Friday, May 8, 2009

Here's one for the laughs: Keanu Reeves as "Dr. Jekyll"

When I was a wee lad, picking out my choice costume for Halloween was more important than holding onto my entire-elementary-school-career-long Spelling Bee Champion title (and that was a belt I wore with pride and vigor). Even if the final decision was far from innovative (yes, I was Jason Voorhees one year, shamefully), I made sure that my incarnation stood out from the others. For Sir Voorhees, I dabbled on tons of fake-blood smears across the hockey mask and dipped my plastic machete in the same store-bought life liquid. Not exactly a visionary tweaking, but it was something, at least.

The proudest costume in my personal history, though, was the homemade Mr. Hyde get-up I whipped together during my eleventh year. You see, Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story was, and still is for that matter, a tale that I cherished, picking up copies in hardcover, pocket-size, kiddie versions, and whatever other versions Barnes and Noble concealed. My only gripe with the Jekyll and Hyde text, however: there has never been a good film adaptation in my lifeitme. Both Fredric March's iconic performance in the 1931 black-and-white version and Spencer Tracy's a decade later (each titled Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, naturally) are quality, but those was many moons before my conception; I'm talking a modern-day take on the tale that doesn't suck. To date, the top interpretation (and that word is used loosely in this case) is Abbott & Costello meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and that's only because my pops conditioned me to love the comedy of Bud and Lou. I want an actually-chilling 21st century Mr. Hyde on screen, though.

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The source material is so ripe----a brilliant lab-man sips on a potion that unleashes his dark side, an inner madman that proceeds to murder. When word was announced a while back that Guillermo del Toro was developing a fantastical spin on the story, I felt content. del Toro can do no wrong in my eyes. But now, a second in-development Jekyll and Hyde has hit the news circuit, and this latest one is going to star Keanu Reeves......Keanu fucking Reeves?!?! Sigh squared. Yes, I love Bill & Ted as much as the next twenty-something, as well as Speed, but don't let anybody fool you into thinking that Reeves has the necessary acting chops to pull off the double-sided emotions of Jekyll and Hyde. There's a reason why I consider his emotionless alien role in that mediocre The Day the Earth Stood Still remake to be typecasting.

Reeves' film will be titled Jekyll, simply, and is said to be a "modern-day" update, meaning the original story's Victorian setting will be ditched for today's landscape. Sigh, again.

Let's see.....actors more suited to play this two-for-one character: Clive Owen, Sam Rockwell, and Michael Shannon, for starters. Keanu Reeves would place about 87th on my wish list. Sigh fucking sigh.

****In a lighter, much cooler change-of-topic, here's the first official poster for Neill Blomkamp's District 9, a film I've been writing about a bit here lately. It's a great, nice and subtle eye-opener for the flick, clearly delivering the film's "aliens are social outcasts" theme. And it makes me smile amidst that awful Keanu Reeves item.

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Both bits courtesy of: Empire Online

2 comments:

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Wow costume you felt it's the best one!! that's cool that to you felt in your whole personal history!!
Carol
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