We were in the movie store today and got into a conversation with the clerk who was spitting feathers about the news he’d heard that Steven Spielberg is remaking Old Boy. If true this is quite possibly the most inappropriate Director/Remake combinations we’d heard. Which got us to thinking; there are some frightening potential combinations. So here are The Shoving Buddy Top Ten Worst Potential Director/Remake Combos
10. The Artist (Dir: Kevin Smith)
Kevin Smith is a director unable to portray emotion through anything other than smutty, smart alec, pop reference littered dialogue. Also famous for having the most static camera in Hollywood he is not the most dynamic of action directors, as the terrible Cop Out proved. In his chubby (probably) jelly-covered hands The Artist would become the most talkative silent movie in history. Starring Jason Lee as a charming 1920’s slacker trying to make it in Hollywood whilst winning back his girlfriend. Somehow there’d be Star Wars references in there as well. Includes a sub-plot involving Jay and Silent Bob trying to score some prohibition booze whilst doing the Charlston and shouting “snoogies”. Also; Dante as The Dog.
9. The Forty Year Old Virgin (Dir: Chan-wook Park)
Finally a chance for Asian cinema to get it’s own back on all the watered down Western remakes of their best cinema, this would be reverse. Having cast his Oldboy lead Min-sik Choi in the loveable geeky virgin role made famous by Steve Carrell, Chan-wook Park’s ‘reimagining’ would relocate the action to a seedy electrical store in Seoul, South Korea. The story would revolve around Choi and his ‘buddies’ trying to get him laid in Korea’s underbelly. Eventually he has sex, finds out it was his estranged daughter and kills himself. Remarkably Seth Rogen gets cast as his “wacky best friend” who ends up getting eaten alive by Choi. No one laughs. Ever.
8. Seventh Seal (Dir: Quentin Tarantino)
A four and a half hour epic where a Man (Michael Madsen) plays chess with Death (Samuel L Jackson) and discusses the meaning of life, existentialism, obscure 1970’s Hong Kong Kung-Fu movies, European fast food language, women’s feet, blaxpoitation, and a 45 minute diatribe about the use of the N-Word in modern culture. Would culminate in ultra-violent Check Mate scenario. Uma Thurman, Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel as various chess pieces.
7. Father of The Bride (Dir: Shane Meadows)
Transferred from sunny upper/middle-class Southern California to poor grey working class Derbyshire. The original was a funny heart-warming comedy about a man coming to terms with giving away his daughter, kids growing up and being married to Diane Keaton. Meadow’s remake would be less funny and in no way heart warming. Steve Martin’s character would be played by Paddy Considine who would bring an unnecessary level of intensity to the role as he comes to terms with his own mortality. Their sprawling white suburban McMansion would be replaced with run down council house and the whole thing would culminate in the wedding reception taking place in a pub, someone admitting they were abused by another wedding guest and Paddy Considine murdering his daughter’s new husband by covering his head with a plastic bag. Plus the whole time it’d be raining.
6. Love Actually (Dir: David Lynch)
In the hands of the self styled Sultan of Strange Richard Curtis’s well loved romantic nod to the multi-strand narratives of Robert Altman and Steven Soderbergh, would become a three hour trip through a neon-lit, Southern Californian, suburban nightmare. The cast of attractive, witty, mostly English characters searching for love in England’s capital city would be replaced by lesbian actresses, tiny old people, backwards talking midgets, deformed Victorian gentlemen, Sting in a gimp suit, dancing chickens, an old man on a tractor and all manner of young women wrapped in plastic. No Martine McCutcheon though, thank God.
5. Schindler’s List (Dir: Michael Bay)
As Bay is a frequent Shoving Buddiwa Piñata, let’s take a moment to re-cap what he does well; Bad Boys, The Rock, Transformers (just the first one) are entertaining romps because they are fast moving, brain removing, one-liner popcorn-fests. Where Bay falls down is in his portrayal of human relationships beyond the purely superficial (Pearl Harbour, Armageddon…wait, why am I listing these? [Insert all Bay movies]). The thought of Schindler’s List being re-made as a buddy movie, where some hot guys, pick up a hot girl or two and make a daring escape from comic book Nazis, on motorbikes, blowing up all the machinery of state sanctioned genocide along the way is unspeakably awful. On the plus side, it is possible that Bay could make an even more effective cinematic contraceptive than the original and, I’ll admit, the thought is sort of funny. But funny in the same way that watching old people fall over is funny. You may laugh, but you also know that little chortle just brought you a step closer to hell.
4. Thelma & Louise (Dir: Tim Burton)
Problem number one: How does Burton make Johnny Depp the star of a movie about the lives and relationship woes of two middle aged women? I mean he is a metrosexual icon and is used to being plastered in make-up in his BFF’s movies, so he might make a plausible Thelma opposite, one assumes, Helen Bonham Carter’s Louise. This leads to problem number two; in his long and creepy career Burton has struggled to voice complex, angst-ridden female characters without the use of powdered wigs and a lot of bats. Problem number three; the original is a road movie firmly set in a late 80’s denim-clad arid southern America. This is not the natural home for Bats and powdered wigs, no matter how many gothic lanterns are used to creepify the native cacti. Like sloths on Cocaine, this is an unnatural union – Burton’s skill lies in exploring the twisted oddities that surround the human experience, not exploring deep bonds of friendship, marital tension and sexual assault. And is it just me, or does anyone else envisage a final scene where the iconic 66’ T-Bird / Grand Canyon combo is replaced with a pumpkin shaped horse drawn carriage flying over the edge of suspiciously Swiss looking mountains…at night…probably in a thunderstorm…probably accompanied by a string-heavy Danny Elfman score?
3. E.T. (Dir: John Woo)
Spielberg may have taken the guns out of the hands of the Feds when he re-released E.T. back in 2002, but you can bet you last dollar that Woo is bringing the pain back! Not having a tremendous track record working with either kids or Aliens, Woo is more likely to fast forward the story 10 years. Elliot’s sister has probably been kidnapped by John Travolta and a shadowy organisation that is looking to exploit the little girl’s interaction with the finger pointing Alien in some nefarious and likely implausible way. A grown up Elliot has replaced the basket-fronted chopper and hoodie look with a Harley and leather trench-coat and now smokes forty a day while wearing shades in a weather-be-damned kinda way. Sensing his helplessness; or as a result of a strange crash; or just randomly turning up in a laundry bin the symbiotic link between ET & Elliot (explored in the original) would be realised as balletic, twin-gun-wielding shoot-offs; Elliot and Glowfinger back-to-back dispatching hazmat-suit wearing badguys in a cloud of bullets, slow motion jumping and, of course, doves. Truth be told, whilst the concept is awful, there isn’t a single potential John Woo re-make that I wouldn’t want to watch (West Side Story, Brokeback Mountain, Mary Poppins, Gosford Park) I just admit that none would be getting an Oscar nod.
2. Munich (Dir: Mel Gibson)
Errr….[enter numerous well publicised reasons here]
1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (George Lucas)
What? Didn’t he direct this movie in the first place? Yes he did and has he subsequently spent the last 40 years re-cutting, re-imagining, re-releasing and re-fleecing generations of fans. Like Jimmy Saville with a camera he has shattered the childhood memories of too many of us with his efforts on this and the Indiana Jones franchise. The thought of Shia Lebeouf recast as a whinier Luke and Leia’s iconic hair replaced with CGI’s dreads makes Lucas the last man anyone would want to re-make this movie. Worst of all, if you heard that Lucas was planning to re-make the original Star Wars would you really be surprised and does it fill anyone with anything but dread? This would the the worst movie to be re-made for the worst reasons by the worst man.