Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wait, what?

They're remaking The Karate Kid?

Look, the original was a fluke. It cost, like, a dollar ninety-five to make and never should have done as well at the box office as it did. They should have let it lie; taken the money and ran.

But no. First they had to make a couple of the most execrable sequels in Hollywood history and now, in a summer so bereft of original content that we'll be forced to watch Oskar Schindler giving drug-laced milk to B.A. Baracus, they're releasing a remake starring Will and Jada's kid and Jackie Chan, both of whom are no doubt receiving paychecks larger than the entire shooting budget for the original movie.

Does this make sense to anybody? Anybody outside Hollywood, I mean?



(And speaking of Liam Neeson, how's that for the downward half of a career arc? From Schindler's List to The A-Team? I'd open a vein.)

47 comments:

Cybrludite said...

Just think, they could be making "Monster Hunter International" or "The Atrocity Archive" into a movie, and make a ton of money. (Assuming, of course, they could resist the urge to change them into "Monster Hunter Internationale" and "George W. Bush's Atrocity Archive"...) Instead they're just going to keep showing that they're being Green by recycling scripts.

fast richard said...

The A-team wasn't exactly the high point of George Peppard's career either. I think you have to have been about ten to fifteen years younger than me to enjoy that show when it was on. I was aware of it, but thought of it as a kid's show.

Unknown.Rodent said...

In George Peppard's defense he drew the highest paycheck on record for an actor with his $50K an episode paycheck at the time.

Rustmeister said...

Aw, come on, the A Team is harmless fun, with lots of explosions and shooting. Unlike Schindler's List, these guys never hit anything.

Joel said...

Wait. Forget Karate Kid.

They're making a ... movie ... of the A-Team? The forgodsake stupidest television show in the history of broadcast television? (And yes, that does include Dukes of Hazzard, which at least had pretty girls.) What, they ran out of video games to advertise? Are they going to blaze away with stainless mini-14s this time, never hitting anything even accidentally?

And Liam Neeson is in it? Didn't he learn his lesson from Star Wars?

Every time I think I've plumbed the depths of possible stupidity, another chasm opens at my feet. Thanks loads, Tam.

Joel said...

Oh. I see they already made - and released! - the movie.

I cannot go on in the same universe that contains such an abomination. I'm off to look for a new one.

Les Jones said...

And speaking of Liam Neeson, how's that for the downward half of a career arc? From Schindler's List to The A-Team? I'd open a vein.

Well, after you've been in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace anything is a step up. And Alive was good.

Mulliga said...

Liam Neeson's doing okay. "Taken" did pretty well at the box office, IIRC. The crowd in the theater actually cheered when Neeson was taking out the Eurotrash in that flick.

Les Jones said...

Taken. That was it.

Mattexian said...

Hey, if Brendan Frasier could salvage his career after Dudley Dooright, then that Welsh actor who never sounds Welsh can survive this too. Could be worse; they could make a live-action version of "The Jetsons", where they can taunt us with our future lacking in flying cars again!

A novel I'd like to see made into a movie would be Eric Flint's 1632, and it's already got plenty of sequels written. Hmm, who to cast as Gustavus Adolphus? Think Tim Curry might be up to redo Cardinal Richelieu?

Tam said...

Okay, Taken I'll give you.

I guess part of Neeson's problem is that after doing Schindler's List in '93, it's either art house flicks from then on or get slammed as a sellout.

BryanP said...

Meh. Neeson is an actor. He gets paid to play roles. The people making The A Team are probably paying him more than Schindler's List residuals.

Sean said...

Whenever I see an "A-List" actor in a B-movie or commercial, I always say "huh, musta had a house payment due."

Matt G said...

You have summed up my thoughts of this year's movies quite well, Tam.

Fred said...

It's not even about Karate, he's teaching the kid Kung-Fu...

D.W. Drang said...

Karate, kung-fu, c'mon, even those who know the difference won't care in a movie.

As for the success of the original Karate Kid movies, I attribute it to Pat Morita.

And for an interesting insight into the life of a movie actor, read Bruce Campbell's If Chins Could Kill. Granted that Neeson is an A-List actor, where Campbell cheerfully admits to B-Listdom, the discussion of looking for work when the IRS started saying "Wait, you made $150,000 two years ago and nothing last year?" is, um, interesting...

Andy said...

I liked the original Karate Kid (oh, gawd, not the sequels). Far more story driven than special effects. Pat Morita showed some chops.

And, the clips I've seen shows Jackie Chan as more than a kung-fu comedian.

A-Team? Leave brain at the door. Of course, that's what I want sometimes. Can't everything be Casablanca.

reflectoscope said...

Ok, this A-Team movie is near and dear to me, but you'd need to ask RX why.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Opening soon:

"Kimba the White Lion" starring Bruce Will1s and Samuel Jackson

Gerry

Dave said...

There was an interview with Dave Navarro when he was in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was asked what they were going to call the new album. He replied "Dave's Got To Make House Payments."

Billy Beck said...

"Schindler's List" was the last film that I actually went to a theater to see.

I'm just not interested in anything that Hollywood has to say anymore. Not at all.

Ed Foster said...

Who's Welsh? Neeson is an Irish heavyweight boxer (note the pretty nose) who was told by his coach he had a good shot at the championship of Ireland, a fair shot at the European championship, and (cue to Brando) he could be remembered as a serious contender for the international title.

Or, his acting coach said he could go to Hollywood, make lots of money, and maybe be remembered as a winner.

So he dropped out of the physics program at Queen's University, started acting, and never looked back.

With Shindler, Michael Collins, Les Mis, and Rob Roy, he finishes a winner, he has lots of money, and he had one of the most humblingly lovely women in the world until she ran afoul of socialized medicine in Canada.

Not a bad run for a gravedigger's son from pissant little Ballymena.

Joseph said...

The original Karate Kid was an ok movie. The sequels sucked. I am constantly amazed by Hollywood's lack of originality....I swear, all they are going is recycling old ideas. As many decent books as there are, and I am sure original screenplays about, can't they make something decent and new? I think the studio execs sit around the conference table and tell each other, "Well, it worked before!!" Take a hint folks, from Star Wars (the first three, at least) and Lord of the Rings: People want escapism at the movies. It doesn't have to include gallons of blood and bare butts. (Unless it's a zombie movie. Zombie movies can have blood, esp. if it is evil Nazi killer zombies. Zombie butts...not so much. Ew. :)) Hire Tam to write a decent evil Nazi killer zombie movie.....

Sarah said...

Why would Hollywood try for originality when the recycling is working so well? They're raking in craploads of money off remakes and other, tired ideas like this one. As long as the majority of American moviegoers keep coughing up the cash for crappy, mindless entertainment, the risk vs. reward of trying something original isn't worth it.

Joe in PNG said...

I'm reminded of Michael Cain's comments about starring in Jaws IV:
"I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."

Or what Christopher Walken onec said: "I make films that no one sees. I've made films that I myself have not seen."

Why? Simple- Money, dear boy.
(See tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MoneyDearBoy for more examples.

Will Brown said...

Does this make sense to anybody? Anybody outside Hollywood, I mean?

Since somebody(s) inside Hollywood already owns the film rights to all the titles mentioned, no, this doesn't make sense to anyone not in that circumstance. Whether or not it turns out to be a "good" movie (or even makes money at the box office/video sales), the rights owners get paid as part of the production funding. Assuming sufficiently well-heeled investors can be found, remaking any film is a found money-type financial win for the film rights owners (who quite often had little-or-nothing to do with creating the original production).

I read somewhere that Hollywood was principally organised as an accounting exercise with the film making an incidental by-product. More than a little something to that, I expect.

Firehand said...

They could make movies of Hammer's Slammers, or Ghost, or Swords of Lankhmar, or any of Bujold's Vorkosigan novels, or Time Safari, or-

Problem is it would mean making movies that might not win at Cannes and would make lots of people like us happy. AND they'd eff-up the stories something awful, most likely.

Tam said...

"They could make movies of Hammer's Slammers..."

Oh, pleez jeezus, I would spend all my money for a ticket.

Are you *%($#ing listening, Hollywood? I would murder people in their beds to see a good big-screen adaptation of Counting The Cost.

Marja said...

Be interesting to see what 'John Carter of Mars' will end up like. It's filming now, should come out 2012.

Anonymous said...

Marja, SyFy [or whatever] had the "Princess of Mars" film on the other night; one of the worst films, not worth the price of admission [free].

wfgodbold said...

If that was the one with Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Traci Lords, it's not the same one that's being released to theaters.

As far as the A-Team movie goes, I thought it was great; if you're the kind of person who thought the tv show was ridiculous and awesome, you'll probably like the movie. Oscar material it ain't, but if you want mindless action fun, go see it.

Joe in PNG said...

Personally, I hope Hollywood never gets a chance to make "Hammer's Slammers".

Just look what they did to "Starship Troopers" for a great example of exactly what would happen.

"Hey Steven, we just got the rights to some book, "Pammer's Hammers" or some such. No, I haven't read it, but let's just recycle the 'Avatar' script. Yeah, and we got Robert Patterson and Justin Bieber wanting to star in it."

Firehand said...

Counting The Cost, Lord YES! I'd buy tickets. For me and daughter and some friends.

kahr40 said...

Starship Troopers. I still think we should take up a collection and buy the director some concrete galoshes.

Phelps said...

Slammers might be too gritty for Hollywood, but I bet the RCN / Lt. Leary novels would work well. Casting would be difficult, though, because you would want a Leary and a Mundy that would last 2-5 sequels...

If they did Slammers, that would be a fun one to cast. I always thought of Mandy Patinkin as Alois Hammer.

Geodkyt said...

Inigo Montoya as COL Alois Hammer?

The mind wobbles.

I'm not sure if Counting the Cost is the one I'd most like to see.

I could REALLY go for one of the later ones, like "The Sharp End" or "Paying the Piper".

More interesting than casting Hammer is casting Joachim Steuben.

Robert said...

I'm just wondering how badly they are going to screw up the remake of Red Dawn. I mean, they are fighting the chinese now, and I'm all for that, but knowing Hollywoods potential for screwing things up...

Geodkyt said...

Well, if they are startiung with China as an intercontinental power projector, capable of making a real stab at overrunning North America, they've already hosed it.

Grayson said...

Say, Geodkyt?
Any suggestions as to who you'd cast for 'Paying the Piper' and 'The Sharp End'?

Myself, I'd like to see Brad Johnson (Flight of the Intruder) in the role of Major Dan Pritchard.

For Lieutenant Arne Huber, I nominate Hugh Jackman.

For Major Joachim Steuben, the best candidate I can think of would be James Morrison (from Space: Above and Beyond.
See the episode, "Angriest Angel"). He would need darker hair and a menacing laugh, but he could do it.

Unfortunately, I have no idea whatsoever who to cast as Colonel Hammer...yet.

Other ideas, anyone?

Geodkyt said...

Ed Harris for Hammer. Hands down.

For Huber, I think Jackman is too buff. Dominic Monaghan, from Lord of the Rings, maybe?

Morrison? Maybe. . . do you really think he can do the combination of exquisite grace and barely submerged elemental death?

I had been thinking of Daniel Craig, but he's not pretty enough for Steuben. Joachim being slight, lithe, and graceful destruction is sort of what makes him so creepy.

Gary Oldman can do the role, but is he pretty enough? He can definately do the creepy bit well enough to make me WANT to overlook the physical differences . . .

Geodkyt said...

Ooo. . . I thought of a possible Steuban, but I'd want to see him do a screen test for it.

Dominic Keating, from Star Trek: Enterprise.

And from ST:E, we also have Connor Trinneer for either Huber or Pritchard.

Other Steuben possibles are Garret Dillahunt, from the Malibu Terminator, I mean, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or Steve Valentine from Crossing Jordan.

George said...

Well ... and who was Liam Neeson's first big time hottie?

Helen Mirren ... that's who.

Man ... look back at photos of those two in the day. They must have lit up the sets!

Regards.

Grayson said...

Say, Geodkyt?
Just talked to a buddy (and fellow Slammers fan) who wholeheartedly states that James Morrison would likely be better cast as Col. Hammer. Among other things, Morrison is presently 56 years old, and can definitely show what experienced soldiers call, a 'command presence', meaning he has more than a bit of experience in leading and motivating people.
In addition, Morrison has a rare combination of fitness and grace... he not only practices yoga, but teaches it.
Go check out his website (www.jpmorrison.com).

As for Dominic Keating, not a bad choice. And Ed Harris for Col. Hammer would do very well indeed, methinks.

When I mentioned Hugh Jackman to buddy, he immediately said that Jackman, (with surly, rebellious, kill-them-all attitude), belonged in the turret of a panzer as Sergeant "Slick" Des Grieux (from, 'The Warrior'), the one Slammer that Maj. Steuben is just itching to kill!
I thought that was an excellent choice, and revise my cast list accordingly.

Cheers!

Geodkyt said...

I can happily agree with all of your last suggestions. Either yours or mine -- just not

Morrison or Harris as Hammer -- good.

Jackman as Des Grieux -- GREAT.

I really like the idea of Keating for Steuben. . .

Grayson said...

Thank you, Geodkyt. If we ever meet, the beer is on my tab.
By the way, I'll be easy to recognise...just look for an older fellow with a crew cut and a tan shirt (with epaulettes)- and maybe a small pin on the left pocket: gold 'lion rampant' on a red background.

Geodkyt said...

Heh. I'd like one of those pins. . .

Ian Argent said...

I would *love* Counting the Cost as a movie. And I wouldn't expect Hollywood to screw it up as bad as some other properties - they've made other movies with the same moral. (Side note - best use of some anvils need dropping I've yet seen in the last sentence of that story).