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If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?

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Mark Suszko
If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 7:33:46 pm

Hollywood LOVES re-doing proven hits and sometimes even previous flops. A genie has given you one very narrow wish: you will be given the authority and budget to do one remake of any one film you want. Whatever cast you want, etc. Something like the original deal RKO gave Orson. Before everything went to hell. The genie will not eradicate the previous film from history: your version will have to compete against it, be compared to it for ever after.

What do you remake,

why that film,

and how do you make yours different from the original?

No fair naming more than one film, this has to be the one you most dearly would re-do.


I thought of this because I came across a blurb that said some studio was planning to remake "Captain Blood", but out of fear of competing with the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, was going for either a contemporary Somali pirates angle, or a scifi setting for the remake.




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Mike Cohen
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 8:55:54 pm

Classic films should be left well enough alone, as they are worthy of being classics. That is why I did not understand Gus Van Zandt's remake, shot-for-shot apparently, of Psycho.

I am going to go against the predictable, and go with a more recent movie, Superman Returns.

The hype and expectations leading up to that movie were huge. The reality was a resounding thud.

But one does not remake a movie just because one did not like it. I just thought that given the track record of successful superhero movies of the late 20th early 21st centuries (Spiderman, X-Men, Batman Begins) that Superman Returns was not a success. The film did $200 million at the US box office - awesome for a movie that cost $50 million, but this movie reportedly cost over $200 million to make. Not good.

So I would take the general storyline, which makes sense - Superman has been away for a while, the world moved on as best it could. Even Lex Luthor went away, because what's the fun in being a super villain if you have no super arch enemy?

As for the cast, I think everyone but Lois Lane would be retained. Say what you will about Margot Kidder, but her Lois was a bit more mature than Kate Bosworth's Lois. An dalthough Christopher Reeve's Clark was intentionally goofy and nerdy (one could suggest childish (of course a farce by Kal El to throw off suspicion)) but Lois needs to be mature enough to be with Superman.

I would, thus, cast an unknown, just as Routh was unknown to movie audiences.

Villainous Plot

Kevin Spacey could have been such a bad-ass super villain. But he was kind of a drama queen - all hype and no delivery. Catch phrases are ok, as long as they are followed by something meaty for the audience. For me, the model train sequence followed by the actual Krypto crystals in the ocean was just weak. The Superman I plot of firing missiles into the San Andreas fault was believable. That is the best thing about Superman - he can save the world from worldly threats. We hope he can save us from otherwordly dangers - which tend to only come to our world because Superman is here already - but we know he can save us from the Earth gone wrong.

I have an idea for a plot that is a direct continuation of Superman II, and that would hit upon all the hype of climate change.

"Superman has always been there to save us, but can he save us from ourselves?"

Of course Luthor would have some devious role to play, striking Superman while he is trying to save the rest of us. Luthor considers average citizens his playthings - watching a city burn just to piss of Superman is the new MO of newly deranged Lex Luthor, tainted by his time with General Zod.

Superman will wish he stayed back on Krypton.

So I'd make it much darker, but still let Superman triumph and show that good wins the day.

As for his relationship with Lois, they would need to get up to their old misadventures. Pay some homage to the George Reeves serials with Lois and Jimmy getting into Trouble and Superman saving the day. That could be a surprising way to bring him back, rather than something spectacular like the space shuttle plane disaster. As depicted in the original, Superman seemed to want the fame and perhaps was waiting for such a large spectacle to make his return. I think something more subtle, building up to the spectacular. When you have been away for 5 years, shock and awe is not the way to announce your return.

As for Lois Lane's son - I am still undecided on that. Should Lois have a new love interest? Probably. Should she wind up with Superman in the end? Probably not - yet. You could make it as much about Lois Lane's struggle with human emotions as Superman's struggle being emotional about humans but not choosing one over all others - as warned by Jor-El.

It should not be a surprise that I have given this a lot of thought between 2006 and the present. But I'll stop there.

Mike Cohen



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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 9:37:52 pm

Well, at least your version lacks the giant spider that Peters wanted:-)

I like what you have here, we should have a development meeting:-)

I think a subplot that would work is to definitely bring back Margot Kidder, and not try to hide her age now. Superman AFAIK, does age, but so very, very much slower, that this is going to be a continuous problem for him dealing with humans that are close to him: he can't stop them aging and dying while he remains strong and near-immortal. What that does to a personality is anybody's guess. It can make the immortal decide to become more aloof so as to avoid hurting or getting hurt any more... but is that detatchment healthy in a superhero? It can drive them crazy with the torture of seeing loved ones fade and pass. ALso, at some point, he would have to give up being CLark Kent is Clark never seems to age... or maybe Kent takes over hosting New Year's Rocking Eve instead of Dick Clark for a few decades...

Something Luthor could/would manipulate is a weapon Superman has no defense against: opinion. By casting Superman as an agent that is taking away human self-determination and destiny, he can make TMOS seem like an intruder on human affairs, make people turn against him because what's the point of men doing things like flying to Mars, if Superman is already standing there waiting for you? Every teenager rebels at parental protection and authority, even when it is good for them and benevolent. Luthor could tap into that dissatisfaction on a planetary human scale and wield it into a weapon that makes the world reject Superman as a competitor to both Destiny and God. This is kind of similar to the Batman/Joker dynamic in the last Batman movie, a part of the film I wish they had explored more deeply.

There's the reason to have Lois in the script: she's reporting on what happend when Superman is confronted by human religions, asked to support one or to have religions forming to worship him. Because frankly, it is very tempting to worship a godlike person who actually shows up and like, eats your food and solves your problems and talks back to you in English, you know? Who would need faith, the guy is right there. And of course, you'd have fanatics of every religion that would consider this the Anti-whatever, and go nuts planet-wide, in a million spots Superman could never handle all at once. His only choice would be to retreat again. And thus Luthor wins. Meanwhile, Lois has to fight her personal feelings vesus doing her job, which has always defined her. If she fights to defend Superman, she destroys Clark by outing him. She maybe wants to have a kid with Kal-El, but time is fast pasing for her and there seems to be no other avenue...

As far as a sub-plot with a son of superman... see Larry Niven's short story: "Man of steel: Woman of Kleenex".





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John Davidson
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 9:14:59 pm

This is probably obvious, but I'd redo all the 3 new star wars movies. We have alot of technological advancements available now that George Lucas didn't have when those movies were made. Acting, Directing, and scriptwriting are things that didn't exist when those movies were made. Apparently, alot of movies are also shot in real places, as opposed to doing single takes of scenes on green screen.

Oh, in my version, the Phantom Menace opens with the Genocide of the entire Gungan race. See, there's this character named Jar Jar, who inadvertently gets the ocean his people lived in boiled....

Children in this movie have no lines. Especially Annie. He just glares. Except maybe in the 3rd movie, when the 'younglings' are slaughtered. That would be filmed at 180 fps and take up about 2/3's of the final movie.

There is no podracing game crap.

Skip the whole committee/senate/blah crap. That blows up in scene 2.

Randomly, things will blow up.

There is no blockade crap.

The droids have no cutesy funny lines. They just growl. And shoot. And don't look like harmeless stick figures.

Lots more blood.

Adult Anniken is recast by somebody that might beat your a$$ in real life, like Jason Stratham, or maybe gladiator era Russell Crowe.

Megan Fox will play padme, and any other female roles. Just go with me on this one...

Any dialogue used in these movies will be designed for college sophomore reading level. All aliens will have british accents. We won't try to get all creative and put some hybrid japanese/irie/english accent on somebody with a strange looking head.

No 3D characters.

All space ships will be grey. Because we all know paint doesn't work in space.







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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 9:48:37 pm

I said ONE movie:-P

I think the third of the recent SW trilogy could have been fixed in the edit, because I think it was ruined in the edit.

There was a sub-plot shot about how Padme' and Senator Organa form the beginnings of what will become the Rebel Alliance. This was cut from the final version fo the film for time. Meanwhile, Anakin is supposed to be building towards a huge mental and spiritual break involving loyalty. If you put back the scenes of building the rebel alliance, and a scene where Anakin discovers Padme' has been doing this behind his back all along, THIS is the event that breaks the barrier in Annakin; the ultimate betrayal by the woman he loves, a rebellion aimed at destroying the Republic he treasured and was fighting SO HARD to protect; this, I think, would have been the huge motivator that would explain how he could strike out in anger at the pregnant Padme', and turn inwards into darkness and hate... thus becoming ripe for conversion to Vader at the right moment.

All the parts were there... and Lucas put them away in a drawer. I don't understand it.

As to jar-Jar; he represents chaotic good, like a jedi with mighty powers but drunk, no way to focus them, but every time they DO function, while chaotic, they do so in a way that works out fortuitous in the long view. This is an element Lucas should have played up more; they did do so in the animated 3-d series, which I liked.


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John Davidson
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 10:02:32 pm

"I said ONE movie:-P "

Filmmaking is all about breaking rules....


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 3, 2009 at 11:02:24 pm

"I can see this relationship is something we're all going to have to work at."


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 1:05:34 am

Good question, Mark.

I would go for remaking the 1958 version of The Old Man & The Sea, written by Ernest Hemingway (as you know) with screenplay by Peter Viertel, and directed by John Sturges with Spencer Tracy in the lead role. (I hated the later 1990 version with Anthony Quinn.)

There was a simplicity and pacing to the original movie that made it such a moving story of one man's battle for place in his world as he became so old.

I think the Anthony Quinn version forgot all of the best parts of the original movie.

Oddly enough, if I could have anyone in the lead role that I wanted, it would be -- and yes, I am QUITE serious -- Robin Williams. I think that he would nail the role as he can capture such pathos in his portrayals when he wants to.

I would, in the spirit of John Sturges, keep the story quite visually stark and alienating juxtaposing the scope and scale of the oceanic wide shots against the humanity of the tight shots, showing Robin Williams in his heartache as he can do so gut-wrenchingly well. I really believe he would be brilliant.

There, that's my pick.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 2:59:21 pm

I'm wavering between a sci-fi remake of "Potempkin" and a straight, contemporary re-make of "The Fountainhead".

The former because the premise is so powerful, the latter, because it had a certain something, but was ultimately flawed and lost its way. Don't assume anything about my politics from the two films, though:-)


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Chris Poisson
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 6:10:43 pm

As odd as the selection of Robin Williams might seem, I would vote for Tom Hanks.

Have a wonderful day.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 6:36:31 pm

[Chris Poisson] "As odd as the selection of Robin Williams might seem, I would vote for Tom Hanks."

I prefer working with nice people instead.

;o)

Ron


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 6:48:42 pm

Ron, are you saying something negative about Tom Hanks here? My curiosity is piqued.

"He's a complicated man; no one understands him but his woman." - I. Hayes


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 7:11:49 pm

'nuff said.

But hey, Robin Williams has incredible talent and is really fun. Let's talk about his movies. Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, Awakenings and What Dreams May Come are some of my favorites. Bicentennial Man is also a great performance.

Ron


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 7:19:47 pm

I thought Robin was pretty awesome in "Moscow on The Hudson".
He's best I feel when kept tightly restrained by his directors.

I know you are not going to tell tales out of school, but your hint about Hanks will now haunt me for weeks, darn you.


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Chris Poisson
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:14:44 pm

Ron,

Perhaps a valid comment, but when does "nice" and "actor" go in the same sentence?

Have a wonderful day.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 4:23:40 pm

Mark,

If you've got a spare $175,000,000 laying around, I want to redo the new, and as yet unreleased, G.I. Joe.

According to the AP, Paramount is not showing the movie to the press before its release this Friday. This does not bode well for the future of this film, so we'll need to rush into production quickly, because typically, the definition of a film that opens sans press screenings is, "a film that opens on Friday and closes on Saturday. I'll bet the audience is cut by 60 to 70% after the first day and that it's removed from theaters after only a week or ten days. So, if you've got the money, I've got the time...

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 5:00:49 pm

Change it from GI Joe to Major Matt Mason, and you have a deal.

But maybe we should wait and see how Michael Bay's "My Little Pony" does over the Thanksgiving release period... or the heartfelt but low-budget indie documentary that looks behind the scenes at the sad but true story behind Mr. Potatohead...

I was really disappointed by Blues Brothers 2000. I am pretty sure I could write a better treatment than what they came up with, and still kept the music cameos in it.

I wonder what the problem(s) will be on GI Joe. My guess is, as is typical with such properties, the studio buys the name but promptly forgets or discards everything else about the property. I would have liked Will Smith's "I, Robot" a lot more if it had not bought that title from the Asimov estate.

Nobody EVER dies or even has a wound in GI Joe cartoons. Which is okay for a kid cartoon show. But in a movie, you are expected to ramp up the faux realism a bit, and characters kill and characters die. At least the villains do. This film should probably never have been made because that dichotomy is hard to fix. You either play to the kids and tick off/bore the adults, or play to the adults and the hard-core fandom who have a cannon and all manner of "stuff" they want in it... and this alienates the mass audience that has no clue or desire to know that much back-story. The cartoons also had no real plot other than to be ads for the dolls and accessories. Your kid was supposed to supply the imagination and pretend their way thru the adventures. What does a screewriter do with that!?!?

Or it could just be crummy execution. Poor Raul Julia's last film appearance was in the excrable Street Fighter movie, and not as Bishop Romero or any of his other, better characters. Pity.


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 7:45:12 pm

Back to "The Fountainhead". The architect, originally played by Gary Cooper, would be played by Tom Hanks... :-) Actually, I could see that. But there are plenty of other actors that could do it. Just not Eric Bana, that guy was awful in every film I've seen him in.

Couple things about the original. First of all, real design nerds look at that movie and laugh at the production design stuff going on in the background. The offices holding huge, impractical, non-vertical windows, incongruously placed, looking out onto a mostly fake model New York citiscape that is full of fanciful and varied designs. Even as the characters are talking about the dreary uniformity and lack of imagination in city architecture.

I guess one of the themes that resonates with me in that movie is how architect Roarke has all these rigid design principles and specs that makes his designs desirable... but as the developers start working on it, they descend like vultures and start picking away at it and modifying the designs for reasons of budget, engineering difficulty, old habits and bad taste, or a need to "put their own stank on it". And this to me is reminiscent of some old projects I worked on. None of us that work as craftsmen much like it when clients go changing something we feel strongly about. We just don't get the chance to go blow up the project if we don't approve.

I also found resonances to the similar car design and manufacturing battle scenes in "Tucker: The Man and his Dream". My version would play this angle up even more. I was also impressed by a character that was so iconoclastic he could turn his back on his entire career for an indefinite period and instead, swing a hammer in a quarry, rather than compromise on his design ideals. That could be powerful stuff.

The romantic triangle is at once hard to believe but yet, we know that the rich and celebrities and artists have this mutual attraction... I can see where some rich dude would get so smitten by a favorite artist, he'd put up with a lot of crap just to hang out with them. This was the case with Frank Lloyd Wright. Or Orson. Genius but most people also considered them an ####### at some point. The flip side of that is, people you think you know from their screen characters are usually very different and disappointing in person, when they open their mouths to speak without a script. So I generally don't want to know too much about my favorite actors, lest I get disallusioned. (Ron) That duality of attraction/repulsion is powerful.


I think Rand's script for the original had lots of problems though. The whole double-bubble of flashbacks within a court trial is a cumbersome and slow storytelling device. But court fights over creativity and copyrights are as contemporary as today's headlines. Ex. RIAA lawsuits. So there might be reason to keep something like a trial in the remake. I need to revisit the material some time in more detail, and see what can be done to bring out the key themes in a better way.

Architecture has never been a hotter topic than now. Look at the crazy stuff going up around the world, particularly Dubai. But I'd set my story in Chicago, with a noble architectural history of its own. Maybe get Harold Ramis to come over and give me tips.




(WILSON!!!!")


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 7:57:59 pm

[Mark Suszko] "The architect, originally played by Gary Cooper, would be played by Tom Hanks... :-) Actually, I could see that."

But only if Leonardo da Vinci (played by Eli Wallach) was his sidekick architect, designing a new baptismal for initiates of the John the Baptist cult (that the movie shows have come from the planet Werobbia) conspiring to take over the world and drive the Fountainhead into an outer space battle of epic proportion -- with Orlando Bloom as the sword wielding ally from the Planet Bob -- for budget constraints, we have used the Planet Bob from Don Bluth's epic failure, Titan AE.

It's going to be great, Mark. ;o)

Probably sell as many tickets as GI Joe is going to sell this weekend.

Ron



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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 8:28:38 pm

So you're letting his participation in those dumb Dan Brown stories color your opinion? Hey, I forgave him "Bosom Buddies" "Mazes and Monsters" AND "Turner and Hooch". But he's made a LOT of great movies, and been in many good ones too. Frankly, I see him as the Jimmy Stewart of my generation. I think by now there is no role he could NOT play. But I wouldn't cast him for Roarke exclusively. I just think that he could do it if he wanted to. And it wouldn't hurt my box office one bit.:-)


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 8:58:22 pm

[Mark Suszko] "So you're letting his participation in those dumb Dan Brown stories color your opinion?"

No, I haven't even watched them so I was merely having fun with the story.

I sent you an email to AOL account explaining why I feel as I do. But I would appreciate it if you would keep it private.

I too, forgave Tom Hanks his foray (tryst?) in Bosom Buddies. (But I loved Turner and Hootch, just *because* it was so stupid. My Dad and I sat and watched it together one day and we laughed our butts off. But sadly, as I have grown older, my butt found its way back -- and it seems to have brought along another for company, it appears.)

I thought that TH was very good in Cast Away. My teeth still hurt from watching that movie and I don't care if I ever watch it again.

But hey, when we hired Tim to man the magazine, we got our very own Wilson, so we are not completely tainted by Cast Away.

Ron


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 4, 2009 at 9:44:02 pm

Tim talks a bit more.

:-)

What about more movies? Can we get back to that?


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Mike Cohen
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 3:31:42 am

What a fun thread. Dash it all I was in the field today and it just isn't so easy to add posts from the blackberry, so I'll chime in thusly:

Superman's Baby. Technically, Lois and Clark slept together after he went in the chamber to become mortal. So even if he was not technically human, his physiology would be gentler on Lois. Presumably his DNA would still allow baby-El to maybe have super powers, seeing as how easy it was for Supes to reverse the process.

Revenge of the Sith - I thought what was missing was some serious verbal dueling during the final battle. Given the limited interchange when Vader and Obi Wan fought on the Death Star, it seemed like they were opening old wounds. "You should not have come back," "The circle is now complete" and "..only a master of evil, Darth." Those lines sounded like they were written to allude to past confrontations. It would have been perfect to have more meaningful yelling and less swinging from ropes and extreme jumping. And Mark, you are right that the scenes establishing Padme as Anakin's enemy were too important to cut. I think there also needed to be some more establishment of Anakin's anger.

The Clone Wars CG tv series actually redeems some of the bad parts of the prequels.

Fountainhead - What struck me most about this film was the old school Hollywood elite dialect - not British, not American, but certainly better than the rest of us. Call it Wealthy Bastard Accent. I think it would be fun to have present day actors in a present day setting be completely serious while speaking Wealthy Bastard Accent.

I am somewhat of an architecture enthusiast. I actually had some architecture college applications back in high school but decided against it because my math was not very good. But architecture, specifically NY architecture is a particular passion. I have an outline for an architecture / art deco themed screenplay collecting dust somewhere.

Tom Hanks - The Terminal was a waste of a movie. I blame Spielberg more than Hanks. But Spielberg and Lucas are both of the attitude "I'm a gazillionaire and will make the movies I want to make, so fiddle-dee-doo-dah!" They have both made the films for which they will be remembered when they are gone.

GI Joe - I have read that the director was changed after the first cut because it was so bad. The previews look bad. I don't think I will even rent this for a buck from that vending machine at the supermarket.

And speaking of remakes, I am listening to an interview with Brian Helgeland. He got his start writing Nightmare on Elm St 4, he was given 6 days to write the first draft, and somehow went on to co-write LA Confidential, The Postman (yeah, the Costner flop), and this year, The Taking of Pelham 123. It is fascinating hearing how he figured out how to remake the story so it is the same story, but different enough to be new at the same time.

So remakes can be done, maintaining the original theme but updating the story for current audiences. Not all remakes are done to improve upon the original, or as we have been postulating, to correct flaws. Sometimes, perhaps, it is just fun to remake something that was already considered good, just to bring it up to date. However it remains a challenge for the writer to make a remake a worthy endeavour.

Mike Cohen


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 2:54:33 pm

One thing out of The Terminal that has stayed with me; my wife and I often use Hank's accented phrase of one line as an inside joke between ourselves. If something that day went wrong, we say, in that accent:

"I am.... 'unacceptable'..."

As far as Costner's The Postman, this is a case where the book was flipping brilliant, and the script over-condensed it and put the emphasis on the wrong elements of the story. Not the cast's fault, not even the director's insofar as the shooting of it. This film was ruined before a single frame was shot. That's why I hope they never touch many of my favorite books by Larry Niven or Asimov; even though the technology to realize them as films is now here, the scripts would go thru a cuisinart. I just could not bear to see that.




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Sean Morton
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 6, 2009 at 3:54:06 pm

I think i would remake Enemy Mine...

however i would probably focus on religious conflict
over species conflict...give it more of a contemporary feel.

the story might go over well without the sci-fi aspect.. however
getting stranded these days for years would be tough... plus
the whole getting pregnant on your own thing might be a challenge
as well.

oh well, sci fi it is!!



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Mark Suszko
Re: If you could remake just ONE movie... what would it be and how would you do it?
on Aug 6, 2009 at 8:11:28 pm

I met Barry Longyear, who wrote the book of "Enemy Mine". He hated the movie; it put him off of adapting his books forever. I thought it was too long, but some of Lou Gossett's finest work ever. I also thought, and still do, that you need to take the movie on it's own terms; a movie cannot be the book, as much as you want it to. They are two different things and they each do some things well and others, not so well. The movie can really only be a shadow of the book or a reference to it. The awesome Harlan Ellison version of "I, Robot" notwithstanding.

Barry taught a one-day seminar on SF writing that I atended. His definition of scifi was, I thought, a good one:

"If you can take away the rayguns, replace them with six shooters, the spaceships, replace them with steam trains or horses, and replace the red indians with robots or aliens, and still tell the same basic story, you didn't ever have a *true* science fiction story. You had a story with some scientific or techincal decorations on it."

By that definition, most of Star Trek adn Star Wars is not erally sf, it is fantasy with some SF elements. A real scifi story is one that is based on an element of technological or scientific development, current or notional, that, if you remove it, the story could not be told.

I like and use that definiton myself. A great example of a movie that fits the definition is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" with Jim Carey. That story could not really be told without the specific technology of the memory-erasing ability being perfected and incorporated into a society changed by that discovery.

I wanted to challenge him on this definition regarding "Enemy Mine", because you could tell the same story set in WW2 with two downed enemy fighter pilots who need to come to terms with each other to survive. Even the pregnancy could be figured in if one pilot was a WAAF or WASP pilot ferrying a plane back from repair when she crashed.

Longyear has another book series called "Momus". It's about a spacefaring circus of the future that gets marooned on one planet, and it becomes/evolves an entire society and government formulated on circus organization. Might make an interesting TV mini-series.

Then again, some mmight say we have this in Washington already ;-)


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Kim Segel
"New Rose Hotel"
on Aug 7, 2009 at 9:28:23 am

I can hear you all now going, "Whaaaaaa..?"

OK - here goes:

I see no reason to remake a great film classic - the reason they are classic films is because they were made well in the first place, no matter how old the technology. Seriously; could you make a 'better' Marx Brother's movie?

So now, I'm thinking of a very poorly made film of a great story. The one that springs to mind is William Gibson's brilliant (but obscure) "New Rose Hotel" made into a film in "98. Sorry to say that the film was completely incomprehensible and unwatchable.

There are lots of William Gibson and P. K. Dick stories I'd love to shoot; this is one that would be well served by a remake. If I got a budget to make ANY movie (which this post isn't asking) I would make a film adaptation of P. K. Dick's "Ubik"

Kim




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Stephen Smith
Re: "New Rose Hotel"
on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:21:00 pm

Okay, so this doesn't qualify for the imaginary money because it is not a "re-do". But I would love to see it made into a film. One of my favorite plays is "The Nerd". Written my Larry Shue. Jim Carry would be perfect for the role. If you have not seen it and every get a chance you should. He also wrote "The Foreigner" which is fantastic as well, but I can only pick one.




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Stephen Smith
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:59:58 pm

I would like to see this movie remade :- )










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Tim Wilson
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:41:23 pm

Watch, and tremble.



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Stephen Smith
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:53:56 pm

Thank goodness that the pommel horse was randomly there or maybe Kurt Thomas would have met his match. In the remake, maybe the angry mob could be at least taking a coffee or smoke break while waiting their turn to take him on one by one instead of as a large group?




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Tim Wilson
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:28:42 pm

[Stephen Smith] "...maybe the angry mob could be at least taking a coffee or smoke break while waiting their turn to take him on one by one instead of as a large group?"


In fairness, I don't know if you've ever been part of a mob trying to take on a single martial arts master, but if you had, you'd know that mobs rushing in tend to do more damage to themselves than to their quarry. This is especially true if there are weapons involved...

...and Kurt Thomas is clearly a very powerful weapon indeed.

If you haven't been part of such a mob, well, you'll have to take my word for it.



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Stephen Smith
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 3:05:32 pm

Tim, that was great. I humbly bow to your expertise and nominate you as the director of "Gymkata Remixed - Meet the fusion of Gymnastics and Karate" No need to pay me for the updated title.




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David Roth Weiss
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:24:07 pm

[Stephen Smith] "I would like to see this movie remade :- ) "

Good find Stephen. That is one of the most embarrassing trailers I've ever seen.

Here are some facts I uncovered about this movie.

1)Director Robert Clouse, also directed the 1973 film, Enter The Dragon, starring Bruce Lee, regarded by many as "the perfect martial arts film." According to IMDB, "Clouse was a director who worked mainly in the visuals of cinema, owing to the fact that he was completely deaf. He employed assistant directors who could verify that actors had delivered their lines correctly." It appears from the trailer that the assistant who worked with him on Gymkata may have been deaf, dumb, and blind.

2) Kurt Thomas was nominated for a Razzie for this film for Worst New Star.

3) Robert Ferretti, who edited the film, is a graduate of Columbia College Hollywood, and he went on to edit 48 additional films and TV shows.

4) It was produced by Fred Weintraub, who produced Enter The Dragon and Tom Horn (with Steve McQueen), which are just about the only two good movies in about one hundred outings.



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Stephen Smith
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 3:12:29 pm

[David] Kurt Thomas was nominated for a Razzie for this film for Worst New Star.

I thought you where joking and made this up. I looked it up and it is true. In a way it makes it even funnier. http://www.razzies.com/asp/content/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=26





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David Roth Weiss
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 4:53:41 pm

[Stephen Smith] "I thought you where joking and made this up. I looked it up and it is true."

Stephen,

Seriously, that trailer and the fight scene Tim posted were just so ungodly awful that I just had to research the film thoroughly. I want to be able to refer to it forever at Hollywood parties and such. It's one of, if not the worst thing, I've ever seen, and I've seen some bad ones. Thanks for sharing...

David

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Mike Cohen
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 5:05:15 pm

I hate to say it, but I think Spielberg is a fan of Gymkata. Remember the scene in Jurassic Park 2 when the young girl fights the raptors by doing some awesome gymnastics. Luckily John Hammond had a soft spot for gymnasts when he designed the elaborate outbuildings on Isla Nublar.

Check out this far superior fight scene:


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David Roth Weiss
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 5:20:34 pm

That's one of the best Steadicam shots ever... It would make Scorcese proud. I wonder how many takes were required? I'll bet the producer was standing by with a loaded 357 magnum, and he made damn sure that every single player involved knew that if they were the one who screwed-up the scene, they would be summarily executed on the spot.

Great set piece too, and flawless choreography of great action by a cast of hundreds. Not quite up to the standards established by Gymkata of course...

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Ron Lindeboom
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 6:41:36 pm

My goodness, after the second or third circle up the stairway, I felt vertigo setting in. (But little did I know that I would be feasting on two or three more courses in this sumptuous visual feast.) Talk about repetitious nonsense.

Sadly though, they didn't give the contact information for the martial arts choreographer, as I am sure that he'd be in high demand. ;o)

Ron Lindeboom


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Stephen Smith
Re: "If you could only remake ONE movie"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 7:19:59 pm

[Ron] My goodness, after the second or third circle up the stairway, I felt vertigo setting in. (But little did I know that I would be feasting on two or three more courses in this sumptuous visual feast.) Talk about repetitious nonsense.


My thoughts also. In a way it made it feel less intense or maybe that was the music's fault. But I sat there thinking the whole time. Oh my words, this is one shot. I can't believe they did all of this in one shot. One other thought, I wish I took Gymnastic lessons growing up so no one would pick on me at the playground.




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