Before anyone starts angrily typing on their keyboards about the lack of originality in Hollywood or how studios no longer take risks, here are some examples where reboots and remakes might prove entertaining.
‘The Magnificent Seven’ (2016)
As a huge fan of the 1960 John Sturges film — and an even bigger fan of the Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 ‘Seven Samurai’ on which it was based — I’m both excited and somewhat apprehensive about Antoine Fuqua’s remake. From the preview, I like much of what I see, as it looks like loads of fun with Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt taking on the Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen roles. I also trust that Fuqua will deliver because he has yet to completely disappoint me, with ‘King Arthur’ being his weakest film thus far.
What makes me hesitant, however, is contemporary filmmakers drastically changing what Westerns are supposed to be, placing far more emphasis on slick, explosive, probably CGI-designed action rather than on cool, back-and-forth dialogue or building towards a dramatic gunfight. (Compare the amazing ‘Slow West’ to the yawning-inducing dullness of ‘The Lone Ranger’.) I hope this is just another example of a misleading trailer, but thus far, I’m on the fence about this one.
Although I’m not completely sold by the two and half minute trailer, the few glimpses given and the teases of minor plot details are nonetheless enough to raise my interest. Admittedly, much of that excitement comes from already being a fan of the series and the Jason Bourne character, but seeing him back on the big screen still confronting the demons of his forgotten past is by far the most intriguing aspect of this fifth installment to the series (fourth in the storyline directly related to Jason).
While the film looks action-packed and suspenseful, I’m left wondering how much of that action will have Bourne displaying his survival skills, his hand-to-hand combat and his ability to outwit others over brute force, which I believe are the best things about the former CIA assassin struggling to overcome his sins. Arguably, most interesting, based on the trailer, is seeing Paul Greengrass taking a more conventional approach in his directing. It’s doesn’t look like his typical rapid-fire editing style that blurred the action into incomprehensibility, but we’ll have to wait and see if any of that is true when the movie hits theaters.
Once again, Toho responds to Hollywood’s take on the ‘Godzilla’ franchise with another installment that brings back the feel of the original series, similar to what happened with ‘Godzilla 2000’ as a notable counter to Roland Emmerich’s crappy American version. However, in this case, Gareth Edwards’s take was actually not that bad and became a box-office hit. It appears that the studio that created the atomic lizard abomination is taking the success of the 2014 film as an opportunity to just make another movie.
From the look of things, the studio is returning to the original look, design and feel of the 1954 monster classic, and frankly, I’m really excited to see the legendary creature back on the big screen in that form. (Specifically, I want to see a person in a suit, not CGI.) Also, Toho has reported that this is only the first in a new line of ‘Godzilla’ features intended to create a larger cinematic universe that will once again see the giant lizard battle King Kong in the near future. Although we don’t really have enough to figure out the plot yet, the first trailer does a fantastic job of generating interest and whipping fans into a frenzy.
‘David Brent: Life on the Road’
Finally, we have a funny teaser from Ricky Gervais’ mockumentary based on the character he created for the BBC series ‘The Office’. I don’t exactly recall how the show ended, but this is a hilarious way of bringing the dimwitted office manager back to the limelight.
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