Friday, January 30, 2009

Robots And Other Things

I see that Remake Fever continues as I read that new versions of The Thing and Robocop are currently in the works.

Robocop actually has Darren Aronofsky in the director's chair. This, to me, is Aronofsky saying, "Sure, it's awesome getting rave reviews and respect from my peers for movies like The Fountain and The Wrestler but I really need a big budget hit because bikini model mistresses aren't cheap. Don't judge me!" Now here's something he said that wasn't made up by me:
“The thing that’s exciting for a filmmaker like me about [“RoboCop”] is that it’s not as iconic as some of the other titles out there, so there’s room to do stuff with it,” Aronofsky told MTV News. “It had incredible insight into the future, and it’s still hilarious,” he added.
I was thinking about going to message boards frequented by science fiction fans but then didn't see it as being worth the bother. I know what they're going to say. It'll start with, "Robocop was Teh Aw3som3, that fuckbag Aronofsky isn't worthy of carrying Paul Verhoeven's jock strap. He better not change a damn thing," which will generate the response, "Jesus, calm down. The movie hasn't even been made yet. Give Aronofsky a chance," to which someone will say, "U ARE ALL KWEERZ," which will finally lead to, "Buy cheap World of Warcraft gold at" Imagine that going on for 1000 pages and that's what I would have found.

As for The Thing, well, the first line in the article I read on about this doesn't inspire confidence.
The project now has its director: Matthijs Van Heijningen.
Huh. Wow. Matthijs Van Heijningen you say? I knew nothing about him so, naturally, I looked him up on IMDB and still can't say I know anything since there are actually two guys on the planet named Matthijs Van Heijningen. (If are from Holland or wherever he's from and consider that to be a common name, trust me, it's not common in the U.S. I wonder if I just started an international incident. If I did, it'll probably generate huge hit numbers for this site so I'm keeping it in.) After a bit of research, I see that he's a director of commercials who has just made his first movie, yet another movie about zombies taking over the planet called Army of the Dead. Oh well, it's not like Martin Scorcese was going to do it or anything like that.

The claim is being made that the new movie, which has already been adapted for the screen twice, will try to stick to the 1930s short story Who Goes There by John Campbell. The 1982 version starring Kurt Russell was already supposed to have done that as it kept the original concept of a creature that can take on any form (and also kept the cool scene where they try to determine who's an alien by shocking a sample of everyone's blood) while the 1954 version, which is a perfectly decent B movie, changed the monster into something that could make endless copies of itself. One way in which the 1954 version stayed true to the short story was that they both ended with big, dumb white guys shooting indiscriminately until all the bad stuff was dead.

Personally, I'd like to see Aronofsky doing The Thing and the godless foreigner doing Robocop since The Thing is a tad more intense and psychological but, surprisingly, movie studios still don't call and ask for my opinion. It'll be years before either comes out anyway, assuming that any of the million things that can jeopardize a production doesn't happen and they get made at all.

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