Friday, July 12, 2013

Pick O The Week - Juy 12

With the red-band trailer for Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy released this week I got to thinking about all the different films that have been remade by Hollywood and their predecessors.  Naturally this became the theme of this week's picks!

In Theatres: Pacific Rim may not (technically) be a remake but it certainly is a re-imagining of a concept we've seen elsewhere.  Certainly Ghost In the Shell is celebrated for its philosophical look at technological advances and their place in our modern society.  What's more, the idea of shared memories and the controlling of external, machine based bodies has been explored in many films before such as Surrogates starring Bruce Willis (which itself was based on a comic book).  Finally, there's the obvious source material of Godzilla.  So yeah, could be awesome.

At Home: Oldboy, the original movie from Park Chan-wook was critically acclaimed when it was released in 2003 and features what Roger Ebert described as, "A movie in which the action, however violent, makes a statement and has a purpose."  I've always found the Korean style of cinema to have a quiet contemplation to it, even when dealing with violence or extreme drama.  There's a certain observational style to the work (specifically with the work of Park Chan-wook) that I find incredibly appealing, so as a counterpoint to the upcoming release of Spike Lee's version I urge you to see the original.

On TV: Based on an original Danish drama, The Killing (filmed on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) sees Detective Sarah Linden trying to solve the mystery of who killed teenager Rosie Larsen.  Covering the first two weeks of the investigation, things go sideways when Linden realizes there may be more to the murder than a simple case of teenage girl gone wrong.  With stand-out performances from Mireille Enos (World War Z), Joel Kinnaman (Robocop, another remake) and Billy Campbell (The 4400).

Retro Re-watch: Itself, a remake and a re-imagining, The Great Gatsby (1974) stars Robert Redfors as the eponymous Gatsby, and Mia Farrow as the effervescent and entirely superficial Daisy Buchanan.  A much more successful adaptation of the source than the recent Baz Lurman travesty, this Gatsby is the Gatsby that I imagined.

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