Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Day of Rest from Reviews

Thankfully, I lucked into a video daily double and a few other odds and ends in the land of film.


At this point, I imagine many of you heave seen or heard the David Lynch anecdote about being offered Revenge of the Jedi and turning it down. If not, here it is:

Why exactly this is suddenly making the rounds today is a curio to me, but since I couldn't remember whether I'd heard this story before. The easiest path to go (since the internet can by wildly unreliable) was to pull out my dog-eaten copy of Lynch on Lynch, flip to the chapter on Dune, and check.

Sure enough, page 113:

"And then a weird thing started happening. I went to meet George Lucas who had offered me the third Star Wars to direct, but I've never even really liked science fiction. I like the elements of it, but it needs to be combined with other genres. And, obviously, Star Wars was totally George's thing."

So there you go. It's been in print for a while, and the Cap'n just forgot about it. I only know that because I read Lynch on Lynch cover to cover during the same period of time I worked for UPS.

Lynch also goes on to mention that prior to Dune, he was attached to make Red Dragon. To me, that's even more interesting than Revenge of the Jedi. Manhunter is an interesting film, to be sure, but if there's anyone I'd be more interested in seeing adapt Thomas Harris than Michael Mann, it would be David Lynch.


The Cap'n is on the record not being a fan of Death at a Funeral. I understand that there are those of you who do really love the movie, but it struck me as the most obvious jokes in the most obvious situation comedy you could possibly cram into ninety minutes.

Of course, then Chris Rock* put up the money to remake the film. Directed by "what the hell happened to" Neil LaBute (once of In the Company of Men, more recently of The Wicker Man), the two years later remake takes the exact same scenes, the exact same jokes, and finds some new gags that are comparably awful. See for yourself:

Okay, to be fair, watching them back to back, it's almost the same trailer. The remake just put in the grumpy old man character so you knew Danny Glover was in the movie. I don't find either of them funny, whether it be "urban" or "british", which I use with the same derisive inflection. Both are attempting to pass off as products of their environment, and yet both movies were directed by white Americans. Anyway, before I dig myself into some kind of hole, I wanted to head off the "this remake is automatically crap because the original was so good etc" argument. Because the original is not that good, especially if you've ever seen a comedy in the last 80 years.


Oh, right. How could I forget Recent Movie's Foreign Exchange Student Cousin: Spanish Movie?


Finally, for fans of American celebrities in Japanese commercials, here is proof that even a talking dog can out-act Quentin Tarantino. I remain a Tarantino fan in writer/director capacity, but if I ever have to sit through Destiny Turns on the Radio again, I'll stab someone.


Back tomorrow with a review of Thirst, plus apparently Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Public Enemies are on their way via Netflix.

* I honestly intend no disrespect to Chris Rock for wanting to adapt a movie next to no one saw, but I just really hate Death at a Funeral, and no amount of redressing the story is going to convince me it's not hackneyed and obvious.

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