Bandwidth issues may be slowing me down, but they’re not stopping me from making my rounds. It’s Friday morning, so it’s time for our weekly assortment of blog posts and news links, complete with a shiny new graphic I spent my downtime creating. In fact, this edition of the Weekly Weblinks is just a bit heavier on the news than it has been, and I’m not skimping on the blog posts either. There are a few reviews of new movies, a review of a much-reviled comic book movie, and a review of one of the greatest comedies ever made.
On the news front, there are quite a lot of things to cover, from rumors and news on comic book movie directors, to a surprising film adaptation, a film franchise which is getting rebooted, and — refreshingly — one which isn’t. So read on for the Weekly Weblinks! Continue reading →
This weekend, the 2012 remake of the 1990 film Total Recall was released to theatres… and so far, it doesn’t seem to be doing well. The box office isn’t in yet, but it’s getting thrashed critically. As of this writing, the critical rating at RottenTomatoes is sitting at a low 31%, and the audience reception isn’t much better at 56%. If only half the people watching it are liking it, it’s not being well received. And this doesn’t seem to be unusual for remakes, no matter how much Hollywood throws them out there. Psycho, Planet of the Apes, Arthur and many other films have had high-profile remakes that failed to live up to the original.
And yet, it’s not always guaranteed to be a bad thing. The Coen Brothers remake of True Grit received ten Oscar nominations. The Clooney version of Ocean’s Eleven is far superior to the Sinatra version, in my estimation and in apparent audience reception. The Departed is considered a remake of the Japanese film Internal Affairs and won Best Picture and Best Director. Even The Maltese Falcon, one of the most highly regarded films of all time, is a remake of a film made ten years earlier.
So if remakes can be good or bad, what is there to say about the process of making a remake? Since I’ve already given my thoughts on adaptations and sequels, here is more of my completely unsolicited advice to Hollywood. Continue reading →
I’m kind of funny when it comes to remakes. In a lot of cases, most of them really, I’m of the opinion that they’re unnecessary, and that they can only come off worse for the comparison to the original. But even when I think a remake may be worth watching, I’m deeply reluctant to watch it before I’ve seen the original. So although I’ve seen the trailer for 2012′s new Total Recall starring Colin Farrell, and it’s actually looking pretty good, there was a chance that I would skip its theatrical release simply by virtue of not yet having seen the original version with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fortunately, when the new Total Recall hits theatres, I won’t have to make the choice on that basis, as cable TV obliged me by offering up the original for viewing last night.
Total Recall is yet another Hollywood film adapted from a story by science fiction author Philip K. Dick; in this case, “We Can Recall It For You Wholesale” (which I’ll have to get my hands on and read at some point for the sake of curiosity). Schwarzenegger stars as Douglas Quaid, a construction worker who is haunted every night by nightmares of a strange adventure on Mars (at this point a colony of Earth). This growing obsession causes him to try and convince his wife Lori (Sharon Stone) to take a trip with him to Mars, but she isn’t interested. And then he learns about the company Rekall. Continue reading →