via Empire: Now here's a remake I'm actually banking on....
Like Haley's Comet whizzing by overhead, or an Eddie Murphy movie that doesn't piss on his credibility (once again, I tried watching Norbit last night, and couldn't last longer than 20 minutes...a new record, though), this is a freak occurrence: there's a remake on the horizon that I'm surprisingly excited for, and that's The Crazies.
One of my favorite film posters ever, btw.
The original, made back in 1973, isn't bad film or anything. In fact, I'd venture to say that it's pretty ahead-of-it's-time, and does ooze with a nice sense of paranoia and a fierce man-versus-neighbor arch that can hit close to home. Plus, it was directed/co-written by one of my coolest-people-ever-award-recipients, Mr. George A. Romero, which is the only reason I bought the DVD without having seen it first. Some of the acting is poor, granted, and the 25-year passage of time has certainly dated it in spots. But overall, it was a worthy $10 purchase (courtesy of Half.com, thank you so kindly). Plot wise, goes a lil' something like this: this manmade virus infects a small Pennsylvania town at a rate that makes for frantic exposition, turning residents into lunatics who kill on impulse. The military is called in, and as expected, matters don't improve much. In genre cinema, why is it that our armed troops are about as effective a bunch of Jerry's Kids toting pocket-rockets? Just saying.
Bottom line: The Crazies isn't a film that I'm gaga for, that I'd swear by. Consider me a nice-sized fan, but one with a realistic grasp. There's room for improvement, as long as these new filmmakers go with a hard-R-rating, specifically maintaining the batshit nutty recklessness associated with "armed, Hazmat-suited soldiers gunning down citizens in broad daylight." And a cast of able actors, ones who won't give off the impressions of Ridalin-needing overacting when playing "gone crazy," and others who'll genuinely seem paralyzed with fear and confusion as their once-quaint suburban existence world shatters overnight. This lead casting of Timothy Olymphant is promising; he's a talented dude who has yet to find the right film role(s). Sign up some more heads of his pedigree, and we'll be in biz.
***They better flub-cast the role played by sexy-ass Lynn Lowry; between The Crazies and David Cronenberg's superior Shivers, Lowry is up there with Pam Grier, in terms of '70s dreamgirls.
My nomination for Lowry's successor:
Rachel Nichols....skilled, and equally sexy. Shit, she was the only reason I suffered through the dismal P2, and her G.I. Joe work next summer will give her some widespread facetime. I'd say it's brilliant casting. **Pats self on back, and waits***
Over the last couple Kim Kardashian (deal with it) and KING Models (gotta support the team that pays me) calendars, this theme of "sudden societal transformation into rabid harbingers of destruction" has made its presence felt, from Stephen King's Cell down to the great little movie-that-could The Signal. So now is clearly the time for Hollywood to abandon all creativity and cling to a previously done concept that conveniently feels right at home in 2008/9.
IMDB has the remake's drop-date down for September 25, 2009. Interesting, shows a bit of optimism on the studio's part. Not a summer tentpole, but gives it room for a dark, action-heavy thriller to rake in some nice earnings post-heatwave. A la this year's Eagle Eye. Clearly this isn't as big as Eagle Eye, now, but still.
**Just noticed that the director's, Breck Eisner, only other notable film has been that Matthew McConaughey shitshow Sahara....**cringes, all the sudden**
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