We warned you that this nonsense wouldn’t fly, but judging by the view count on the full red band trailer for this insult to the horror genre—nearly four million at this point—you didn’t listen. Enjoy your guaranteed disappointment!
The real Evil Dead came out in 1981, and it is a perfect film. It’s hilarious, no-budget, and actually kind of scary in a greasy, grindhouse way. What it didn’t need is for some studio with no original ideas in the pipeline to adapt it into relentless torture porn. It’s ridiculous enough that anyone’s still trying to make this sort of movie after The Cabin in the Woods, but let me remind you: the original Evil Dead was already making fun of the teenagers-trapped-in-the-wilderness trope. More than thirty goddamn years ago.
But god forbid we allow any irony onscreen these days—we’ve got to take our blood-barfing very seriously. All I can say is: every generation of moviegoers gets the humorless schlock it deserves.
Has your lunch settled? You may want to give yourself some time to digest everything before clicking on these new clips from the upcoming remake of Sam Raimi’s cult classic Evil Dead. Thanks to our wonderful breakthroughs in visual effects, the horror and gore is even more disgusting than before. Sure, it might not be as hilarious as the original (which was funny both on purpose and because those effects, upon repeat viewings, are so janky), but the new Evil Dead certainly looks like one of the more disgusting movies you’ll see this year. You can knock yourselves out; I’m gonna sit here and eat my leftover Easter candy and watch something a little less revolting.
Good morning! Have you eaten breakfast yet? (What are you waiting for? It’s the most important meal of the day, ya dummy.) If you have, perhaps you might want to let things settle a bit in your tummy before you watch the trailer for the new Evil Dead, depending on how squeamish you are. If you haven’t eaten, go ahead, get crazy! Anyway, there’s another Evil Dead movie coming our way, which I’m sure is great news for most people. (I’ve never been much of a fan.)
By the looks of the film’s red band trailer, it seems that director Fede Alvarez has avoided the aesthetic of Sam Raimi’s original 1981 horror classic (by which I mean, "cheap") and has instead gone for "really disgusting." But at least those ghouls are still kinda funny (thanks to the collaboration of Raimi with screenwriter Diablo Cody, no doubt). I’m sure this will make the straight dudes go bonkers. Meanwhile, the rest of us are waiting on that Soapdish remake.
From gritty reboot to plain old plagiarism, here are the worst remakes currently in the pipeline.
Three Men and a Baby:
"Adam Sandler is planning to remake 1980s hit comedy flick ‘Three Men and Baby’. He would team up with Disney, who made the original for the project … Adam wants to remake the same movie again with Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider in the lead roles. The original ‘Three Men and Baby’ was also a remake of a French movie."
"For fans of [Ryan] Reynolds’ other work, we wonder what this means for any potential of him suiting up soon for that other buzzed about project with a hard-to-kill sword-swinging protagonist: Deadpool. And more importantly, are we going to see Reynolds sport long locks like his predecessor? Is he going to rock a fake Scottish accent in flashbacks as part of the Clan MacLeod?"
Unlike the original RoboCop, whose chrome-and-black armor suggested something that was part-man, part-carburetor, the new suit is a more anatomically-inspired and streamlined design, more exo-skeleton than cyborg. It recalls certain examples of superhero outerwear—more specifically, those worn by Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
Sam Raimi himself is producing the remake, as well as helping out Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Young Adult, Juno) with scripting duties.
Lionsgate is postponing the Dirty Dancing reboot. The studio has put the remake on ice for another year for casting reasons, Deadline has learned. The remake of the 1987 Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey film was scheduled to be released in July 2013, but now the movie is off the studio’s release dance card at least until 2014.
Like a breath of sweetly poisoned air, the first trailer for the much-anticipated Disney flick Oz the Great and Powerful was screened before a full house at San Diego Comic-Con International this morning. Director Sam Raimi (of Evil Dead fame and the first Spider-Man trilogy) used his CGI magic in the trailer, which features James Franco as a power-hungry Oz, Mila Kunis as the Wicked Witch of the West, Rachael Weisz as the one in the East, and Michelle Williams as Glenda the Good.
The movie is set before Dorothy ever ruby-shoe steps onto the scene—a bit like Wicked, only without the singing, the bright green makeup, or Kristin Chenoweth. (Phew!)
The trailer opens to a monochrome scene of an old-fashioned circus, with Oz as the magician. “Kansas is full of good men,” Oz says with disdain. “I don’t want to be a good man. I want to be a great one." He is then whisked away in his balloon to Oz, where we are assaulted with a brilliant panorama of the mystical land. The creatures and foliage used in the trailer are vaguely reminiscent of those seen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which isn’t a far stretch considering it’s produced by the same person.
The specifics of The Amazing Spider-Man have been largely been kept under wraps for now, because Marvel knows that the longer details are withheld, the greater the frothy rage that can be elicited from its shovel-ready audience, so eager to spam the "like" button whenever a significant piece of information gets tossed out there. This brand new trailer is that type of thing worth waiting for: two and a half minutes of Spider-Man glory, cutting through the new storylines and characters to sum up what’s new about the old, and how star Andrew Garfield is a Peter Parker for a new decade: he’s younger, handsomer, funnier, darker, overall cooler. There’s just no way it can go wrong.
This reboot already looks more polished than Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man — which, if you’ll remember, was broken into two disparate parts: 1) Peter gets powers, and 2) Peter hangs out and waits for stuff to happen. Here, there’s an overarching plot involving Peters’ long-gone parents and the mysterious research they were working on to serve as the thematic backdrop about loss and maturation and adulthood, or something, I don’t know. It’s a "serious movie" now, as punctuated by Peter getting all My Chemical Romance-y on the bullies in school and brooding in an alley like he’s got all of the feelings there ever were. (SPOILERS: Him and Emma Stone also put their faces on one another, but duh, of course.)
It’s such a change of pace. For years, Parker was a pale, lanky dork just like the rest of us. Now, he’s an eloquent dreamboat with gravity-defying hair and cool glasses, breaking the illusion that we, too, could be just like Spidey. Oh, the trials and pitfalls of fighting for proper white male nerd representation. No one will ever know our pain. Just remember that Garfield is about the same age as previous star Tobey Maguire was when the first Spider-Man came out, which means we’ll probably see another reboot in a decade or so. It goes on, and on, and on, and on…
Of the several Oz-based pictures currently in the works, Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful is moving forward fastest, having just signed on Sam Raimi to direct and Robert Downey Jr. to star. A prequel to the beloved 1939 film, the plot will focus on the Wizard’s story, wherein a circus wrangler gets picked up by a tornado (naturally) and deposited in Oz, where he is mistaken for a know-it-all. Disney is aiming for the bleachers on this one, hoping for a hit on the order of Alice In Wonderland, and while I guess Raimi is as good a choice as anyone, I’ve never quite understood how he became a go-to director for intended global juggernauts like this one.
As a teenager weaned on 80’s horror films, I admired Raimi tremendously for what, to my thinking, is still his signature body of work: the Evil Dead films. Bloody, anarchic, and completely sui generis within the genre, Raimi had a thoroughly original vision that was hard to ignore. Then he started branching out into other genres, working with bigger stars, studios, etc., and the strength and uniqueness of that vision got compromised. Presumably with the intention of showing his range—or maybe just getting paid—Raimi made the jump from indie horror to more mainstream fare with a redneck thriller (A Simple Plan), a western (The Quick and the Dead), and a vigilante picture (Darkman). Of these, there’s not a-one that’s especially memorable, and only Darkman turned a profit. Theses movies are, however, rather dark (no pun intended), certainly much more so than the Spider-Man franchise, but they also the moment where the Raimi I liked and recognized all but disappeared. Sure, I suppose you can still see the “Raimi-touch” here and there in the Spidey movies, but I don’t care a whit for them, and there’s really no debating that, unlike everything he’s done before or since, they’re basically made for ten-year-olds. I’m expecting the same kind of all-purpose, kiddie-friendly pap from his forthcoming trip to Oz, but I’m secretly hoping that the yellow brick road might eventually lead Raimi someplace other than the Emerald City. A quick glance at the “In Development” section of his imdb page shows Evil Dead 4 is at least on the drawing board.
● Tim Gunn says the board of directors at Ungaro must have been “smoking crack” when they appointed Lindsay Lohan as “artistic advisor” to the multimillion-dollar company. [NYMag] ● Supermodel Claudia Schiffer won’t fall prey to the botox trend, saying she would rather age gracefully then inject that “poison” into her face. [DigitalSpy] ● Despite being called “Hitler” by Megan Fox, Michael Bay came to her defense after crew members mocked Fox in an open letter defending the director; Bay says it’s all part of Fox’s “crazy charm.” [ContactMusic]
● Bruce Campbell has revealed that Spider-Man IV will start shooting in January and that director Sam Raimi may have given him a larger, more villainous role in the latest installment. [AccessHollywood] ● Jennifer Aniston is taking a hiatus from churning out rom-coms to go on an “adventure.” [MSN] ● Photographer Tyler Shields says he and four cast members of the new CW show The Vampire Diaries were falsely imprisoned by Georgia police for a nonexistent flashing incident during a photo shoot. Shields says the police “extorted” more than $6,000 dollars worth of bond money from him. [Radar]
To the dismay of everyone within earshot of my desk, my excitement will not be quelled about how totally major this year’s Cannes Film Festival is going to be. In addition to new awards-contenders from the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Michel Gondry (who didn’t make the list, only because I couldn’t find much on his latest film, L’epine Dans le Coeur), the sun-soaked Riviera festival will premiere Sam Raimi’s return to death and evil, as well as Jane Campion’s first major release since the Kiwi director tried, disastrously, to make Meg Ryan edgy in 2003’s In the Cut. Penelope Cruz hugs a lot of people in Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces, Ang Lee takes Woodstock and Brad Pitt screams, “Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps … and I want my scalps!” Oh, and the late Heath Ledger might just get another Oscar. After the jump, the festival’s, if not the year’s, most anticipated films (with trailers).
Agora by Alejandro Amenabar. From the director of The Others and The Sea Inside comes a historical drama, starring Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella, about Hypatia of Alexandria, the Egyptian philosophy professor who fell in love with her slave. Minghella tells BlackBook, exclusively, “Rachel’s performance in the film is, objectively speaking, quite spectacular. Performances in historical films can so easily stray into frigidity, but she injects everything with warmth and modernity, which I really believe is a principle reason why the film is as accessible as it is.” Of his working relationship with Weisz, he adds, “I felt completely comfortable around her. We grew up on the same street in London, and now in New York our apartments are directly opposite one another — which is fantastic for voyeuristic reasons, but also a bizarre coincidence. Maybe it’s our shared geographic history, but I feel very at home around her.”
The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke. While it certainly would have been interesting to watch Haneke eke out another version of Funny Games, the master of torture’s latest project sounds incredible. Courtesy of IMDb: “Strange events happen at a rural school in the north of Germany during the year 1913, which seem to be ritual punishment. Does this affect the school system, and how does the school have an influence on fascism?”
Taking Woodstock by Ang Lee. Of course the director who turned Jewel into a cowgirl, Kevin Kline into a swinger, Eric Bana into a monster, and Jake Gyllenhaal into a pederast would eventually set his sights on Woodstock. Starring an incredible cast that includes Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Live Schreiber, and Jonathan Groff, audiences surely won’t be able to quit it.
Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino. Unless you’ve been living under a very large, Brangelina-proof rock, this one needs no introduction. Still, I’m going to overlook the misspelling, and bypass the backlash by moving ahead to the backlash backlash, and just the love the guts out of this movie. Tarantino and Nazis? It’s almost better than Darryl Hannah and an eye-patch.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky by Jan Kounen. Forget Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Tautou for a minute, and watch Anna Mouglalis transform into the gamine Rue Gambon icon as she navigates a relationship with composer and pianist Igor Stravinsky. And keep an eye on Mouglalis: up next, she’ll star in 2010’s Serge Gainsbourg biopic.
Drag Me to Hell by Sam Raimi. Full disclosure: I saw an unfinished version of this. And, as a huge Evil Dead fan, was excited to see what the director of Spider-Man might do with his return to full-on horror. Alison Lohman plays a banker who pisses off a geriatric gypsy, which leads to one of the best catfights ever to appear on film. That said, some of the effects felt a little amusement-park ride-y, but I’ll reserve judgment until watching the final cut.
Broken Embraces by Pedro Almodóvar. This is the return of “Penelepedro,” the unstoppable force of director Pedro Almodóvar and Penelope Cruz, who last captivated audiences with Volver in 2006. It’s got a film noir feel to it, centers on love and a car crash that leaves the protagonist blind, and features a soundtrack that includes Cat Power and Uffie. It sounds near perfect, really.
Map of the Sounds of Tokyo by Isabel Coixet. From My Life Without Me to last year’s Elegy, Coixet has proved herself a masterful storyteller, which is why we can’t wait for “a dramatic thriller that centers on a fish-market employee who doubles as a contract killer.” Tokyo stars Oscar-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi, who, in my opinion, is one of today’s most revelatory onscreen chameleons.
Bright Star by Jane Campion. Kiwi director Jane Campion is to dark drama what Amy Heckerling is to romantic teen comedy — no matter how tragically their recent films have bombed, I still get excited when their names are attached to new projects. Like this one. Starring Paul Schneider and Abbie Cornish, Bright Star chronicles the love affair between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, before Keats’ early death. Actually, I just got sort of bored writing that, but, hey, at least it doesn’t feature Meg Ryan getting her nasty on. Plus, Campion made The Piano, so she’s more than capable of a comeback.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus by Terry Gilliam. Doctor Parnassus might just be the most exciting of all of the offerings at Cannes this year. Yes, the last time Gilliam and Heath Ledger worked together, they created The Brothers Grimm, which was very much so. And yes, Gilliam’s last film, Tideland, was ugly, misanthropic, and bloated. But after Ledger’s tragic death, actors Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law stepped in to play the same character in various dream worlds. Plus, Tom Waits channels the devil, supermodel Lily Cole plays a damsel in distress, and Christopher Plummer transforms into the 1,000-year-old title character. Intriguing is a gross understatement.