I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

The Badass Cinema Rundown for July 12, 2011

tn_dragoneyesI could re-post paraphrases of every news story that comes along, but I don’t got time for that shit so instead I give you the most important shit condensed into one post.

Today we got plenty of current headlines to discuss involving JCVD, Scott Adkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kim Je-woon, John Hyams, Parker, others, plus a special treat for you comics con attenders.


I didn’t believe it when I read it on The Ain’t It Cool News, but I’m being told that the JCVD-Scott Adkins team up ASSASSINATION GAMES will receive a limited theatrical release this month in the U.S. Maybe it’s true – this trailer here does say “IN THEATERS THIS JULY,” which seems pretty unambiguous in my opinion.

Yeah, looks pretty DTV, but if it plays around here I’ll definitely pay to see it. It’s an interesting experiment that could maybe work if they advertise it well enough, but I don’t know. It makes me nervous that if it doesn’t do well it could hurt the chances for the more promising Adkins-Van Damme UNIVERSAL SOLDIER movie to be released theatrically.

ASSASSINATION GAMES, by the way, is the one formerly titled WEAPON. The director is Ernie Barbarash (CUBE ZERO, STIR OF ECHOES: THE HOMECOMING).


Yes, after a brief media humiliation break, the Arnoldator (I’m trying to make up a new nickname for him but this might not be the winner yet) is gonna go ahead and do the one I was most hoping he would, LAST STAND, directed by the excellent South Korean director Kim Je-woon (I SAW THE DEVIL). I still think that Je-woon, who has topnotch filmatistic chops and has excelled at making a quiet pretty boy seem like the baddest motherfucker in the world, has a good shot at bringing Former Governor The Barbarian back to his full iconic potential.

There’s a new wrinkle, though. It turns out it’s a western now? That’s what they’re saying, anyway.

I’m a little confused. When I read about this in April the story I saw said it was about “the exploits of a drug cartel leader who blasts his way out of a courtroom, steals a car, and heads towards the Mexican border. [The Predinator] will play a sheriff with an inexperienced staff who becomes involved with trying to stop the cartel leader from entering Mexico after the two parties inadvertently cross paths.”

The L.A. Times story that broke this latest round of news refers to the movie as a western, which might just mean it’s a modern western like THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA or something like that. But “a Lionsgate exec” told Nikki Finke at Deadline that “It’s an old-fashioned Western specifically designed for a 63-year-old broken-down guy with a moral decision whether Arnold decides to stand up for his town. We always needed an iconic figure for it.”

Oh well, I’m gonna assume that he means “old fashioned western” in the sense of “a modern movie that is similar to a western, the type of thing that would be really weird to describe as an old fashioned western, but we ‘execs’ say weird things like that.” That seems more likely than that they saw TRUE GRIT and decided to rewrite it so the drug cartel leader is a bandit and the car he steals is a horse. I like westerns, but I don’t know about the Schwarzematrix doing an old west type accent. Or wearing a cowboy hat.

Well, The Govermando’s potential performance aside, the story should be great for Je-woon. He seems to talk about the emotional substance of his movies more than the surface details, which is kinda cool. Back when this was gonna star Liam Neeson this is how he described it to ShockTillYouDrop:

“My concept for ‘The Last Stand’ is that it’s kind of a combination of ‘Die Hard’ and ‘High Noon’ where (the latter) was about protecting something very important that needs to be protected, while ‘Die Hard’ is a very drawn-out, long process that almost kills someone in the process, so my film will be something that has to be very well protected and in the process, we almost die protecting it in a way.”

“So if ‘I Saw the Devil’ was about a person’s extreme remorse about having lost something that they couldn’t protect,” he continued, “‘The Last Stand’ would be where someone puts their lives on the line to protect something that’s very important and it will be a bit more optimistic film in that regard.”

7/13 UPDATE: Okay don’t worry, it’s not an old fashioned western, it’s definitely a new fashioned one. Here’s the official plot summary from Lionsgate:

Schwarzenegger will be starring as Sheriff Owens, a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled.   After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members.  He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever.  At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for one of the most daring face offs in cinema history.


Back in April I posted about the guy who did the After Dark Horror Fest starting a similar thing for action movies, saying “we’re developing a new generation of action movies and looking for the next Jean-Claude Van Damme, the next Wesley Snipes.”

Well, now they’ve announced their first two releases (in collaboration with Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment) and it turns out that at least one of them is exactly what we were hoping for: DRAGON EYES by John Hyams. That’s the one he shot before the new UNISOL. It stars Cung Le, a mixed martial artist I’m not familiar with, but it turns out I’ve seen him because he’s in TRUE LEGEND and I think he was the guy in FIGHTING that some of you complained that there was no way Channing Tatum could beat.

Hyams also got Van Damme to appear as a guy who teaches Cung Le how to fight in prison, so of course the press release I got mentions his name first. But I forgive it.

The other movie they’re doing is TRANSIT starring Jim Caviezel. That one’s about a family on a road trip being chased by criminals who stashed money in their car. I hate it when that happens. Caviezel has some interesting tastes, so this might be good. Also he is obviously the “the next Jean-Claude Van Damme” they were looking for.

The press release only has “later in 2011” as a release date, but hopefully they’ll be sending more information.


Michael Chiklis (the silly orange guy from FANTASTIC FOUR, John Belushi in WIRED) has signed on to play the bad guy in PARKER, director Taylor (AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN) Hackford’s movie that is supposedly based on Richard Stark’s character, even though the press releases describe a thief with a moral compass. No word on what character Chiklis is playing, but he joins Jason Statham as sort-of-Parker, possibly Jennifer Lopez as some sort of female lead, and Clifton Collins Jr.

source: Deadline


It’s weird, we Americans have been trying to remake OLDBOY since the original came out. I believe Justin Lin was attached for a while before doing three good FAST AND FURIOUS movies in a row finally turned him into Hollywood’s Golden Boy. So he couldn’t get it off the ground before.

Then it came real close to Steven Spielberg directing it with Will Smith as the star. That never happened, in my opinion, but now they’ve officially signed on Spike Lee. They’re acting like that means it’s really gonna happen for real, but we’ll see.

If he does it’s a weird choice, in a good way. I can’t really picture how he would do it – maybe sort of like INSIDE MAN where it’s mostly a mainstream studio drama for adults but does have some weird touches thrown in (that thing about Bush Sr. being connected to Nazis?).

One thing is for sure, if you’re the type of person who is fanatically protective of OLDBOY you better go outside and have a yell and try to let this one go. I foresee no way of this being made in a way that’s not gonna give you ulcers. I don’t believe there’s any way in hell that an American version will have the same conclusion as the original. I don’t mean that in the sense of “Hollywood doesn’t have the balls to do it,” more in the sense of “American audiences would think that was a little too fuckin ridiculous.”

What you will have is a story with the same basic premise of a guy locked up for years, getting out and trying to figure out why and get revenge. I don’t think he’s gonna be tricked into (SPOILER IF I REMEMBER THIS CORRECTLY) fucking his daughter or whatever it was. It will be totally different, but maybe cool, who knows?

In even more unexpected news, Lee just started shooting something called REDHOOK SUMMER, where he will apparently reprise his role as Mookie from DO THE RIGHT THING.

source: Deadline

stuff you fellas might consider attending if you’re at the Comics Con

I was hoping you guys would report to me about the HAYWIRE panel and I heard about another good one so I decided to be your pal and pore through the schedule for other suggestions. Here are the ones that I would probly go to if for some reason I got drugged and woke up in San Diego on July 21st and if the zoo was closed.


11:30-12:30, room 24ABC
Triple H, Rey Mysterio and “a surprise WWE Legend” will be there. To talk about action figures. Hopefully the surprise legend is Batista with his lunchbox collection.

12:15-1:00, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront (they seriously got room names this complicated?)
Rick Baker will be talking about his career as one of the all time best makeup artists. Unfortunately the focus is gonna be on the MEN IN BLACK movies because they’re trying to make people think somebody wants to see the MEN IN BLACK 3D movie they’ve already sunk ten billion dollars into without a script.

2:00-3:00, Hall H
They’re gonna be showing footage from that DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK remake, but also DRIVE, the Nicolas Winding Refn getaway driver movie that’s supposed to be great. Doesn’t sound like they got any special guests or anything though.

also 2:00-3:00, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
After sitting through some shit about something called “H+” they will have a panel on the MORTAL KOMBAT web-series with Michael Jai White, the director and other cast members, then show the last episode.

4:45-5:45, Hall H
Robert Rodriguez will “show exclusive material from his latest top-secret project,” which, you know, who the fuck knows? If it’s the ZIGGY movie I’ve been dreaming of then keep me updated. He’d probly go with Bruce Willis instead of Vin Diesel.

6:00-7:00, Hall H
Jon Favreau and Guillermo of the Toro talk about shit with a guy from Entertainment Weekly. I was also interviewed by Entertainment Weekly once.

holy shit it’s still Thursday, I don’t know if I can get through this thing

7:45-10:45, Room 6A
Some kind of kung fu thing. Actually it sounds kinda stupid, but if you’re not doing anything and you like kung fu I mean, why not? Or, remember, San Diego does have that zoo. Check the hours on that.

8:30-10:00, Room 6BCF
“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – Sing along with your fellow fans at this screening of the original three acts of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog hosted by the California Browncoats, complete with callbacks!” I am thinking about killing myself just from reading that


11:15am-12:15, Ballroom 20
They’ll be doing a thing on season 2 of The Walking Dead. That was a pretty good show I thought. Alot of excitement for this one I’m sure but since it’s in a ballroom and nerds are afraid of dancing you could probly just show up 5 minutes after it starts and get a good seat. Norman Reedus will be there so try to ask him why he thought he could pull one over on Blade in BLADE II. Tell him what some motherfuckers are always tryin to do. I guess he probly knows though.

12:15-1:15, Hall H
Gina Carano and Steven Soderbergh are gonna be there to talk about HAYWIRE. Seriously, I am dying for some fucking information on this movie. I bet you they show a fight scene and knock you on your ass. If you guys are going you gotta report to me on this, I want to know all about it. (NOTE: this panel will also have people talking about a James McTeigue joint called RAVEN where John Cusack plays Edgar Allan Poe tracking a serial killer.)

12:45-1:45, Room 6BCF
Obviously you should be at the HAYWIRE thing, but if you got kicked out for stabbing somebody or whatever there is this “Legendary Pictures Preproduction Preview” with some pretty cool panel members including Jeff Bridges, Guillermo del Toro, Idris Elba and Alex Proyas. Weird.

2:30-3:15, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
The BLACK DYNAMITE cartoon! Scott Sanders, Michael Jai Fucking White, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley and Byron “Bullhorn” Minns will all be there because they were in the movie and in the cartoon.

2:45-3:45, Hall H
The remake of FRIGHT NIGHT actually looks kinda good I think. Somehow they got Colin Farrell coming to this thing. I worry that he might show up in costume as Deadly Peanut Flicker, his character from the movie DAREDEVIL.


11:45-12:45, Hall H
Holy shit, Francis Ford Coppola is gonna be there showing scenes from his new movie TWIXT with (it sounds like) live music.

1:00-2:00, Hall H
A thing about that movie IMMORTALS. Tarsem Singh and Mickey Rourke aren’t listed as being there, but there’s some other people, like the guy that’s gonna play Superman.

6:30-7:30, Room 24ABC
Seagalogy intro writer David Gordon Green will be with a bunch of voice actors from a cartoon he created called Good Vibes. Or you could go over to Room 8 if you want to see Thomas Jane, but he’s there to talk about “the rapidly emerging digital distribution platform of comics!” so unless he shows up drunk I don’t see much of interest there.

Saturday, 7:30-8:30, Room 8
A bunch of awesome movie poster painters including the guy who did the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREETs.

Saturday, 9:00-10:00, Room 9
Some Lloyd Kaufman DIY Filmmaking deal, but Lance Henriksen is supposed to be there.


Go to church. Unless you’d rather attend the panel on “Ball-Jointed Dolls,” or “BJDs”.

God damn, my eyes hurt from reading all that shit. I don’t know what the people were complaining about Hollywood taking over, there is like ten thousand pretentiously titled comics related panels to choose from. I’m surprised how many there are just on the topic of gays and lesbians in comics. That looks like a pretty elaborate event you guys got going over there. Not enough HAYWIRE in my opinion but at least there’s some.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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156 Responses to “The Badass Cinema Rundown for July 12, 2011”

  1. yeah I remember the Steven Spielberg Oldboy remake, I’m glad that never happened, I don’t think it would have been a good fit

  2. Okay, I’ll go now outside and have a yell. Not only because I actually think that Hollywood hasn’t the balls to do it in any way that’s isn’t laughable in comparison to the original. Furthermore I think they just won’t get what the original even was really about like Scorsese when he completely removed the heart and brain of Infernal Affairs to replace it with cuss words, macho poses and empty running time in his The Departed.

    It’s like a Hitchcock movie. You shouldn’t remake it until you’re better than Hitchcock and can really add something to a actually great movie.

  3. I agree with Andreas generally regarding both Hitchcock and most definitely thoughts on Oldboy as compared to The Departed. But of all the people that have circled this project, I do find Spike to be the most interesting choice.

    And I’m excited to see Arnold make a choice like this even if I am that guy that doesn’t really seem to quite get the Je-Woon craze. In the interest of full disclosure, I have yet to see Bittersweet Life. But I liked A Tale of Two Sisters, but wasn’t floored. I thought Good Bad and the Weird was fun but a little too silly in moments and a little uneven in terms of pacing. And then the more I think about I Saw the Devil, the more disappointed I become. Still, I will cautiously look forward to this movie.

  4. FYI Kim Ji-woon (or Kim Jee-woon, I’ve seen it spelled both ways.) Kim, I believe, would actually be his surname, not Ji-woon. Unless you feel like you’re on a first name basis with the dude, in which case that’s cool.

  5. Joint Statement from Michael Jai White and his close personal friend Sergeant First Class Mouth:

    In ongoing efforts to diversify the audience of BADASS CINEMA, to encourage moral change among the flourishing Nerd Dweeb Geek Virgin (NDGV) community, to bring Mandom to a place that has been devoid of such important concepts, and to see conditions on the ground during the recovery from the governance of Predamando in the aftermath of the most bizarre special election in the history of democracy, we have decided to take our talents to Southern California* and join the Comic-Con festivities.

    Anyone in costume who is not being paid to be there will be roundhoused on the spot and referred to Camp Pendleton to report for duty as a Devil Dog bulletcatcher.

    In conclusion, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZEdDMQZaCU
    Thank you.

    *We might split our efforts and have one of us stay on the east coast for now.

  6. Samuel Goldwyn is the same company behind the latest WWE films. They do release them in theaters but only like four in small populated areas so they can say it got a theatrical release and then a week later they’re on DVD. I expect Assassination Games to do something similar.

  7. Speaking of badassness, this:


    Anyone with experience of The Shield knows this can only lead to good things. Not sure about this “only steals from those who can afford it” business though.

  8. It should be “only steals from those who have enough to make it worth his while or just happen to be there at the time.”

  9. On a not-really-related-note-but-sounds-as-though-it-would-be, there’s a French thriller called Point Blank that came out recently that’s pretty damn good.

  10. Vern, I know you’ll probably never watch THE SHIELD, but if you ever do you’re going to feel bad about dismissing Michael Chiklis like that.

  11. I’ve watched the first three seasons of THE SHIELD. I like it, but it got so repetitive (Shane fucked up again! Mackey can’t possibly get them out of this one! Holy crap he did!) that I haven’t gotten around to finishing the series. I’ve heard that the ending is great but the prospect of four more years of close calls en route to the finale is a little draining. Does Season 4 switch it up at all or is it more of the same?

  12. “Nerds are afraid of dancing” is the “blacks can’t swim” of Nerdphobic comments. For shame.

  13. It does pick up, 4th series and onward are pretty great. Anthony Anderson is outstanding in series 4.

  14. Ok, so Season 4 does spin the wheels some more, but then season 5 mixes it up with Forrest Whittaker doing some of his best work ever in his arc with Vic. This is outstanding enough to keep things going until it does finally start to set off all the bombs in finale. If you wanted to give most of 4 a pass you could, but then you’d miss out on Anthony Anderson as one of the best bad guys ever. That is about all it has to offer. Poor Glen Close just couldn’t make it work.

    The final season is just pure awesome from start to finish and everything ends in such a way to make some of the more repetitive stories seem justified.

  15. I can´t believe THE SHIELD hasn´t been touched upon on this site until now. After THE WIRE, this is my favourite tv crime drama. Intense as shit and because it´s shot in the more seedier parts of L.A it has more of a real look than other cop shows lack. Michael Chiklis is so fuckin´ far away from THE COMMISH as you could get, but he also humanizes what would otherwise be a despiccable character in a way you actually root for him. Walton Goggin has become a favourite character ctor of mine even though he has been typecast in these kind of redneck-roles. THE SHIELD is good stuff and the finale was a perfect end to it all.

  16. I’ve never seen The Shield, so to me Michael Chiklis will always be that guy from the Growing Pains spin off, Just the Ten of Us.

  17. I thought THE SHIELD just got progressively better. The first time I tried to watch it I was in withdrawal from having just finished THE WIRE, and thought it was objectively bad. But I waited a couple of years and gave it another chance, and although the first few seasons are by far the weakest, it did end up hitting its stride and developing into a pretty compelling show. It has one of the worst opening theme songs of all time though, fair warning.

  18. That theme song is the worst. It’s like six or seven terrible genres of music, all played badly and at the same time. I leap for the remote as soon as every episode ends to cut it off before that ear-wrenching salsa neu-metal cacophony blows up my speakers.

  19. The “theme song” if you can call it that only last for like 3 seconds in the opening credits so THAT is not too bad

  20. But then the extended house remix plays through the end credits, completely obliterating any sense of drama or tension you might have been experiencing at the end of the episode. It’s like a stick bomb at a wake.

  21. Or a stink bomb. A stick bomb at a wake would be pretty dramatic and tense in my opinion.

  22. RBatty, Micheal Chiklis was The Commish, he was never in Just the Ten of Us. Ever.

  23. Your comments here have made it impossible for me to enjoy an episode of THE SHIELD without nitpicking that sonic nightmare. Thanks alot! Before tonight I never even paid much attention to that shit. I knew I didn´t liked it, but the show was so fuckin´good I let it slide.Fuck!

  24. Knox Harrington

    July 12th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds recently finished shooting a movie called Safehouse here in Cape Town. I know tons of people who worked on it, and every single one I’ve spoken to told me that Denzel is a rascist asshole. I have no idea where this story comes from and I don’t know if there’s any truth to it, but it kind of surprised me to hear so many people say the same thing. It’s kind of like someone telling you that Tom Hanks gets off on torturing baby polar bears. Maybe Denzel thinks all South Africans are white supremacists, kinda like some people still think all Germans are Nazi’s. I don’t know.

    Anyway, I do wonder if Lee will cast him as the lead in Oldboy. They’ve made so many good movies together that I certainly wouldn’t mind them making another one. On the other hand, I’m kinda tired of seeing Denzel in badass roles. Feels like he’s shown us all he can do with that side of his personality. Wouldn’t mind seeing more dramatic work from him. Family man stuff.

    Also, I really hope this Arnie movie works out for Kim Jee-Woon, who is one of my filmmaking heroes. Asian directors have a hard time being able to make American movies and still hold on to what it is that makes their films special in the first place. And let’s face it, Arnie isn’t exactly an acting powerhouse. I love him to death, but I can’t help thinking that the original decision of casting of Liam Neeson was a better idea. Then again, I’m also tired of seeing Neeson in badass roles. I hears there’s a Taken 2 on the way. What the fuck is up with that? I enjoyed the first movie a hell of a lot, but that’s back when I thought it was a one time thing.

    In short, I think it’s time cinema found some new badasses. Just to spice things up.

  25. Oh yeah for your fuckin´enjoyment I´ve dug up what I believe to be the lyrics to THE SHIELD´S theme song, Happy reading motherfuckers!
    (Just another day)
    Livin’ the good life
    We’re buying the good blocks
    C’mon get happy
    In the beautiful sunshine
    Throwin’ a peace sign
    Throw your hands up

    Listen homey
    Nothing’s gonna make you fall back
    like this crazed bald cat
    with a baseball bat
    See my Ace all scrapped
    My way or the new way
    The black and blue way
    the face down and all bruised way (Bang!)
    The Force’s fours get the illest talking
    With the eyes of a hawk
    Farmington’s finest
    with the crime and a spine
    and the 9 on his waist line
    Pray he on your side
    or end up shook beat battered and booked
    before you look up
    The baddest man that ever put on a badge (shield!)
    And ain’t no working out deals, up on the real (man is ill!)
    In his bean,
    the ends justifies the means
    He’ll do anything in a scheme
    to keep the streets clean
    The Strike force never play by no rules
    pullin’ out tools on the right dude
    and schoolin’ these fools
    and they’ll be lucky if they even live to tell the story
    he ain’t a cop, he’s a savior
    Scratch, Roc Raida

    (Just another day)
    Livin’ the good life
    We’re buying the good blocks
    C’mon get happy
    In the beautiful sunshine
    Throwin’ a peace sign
    Throw your hands up

    It don’t matter what you come strat with
    you don’t want it with this cat here
    and that’s a fact, bitch
    They all nuts, cop jury and judge
    so call him corrupt cause he can run on a hunch
    man he can run amok, a human truck
    His heart pump diesel
    they here to clean the streets
    not to treat you freaks equal
    and you won’t get a sequel, see
    it’s a wrap for you rat bastards (you Lemonheads)
    you can crack if you can’t hack it
    the tactics are drastic
    pack plastic automatics
    kick ass and rock badges
    Goddamn, this aint the burbs
    justice needs to get served
    Mackey’ll churn’em on a burner
    have’em singin like birds
    He ain’t here to make friends
    He can break men who wont bend
    and send’em all up to the state penn
    it’s a deal
    you can feel that he’s the real
    stronger than the steel in his own shield
    Little bitches

    (Just another day)
    Livin’ the good life
    We’re buying the good blocks
    C’mon get happy
    In the beautiful sunshine
    Throwin’ a peace sign
    Throw your hands up

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_words_to_the_Shield_Theme_Song#ixzz1RvKBpgri

  26. ..disregard that last link. I have no idead what wiki…ahemm… somethingsomething is…

  27. Whenever I hear the chick say “papi” I feel like digging into my ear canal with a dull pencil

  28. “ear-wrenching salsa neu-metal cacophony”


  29. Mr Majestyk nailed it PRECISELY with his wordings of describing the theme song. Creepily accurate…

  30. …or is it creepingly…?

  31. I’m not gonna lie, that wording went through a few revisions before I got it right.

  32. I’ve never seen the Shield but I just googled the theme song…wow. It really is THAT bad. It’s like they got the singer from a Cypress Hill cover band and paired him with Limp Bizkit and everyone forgot it wasn’t 2002 anymore and that that shit sucked even back then.

  33. Do not let the theme song scare you away from one of th greatest crime dramas ever…It´s not that big of a deal!

  34. SirVincealotThere

    July 12th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    re: OLDBOY. Who cares? Holly doin’ Park changes not one frame of the original and in fact probably leads a bunch of new NetFlix tweeps to it. Waste to get angry ’bout it. And no, Spike Lee is not the man with the pedigree to pull it off – he may knock it out of the park for all we know – but INSIDE MAN is about as useful to reference as SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. There’s (gasp!) incest in the original. No American filmatist will touch that with a 10′ pole without turning it into a “message” movie.

    That Parker flick keeps getting goofier. Casting is on par with a blind man throwing lures in my swimming pool. Director with the artistic flair of Muzak. This project has fallen asleep without leaving the starting box. And the last Parker Hollywood employed was Lance Henricksen circa ALIENS. Again, why sweat it? The books are a good read and the comic is *awesome*.

    Who has seen 13 ASSASSINS? Did I miss the discussion? That’s some badass cinema!

  35. ….and Mr Majestyk, complaining about how the theme song coming into full force at the end of an episode and taking away all that drama and tension…. It´s the end of the fuckin´episode!! So why does it matter if the tension goes away? It should… I probably sound like I am defending the most retarded theme song in history. Well..the theme is not a big deal.It doesn´t get played throughout the episodes. If it did then I would agree with you, being obtrusive or intrusive or whatever..

  36. The Shield theme was a clever attempt by the creators to state their thesis and sonically illustrate what happens when different cultures fail to find meaningful ground and instead of coming together to make something amazing the beauty inherent in all cultures is destro…

    No, I’m just fucking with you. It’s awful.

  37. Maybe if one listen to the audio commentaries on the dvd´s some schmuck might reveal the details of the creation behind this highly delusional piece of audio atrocity…(Good words..ehh?)

  38. Shoot: True, but some shows have end credits music that let you marinate in the afterglow of the episode for a minute. THE SHIELD music jars you out of any reflection you might have been experiencing with a sudden fight-or-flight response. I feel like my roommate’s dog whenever I turn the vacuum cleaner on.

    This terrible piece of music should not reflect poorly on the show itself, however, which I still feel is pretty good.

  39. hahahahaha, I’m listening to that song now

    yeah, it’s fucking awful

  40. Mouth – certainly you can’t be against hot nerd girls wearing scantily clad costumes? (or cosplaying as it’s called)

  41. marlow – haha, you did have me going there for a second.

    The thing about TV shows is they’re kinda stuck with whatever they chose for the pilot episode. It was probably a hot track off Shawn Ryan’s brother-in-law’s mixtape or something.

  42. About OLDBOY: I will later give it a 2nd chance, but I didn’t like it. I loved the first half of it, but after we found out who was behind all that, the film became so boring and pointless that the why and the final conclusion of his plan didn’t matter to me anymore.
    So I don’t mind ANYBODY remaking it, but gotta admit that someone like Spike Lee makes me at least a little bit interested in it.

  43. Sternshein – Damn, I could have sworn that was Chiklis. Oh well, I will have to retract my comment.

    CJ Holden – I’m glad I’m not the only who found Oldboy incredibly uneven. The tone of the film swung wildly from one scene to another, and while I know that’s why many people (myself included) enjoy Korean genre films, in the case of Oldboy it was just too much. Also (spoiler) using hypnosis as a crutch was a weak move at the end. It somewhat dulled the shock of the ending.

  44. I don’t know the difference, but I thought the american Oldboy movie wasn’t going to be so much a remake as another adaptation of the Manga(or Korean equivalent Manhwa) on which the original was based?
    I have to say, I respect MJW and admire his work a lot, but I have to call bullshit on the notion he’s putting forth that Nerdom and Badassery are mutually exclusive, even in jest. Especially coming from a guy who lists Marvel Comics character The Black Panther as one of his dream roles. Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Rosario Dawson…do we not consider them to be relatively cool people, even though they all have nerdish leanings? Particularly Jane, who went so far as to get a makeup specialist friend to give him a fake scar so he could dress up as Jonah Hex when campaigning for the role? Jackson publicly begged to be in the Star Wars prequel. Dawson is desperate to be in Star Trek 2, saying she’d love to play a Klingon. When will Jock/Nerd desegregation come about? How many nerd shit movies and tv shows have to become mainstream successes before the people who really love and analyse that shit as much as Vern does ON DEADLY GROUND? When will people like me not have to sit at the back(or top deck) of the bus…in order to read our comics without feeling self conscious? WHEN?!

  45. I think it’s funny that a lot of comic book shops also sell sports memorabilia. The sports nerds (a completely different animal from jocks, who actually play sports) and the comics nerds are equally rotund, awkward, and aromatic, yet they regard each other over a great chasm of contempt and distrust. I don’t see what the problem is. They both enjoy following the exploits of muscular men in shiny uniforms. They should be allies against a common foe: the guys in bands who steal all their women.

  46. I actually wrote a term paper on the screenplay and development of the Oldboy remake for my Korean cinema class…lemme see if I can find it.

  47. “I think it’s funny that a lot of comic book shops also sell sports memorabilia. The sports nerds (a completely different animal from jocks, who actually play sports) and the comics nerds are equally rotund, awkward, and aromatic, yet they regard each other over a great chasm of contempt and distrust. I don’t see what the problem is. They both enjoy following the exploits of muscular men in shiny uniforms. They should be allies against a common foe: the guys in bands who steal all their women.”
    I saw a funny video essay about the subject that also pointed out that sports fans who wear jerseys with the names and numbers of actual players aren’t just “showing support”, but are basically going around in public cosplaying as the athletes in question. Fantasy Football players are also basically the sports equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts.

  48. Mr. Majestyk just confessed knowledge of the inner workings of not just one but “a lot of comic book shops.”

    -1, brah.

    Coulda let that slide if you said “the comic shop that I often pass on the way to the gym and/or the steel mill I like to visit to take in the fresh, flinty air.”

    Stu, you’ve given my man MJW & myself, Mouth, much to mull. As I set a new personal record for consecutive 140 pound reps on the chest butterfly today, I realized that perhaps I was spending as much time doing things to impress & chase girls as nerds were spending doing things that I would think would repel girls, and I wondered if either lifestyle denoted superiority, if it was all really worth it, if the nerds deserve equal happiness if not equal success with the ladies, if singing along with Dr. Horrible with a bunch of presumably smelly social defects at a comic convention can be as fulfilling for them as going from Hi my name’s-to-phone number-to-strapping on the jimmy is for me, if we could be flip sides of the same coin of existential male fear.

    Why am I running 4 miles in less than 25 minutes when I could be at a comics shop catching up on my close personal friend’s apparent affinity for something called The Black Panther, which apparently is not a Stokely Carmichael biography? No more hurrying; perhaps it has been enough time for this jock. Maybe I share a kindred power animal/animal spirit with Stu. Or maybe tonight I will have visions of Griff’s cute girlfriend wearing the Princess Leia getup or something. Perhaps the essence of this man can change.

  49. Gee, you guys make it sound like rocket science: Girls dig hot bods and guys dig hot bods. You choose between spending your time doing push-ups/arobics and getting laid, or reading deep nerd shit like Black Panther/Twilight and masturbate in yer mamas cellar. Or you try to become an ubernerd, who are so knowlegdable about nerd shit that he/she makes money on nerding AND gets laid. But, getting to drill some nerdgirl/boy with a Princess Leia-bra, is so uber-ubernerd, that you have to be.. I dunno, man. I dunno… Some sort of nerd-jock? A Nock? Did Darwin say anything about Nocks? Did he? Cause that`s where it`s at.

  50. CJ Holden – I haven’t seen Oldboy since early 2005 and that’s actually a really good point, when I think back on the movie the stuff I remember is mostly stuff from the first half, still the first half is so crazy and entertaining and I was just so happy to see it playing on Sundance that I didn’t really care, it was definitely the “duuuuuuuuuuuude you GOTTA see this fucked up movie!” of it’s time (the modern equivalent being The Human Centipede)

    Mouth – to give you an example of what I am talking about, please check out exhibit A http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7029/cammys.jpg


    that girl is not a paid model or anything like that, the worst thing you can accuse her of is trying to get male attention and what’s so bad about that?

    I think you are unfairly stereotyping nerds as being entirely male and losers

    also sports nerds are just nerds who wish they were jocks and think being obsessed with sports makes them cool, it does not

  51. Today it’s being reported that Josh Brolin is the “top choice” for OLDBOY, despite the widespread assumption that it would be Denzel. The other thing we all assumed though actually is being confirmed, that they want it to be to OLDBOY like THE DEPARTED is to INFERNAL AFFAIRS. Now I’m sure we’ll get into that old debate again so I will pre-emptively say that I thought both of those movies were good and really different from each other and one is alot more memorable to me but maybe it’s because I never saw the sequels to the other one.

    I’ll have to watch them again closer together some day but right now I don’t see how you can write off the outstanding texture, dialogue, performances and tension of THE DEPARTED just on the basis of it not trying to accomplish exactly the same thing that the other movie was after. In fact, isn’t that what people always say about remakes, that they shouldn’t just copy what was done before, they should have their own take on it? Scorsese took the basic template and put it into an entirely different (extremely detailed) world, which brought it to a different place.

    And I mean how can you not appreciate that spectacular climactic moment of Damon looking stupidly at Wahlberg and knowing his number is up? To me that’s one of the most satisfying conclusions to a movie in the past decade or so.

    In conclusion, Leo for OLDBOY. Or Channing Tatum. Or The Rock. 86 the incest, add more squids.

  52. Obviously an American version of OLDBOY would need a sidekick comic relief character. My proposal for that role might seem like stunt casting, but Spike Lee can overcome that stigma by incorporating the performer’s very appropos musical talents:


  53. I’ve never seen Infernal Affairs and I swear I’m not trying to be “that guy”, but I honestly thought The Departed was overrated, not only is it not as good as Goodfellas, but in my opinion it’s not even as good as Shutter Island

    what SHOULD have won best picture for 2006 was Children of Men, but The Academy chose to ignore that in favor of giving what Scorsese should have gotten earlier

  54. Mouth – perhaps Mars Blackmon could be the sidekick?

  55. The Shield is very good. I think the 3rd and 4th seasons kind of meander but I think the 5th, 6th, and 7th seasons make for a very concise and gripping drama. The Wire is streets ahead of The Shield but The Shield is still good.

    I have become very anti-nerd culture. I have a few nerdy interests. I play Warhammer and enjoy painting my little army men for it. Like, I’m the last person to make fun of nerds in general. I just don’t understand why your hobbies or interest have to become a lifestyle choice or define your personality.

    Warhammer is something to do to keep me entertained and I enjoy it. I don’t get too personally invested.

    I don’t know, I just find a lot of nerd culture to be incredibly insular, racist, and misogynist.

    That there’s a group called the California Browncoats just really bothers me. Jesus, Firefly was an OK show but let it go already. Just imagine how much better the world would be if internet nerds took their outrage over Firefly, Transformers, or the Star Wars prequels and decided to end world hunger or Darfur.

    I’m excited for an Oldboy remake. I liked the Departed despite Nicholson’s obnoxious character. I hope Oldboy does something interesting and makes for a good remake like The Ring.

  56. I agree, Mr Griff. I think Children of Men is one of the best films of the past decade.

    Scorsese needed his pity Oscar for his has-been career. Maybe I’m being too mean, but he had a few good movies 30 years ago but has been really lackluster ever since Goodfellas.

    Not that The Departed is bad, it’s actually pretty good, but it’s not worthy of an Oscar. Actually, screw it, that award means nothing so it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to nerdrage over how some jerks in Hollywood didn’t appreciate my favorite dystopian film in the last decade.

    But, still, Scorsese. Man, that guys doesn’t excite me. Shutter Island was really badly directed and shot and was decent despite him.

  57. Griff, I admit I googled “girls cosplaying” a couple hours ago, and it was good. Real, real good.

    But I’m not ready to abandon bikinis & beach bodies for the nerd convention scene, especially in Southern California if I had that choice. I guess it would be more fun to pick up a Wonder Woman or a [hopefully 18+ year old] wannabe-anime girl instead of just some cute but plainly dressed chica in the produce section at Whole Foods. But that’s what’s awesome about Halloween, a.k.a. Girls Dress Slutty-Hot Day.

    Wait, is Comic-Con to nerds what Halloween is to me? In that case, I support it.

    I’ve always played a lot of real sports and I don’t have time for “fantasy” sports or online shit, so I don’t know if that disqualifies me from being an official sports nerd, but I’ll go on for hours about why you should always throw the ball deep on 2nd & inches, about how funny it would have been this past Saturday if Gardner had been safe and Jeter had sac bunted him while sitting on 2,999 career hits (instead of hitting the home run for #3000, which was awesome), or about how I think Corey Maggette might average 30 points per game this coming season with the Bobcats. I save the jerseys for big games at crowded sports bars, and I wear them over a nice button-down.

    Do I devote too much time & energy to this sports stuff, Casey, when I could be saving Darfur? Maybe. Oh well, I’m an addict.

    Sports is a cultural institution which provides a framework in which we can discuss & refine our understanding of statistics & excellence. Also, it’s good for the kids. Also, good athletes are badasses.

  58. Well OLDBOY was so different from the manga it was adapted from it’s not even funny. So I guess remaking the remake kinda cancels everything out. I just hope it is indeed more reMAKE and not a rehash calling itself a “remake” (*cough*boring ass LET ME IN*cough*).

    THE DEPARTED is a borderline masterpiece IMO for that very reason. Like Vern stated it does enough to differentiate itself from INFERNAL AFFAIRS and be it’s own thing. Another popular remake John Carpenter’s THE THING is a certified masterpiece to me for that very reason. The remake of the remake of THE THING also interests me cause it serves as a completely different story that could also serve as a prequel to the existing Carpenter one.

  59. I apologize for not being clear, Mouth. I like to play basketball and have taken up tennis recently and it’s been a lot of fun. The wife and I are planning on doing the Warrior Dash in a few months, too, so I enjoy a good sport as much as the next guy.

    What I object to, and what I find a lot of the nerd community devolves into, is constant whining and raging over their pet hobby horse not getting respect / getting canceled / or otherwise being adapted in a way that ruins their childhood.

    We have talked about it here quite a lot, but how many people who post on the Talkbacks at AICN actually love film? From what I’ve read there they mostly seem to want to be angry and upset over everything all the time and forever.

    I apologize that my words were not able to convey my meaning. I just dislike a lot of negative energy and wish that could be better used in the world.

  60. I agree, Broddie. I don’t care for most remakes but if they’re going to do it I would prefer they did something interesting. I really appreciate the Dawn of the Dead remake, for instance, whereas no one really cares about the Night of the Living Dead remake.

    Even then, I think some movies that have remakes that try to be faithful to the original can also work. I don’t think the new True Grit is really all that different than John Wayne’s version, but I think it’s better and very much worth it.

    Still, some remakes that do something different with the source material can also fail. Like The King’s Speech.

  61. I do not care for sports. I have also never seen a single episode of Dr. Who. I believe this balances me out on the nerd scale.

  62. If anyone goes to Room 6BCF, ask Idris Elba why/how Luther on the BBC can possibly be so damn good. Because it is.

  63. Casey – my main beef with nerd culture is also how negative it is, it seems like they don’t really enjoy movies, video games, comic books what have you, they enjoy talking shit about it

    there is a website called 4chan that pretty much sums up modern nerd culture, on the boards dedicated to movies and video games, any new movie or game that comes out will have constant threads about how much it sucks

    at the end of the day you just have to say “I enjoy this despite it’s flaws”, it’s like looking at the glass half full, if you let any small problems ruin something for you you will never enjoy anything

    I do have to ask about racism though, I see a lot of racism on the internet (especially on the aforementioned 4chan), but it doesn’t really seem to be connected to nerd culture, it seems like the only entertainment hardcore white supremacists get is making fun of black people

    Mouth – just to be clear I have never been to a convention of any kind, I can just appreciate anytime girls want to be scantily clad (Halloween included)

  64. Mr. Majestyk – I am not into sports and have never seen an episode of Dr Who either

    in fact speaking of which, I am constantly perplexed by the ubiquity of Dr Who, my own freaking female cousin has a tattoo of the TARDIS on her leg (I WISH I was joking)

  65. The Old Boy “remake” is not going to be a remake, but a new adaptation of the original comic. The comic only has the same premise of a guy getting imprisoned for 10+ years for reasons he doesn’t know, but otherwise the stories are completely different.

    The premise is what interests Hollywood, because it’s a great, intriguing high-concept hook, that will make audiences interested. But they can make an entirely new story around that premise. Of course there isn’t going to be incest. But there was no incest in the original comic, either.

  66. in my opinion possibly the best remake ever made if you go by how much it improves on the original is The Fly

    the original is a pretty typical cheesy 50’s sci fi flick, whereas the remake is brilliant

  67. I could take or leave the incest, but does the comic have punching? Punching is very important.

  68. Vern – The problem that I have with Departed is that I don’t think you should remake a movie if you’re not interested in it’s basic themes.

    What if Justin Lin decides that he likes to make a remake of Vertigo but isn’t interested in the love story or the obsession of the main character but likes the idea of a ghost from the past or the image of women falling down steeples?

    If he has artistic integrity and respects the artistic integrity of Hitchcock, he should create a original movie about what he really likes. He doesn’t have to copy the structure or the scenes of the original. That’s just arrogant and lazy.

    So I don’t get the point of “if you remake a movie you better make something interesting” if “making something interesting” doesn’t apply to the original vision.

  69. A lotof interesting points here. Chikilis is fantastic in The Shield and it’s a great TV show. Not in the league of Sopranos or The Wire but you’ll get few shows that are. The song is shit and I’m also agreed that when a programme hits the end credits, it’s lovely to “marinate” in a a fitting closing song. The Sopranos excelled at that. Quite enjoying The chicago Code as well but I hear they’ve axed that.

    I enjoyed The Departed alot. Oscar winner? Nah. Children of Men but these people don’t have the balls to hand that an award. Remakes are only a bad idea when they suck. Psycho sucked but it could have been something if they tried something different other than Vaughn wanking. I always thought a Dawn of the Dead remake would be a travesty but it worked. So you never know. Old Boy could be great.

    And please check out Idris Elba in BBC’s Luther. Fucking great show.

  70. I like a few moments to ponder a show as it ends. That’s why I despise the trend we have in the UK of squeezing the credits down and having some bozo’s voice pipe up to babble about what’s on next. Worse is on some channels where they make dumb jokes.

    The Shield didn’t bother me so much as I’d stop the dvd as soon as an episode ended and start on the next one. Burnt through seven season’s worth in about three weeks. That show was visual crack.

  71. Andreas – The Dawn of the Dead remake drops the themes of the original and just keeps part of the premise, but most people seem okay with that. The Fly adds all new themes that weren’t in the original. The Thing seriously intensifies the themes of mistrust. I like the remake of The Hills Have Eyes partly for its faithfulness to what the original was about, and have a little bit of a problem with the end of the remake of Last House On the Left for ultimately betraying the meaning of the original, which itself dropped the religious meaning of Virgin Spring but did something interesting with its dismantling of vengeance. These are all decent to great remakes with different approaches. I don’t think there’s one rule to how to do it right. But I do think Departed is one of the ones that does it right.

    To be honest I don’t remember what it was that was so meaningful about Infernal Affairs that people think is missing from The Departed. But the premise of a cop undercover as a criminal looking for the criminal who’s undercover as a cop is a great one. You could do alot of different things with that idea, and Scorsese did. Obviously it stands on its own in a completely different world than the original, to the point that it’s heavily associated with the story of Whitey Bulger, a real life criminal the creators of Infernal Affairs probly didn’t even know existed. The things that we love about the movie aren’t necessarily related to what we love about the other one. Yet it wouldn’t work the same without that basic undercover cop/undercover criminal idea at the center.

    “Patriot Act! I love it!”

  72. When you’re into movies on the level we are, I think it’s a good thing to show those who think we’re a bunch of World of Warcraft playing Doctor Who fans, that we’re not that easily stereotyped. Being a marxist who dresses like Johnny Cash and who hates hyped up 60’s sci fi and all kinds of sports intensely, I guess that placed next to, lets say Mouth, people wouldn’t think that we’d have anything at all in common. But we do. And now they know.

  73. Here is a paper I wrote analyzing the cultural context of Justin Lin’s proposed Oldboy remake. It might interest some of you to know about a previous approach to the material. I apologize in advance for the self-righteousness of the work, but I thought it would get me an A…which it did.

    “Nothing is More Real than Blood:”
    Perspectives on Vengeance in Korean and American Cinema

    About 40 minutes into Chan-Wook Park’s 2003 film, Oldboy, the protagonist, Oh Dae-su (Min-Sik Choi in an award winning turn), runs down a hallway, fighting off dozens of attackers with a hammer in a single unbroken take that lasts four and a half minutes. That same year Will Smith (in an MTV Movie Award nominated performance) careened down the hills of Cuba in a neon yellow Hummer H2 in Michael Bay’s Bad Boys II. The two movies were significant hits with their respective audiences; Oldboy grossed the equivalent of $14.2 million dollars US in its native Korea while Bad Boys II grossed $138 million in the United States, (boxofficemojo). The films share some cursory similarities, both are filled with bloody fistfights, gunplay, and touches of appropriately hip post-modern nihilistic humor, but they could not be more different in one important aspect—the characterization of the leading man. Oh Dae-su is a complex, conflicted ne’er-do-well with an off sense of humor and deep seeded emotional issues with which he must grapple. At the end of the film he remains a deeply flawed individual in even worse mental shape than he was in the beginning. Meanwhile, Smith remains a variant on Will Smith throughout the entire running time of his film. He begins the feature as a handsome, charming man who cracks wise and flashes a million dollar smile. He ends the movie as a handsome, charming man who cracks wise and flashes a million dollar smile. The difference in the characterizations of the leads in these two movies speaks deeply about the conception of violence and its ramifications in both Korean and American pop-culture. Why is the Korean action hero allowed to be, and even required to be more complex and flawed than his American counterpart? Why is the static Will Smith caricature the most recognizable US action export while Oh Dae-su is the most recognizable Korean action hero abroad ? The screenplay for American remake of Oldboy, currently slated to star Smith, offer clues to these questions.

    In order to fully understand this dichotomy, we must first examine some basic Korean cinema history. The Korean cinema of today with its distinctive and inventive use of camera work, grounded action, and repeated undercurrents of sadistic violence did not exist as recently as 20 years ago, (Kim, 11-15). Until the mid-1990s Korean cinema was seen as a feminine art form, the theaters were filled with low budget melodramas and tacky period pieces that failed to capture either history, or much national, not to mention international, audience recognition. But, with the beginning of the so-called Korean New Wave the country moved to “re-masculinize’ movies, (Moon 29). The new Korean cinema became filled with angular, action-oriented films like JSA: Joint Security Area, Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, as well as stronger versions of traditional Korean narratives such as Chunhyang and A Tale of Two Sisters. The war films carried over the heart of the melodrama of previous generations while period pieces like Untold Scandal took elements of traditional Korean narratives and packaged them in new, more internationally enticing ways.
    Perhaps the most famous film to come out of this movement is the aforementioned Oldboy. The film, part two of Park’s Vengeance Trilogy, tells the intensely surreal and darkly hilarious tale of a man’s quest to hunt down the person who imprisoned him in a dingy hotel room for 15 years. Complicating matters is the fact the protagonist’s only clue to the identity of his mortal enemy is the phrase, “Whether it’s a pebble or a grain of sand, in water they both sink alike,” (Oldboy) The film found a domestic audience of over 3.1 million Koreans and became the 5th highest grossing movie of 2003 in its’ home country, (Koreanfilm). It also found international praise winning many awards at prominent film festivals including the coveted Grand Prix at Cannes. With that kind of international attention and a slick revenge marketing hook that translated across continents easily the blood was in the water, and as is wont to happen in today’s risk averse film market, several US companies fought over the remake rights with Roy Lee and Vertigo Entertainment coming out on top.

    After nearly single-handedly starting the modern “J-Horror” remake craze with the one-two-punch of The Ring and The Grudge, Lee carved out a career buying the rights to Asian action and horror films and localizing them for American tastes, packaging the films to American studios with the concept that each picture is a preordained hit with Asian markets acting as a massive focus group, (Lim 114-116). Lee hired Justin Lin, a promising young Korean-American indie filmmaker who had caught mainstream attention with his Asian American-centric 2002 teen-crime picture, Better Luck Tomorrow. Lin brought in Ernesto Foronda and Fabian Marquez, screenwriters on his earlier film, to write a draft with plans for Nicholas Cage to star . The screenplay Foronda and Fabian produced is both generic and excitingly weird in alternating turns with some fairly significant changes made to the original narrative and a completely revamped take on many of the main characters.

    The screenplay, dated April 21, 2005 , tells a story very similar to the original film. A man is mysteriously kidnapped and held prisoner for well over a decade, (20 years in this case, 15 in the original), then set free, at which point the man begins a bloody journey of retribution. The general idea hasn’t been altered too much and a large chunk of the dialogue is identical to the subtitles on the original film, but the specifics—the localization—tell a very different story, with very different implications. These implications.

    The structural changes to the American version of Oldboy are present from scene one. Instead leaving his history as a blank slate as Park did with Oh Dae-su, the filmmakers decided to give the audience some back-story for the protagonist, Gus. The script begins with Gus begging a shopkeeper to let him buy a present for his one-year old daughter, (Fabian & Foronda 1-6). Gus is in advertising and works 80-hour weeks. Earlier this same day he closed a deal to run the entire launch campaign for the Buick La Sabre. Even by page 6, Gus is already an entirely different character than Oh Dae-su. Though he has also been drinking the script goes out of its way to excuse Gus’s brash behavior. Whereas Oh Dae-su was just a loud drunk, Gus is a white collar guy letting loose after what is likely the biggest success he will ever achieve in his professional life. The audience is supposed to like Gus because he is shown to be hard working, charismatic, and attentive to the fact that it is his daughter’s birthday, even through his drunken haze (Fabian & Foronda 3).

    The first act of the script takes the same rough shape as that of the original film, but here, Gus is made to be a more proactive and assertive protagonist than was Oh Dae-su. Whereas Park’s original had Oh Dae-Su meet Mi-Do seemingly by chance after leaves his prison, the remake doesn’t introduce its female lead, Anna, until page 30. The search for the right dumplings, (here replaced by Taquitos with too little cilantro) actually leads up to her introduction (Fabian & Foronda 24-35). On the surface, these changes are cosmetic. The narrative is actually tighter with Gus acting on his own instead of meeting Anna through the elaborate Deus Ex Machina that fuels Oldboy’s set up. But, thematically these changes are not insignificant at all. By placing Gus as an independent hero early on, the protagonist’s arc is completely destroyed. It is no mistake that Oh Dae-Su remains ultimately passive throughout the original film. The thesis is one of fatalism, a Kafka-esque story of a man who is forced and controlled for every moment of the his life until he comes to make one choice—cutting out his tongue to protect his daughter’s innocence—that establishes his transition from passive to active, from boy to man. In this world vengeance is not only shown as false justice, it is also made literally impossible for every step that Oh Dae-su takes towards revenge is actually just another blow to himself. When Gus is made to fit the archetype of the rugged individual who solves problems with his smarts and by following his gut, the complexity of the story is reduced. What’s more, the concept of revenge moves from a position of impossibility to inevitability because the new arc is about a man who is purified during his battles.

    Perhaps the most prominent change to the script is the characterization of Anna. In the original film Mi-do was a well-educated Sushi chef who made appearances on television and went to school in Sweden. In this film Anna is an angry young punk who works for the taquito delivery service that fed Gus while he was imprisoned. She is also a drug dealer, using the taco stand as a front for selling dime bags of cocaine. This is the introduction of Anna in the American version—

    “She removes a pen from her back pocket and turns around,
    offers her bare shoulder for him to write on, a
    mischievous look on her face. The Clerk gets an eyeful.

    I’ve got to get a clear copy, so don’t
    forget to press hard.

    As he signs the receipt, the Clerk’s hand shakes. When
    he’s done, she hands him the bag, looks at the tip
    amount, smiles,” (Fabian & Foronda 31).

    This characterization is certainly more immediately distinct than that of Mi-do, whose decision to take the clearly creepy Oh Dae-su home sticks out like a sore thumb in the original film. It makes sense that a girl like this might take a guy home after he is stabbed in a knife fight. But, in explaining why, the filmmakers again miss the nuance of the original film. Mi-do was supposed to represent the innocence lost by both Oh Dae-su and Lee Woo-jin. Though the original film definitely walks the line of misogynistic depictions of women, the thematic resonance and the tragedy of Lee Woo-jin’s sister is required for the larger social commentary. In the remake, we are left with a simple Madonna/Whore complex and the commentary is mitigated because her spiritual doppelganger is made to have a coke habit, amongst other self-destructive tendencies, (Fabian & Foronda 38). Without the dichotomy between Lee Woo-jin’s sister and Oh Dae-su’s daughter the real punch of the final twist is lost.

    And about the twist. There is a tipping point in Oldboy when Oh Dae-su is put in a chair and threatened with the prospect of some amateur dentistry. Earlier in the film, he performed the same act upon an enemy, but instead of gaining strength from it, he is weakened, left to convulse in terror at the mere presence of the hammer near his mouth. At this moment it becomes entirely clear that Oh Dae-su will never, ever achieve his goal of revenge. In the remake, both scenes are present, but the actual implications are muddled, (Fabian & Foronda 45-46, 52-55). So, it comes as no surprise that when the script finally reaches the big reveal, the punch line is missing, (Fabian & Foronda 99-103). Both Gus and Steven (replacing Lee Woo-jin) are guilty of incest, but Gus’s redemption does not come from self-mutilation. There is no tongue cutting, no begging, no discussion of the sister’s psychosomatic pregnancy. Instead, there is just fighting and talking, and the reveal. Then, when Steven’s revenge is complete, he tries put a single bullet through both his, and Gus’s brain. A bullet that Gus dodges (Fabian & Foronda 101). And as if the silly action theatrics weren’t bad enough, Anna is randomly made to see the contents of the photo album even though Steven told his lackeys to let her go.

    Somehow, the script manages to take almost all of the same scenes, characters, and events of the original film, and totally invert their meaning. Instead of Oh Dae-su ending up as a man destroyed by his quest, Gus is a man who is cured of the trauma of 20-years imprisonment by murdering his captors. Early on the script seemed to be interested in Gus’s mental instability, he steals sunglasses from a blind man and considers burning a taco shop to the ground and watching the customers burn alive (Fabian & Foronda 23-24). He yells things like—

    You fucking cunt! You think this is
    funny? I’ll break your skull open and
    piss on it!!![SIC],” (Fabian & Foronda 8)

    But as the story progresses, Gus becomes less damaged and even begins to pull himself together as a human being by the end. Yes, he has still known his own daughter, and there is a epilogue where he meets her again years later, but none of it makes any sense because the script makes it clear that violence solves Gus’s problems (Fabian & Foronda 102-104).

    But why is this? Why does the American version miss the mark so totally? Perhaps it isn’t a misunderstanding of the story at all. Perhaps it is just very clever localization to American values. Though America still has thousands of soldiers stationed permanently in Korea along the 38th parallel these men and women are all but forgotten by the public at large. The popular conception of war in this country is that they fought, and won, or lost, and then they are over. One needs to look no further than the media outrage that we are “still” in Iraq a scant six-years after our forces totally destroyed the previous form of government. Because we have not had to fight wars on our own soil violence in American culture is a short-term thing. This is not the case with Korea. Koreans are forced to be painfully aware of the long-term ramifications of violence by the aforementioned 38th parallel. Too, they see the other effects of violence and colonization in the brothels that serve the military men and the walking shells of many of the surviving “comfort women”.

    Park is a very political filmmaker, and it is almost impossible to not see the effects of Korea’s military state in his films. He first broke through to the mainstream with North and South Korea conflict dramady, JSA: Joint Security Area and continued to build on the themes with his Vengeance trilogy. The ideas of soiled innocence and personal defilement as well as separation, alienation, and imprisonment that pervade his trilogy can easily be seen as an extended metaphor for the anguish caused by the separation of the two Koreas. Vengeance cannot be completed because the enemy is part of the self.

    In Park’s original Oh Dae-su asks wonders aloud, ““when my vengeance is over, can I return to being Oh Dae-su?,” (Park 2003). No such questions arise in the remake. American culture remains unaware and unwilling to consider these costs. And so, Oldboy becomes a movie about a one-take fight down a long corridor, (Fabian & Foronda 47). Early on Gus questions if his reality is a dream but when he feels his own blood dripping he becomes certain of his consciousness commenting that, “Nothing is more real than blood,” (Fabian & Foronda 34). This is the attitude of American pop-culture and very nearly the theme of this screenplay. And perhaps it makes perfect sense for Will Smith to star in it.

    Boxofficemojo, “Oldboy (2005).” boxofficemojo.com. 12/28/2005. 10 Jun 2009

    Ernesto Foronda and Fabian Marquez, Oldboy. 1. Studio City: Vertigo Entertianment , 2005.

    Kim, Mee Hyun. Korean Cinema: From Origins to Renaissance. 1. Communication Books, 2007.

    Korean, Kyu Hyun Kim. “Korean Movie Reviews for 2003.” Koreanfilm.org. 06/12/2007. 10
    Jun 2009 .

    Lim, Bliss Cua. Hong Kong Film Hollywood and the new global cinema: no film is an island.
    New York: Routledge, 2007. Print.

    Moon , Jae-cheol. “The Meaning of Newness in Korean Cinema: Korean New Wave and
    After”.” Korea Journal Spring(2006): 37-59. Print.

    Oldboy. Dir. Chan-wook Park. Perf. Jo-yun Hwang, Chun-hyeong Lim , Joon-hyung Lim, Chan-
    wook Park. DVD. Tartan, 2005. Film.

  74. For the record, I strategically chose the screenplay quotes because they had dirty words in them. I had a game with myself where I tried to find legitimate or semi-legitimate reasons to include at least one of the 7 words you can’t say on television in every single term paper and school newspaper article I wrote during college. I think I hit about .800

  75. Vern – You’re right, there isn’t one rule how to do it right. But I think there is a huge difference between the examples you listed.

    I’s a huge difference to build a movie on the basic premise of another movie (Last House On The Left/Virgin Spring or Cliffhanger/Die Hard), to adapt a B-Movie and add new layers of meaning to it (The Fly), remake a movie you love and add new layers to it (The Thing) aor remake a movie in the way Scorsese remade Infernal Affairs. He used not only the premise(undercover cop/undercover criminal) and made it his own.

    He used Infernal Affairs like a spare parts warehouse, copied the structure and many scenes. Whenever useful, he counted on the power of the scenes of Infernal Affairs. I think that’s a very arrogant and lazy approach to remake a movie.

    I don’t know if it was meaningful to you but I’m quite sure it was meaningful to the creators Infernal Affairs that the whole story including the ending (all of which was nearly completely reused in Departed) was built to fit with the theme of “eternal hell”, which is stated before the movie starts and comes to a tragic conclusion in the last scenes of Infernal Affairs.

  76. Vern, I don’t have a problem with The Departed at all, but as a life long fan of Hong Kong movies I prefer the “original” – for no deeper reason than the style of the movie. Sloppily dressed, slightly overweight Americans who shout at each other in a rainy and grey Boston just don’t grab me in the same way as handsome Chinese men in expensive suits staring each other down in a sun drenched Hong Kong. Plain and simple. And the shooting’s always better in HK. Always.

  77. I enjoy both Departed and Infernal Affairs pretty much equally, except for their respective endings. It really upset me when the end of the Departed had to force a moment of “justice” where Mark Walberg finally killed the rat. It was a moment where Scorsese pandered to the audience in ways that he usually avoids. Of course, that one scene may have clinched the Oscar for him (I don’t see the academy giving away best picture to a film where the villain gets away). Of course, the Departed is a tremendously well executed film, and as someone who lives in Boston, I always love seeing my adopted city on the big screen.

  78. no offensive, but I’ve always wondered why Hollywood has been obsessed with Boston over the last couple of years (The Town, The Fighter being other examples)

    I mean no offense against Boston, but why that city?

  79. Griff: This is the thinking:

    “You mean there’s a large-scale criminal subclass at work in an American city…and it’s WHITE? Make the movies! Make ALL the movies!”

  80. Well, The Departed filmed in Boston to take advantage of the Whitey Bulger parallel, and since that movie blew up, Massachusetts approved a tax cut for movies that film here.

  81. Mr. Majestyk – that makes all too much sense

    I can’t of any other non Italian white gangsters

  82. as a matter of fact “White Gangster” sounds like the title of a 1930’s B movie

  83. Well, Once Upon A Time In America featured non-Italian and non-Bostirish criminals. It’s also a great film.

    Mr Griff, it’s the all consuming negativity that really bothers me about nerd culture. I’m not one to talk. I play Warhammer. My wife watches Dr Who. We have friends over for the occasional role playing game or European board game.

    For me, what makes us have nerdy hobbies and not be people who define ourselves as nerds is that we still manage to be regular people. We actually enjoy the hobbies we participate in. These are just things we do for fun, they don’t define who we are as people.

    Hell, my being a staunch anti-capitalist defines me a lot more.

    Going to a Warhammer forum or a forum for most other nerdy interests is an exercise in misery. Everyone on those forums hates the hobby or interest they talk about and it’s just a constant stream of bitching and anger all the time.

    A big reason why I like this place is that the people here actually enjoy things and when they don’t enjoy a movie it is almost a small tragedy because we all wanted to enjoy every movie we see.

    Any negativity I have seen here is directed towards social injustice or other more serious issues.

    I totally agree with you, Vern. I think it’s going to be difficult to point to what makes for a good remake and what doesn’t. I think the Dawn of the Dead and The Hills Have Eyes remakes succeed whereas the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left remakes don’t.

  84. I had three problems with The Departed, only one was very related to my love for Infernal Affairs. I loved Andy Lau’s character in the original (and it’s actually one of the few films I have seen with him that he actually loves), and I loved how in the end he didn’t want to be a bad guy, so he killed his boss. So you really want everything to go well for him. You really hate Matt Damon in The Departed, that shouldn’t be a problem, but I liked in the original that you never really knew if he was a bad or a good guy, The Departed was just too black and white.

    The two other things I hate about The Departed, what that they combined the two females character into one, creating a love triangle, which I hate. I also hate the Mark Wahlberg character as he has no other function than to be profane and pissed off and than be then show up in the end to kill Matt Damon. That’s horrible writing.

    The only problem I had with the original was that theme was a little heavy handed, with Andy Lau’s girl friend writing a book about a character she isn’t sure is good or bad. But I loved how Andy Lau started out bad, but ended up being good (in his own twisted way). That was the big thing that sold the film for me. I guess that’s way I never watched the prequel and sequel because I didn’t want that to be destroyed.

    To the news, The Last Stand doesn’t seem to be an old fashion western. The official plot summery make it sound like a modern action film:

    “Schwarzenegger will be starring as Sheriff Owens, a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled.

    After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members.

    He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever.

    At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for one of the most daring face offs in cinema history.”

    I like the part with a specially outfitted car. High Noon meets Fast Five?

  85. I didn’t see that the original article was updated with official The last Stand synopsis.

  86. “It really upset me when the end of the Departed had to force a moment of “justice” where Mark Walberg finally killed the rat. It was a moment where Scorsese pandered to the audience in ways that he usually avoids. Of course, that one scene may have clinched the Oscar for him (I don’t see the academy giving away best picture to a film where the villain gets away).”
    Yep. That’s my problem with that. It’s all too neat and tidy, and it basically takes Wahlberg from being an actual character to just a plot device(with some funny dialogue). I also think it’s more interesting how in the original the villain gets away with it, but it’s at the cost of everything he was aspiring to be. Other faults with THE DEPARTED(which I still generally like, btw) are just some plot details that are dumb. Like the completely unnecessary love triangle created by amalgamating the shrink and rat’s girlfriend into one character(with a “the dead lives on through his unborn child” thing to boot!). Also the fact that in the original the undercover cop is really worn down and cracking up because he’s been doing this job for over a decade. Leo on the other hand develops a need for medication after only a few months at it, and it’s also unbelievably dumb that he isn’t suspected of being the rat when everyone in Costello’s organisation knows he was actually in the police force.

    “I have become very anti-nerd culture. I have a few nerdy interests. I play Warhammer and enjoy painting my little army men for it. Like, I’m the last person to make fun of nerds in general. I just don’t understand why your hobbies or interest have to become a lifestyle choice or define your personality.

    Warhammer is something to do to keep me entertained and I enjoy it. I don’t get too personally invested. ”
    The thing is…I don’t think “Nerd Culture” is really something that Nerds themselves naturally created. It’s only really came about in the past decade due to the sort of things Nerds would traditionally like gaining more mainstream acceptance(e.g. Lost, Battlestar Galactica’s reimagining, Heroes, Superhero Movies, the internet), and I feel also partly just some form of “taking it back” with regards to turning the derogatory use of the word into some sort of badge of pride. You wouldn’t have “nerd culture” if no one had ever taken the time to coin the term nerd to mock those different from themselves. Because despite all that aforementioned mainstream success of nerdish stuff, there’s still a pretty negative connotation to the whole thing, very often unfairly and selectively. Because there’s tons of people out there who play video games, love various sci fi/fantasy shows and movies and are eagerly awaiting THE DARK KNIGHT RISES who still nonetheless think related interests to that are “shit for nerds”. And that’s all they are, really. Interests. It’s not what interests you that makes you a nerd, it’s the way you take or show that interest, so I don’t see why a guy who likes D&D and video games(Vin Diesel) and such should be considered somehow more a weirdo than say, a Nicks fan with a season ticket for all their games, wears a Nicks jersey all the time, goes to sleep under Nicks patterned bed covers in their Nicks wallpapered room covered with Nicks posters. Mock the AICN trolling douchebag “raped my childhood” spouting extremes all you want, but don’t lump all of us in that category, man. It hurts.

  87. I totally agree with you, Stu. Doubly so when it comes to The Departed. I think I liked The Departed more than most and as long as the movie didn’t have Jack Nicholson on screen I thought it really worked. Ever scene he is in is pretty awful, though.

    I guess when I talk about nerd culture I talk about it in terms of how insular and all consuming it can be. I have a few friends who are into gaming and comic books and that’s all. They can go to enough websites that only talk about those things that they never need to interact with the larger world. They only read books that have dragons on the cover. The recent Supreme Court decision regarding children buying violent vidya games is the biggest Supreme Court decision ever to these people.

    When I say nerd culture I’m really talking about this all consuming set of interests and cultural norms that allow people to exist solely in that realm. I think that ability also leads to a provincial attitude that encourages a lot of racist and misogynist behavior and attitudes.

    I also think that nerd culture, or whatever we might want to call it, can be really negative and disgusting. I enjoy Warhammer. It’s relaxing to paint when I get home from work. I like reading the books. I like getting together with friends to play a game and talk about how army lists. I don’t like going online to different websites and hearing a constant stream of bitching about how bad the game is or how evil the company is or whatever. I think it is easy to see that attitude with different online communities centered around other nerdy interests.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m trying to thread a needle here.

  88. Also, I’m looking forward to Assassination Games.

    I wonder if it will show in DC? If so I’ll go out of my way to see it. Even if it’s at the Avalon. Ugh.

  89. Man, I forgot it was gonna be Nicolas Cage back when Justin Lin was doing OLDBOY. Sounds like the screenplay was the sort of moronic “awesome, he has a hammer” understanding you would expect (and, let’s face it, that alot of fans saw it as), but on the other hand it would have probly been a great Nicolas Cage movie, good or bad.

  90. Yeah, Vern, especially if they’d done what the original did with the schoolboy flashbacks(if I remember correctly) and had Cage playing the schoolboy version of his character.

  91. I’m all for Nicolas Cage and Werner Herzog working together as they remake or make sequels to lots of movies.

  92. Cage has to eat something besides a live octopus though. What could he have that’s weirder?

  93. Grim Grinning Chris

    July 13th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    What was your beef with the Last House remake? I thought it was fucking great. It’s one weak point was the ending, but aside from that I thought it was on par with the DOTD and Hills Have Eyes remakes. In fact, of the slew of recent remakes of classic (or perceived classic) horror movies, those three specifically stand in a class their own- with even the other ones that I’ve found enjoyable to some degree- swimming in their wake.

  94. Stu, I’ve probly said this to you before but I don’t mean for anybody to take it personally when I joke around about “nerds.” It’s true that I don’t like some of those things. I do get kinda disappointed when a thread here turns into video game discussion, and I started that “nerd shit” thread because I was tired of every other comment thread turning into an argument about Batman.

    But nobody seems to notice that I review just about every comic book movie that comes out. I don’t do that as a grand sacrifice to you guys, I like watching those movies and writing about them. I also get more “nerdy” about Seagal than most people do about anything. So I realize I can be considered a “nerd” and use the term tongue in cheek, like my Polish friend who tells Pollock jokes. If I’m being too mean about things I appreciate you telling me and always try to do better, but also you should try not to take the stuff as an attack on your people when it’s not meant as one.

    I know you were talking about Mouth there though, and he was talking about sports and going to the gym, there is some kind of deep seeded nerds vs. jocks cultural history you guys are dealing with there that may never be resolved. I’m staying out of that one.

  95. Stu, don’t forget that the Cage only eats animals whose sexual behaviour he approves of. Not sure where an octopus figure on that scale.

  96. “If I’m being too mean about things I appreciate you telling me and always try to do better, but also you should try not to take the stuff as an attack on your people when it’s not meant as one.”
    If I’m honest most of the time I do laugh it off. I do appreciate you reviewing that stuff and I do find the jokes you make funny pretty much all of the time. Just sometimes you seem to make a big part of your reviews of such stuff a reaction to the geek crowd’s reaction to the thing in question, rather than just focus on your own reaction. Big parts of your reviews of Scott Pilgrim and Kick Ass for instance you posit the geek love for it comes from us liking the creators and the fact these are comic book movies more than we find quality in them in their own right. Don’t get me wrong, I do think geeks love those things more than you do, but really more because they’re aimed at us and find more that strikes a chord with us than you would. I think the closest thing to your own personal equivalent of Scott Pilgrim would be BLACK DYNAMITE, because that was embracing so much about the Blaxploitation genre and paying tribute to it in the same way SP was for geek/hipster culture(not that I’m really part of the latter, but I do recognise and appreciate those elements in it), with the fashion, dialogue and even originally produced soundtracks backing up an intentionally ridiculous pair of action-comedy films. Both even have Adult Swim produced animated tie-ins! So I consider them to be sorta opposite ends of the spectrum of demographics but still with a number of parallells, and one just appeals to you more than the other because it’s what you like.
    I don’t mean to start a war with Mouth either. I don’t really have anything against jocks. I’m just not all that interested in sports and I resent the amount of importance that gets place on it culturally world wide. This goes for football, or as you call it “Soccer” too, as the World Cup is a massive bore to me, but gets completely oversaturated coverage. Especially as a scotsman, as the british media predominantly focus on the chances of England’s team and are unable to get over the fact they won it once over 40 years ago. But Mouth’s cool, Vern’s cool. Everybody’s cool. Except maybe RRA when he brings up Snyder unprovoked, in my opinion.

  97. I really overused the word “reaction” there, didn’t I? Sorry about that.

  98. I vote for Govermando as the new nickname.

  99. I heart Dr. Horrible. I hold it against Vern that he hasn’t yet embraced the awesomeness and the hilariousness of Dr. Horrible yet. It is among the ten best movies of the past several years, and I say this as someone who doesn’t know what a 21st century ‘Browncoat’ is. I know there is nerd simpatico that I could embrace on this front, but it ain’t gonna happen publicly or on these talkbacks. Mouth don’t sing-along.

    Still, I often force house guests at my awesome apartment to watch Dr. Horrible, and no one has ever had a negative reaction to it except one Vietnamese chica who hates everything that isn’t UFC or vids of me fighting.

    I will join nerd culture on this one front, that Dr. Horrible is fucking rad.

  100. hey, hey speaking of video games, how come no one plays Kane and Lynch 2’s multiplayer anymore?

  101. Stu – good comparison to Black Dynamite. I never thought of it that way. But my thing in reviewing Scott Pilgrim and Kick Ass was not really aimed at the reaction of “geeks” but specifically the people who run websights and went to set visits and junkets and everything. It still seems to me like their massive pre-investment in those movies and the people who made them caused them to see things in the movies that are invisible to the rest of us. But that’s a topic I’ve covered enough and I don’t mean to dismiss people who love those movies, which I know there are plenty of. (Well, at least Scott Pilgrim.)

  102. I actually like Dr Horrible. It’s cute and inoffensive.

    I just don’t want to watch it with a bunch of people who are still really upset that Firefly got canceled.

    I also really like Scott Pilgrim. Kick Ass was kind of crappy and if it wasn’t for Nicolas Cage’s awesome performance in it I think the entire movie would have been a failure. But, Scott Pilgrim has merit. It’s not up there with Speed Racer but it’s not too far off.

    Mr Chris, I thought the Last House remake didn’t really offer anything new. I’m actually not a huge fan of the original as its tone is all over the place and it is really amateurish in a bad way. The Last House remake just didn’t work for me and I was hoping it would as the premise is interesting and it was the kind of thing that a remake could have done well.

    I’m not too upset, Virgin Spring is still amazing.

  103. Sorry to post a lot this morning!

    I have started to watch Wrestling over the last few months. It’s surprisingly pretty fun and it’s something to talk about with some friends.

    My favorite wrestler right now is CM Punk. The dude is really fun to watch and is doing some really interesting things.

    I just checked his Twitter because he’s leaving the WWE after Sunday and I wanted to see if he was talking about what he was going to do afterwards. Instead, I found him talking about the A Tribe Called Quest documentary.

    I think CM Punk is a badass and I know I’m not the only Quest fan here.

  104. Jareth Cutestory

    July 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Those Nicks patterned bed covers sound neat. Especially if they come in Nick Cave.

    Also, I’m a bit surprised that everyone seems to be getting behind the idea of dropping the incest from an American remake of OLDBOY. Does this mean that we’ve given up on the possibility of modern directors approaching the subject with the skill Polanski brought to CHINATOWN?

  105. CM Punk has certainly grown on me. His fight with Randy Orton on Extreme Limits was easily the best on that show. A good wrestler who knows how to put up a good show.Just like Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler

  106. ..It was called Extreme Rules come to think of it

  107. Loved the contract negotiation segment this week on RAW, where he got to call Vince out on how out of touch he was and the list of demands he came up with was hilarious. Were the WWE Ice Cream bars really that good?

    Also, we’ve got our first trailer for JOHN CARTER, Pixar’s first live action movie:
    looks interesting, but who thought it would be a good idea to drop the PORT OF CALL: MARS part of the title? Who would care about the “JOHN CARTER” part of the title more than “MARS”?


    Jareth – The one guy wanted to fuck his sister, right? I forgot about that. The incest I was referring to was how whatsisdick (Det. John Oldboy?) is tricked into, if I remember right, fucking his daughter. To me, and I know I’m in the minority on this, the revelations at the end were so over-the-top silly that they took the movie down a notch from what I hoped it was heading toward. Still a really well made movie but I don’t entirely understand the straight up religious worship it generally receives. I should watch it again.

    Even if you love the crazy cartoon evil of the last act don’t you think it probly wouldn’t fit in the Spike Lee version of this story? I don’t think it would. I figured it wouldn’t work in any American version of the story but now that I think about it it would work in the Nic Cage version. Nic Cage could be tricked into fucking his own daughter, that’s the type of movies he does. But I don’t know about Josh Brolin in a Spike Lee joint.

  109. What about an american LADY VENGEANCE? That has less controversial elements, and the harder stuff(the child abduction/murder) is a lot more relatable than the incest stuff, and I could see them working the same plot to have a more conventional and less offbeat tone, though other stuff would be a little more out of place without the Korean context, like the whole origin of the custom gun.

  110. Jareth Cutestory

    July 14th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Vern, I guess it just seems strange to me that any given subject matter could be pre-emptively dismissed as improper for American tastes. I’m not sure I understand what it is that is informing such a position. Morals? Business acument?

    I like Spike Lee. I think it’s selling him short to say that he doesn’t have what it takes to make a film as nuanced as MURMUR OF THE HEART or as bittersweet as RAMBLING ROSE, or as weirdly disquieting as SPANKING THE MONKEY.

    I mean, I guess on paper stuff like SALO or NIGHT PORTER must seem pretty outlandish and probably offensive. And JACKASS too. But I’m glad these films exist and weren’t focus-grouped into something safe.

  111. Jareth Cutestory

    July 14th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Speaking of “acument,” could I have chosen a better word to spell wrong?

    I always figured that the enthusiasm that OLDBOY received was largely due to the hammer beating scene, which was really well done.

    And while I agree that the end of the film gets nearly operatic in it’s melodrama, I don’t think it ruins the movie, at least no more than a similar tone ruins BLACK SWAN. A less subtle director would have used the Prince song “Sister” on the sound track. A more subtle director might have refrained from that casual bit of homophobic pandering at the beginning when John Oldboy kills that guy by throwing him from the roof.

  112. I guess now I understand the concept of having to remake “good” movies to fit the taste of american audiences. “Good” has nothing to do with it, just the audience perception of what “good” is.

  113. Oldboy didn’t kill that guy, Jareth. He held the guy over the edge while he told him his story, then when the guy started to tell his, he just walked away, and then it cut down to the street with him walking away from the building as the guy jumped off himself and landed on a car.

    I just found out about THIS movie, which is technically a martial arts movie, but…well see for yourself:

  114. hey, isn’t RAMBLING ROSE that movie where a little boy grabs Dr Ellie Sattler boobs? (and something else)

  115. Since we’re talking about The Thing, has anybody seen this new trailer for the remake of the remake?


    I have to say, I’m not as enraged as I expected to be.

  116. Vern, Cage wouldn’t have anything to do with incest when it was proposed as a background story during the making of Kick-Ass, so it would seem that even he has boundaries.

    RJ, the new The Thing has a special place in my heart, as it has 6-7 of Norways most well known actors in it. I really hope it doesn’t suck.

  117. Why would an RJ MacReady care so much about a new THE THING movie?

    I tend to support all movies that feature flamethrowers. If Benjamin Franklin hadn’t been so busy securing his legacy as a benevolent force for humankind & enlightenment, he would have invented the flamethrower.

  118. Jareth – that’s what I’m talking about, the operatic melodrama. I’m not saying you can’t do a movie in America with incest in it. I’m just saying that the specific things that happen in OLDBOY would probly seem hilariously ridiculous in the Spike Lee/producers of THE DEPARTED version of that story. And also in the Cage version but in that case hilariously ridiculous would be a positive.

  119. So, this “prequel” to The Thing has guys running around with flamethrowers, dogs chewing through fences, the ‘which one of us isn’t real?’ bit, and it’s called The Thing. Huh. The only difference I could see was that the main character doesn’t have a beard. At least, I don’t think she does.

  120. Just to try to imagine the velocity of the freakout Cage would unleash at the final revelation in Oldboy. It would be volcanic.

  121. Cage + Herzog + Oldboy = Hammer scene through the perspective of a nearby pigeon.

    I need this.

  122. Jareth Cutestory

    July 15th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Vern: I guess I just don’t see the subject matter depicted in OLDBOY as any more ludicrous than Bruce and Ving meeting the Gimp at the end of PULP FICTION, which, on paper, is pretty silly. The difference lies in the manner in which the material has been rendered.

    Tarantino took his material pretty seriously and infused the sequences with some real grit and intesity, while Chan-wook Park opted for something more exaggerated and florid. I think Spike Lee could treat the incest in his version of OLDBOY in a manner similar to the rape in PULP FICTION with similar results.

    I figure the popularity of BLACK SWAN and DEXTER and TRUE BLOOD demostrates that Americans have an appetite for melodrama.

  123. Jareth Cutestory

    July 15th, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Hit “enter” by mistake.

    I figure the popularity of BLACK SWAN and DEXTER and TRUE BLOOD demostrates that Americans have an appetite for melodrama. So even though I don’t think the material in OLDBOY is inherently melodramatic (although Park chose to render it that way), I think an American version of the film that hit the same operatic pitch as the Korean version would find an audience.

    But obviously I’d prefer a radically different take on the material than Park’s. Just giving us a LET ME IN type version hardly seems worth the effort to me.

  124. @Mouth

    That reminds me of George Carlin’s bit about the guy who invented the flamethrower. It went something like:

    “I sure would like to set those people on fire over there, but I’m too far away to get the job done. If only there were some way to ‘throw’ the flames onto them!”

  125. Mr McKay, I’m really liking Kofi but I don’t see Dolph’s appeal. I actually hope people like Kofi and Ezekial Jackson get more attention because I think they are playing up the “black man with crazy eyes” angle too much with R Truth and Mark Henry.

    I have only been watching wrestling for a few months now but I can’t believe I am trying to convince my wife that we should 1) spend the money for the PPV event on Sunday and 2) wait to watch Breaking Bad on the DVR for when that PPV is over. I’m really curious to see how the CM Punk story will end or, hopefully, continue.

    Also, The Rock put out a pretty funny promo where he tears into John Cena.

    Mostly, I think The Rock is ridiculously great. And he’s right, men don’t like John Cena. Cena sucks!

  126. Man, so much to talk about I don’t know where to start. Having grown up on Schwarzenegger films I am extremely excited that his first leading role since governing Cali will be in a film directed by Kim Je-Woon. I SAW THE DEVIL & THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE WEIRD are two of my favorite films of the past five years. Kim is one of my favorite directors. Speaking of Korean cinema, If they are going to do a Hollywood remake of OLDBOY I think Lee is a good choice. One of the things that I enjoyed about OLDBOY was the strong filmatism. Despite being a dark film at times it has a very light and almost playful color plate and music. The hammer fight is epic, but I do agree the ending was a little bit of a let down, but not enough to ruin the film for me. Lee is skilled enough that I think he will find the right balance in tone and deliver a good film, it may not resemble the original but I bet it will be good in a different way similar to Vern’s DEPARTED vs INTERNAL AFFAIRS comparison.

  127. I have already stated my love for THE SHIELD a number of times on this site, but I am always happy when the opportunity arises for me to give it props. I still consider THE SHIELD my favorite TV drama of all time. Mr. M, I can see how the middle seasons seem a little redundant, but there is also great character acting and story arks from the supporting characters like Dutch. I think it is the fourth season, but one of my favorite stroylines is where the cereal killer turns himself in because he wants Dutch to help him understand why he is they way is, and it takes Dutch to some dark places. It has already been stated in this thread but I completely agree that the series really picks up momentum over it’s final 3 seasons. Forest Whitaker does some of the best work of his career as an internal affairs agent pushed to the limits of his morals and sanity in his pursuit of Vick. Whitaker’s performance is some of the best acting I have ever seen on a television show.

  128. Jareth Cutestory

    July 16th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Better than Jack Tripper’s troublesome neighbor Larry? I dunno, that guy is a hard act to beat, even for an oscar winner.

  129. The Shield is so good it tastes like sweet butter.

  130. Well, unless they’re adding more cities later it looks like the ASSASSINATION GAMES release is extremely limited. But here’s what they list on the websight in case anybody’s in the right place:

    Emagine 18 – Canton

    Mall of America 14 – Bloomington

    Movies @ CrownPoint 12 – Charlotte
    Raleigh Grand 16 – Raleigh
    Carolina Asheville 14 – Asheville

    Lake Worth Movies 14 – Lake Worth
    Starplex Creekside Cinemas 14 – New Braunfels
    Starplex Corpus Christi Stadium 16 – Corpus Christi
    Starplex Galaxy 16 – Waco

    Palace 18 – Miami

    Damn, North Carolina’s turning into America’s action headquarters.

  131. oh yeah, and July 29th is the release date.

  132. What can I say? North Carolina realized I reside there and it blew up like nitro on the action cinema front. I might could make one of those showtimes, since I know people in all 3 of those cities, but you know me, I won’t report on it or tell y’all if it’s any good or anything.

    In other news:
    Guys, for a quick minute I thought I found a surefire way to force Vern to watch the show that he won’t watch no matter what we say. Check the :31 mark (That’s 31-32 seconds into it, if you can stomach the fucking commercial.) of the video here (via Casey’s link in Potpourri) http://www.avclub.com/articles/baltimore-the-wire-locations-part-two,57347/

    and note the guy on the right.

    Looks like our boy Boyka, right? http://www.imdb.com/media/rm978029824/nm0012078
    He must’ve secretly guest starred on that HBO series everyone likes. No way Vern can ignore a piece of filmography important to his UNDISPUTED studies, right? . . .

    But no, it’s just a dead ringer: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1736906/resumephotos?v=me705227634


  133. My best friend is going to be in Charlotte for work and I will likely go spend the weekend with him. He’s a big Universal Soldier fan so I think I can get him to go see this if it’s still there in August.

  134. Money In The Bank was AWESOME.

    I’m so happy, and really surprised, that the CM Punk and John Cena match went the way it did. The rest of the night was also really excellent. I’m surprised that Daniel Bryan won the Smackdown ladder match, I really thought Wade or Shaemus (my pick) would win. Alberto del Rio was expected but his match was also really exciting.

    I have only very recently started to watch wrestling but what they have going on now is actually exciting. I hope they keep it up, otherwise having Cena and Orton being the boring champions forever into the future would get lame (and had apparently gotten lame) very fast.

  135. Also, Breaking Bad is superb. It’s just the best show on television.

    How they manage to go from moments that are sincerely terrifying to scenes that are really hilarious is just beyond me.

  136. Casey – Its funny, but I’m a grown man but jesus I fucking MARKED like a dumb son of a grinning bitch with Punk’s triumph. Its scripted, and yet all those damn people at home and at that Chicago arena were on the edge of their seats, really taking to heart whether Mr. Phillip Jack Brooks would indeed win an imaginary belt.

    Loved the whole booking, the attempted screwjob (repeat of Montreal ’97), McMahon panicking, and that false-ending with the Del Rio run (with that roundhouse kick scoring a major insane pop from the crowd)….and that blow-off I think will be an image remembered (or at least I hope so) for years to come.

    You know why I think people are loving this Punk storyline? Because its effectively the acknowledged wrestling fan outsider “Smarks” (Punk) against the corporate establishment kayfabe “Marks” (Cena). Kids may love superman Hogan 2.0 that is Cena, but men hate him. That Rock promo you linked was right on the money for why he’s despised.

    Personally as a “smark” myself, I have nothing personal against Mr. Cena. My problem with him is the damn booking, absolutely dull as dishwater. People got fucking tired of it. I wonder in fact if Cena threw his weight backstage to make this CM Punk storyline happen just to liven the main event up because I wouldn’t be shocked if he was bored beyond belief with his gimmick.

    Anyway, I’ll admit it: I am intrigued as to what happens tomorrow night on RAW. I don’t know what will happen, I want to know. I’ll watch. Who knows, might be too soon*, but if The Miz is basically the heir apparent to The Rock….has Punk become the new Stone Cold?

    As for rest of MITB, I loved Bryan Danielson (fuck that Daniel Bryan bullshit) getting the booking. I like that these former Ring of Honor legends like Punk and Bryan are at the top or near the top of the WWE food chain. I like Del Rio too, and his MITB win was expected.

    I know its getting shit on by some circles, I even liked the booking for Christian’s win. He’s been a whiney little heel bitch in his program, Orton’s persona is the local violent psychopath (hero or villain). I liked that Christian spits in the guy’s face, Orton predictably loses his shit, and that match already was booked against him, and the villain outsmarts the hero.

    I’ll even give some praise to the Mark Henry/Big Show match. It wasn’t much of a match, old slow giant against immovable fat guy, but WWE did their best to sell sell sell the idea of Henry as an angry beast, and that it took several finishers and body slams to finally do in Captain Insano.

    *=Mick Foley tweeting afterwards that for the first time in his life, he’s jealous of a wrestling “character,” specifically Punk’s “character.” That’s good praise.

  137. Also I’ll defend Dolph Ziggler. In a way as crazy as it may sound, he reminds me of a young Triple H. I mean back in the day WCW, WWF Triple H who was nothing more than a very solid mid-card wrestler, but a curtain jerker none the less. Lots of potential and talent, but with the personality of paint thinner. (He still does.)

    If anything, I think Triple H finally got over as main event when it became public knowledge (but not kayfabe) that he dated/married Vince McMahon’s daughter. Forever afterwards (even to this day), he was despised by fans and smarks for fucking his way to the championship. At the exact same time he was the top villain. He got heat, from marks and smarks, and that’s why he became top dog. First heel to win the main event at Wrestlemania, in fact.

    And that is why WWE has booked Dolph with Vickie Guerrero. If he has zero personality, she has the crowd-heat magnet that compensates for him. My god, that poor widow opens his mouth for 15 seconds and gets more boos from the crowd than most of the villains out there in the WWE in the last 5 years. Really a wonderful throwback to the dastardly big mouth managers/valets of yesteryear.

    So yeah, I dig Dolph. They’re moving him up nicely, not to soon to spark massive crowd backlash, but not collecting dust in the mid-card like Kofi Kingston. I was going to say Bryan actually, but then that isn’t true anymore. Nor for Del Rio.

  138. I really don’t know where the WWE goes from here. I think last night marks the end of it in so many ways.

    The reason CM Punk became so big recently, and I admit to being happier about last night’s event than I ever thought possible, is that 1) John Cena is awful, and 2) they fundamentally don’t understand why CM Punk has gotten such a following lately.

    John Cena is so boring and so obviously one dimensional in his heroism. It’s so weird to see John Cena do the “right” thing all the time. It’s become so ridiculous and stupid that it really makes it hard to get caught up in the storylines. They overplayed John Cena to such a gross extent that it went from everyone knowing it was fake to everyone feeling it was fake.

    Even in recent events with CM Punk it was just so ridiculous to have Cena come out and defend CM Punk and get him back to fight at this event. And then last night Cena comes out to stop any potential screwjob. It’s just so ridiculous and no one buys it. They tried so hard to make people like Cena and people won’t. The announcers last night mentioned it was going to be like a Rocky 4 moment but all I heard and saw was hate for John Cena. One bit they showed people in the crowd and there was an adult screaming in the face of some kid wearing a John Cena shirt.

    They just don’t understand their audience.

    Still, I’m excited. Last night was awesome. I want to see more CM Punk but I think having him back would undercut everything that happened.

    CM Punk simply could not have existed without John Cena. I liked him but I’m prone to like a straight edge guy with a DIY attitude. I mean, I’m a Minor Threat fan and have met Mike McKay a few times and I don’t drink or smoke or anything so CM Punk is someone I’m prone to liking. Because of John Cena and because of CM Punk understanding why the WWE has sucked he was able to tap into a lot of resentment.

    John Cena is awful, The Undertaker is old, Triple H lost all credibility (and I thought he was always kind of lame), Randy Orton is OK but isn’t able to carry the role they gave him, and they have a host of really good and potentially great mid-cards that won’t ever get a chance because a group of select golden boys are taking all the attention.

    Last night really showed why I like so many of the mid-card players. I thought both ladder matches were exciting and after Daniel Bryan won the Smackdown ladder match it really made it feel like anything was possible that night. Actually, the Smackdown event was really good because it used action to show emotion and it really brought out all the different personality traits of everyone there. Not many people gave a shit about Daniel Bryan but he simply would not quit and he at least won me over last night.

    The Raw ladder match wasn’t as exciting but it was still plenty good. It made me like The Miz some, which I thought was impossible, and I’m glad del Rio won because I think he would be one of the greatest heel champions ever. I love his whole schtick. I was still pulling for Kofi Kingston but that’s because I think he should be a lot bigger than he currently is.

    Even the Big Show and Mark Henry fight was well done. That had the potential to be awful but it was pretty good. They will need to give the Big Show some credibility soon, though, because he’s been getting his ass kicked a lot lately.

    The Orton and Christian fight was good. I’m disappointed Christian had to win the way he did as I think he can be really funny and likable, I actually liked him this past Friday on Smackdown and thought he was funny, but I guess we can’t expect them to let both of their golden boys lose face.

  139. Also, look at CM Punk’s Twitter and it’s easy to see why I like him. He’s trying to find info about the ATCQ Documentary. He posts stuff like this: “Remember: we can be the bands we want to hear.” He posts stuff like this: http://yfrog.com/kkb09zyj

    The dude is funny and he actually believes the things his character is about.

  140. I’m guessing, and seriously I’m guessing because I have no idea what will happen, but I say Punk in his GQ interview said he was planning a 3 month vacation once his contract ended.

    Well how about he sells the program by staying at home for 3 months, and then when he returns, MONSTER FACE POP. And whatever the story is going on then, he can point out rightly that he is still the champion who never lost his belt by a defeat.

    Personally I would love it (it won’t happen though) if WWE was able to book Punk “free agent” appearances at Ring of Honor and New Japan and whatever other promotions*, with other WWE wrestlers chasing him, company men provoking him into matches to bring that belt back home to the company. Imagine if Cena did chase Punk to ROH. That crowd reaction last night in Chicago would be NOTHING compared to an average ROH crowd.

    *=Except TNA. Long story short, Punk would rather eat broken glass than do anything for them. WWE also definately has no interest in helping out their biggest rival.

  141. I agree, Mr RRA. It would be rad if CM Punk went out and wrestled as the WWE Champ elsewhere and had people chase after him. They’re already going really meta with the storyline and it would be rad if they tried to integrate a lot of the rest of the wrestling world.

    I watched some TNA last week and it was bad. The actual wrestling was sloppy and all they have are some old dudes posturing. Their big draw, Sting, is now doing this whole Joker gimmick that isn’t as bad as it could be but is still pretty awful. Man, I remember being a kid and I saw Sting live in Key West when he was still doing his surfer gimmick.

    But, yeah, it would be rad if CM Punk wrestled for ROH and other groups and tried to put together a group to come back to the WWE with in a sort of new nWo type storyline.

    I wonder how all of this impacts The Rock and John Cena’s match for next year. I mean, it was always going to be about The Rock smiling and cracking jokes while he kicked Cena’s ass for the enjoyment of the crowd but it seems like that has lost whatever value it had last week even.

  142. Cena/Rock is in April. And in wrestling time, thats a long way away.

    It was predicted before Punk’s arising, and I still say its a Go for SummerSlam: Cena/Del Rio for the vacated WWE Title.

    Thing is before being given MITB, Del Rio was already the booked #1 contender. And WWE Programming made a big point about that, how he didn’t need the briefcase. So I’m assuming Del Rio loses clean to Cena at SS, takes a chair and whacks Cena on the head numerous times, then cashes in MITB, pins him 1-2-3 Del Rio your new champion.

    Total chicken shit heel move, predictable too, but it would work.

    Then who knows in the fall if Del Rio still holds that belt, Punk could return and it would be champion versus the “real world’s champion.” Who is the real champion? Buy that PPV and find out!

  143. MITB was supremely satisfying and I’m more excited about WWE than I’ve ever been in years. Now if they could just give Drew McIntyre a push…

  144. I can’t decide what cracked me up more: TMZ’s coverage of Punk and Colt Cabana and Ace Steel partying late last night with Diet Pepsis or Punk tweeting that he’s on his couch defending his new belt against Piston Honda.

  145. I’ve never been to TMZ but I looked for what you talked about. It’s pretty rad!

    It’s also pretty rad to read the comments.

    BroRo had this to say: THIS IS NEWS?

    I think his Twitter is funnier. I like CM Punk.

  146. Punk crashed the WWE Comic Con Panel(the Legend who was there by the way was Bret Hart):
    “You know where to find me, and I’m sure Steph has my number.” hahahaha!

  147. Was wondering if you’d ever caught the 1987 John Flynn-directed flick Best Seller. James Woods and Brian Dennehy, script by Larry Cohen, pretty damn solid. I know how you feel about Flynn but I don’t see any review for this, thought if ya hadn’t, you might want to check this out. Not a perfect movie, but a hell of a lot of fun in that quintessential 80’s way.

  148. AJ – I still haven’t seen that one, but thanks for reminding me. I just added it to my (way too long) list of shit to rent, which I actually have here next to my computer. I think there are actually two more obscure John Flynn movies that came out in the last year from the Warner Archive, so I gotta watch those too.

  149. Of course you have that list, my good man — there’s a whole bunch of assholes like me making it longer, and I’m sure we’re doing so every single day. But I’m glad to know that one day. . .whenever it is, and I promise you I only want you to see it for your own benefit. . .you will get around to it.

    Okay, I admit I kinda want you to check it out so you can tell us your thoughts on it. I suppose that’s the price you pay for achieving excellence in reviews. We’re fans, man. Having said that, I’m kinda positive you’d enjoy it.

  150. I’m not gonna bother going through all the comments here so I don’t know if anyone is talking about KILLER ELITE with Jason Statham, Robert Deniro, and Clive Fucking Owen. If not, we should be. It looks outstanding. This Fall is looking to be the season for action fans. Vern, tell me you are excited for this one. And Deniro actually has some fight choreography! What? Statham vs. Owen! What? Statham jumping out a window while tied to a chair? Oh, yeah! A director with only one short film to his credit? Uh, ok.

  151. Darryll – I gotta say I’ve never heard of the film you’re talking about, but if a new director manages to get that kind of talent, I’m sold immediately. You expect guys like Tim Burton (to go back to the previous debates) to be able to get the pick of the Hollywood talent list, no matter how mundane his project is; but when a new director gets the kind of talent that – for example – Bryan Singer got for “The Usual Suspects”, it generally means that WANT to be there.

  152. *that THEY want to be there, I meant. In other words, the director got the people he did get because those people have faith in him and the script. If that’s the case, there’s usually a reason for it…

  153. Yeah Darryll, that one looks pretty good. And apparently not a remake of the Peckinpah movie or the other movie of the same name. Since Statham remade The Mechanic I thought he was just going down the list of everything to remake.

  154. I hope not. Seeing Deniro heft that machine gun brings me back to films like HEAT and RONIN. The badass quotient is high for this one.

    Zombie Paul – Here’s the trailer for KILLER ELITE – http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi70294553

  155. Ladies and gentlemen, the first trailer for DRIVE: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2772212761

    This one is gonna be special. Nice to see Albert Brooks being dangerous.

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