The remake virus strikes again:
Just when you think the whole remake phenomenon cannot get any more ridiculous, the bar gets set even lower. Warner Brothers announced “a remake of the classic Michael J. Fox starrer “Teen Wolf” is in early development.” No offense to fans of the campy film and its sequel, but what can be achieved by a remake that popping in a DVD of the original will deprive you? I guess there is some possible money to be made from an audience of people that were kids when the originals came out. Artistically, however, it seems like a waste of time unless you get Terry Gilliam to reinterpret the film in a surrealistic nightmare vision. However, the odds on that seem rather low…
WB is reportedly in the act of deciding ”which way they’re going to go” with the film. Hopefully, Warner Brothers does not try to make their feature film retelling in any way hip and slick, because whatever charm the original possessed was due to its corny and silly nature. Filling Michael J. Fox’s shoes, an actor who exudes a kind of honest and natural charisma, would be the greatest challenge the film would face. This is not the first time a follow-up was planned. The “UPN (television network) briefly flirted with a live-action “Teen Wolf” TV series in 2003.” The pilot was never produced. This begs the question: Will the film remake be successful or the punchline to a Hollywood joke?
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Jurassic Park a Stalled Franchise:
Noted producer Frank Marshall (who has been a frequent Spielberg collaborator) was recently pessimistic when asked by reporters about the possibility of another “Jurassic Park” sequel. His remark of “At this point, you could call it a long shot” does not sound promising. Personally, I would rather see Spielberg go in the directorial direction of his film “Munich;” possibly his best work of the decade. Solid storytelling and virtuoso performances were placed ahead of an attempt for mainstream success in that film. He proved once again therein that he can be a master of the celluloid medium when he sheds the pretentious blockbuster flash that sabotaged films such as “AI: Artificial Intelligence” and “Minority Report”.
However, his more recent attempts to go back to the well with sequels have never proven stellar. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” lacked the spirit, vision, and genuine movie magic of the original–at least Spielberg knew enough to distance himself from the disasterous third film. The most recent Indiana Jones sequel “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull” could not hold a candle to the original trilogy. Besides that, the film itself lacked substance and, dare it be said, was just plain boring. The “Jurassic Park” franchise was sliding in quality from film to film, so maintaining it at a trilogy is not such a bad idea.
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Michael Bay seeks to do “more than meets the eye”
Director Michael Bay, helsman of the original “Transformers” film and this weeks’ sequel recently stated: “But after the three-and-a-half years I’ve spent doing these movies I feel like I’ve had enough of the ‘Transformers’ world. I need to do something totally divergent, something without any explosions.” Explosions and special effects are Bay’s calling card, very few of his features have not relied on them as eye candy. Strangely, one of his shorts was a video for Lionel Richie called “Do It To Me.” His attempts at drama (“The Beach” and the much maligned “Pearl Harbour”) have been duds, the latter of epic proportions. However, he describes an “upcoming project as: “It’s very ‘Pulp Fiction-y’. It’s just real characters and very little action. Zero explosions. Although one guy does pour gasoline over another guy and sets him on fire.” I’m not sure if that last reference is meant to be true, or a reference to Quentin Tarantino’s first feature “Reservoir Dogs.”
Bay certainly knows how to shoot action and make an entertaining fast-paced film (“The Rock” and “Bad Boys,” for example); although I personally thought “Transformers” was a cinematic mess. I can always respect a director for trying to stretch beyond his comfort zone. He will certainly need a talented screenwriter for this jump into Tarantino-esque film style. I wish him good luck, but my expectations remain low until I see some evidence.
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