June 14th, 2008

303 british

remake suggestions

Slate's Dana Stevens posed an interesting question:

The Incredible Hulk's curious status as a franchise reboot raises an obvious question: What blockbuster made in the last five years would you remake now, how would you cast it, and why? I'll dig through the office storage room for an appropriately unoriginal prize and publish the results late next week. Responses must be fewer than 100 words (much fewer would be nice) and must arrive in my inbox, slatemovies@gmail.com, by Tuesday, June 17, at 10 p.m. ET.

Or, y'know, in comments below.

My quick picks: there are a lot of things that need little fixes.

-- I'd rewrite the end to the remake of 3:10 TO YUMA so that it actually makes sense. Russell Crowe gets on the train because he feels sorry for Christian Bale. I'm sorry, bullshit. He runs through the hail of gunfire with his own men shooting at him; again, bullshit. He needs a reason to get on the train that works. (My suggestion: trim a few dull bits, have his #2 take over the gang and purge those loyal to Crowe, and then go on to wipe Crowe out so he doesn't escape. Or have a rival gang try to kill Crowe's gang, if you want them to be on the same side. Make Crowe realize that catching that train is A REAL GOOD IDEA.)

-- recast CHARLOTTE'S WEB (2006) with Judi Dench as Charlotte, rather than the deeply annoying Julia Roberts.

-- BLOOD DIAMOND (2006). I should just write a review of this movie.

-- KING KONG (2005). Cut out about half of it. Eight wonder of the world fail.

-- A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (2004). Jim Carrey is out.

-- THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (2004). Lose the prophecy. Prophecies suck. Riddick only takes on the bad guys because they keep getting in his way.

-- THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (2003). Make the comic. It was good. The movie sucked donkey balls.

My biggest candidate for a remake: it's not a blockbuster, but I walked out of the theater after watching David Mamet's REDBELT thinking that somebody needed to get hold of the script, *pronto,* and remake it as a straight B-movie with better fight choreography and a director who knows how to shoot action scenes.

(Mamet's own jiujitsu instructor, a skilled and admired professional, choreographed the fights and erred slightly on the side of realism; this might have worked better if the director had known how to shoot the scenes well, but Mamet didn't, so the experiment, although noble, was flawed. It was sort of the inverse of THE HUNTED, a lousy Friedkin-directed flick about Tommy Lee Jones tracking the insane Benicio Del Toro. The script stunk and Jones and del Toro gave uncharacteristically dull performances, but those fight scenes are absolutely *brilliant,* and the best job I've ever seen of portraying realistic concepts while exaggerating them for a visually exciting effect.)