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View Full Version : ''Re-imagined'' == ''Stinker?''


Finagle
08-30-2001, 09:20 AM
They've been running promos for "The Musketeer" on TV lately. As if we needed yet another remake of The Three Musketeers. This one's claim to fame seems to be the choreography of the fight sequences, and, in fact, the clips look pretty astonishing. But, I'm willing to be that everything else about the movie is going to reek. This is based mostly on their use of the term "re-imagined" to describe what they did to the plot. Based on a snippet of dialog (which I may be mistaken about) they seem to have recast it as a D'Artagnan seeking revenge for the death of his father. [If I knew how to do the rolley eyes smilie, this is where it would go.]

So here's my little rant. If you want to write a swashbuckler about Musketeers in Richelieu's France, why not go to the library, do some _ing research, and come up with your own plot and characters? It's not like there's nothing to write about -- intrigue abounded in 17th century Europe.

Drastic
08-30-2001, 02:31 PM
So here's my little rant. If you want to write a swashbuckler about Musketeers in Richelieu's France, why not go to the library, do some _ing research, and come up with your own plot and characters? It's not like there's nothing to write about -- intrigue abounded in 17th century Europe.

I certainly agree. The sad thing is, I suspect if they did do that, there'd be quite a few knuckleheads with puzzled frowns, wondering why they just didn't make it about the Musketeers, marketing types pointed that out to the studio, and thus what we have is a "re-imagining". I likewise suspect that pretty much the movie will stink, with the exception of the fight scenes.

My thoughts when I saw the trailer was, thanks to the success of CTHD, wuxia (wire-fu, essentially) style action has definitely arrived. With the same set of trailers I saw that included "Musketeer" was one for "Iron Monkey," a neat little Hong Kong martial arts flick from some years ago. I expect it'll be released with a horrible dub, and if the American release turns a profit, it'll be followed by the "Once Upon a Time in China" flicks, the "Fong Sai Yuk"s and so on. Not a bad outcome, in my way of seeing things.

Finagle
08-30-2001, 02:55 PM
I think I particularly hate the term "re-imagined". It's so obviously Hollywood shorthand for "we're creatively bankrupt so we rewrote a classic (probably in a committee) to allow for car chases and nudity." And it implies a sort of cosmic hubris, as if the writers were saying, "Oh, Dumas? He couldn't write his way out of a paper bag. Let's show how it's done if you throw out all the boring political crap and replace it with more special effects."



(Caveat: once again, I'm ranting about a movie I haven't seen and that hasn't been released yet, so it could be that The Musketeer is going to be an instant classic that will sweep the Academy Awards next spring and will be remembered with fondness by millions twenty years from now. But this is not the way I'm betting.)

Moirai
08-30-2001, 03:07 PM
For Tim Roth's sake, I hope it doesn't totally blow. I mean, didn't he try to distance himself from Planet of the Apes (another "reimagining") just recently?

The fight scenes looked great, but I don't believe they could sustain a bad movie. It will be a rental for sure, because I don't get to see many movies in the theatrical release and I must choose wisely and take very few risks.

MysterEcks
08-30-2001, 05:53 PM
Yeah--"reimagined" is Hollywoodspeak for "we couldn't think of anything original, so we fiddled with somebody else's ideas." I have to assume these people didn't listen in grade school when the teacher told them they were supposed to do their own work.

Gozu Tashoya
08-31-2001, 05:34 AM
For a second there, I thought you were talking about O, the Othello remake. I'm guessing that's not going to be that great either.

::refrains from going of on usual rant on the Psycho remake::

Chance the Gardener
08-31-2001, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by KKBattousai
For a second there, I thought you were talking about O, the Othello remake. I'm guessing that's not going to be that great either.

I heard a review of O. I haven't yet seen it, myself, but from what I understand, there's quite a bit of playing around with Shakespeare's original idea. Specifically, Iago (called Hugo in the film) has to cope with a distant father, so he takes it out on O himself. In Shakespeare's version, Iago had no real motivation for his cruelty. He was just a B-grade xenophobe—which made him absolutely terrible. This sort of person is not unheard of, of course, and made it easier to root for Othello.

I'm not sure if I like that notion. I mean, if you give the racist character a rationale for why he's a racist, you defuse the loathesomeness of racism. I'm reluctant to accept the premise that there's a justification for racism, and I'd prefer movies not to do so, either. It's one thing to say that you hate a particular race because of what its ancestors did to yours or the snubs you sense in public, but it's quite another to show in a movie that this is acceptable. From what I gather, Shakespeare's point is that racism is an irrational hatred of total strangers, and O's point is that there's a reason for racism, and that we can all understand each other if we just get to know each other.

Like I said, I haven't seen this picture, nor even read the screenplay, so I could be way off base. But the problem with modern Hollywood (or most TV and genre novels) is that there are two types of characters: the good person who has to put up with adversity and the horrible person who tries to ruin everything. The characters fight and the good guys win, of course, and no one learns anything except for the bad guys, who learn that the good guys always win (a lesson they unlearn in time for the sequel). Too few are the conflicted characters that make the audience think, "Hey! That could be me up there!" or "Hey! That could be me up there and I don't like everything that I see!"

Shakespeare's writing was better in touch with the world around him. Dumas's, to a lesser degree. These Hollywood "reïmaginings" strip the original stories of their humanity and spit back whitewashed bowlderizations of previously razor-sharp characters. Whenever Hollywood reïmagines a classic, I'm always skeptical. (Of course, I reserve the right to be disappointed, but all the same, I half expect to one day see a version of Citizen Kane that ends with Kane rummaging through an old closet, pulling out a sled and saying, "Ah! So that's where I left it!" (Cue lilting music in a major key, close-up on Kane with a sunbeam shimmering in the teardrop forming on his smiling face)...)

CalMeacham
08-31-2001, 09:34 AM
Sleepy Hollow! It's not Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", but an incredible "re-imagining"!




I can't believe that I read somewhere that "Sleepy Hollow" was a "faithful" adaptation of the story. Obviously no one reads anymore.

Chez Guevara
08-31-2001, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by KKBattousai
For a second there, I thought you were talking about O, the Othello remake. I'm guessing that's not going to be that great either.


I heard that someone wanted to call this movie 'The Story Of O'.

Gozu Tashoya
08-31-2001, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Chance the Gardener
I heard a review of O. I haven't yet seen it, myself, but from what I understand, there's quite a bit of playing around with Shakespeare's original idea. Specifically, Iago (called Hugo in the film) has to cope with a distant father, so he takes it out on O himself. In Shakespeare's version, Iago had no real motivation for his cruelty. He was just a B-grade xenophobe—which made him absolutely terrible. This sort of person is not unheard of, of course, and made it easier to root for Othello.


IIRC, Iago was motivated primarily by racism, but also had professional jealousy as well (Othello was a general, I believe, while Iago wasn't), and O seems to be mimicking this fairly well, I think. Um, yeah, except for the father thing. IMHO, that really is justifying Hugo's racism a tad too much, though, as far as the trailer goes, it is a pretty powerful moment. Not that setting up a good scene is a reasonable excuse for "tweaking" a story that doesn't need it....

The thing I'm afraid of is that they're going to nerf the ending and leave us with a "sure you can do bad things to good people (and do it for purely selfish, closed minded reasons, at that) and nothing bad is going to happen in the end" message when all is said and done. To that, I say 'Feh.'

Cervaise
08-31-2001, 02:37 PM
I've seen O and liked it a lot (http://moviegeek.homestead.com/files/siff2001reviews1.htm#o). The "motivation" for Hugo (i.e. Iago) is, as I recall, much the same as in Shakespeare's play. Iago tells somebody (Roderigo, I think) towards the beginning that he's pissed the Prince hired Cassio for a captain-of-the-guard position, and also mentions he's heard a rumor that Othello has "done my office betwixt my sheets" (i.e. slept with Iago's wife). In the movie, Hugo and Odin are on the school basketball team, and Hugo's dad, the coach, gives loving attention to Odin instead of his own son. So, jealousy, basically. But more than that, Hugo's actions are much, much crazier than is supported by this superficial motivation; he's just as much of a sociopath, just as irrationally destructive, as Iago.

Oh, and for what it's worth, Harry Knowles loved The Musketeer. Here's his writeup (http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=8785).