Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Review Monday

Two movies for your reading pleasure today...

The Bounty Hunter (2010)

Chic flicks/romantic comedies aren't my first choice in films, but I don't totally discount them. In fact, one of my favorite films is Dirty Dancing (if you can believe that!). I was hoping for so much more from this film; a lot of my friends told me it was hilarious. While it had some moments where I was chuckling, overall, it was too long. I mean, 1 hour and 50 minutes is just too much. I think it would have been fine at 1 hour and 30 minutes, but even then, that might have been too long.

I think the problem was that they were trying to do too much with the characters, give them too much of a back story. I got it: Jennifer Aniston's character is a workaholic. I got it: Gerard Butler's character is a gambler, and a bad one at that. I wasn't ever convinced that he was a cop, either, since he spent more time in jail. Perhaps that was the point, but it didn't work for me. There were so many different story lines, too. JA's character hunting down a murderer for her next big story and GB's character hunting her down, then the whole thing with the coworker who is obsessed, the bookies who want their money, and the cop who might be crooked but turns out OK, and the boss who takes his kids camping but has to come home. It was just a lot.

All in all, the story was convoluted and took the focus away from the romance. Plus, there didn't seem to be a lot of chemistry between Jennifer and Gerard. I wouldn't watch it again.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

I don't mind remakes, I really don't. What I mind is when remakes think they are reinventing the wheel. You can tweak the story, that's fine. You need to update it for the younger audience, but you are not creating something new. You are riding the coattails of a movie/idea that was vastly popular in the day and are trying to cash in on the revenue. That's fine. Hollywood is a for-profit business.

If you are going to remake a film, or a "re-imagining" as they are called, then remake it. Don't copy the original. Specifically, don't copy the death scenes from the original. If people want to see how it was done back then, they can rent the original. Ugh! That drives me crazy! I know the director/producer is just trying to pay homage to the original, but haven't they already done that by taking the title and the killer and bringing them back?

One of the big things they did in this film was give Freddie a different past. In watching the special features, the writer/director/I don't know how he was involved with the film said that the original didn't really give him a past. I furrowed my brow when he said this and wondered if he has actually seen the first film. Just becasue they didn't film a flashback doesn't mean he didn't have a history. If you recall, Marge takes Nancy into the basement and specifically tells her that Freddie murdered kids from the neighborhood, was arrested, and then let go because a search warrant wasn't signed in the right place. The parents then took justice into their own hands. Um, hello? How much more of a history do you need? You don't need a motive, most serial killers don't have one. If you want to recreate a history, that's fine, but don't say the killer didn't have one in the first place.

This premise of refering back to earlier films is nothing new, and films have been doing it forever. In fact, the original Halloween constantly refers back to Psycho, as do many other films. I'm not saying this is bad, goodness no, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Again, if you are creating a "re-imagining," then re-imagine the damn thing; don't just copy the original.

On the whole, this movie was pretty much like the original, with a little darker plot and a not-so-campy bad guy. However, that was part of the charm of Freddie. He delivered wonderful one-liners while hacking teens to bits. It helped relieve some of the tension. And it helped the audience relate/sympathize with him. The new Freddie isn't bad, and he does have some one-liners, but they aren't as funny/sarcastic as the original. I know some people would say that you can't compare the two, but you have to. Again, this is not a new film/idea, and they are intricately tied to one another, whether the director wants them to be or not.

I'm sure I will be watching the film several more times for research, and I don't dread it. Some films (remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) make me shudder thinking about watching them again. Have you seen these films? What did you think?

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