Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Unnecessary: The Making of Pelham 1-2-3 Times


Okay, in the last post we looked at adaptations that have "eclipsed" the source material to the point that none or few recall there was a previous incarnation, (usually books), but the discussion kinda led in a new direction. So now I'm wondering about sequels and remakes that have, (again for better or worse) eclipsed the original. Sometimes they're an improvement. Seriously. More often than not, they're unnecessary and occasionally disgraceful, (rearrange the order of those qualities as you see fit). A couple that come to mind - The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Evil Dead II: Dead Before Dawn, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Silence of the Lambs, The Departed and uh, Herbie Goes Bananas... Discuss. Thanks Keith Rawson, Kieran Shea and Gordon Harries for the stimulating conversation. Check out the piece Mr. Harries recently posted at The Rap Sheet about Get Carter, a film that has eclipsed the source book and been remade ingloriously on this side of the pond, it's a goodun.

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10 comments:

Keith Rawson said...

The easiest is Godfather pt.2, Pachino's performance is pure menace and I loved how Coppola expanded the canvass of the story line.

And I'll draw from a personal cinematic obsession of mine, Michael Haneke's Funny Games. Even though the U.S. version is a frame by frame remake, the vibe Michael Pitt puts out there makes my skin crawl.

And from an earlier Hardboiled Wonderland column, Pusher 2.

And last but not least, Air Buddies just kicked the shit out of Air Bud. . .and don't even get me started on the sheer genius of Space Buddies. . .earth shattering.

Gordon Harries said...

Thanks for the kind words, Jed. That piece sure does seem to have gone down well (and I’ll confess to being a little freaked out that people like Max Allan Collins popped into the Carter comments thread to say “good job, son!”) I’m currently working on a follow up post of sorts, that will doubtless leave everyone befuddled.

It didn’t eclipse the original, but I think ’Aliens’ is pretty unique in that it’s seen as a companion piece to the original film, with different virtues (and doesn’t suffer from comparisons to Alien.)

Then there’s also something like Indiana Jones 2 (I forget the exact title) which was viewed over here as a terrible film at the time of release and is now viewed as being, possibly, the best of the initial run.

Peltham’s a good example for the other post, I was listening to an extended interview with Brian Hegaland recently (who’s a helluva screenwriter, at least in my estimation) and I had no idea EITHER movie was based upon a book.

Right. Back to this social novel essay.

Paul Brazill said...

The Mighty Ducks films got better and better.

Kieran Shea said...

Road Warrior beat the snot out of Mad Max

jedidiah ayres said...

KR - GF2 is as highly regarded as the original, but I wouldn't say it eclipsed GF1 Haven't seen "American" version of Funny Games...(shudder)

GH - Brian Hegaland has written and directed some good shit - L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, Payback Straight Up - HAS ANYBODY SEEN PAYBACK STRAIGHT UP??? - it rocks so friggin hard, but he's also written and directed some K-rap - Knights Tale, Blood Work, something else atrocious I can't remember at the moment... seriously mixed bag

PB - Mighty Ducks - no Bad News Bears were they? BTW - did you really hide in an oven?

KS - Road Warrior, yes. Took that shit to a whole other level

Keith Rawson said...

I've seen Payback Straight Up and it's an entirely different film from the theatrical version. The deletion of Gibson's voice over have a huge impact on the overall feel of the film.

And with the U.S. version of Funny Games . . .eww

jedidiah ayres said...

Keith - yeah, the missing voice over was AWESOME... same with BLADE RUNNER... and I wish they'd do it with ROMEO IS BLEEDING - make that fucker so much better

Keith Rawson said...

I haven't seen the final cut of Blade runner yet, but I always felt a little insulted by the voice over stuff in the original film. Then again, I always tend to feel a little insulted by voice overs, it just seems to me like sloppy film making/story telling, or that the film maker is assuming the audience are a bunch of slobbering half wits who can't use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks.

And you get a big fat DITTO on Romeo is bleeding.

Paul Brazill said...

Jed, the hiding in the oven stuff happened but not to me-too fat!

I like Romeo is Bleeding.Good film. I read the screenplay, though and it was a missed opportunity.

Now, the Major League films ...

jedidiah ayres said...

Paul - Being too fat to hide in an oven sounds like a good thing to me.