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Author Topic: YARR (Not a Pirate Reference)
Mr. Dave
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Icon 13 posted September 19, 2008 19:33      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In honour of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I draw your attention to YARR (Yet Another Redundant Remake).

One of my all-time favorite movies is 1974's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. This thoroughly-enjoyable film is a perfectly-tight action-suspense-thriller about the armed highjacking of a New York City subway train. (Think about that for a moment.)

I've recently learned that it is being remade for release in 2009 starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, directed by Tony Scott (whose brother Ridley was, I understand, turned down for the original version.)

My one big question: "Why?"

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I'm not normally like this, but then I'm not normally normal.

Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
snupy
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2008 16:56      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know I'm in the minority, but I really like remakes. I think, in most cases, they give the original material a fresh new spin. While I appreciate old movies, I also enjoy them recast in a modern setting using modern film technology. I loved the remakes of The Italian Job and Ocean's 11(not the disaster that was Ocean's 13, however). I've been waiting for years to see a remake of my favorite movie, The Sting. Clooney and Damon, perhaps?

I can, however, sympathize with people who hate remakes. I imagine it's kinda like how I feel when I see Queen with a new lead singer. [cry baby]

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

Posts: 4269 | From: UK, via Chicago | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted September 21, 2008 14:52      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The funny thing about remakes is that Hollywood has been doing them since the days of silent pictures, and often the remakes end up being the "classic" version we remember, for example Judy Garland and James Mason in "A Star is Born".

However Walter Matthau is irreplaceable.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted September 22, 2008 19:27      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
However Walter Matthau is irreplaceable.

Quite. The same goes for Robert Shaw. (Shaw played the leader of the highjackers; Matthau was the Transit Police lieutenant handling the situation.)

quote:
Originally posted by snupy:

I know I'm in the minority, but I really like remakes. I think, in most cases, they give the original material a fresh new spin.

Occasionally you get a good one; mostly, though, if the original had anything going for it, the remake will either try to add flourishes and layers and crap until the essence of the story gets ploughed under, or it'll miss the point entirely. (1975's Rollerball was a cautionary tale about corporate imperialism subsuming representational democracy; 2002's Rollerball was about tits and sparkplugs.)

For me, a big part of Pelham One Two Three's attraction is the minimalism of the piece. United Aritsts, deeming the script "director-proof", turned down a half-dozen big-name directors, instead giving the picture to a man who had worked primarily (both before and since) in television; what they got for their money was a picture almost completely free of director ego. What you see on the screen is the script and the performances of two excellent lead actors and a handful of very workmanlike supporting cast. (This was the picture that started Hector Elizondo's career playing cold-blooded thugs.)

Don't misunderstand me; Washington is a good actor, and Travolta has done some good pictures as well, but I just don't see where a remake of Pelham One Two Three could go. I mean, you know Tony Scott's Pelham 123 is going to have some sort of social commentary on religious and cultural tolerance in a post-September 11 society; Joe Sargent's Pelham One Two Three was about four guys committing a crime that should have been impossible, and nearly getting away with it. Nothing more.

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I'm not normally like this, but then I'm not normally normal.

Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Dave
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Member # 1977

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted September 29, 2008 17:54      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Egad – I haven't merely killed the thread, I've killed the entire bloody forum...

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I'm not normally like this, but then I'm not normally normal.

Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged


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