Director: Luis Prieto
Cast: Richard Coyle, Bronson Webb, Agyness Deyn, Zlatko Buric
Full disclosure. I’ve never seen Pusher. Nicolas Winding Refn’s 90s drug-dealing trilogy has been sitting in a to-watch pile ever since I saw Bronson in 2008. But the year before that, Winding Refn worked on an episode of Miss Marple, the ITV series produced by Matthew Read. Fast-forward to 2012 and Read and Refn are back together to remake Pusher for the English-language crowd.
Is it a pointless cash-grab? An unnecessary retread? Surprisingly, no. The new Pusher is properly decent in its own right. Matthew Read’s script may follow the original movie’s plot beat-for-beat, but that only gives director Luis Prieto a chance to make his mark. He steamrollers the story along with all the usual tricks of the genre, driven by Orbital's pounding score, not giving you time to care if some of the characters are two-dimensional.
Director: Michael Nyman
Who watches Man with a Movie Camera and thinks "I'll remake that"? The answer is as unlikely as the question: Michael Nyman. Yes, the very same. After years of accompanying Dziga Vertov's 1929 original from behind the keyboard, The Piano's composer has put down the ivories and picked up a camera to come up with his own version. You could call it a remake - but the word cover seems more appropriate.
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Ebizo Ichikawa, Koji Yakusho
After the orchestrated mayhem of 13 Assassins, everyone expected Takashi Miike’s next samurai remake (of the 1962 Harakiri) to be an equally bloody stream of brilliance. The addition of 3D promised even more entrails and splattering gore. But Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai has none of that. Not even a burning cow. It’s an impressive show of restraint - and also a little disappointing.
Directors: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen
I've never walked out of a film, but I almost wish I had left Silent House halfway through - not because it's a bad film, but because I would've avoided the rubbish ending, taken from 2010's La Casa Muda, a Uruguayan movie which had the same structure and style, mainly consisting of scaring the crap out of you for 60 minutes by presenting everything in one single take before blowing the tension on a silly twist that defies logic and continuity...
Director: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau
Cast: Elisabeth Olsen
Release date: Friday 4th May
In Silent House, Sarah, along with her uncle and father, prepare their long-time family summer home, recently violated by squatters, for sale. But broken windows and cracks in the plaster are the least of their problems when they discover they are not alone and there’s more than just mold concealed behind the walls. Over the course of 85 harrowing minutes, their idyllic isolated retreat is transformed into a site of horror as the family’s past returns to taunt then terrorize them, exposing a hidden and distorted history.
Silent House, a re-imagining of the Uruguayan film La Casa Muda, is told in real time in one continuous take, just as Sarah sees – and experiences – it.
In case you haven't been following my recent escapades on the Twitters, I got back late last night from a two-week trek across Europe, taking in eight cities in seven countries in just under 16 days. After ending up in Romania, I woke up this morning to find myself surrounded by English-speaking people with vaguely familiar coins in my wallet and living in constant fear of random identity checks at 3am by Serbian border guards wielding dogs and torches.
I have no idea what day it is. I don't know what time it is. I'm not sure where I am - but I've apparently been here before. Also, I may have dreamt it, but I think I saw a three-breasted woman at some point in the last 24 hours.
In short, I'm feeling a lot like Colin Farrell in this Total Recall remake trailer - i.e. not all that bad. (But without a three-breasted woman.)
With Super 8 on the way and blockbuster season in the air, I found myself drifting towards that monstrous summer movie of 1998, Godzilla.
When I first saw this as a teenager, I loved it. It was loud, stupid and - factoid alert - the first time I came across the term CGI (probably in an issue of SFX magazine). Looking back now, it's still loud, and it's still stupid. And I still know 90% of the dialogue off by heart. Yes, it's fair to say that I still have a massive spot soft for Roland Emmerich's bastardisation of Ishirō Honda's classic monster.
BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 turns up in November next year.
We all know Thunderball is a bit of underwater guff. Yes, the ocean fight sequences were groundbreaking and bad girl Fiona Vulpe (Luciana Paluzzi) is a steaming hot sex crumpet, but let's be honest: Terence Young’s third Bond movie is a load of watery cackwaffle.
So it’s no surprise that a remake came along in 1983. While Roger Moore was dipping his fingers into Octopussy, Kevin McClory was following through on his lawsuit against Ian Fleming/United Artists over the origins of the Thunderball screenplay. The result? Never Say Never Again.
The new take on the Thunderball story (SPECTRE steal nuclear weapons and hold the world to ransom) turned out to be a box office success, taking $160 million - better than Thunderball’s $141m. So just in case someone else comes along wanting to make a few bob by tampering with the official Bond canon, here’s what Never Say Never Again teaches us about how to remake a Bond film.
If there's one thing androids definitely don't dream of, it's Blade Runner sequels. Why? Because if Alcon Entertainment - the people responsible for The Blind Side - and Warner Bros get their way, Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece would probably be turned into a rom-com with a hilarious incident involving a turtle in a desert. Or something like this...
We don't need a Blade Runner franchise - any of the above would be like making Citizen Kane 2: Age of the Dragons.
Besides, why would anyone want to waste money, effort and Harrison Ford's time with pointless sequels when they should really be making THIS:
Make it happen, people. And stop messing with Blade Runner. That goes for you too, Ridley.
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin
Hats are brilliant. You've got to love hats. The Coen Brothers learnt long ago (before No Country For Old Men) that if you put a man in a hat, you get results. Miller's Crossing had its fair share of hats. It was a straight-up masterpiece. And that was way back in 1990. But you know what? You've never really seen a hat until you've seen Hailee Steinfeld wear a hat. She takes hat wearing to a whole another level. Hats and her? It's a thing of beauty.