Posted by Charles Reece, June 28, 2008 10:39pm | Post a Comment
What have Anthony Stewart Head from Buffy, Paris Hilton, Ogre from Skinny Puppy and Sarah fucking Brightman in common? Repo! The Genetic Opera:

Someone must've been a fan of that "very special episode" of Buffy, "Once More With Feeling," because the music here is just as bland. The key to the cult status of Rocky Horror Picture Show wasn't bad music, but a nutty storyline set to good music ("Science Fiction" is a great song, film or no film).  Repo! only gets it half right. I'll go see it, anyway.

This next one is a travesty of a remake, decultifying one of the great cult films, Death Race 2000, presumedly for some ideal mainstream audience:

Why is it that we have to see Asian films for murderers, pedophiles and rapists to be used as the heroes? As a minority, they're certainly a bigger proportion of the American population than they are of, say, the Japanese. So much for pluralism. This trailer is a perfect example of what one of the co-hacks behind Wanted was discussing after its showing this past Thursday night. When answering the question of why adapt a comic book of the same name when the film had 90% of nothing to do with it, the hack said films have a hard time getting made these days if they're not based on something already in existence (that is, with the same name -- original ideas have always had a hard time in Hollywood, licensed property or not). Then, despite the hack's suggestion that there were no content constraints placed on his script, he went on to explain why he didn't keep the fact that the hero was a serial rapist as part of the story -- namely, no one would accept a story about a serial rapist if he's treated as the hero, even if he's the anti-hero. That's a good example of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon (which has been popping up lately in Lost): who needs a production code or HUAC as a threat of censorship when the filmmakers censor themselves? Thus, we get the new Death Race where the hero has been framed and is being forced to kill, rather than just participating for the sport of it. That there might've been a moral point to the original film's scenario about a society where it's a sport to run over people seems to be lost on the hacks behind this current production. Anderson should stick to religious adaptations of games like Frogger. I'll pass.

Speaking of remakes, I'm hoping the 3rd time is the charm for Marvel's The Punisher: War Zone:

"God be with you, Frank." "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God."  -- That's some snappy writing.  Back in 2001, Marvel started up their Max line of superhero comics, which were aimed at "mature readers": actual profanity replaced @#!%, blood came with the violence and the heroes appeared to have a sex life. Punisher was a natural fit for this line. In one version that I read by writer Garth Ennis, the whole point of the book was to see how many people Frank Castle could kill month after month after month. Good stuff, but as the Friday the 13th series showed, it's hard not to start repeating the same killings after awhile. This kind of content has always been aimed at teenage boys, just like Porky's-styled sex comedies were before States started cracking down on the age restrictions of movies (resulting in the diminished teen sex comedy American Pie). This government-enforced ratings pretense means either teenagers have to wait for the dvd (often with an extra-violent cut), or we immature adults have to put up with PG-13 theatrical releases (until more scenes are added in for the dvd release). Thankfully, the producers behind the current Punisher film have opted for the former, and we'll get in the cinema what any teenager could get in 2001 by walking into their local comic shop. I'll be there, unless I learn that the film is PG-13 (in which case, I'll be waiting with my blood-thirsty teenage brethren for the dvd release).

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Trailer Criticism (8), The Punisher: War Zone (2), Repo! The Genetic Opera (1), Death Race (1), Hacking (1)