new Three Musketeers film. All of these versions of the story are clearly products of their time, and I kinda like that. In a way, I’d argue that there should be a new Musketeers film every 10-20 years. It’s a story that can be told again, and again. Each version of the Three Musketeers will be special for that generations film goers, and I’d say why not. If doing  a new film will keep the memory of this story alive, I see this as good thing.

Now excuse me, I’m going to see if I could start my pitch of a reimagined  Three Musketeers film set in ancient china with Shaolin Monks……or my maybe it should be set in ancient Japan and have it be with samurais… or maybe the future…..or maybe…

UPDATED!

Ah, a friend of mine reminded me about Jackie Chan’s Wheels on Meals, which I guess is the closest  to a Hong Kong Musketeers film…kinda…

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