Thursday, 30 December 2010

Das re-boot

I had read with interest that Hollywood has decided to cast it's re-boot eye over one of my favourite films- Total Recall

Total Recall

I don't think that this is a very good idea. There are some films that deserve to be remade, and there are others that should be left alone. Total Recall is one. I mean can you really see Colin Farrell pulling of the line 'see you at the party Richter' with as much panache as Arnie? I think not. Plus I'd be worried they'd use CGI to represent the holy trinity.

 Total Recall

This also got me thinking about the entire 're-boot' theory and what is, and isn't a re-boot. For example Batman Begins is classed as a reboot, but I don't think this is the case. It's telling a story that up to that point hadn't been told in celluloid, the origin of Batman. The Dark Knight could be classed as a re-boot as this re-tells Batman's battle with the Joker. Other notables are Superman Returns, classed as a reboot, but it isn't really. It's a continuation of a story, just a while after the last film was made.

War of the Worlds is a reboot, and it's bad. Bad Lieutenant with Nicholas Cage is a reboot, and it's bad. Psycho was rebooted, result, bad. Planet of the Apes, very poor. Clash of the titans, get fucked Worthington and co. The Wolfman, how did they mess this up? The Karate Kid, a feature length version of the musical seen in Phoenix Nights would have been better. I can't see Russell Brand's attempt at Arthur being any good either.

So if we define a re-boot as a re-telling of the same story already committed to film then we can see the track record is not great. Generally this is because the original films were perfectly good and seeing Tom Cruise butt fuck all your favourite dialogue is not what audiences want. The success of Batman should not hide the deficiency of the long line of poor re-boots.

Having said all of that there are some films that deserve the re-boot treatment, and I've knocked together a list-

Sweeny Todd- This had all the ingredients of a fairly good film. It had a good director, a good cast, and a pretty gruesome story to base it on. Somewhere along the line though someone decided it should remain a musical, but not only a musical, a boring one. Remake this without the singing and instantly you've got a better film.

Knowing- I don't know much, but what I do know is that this film is a big bag of wank. It needs to make it's mind up. Either be a conspiracy, or a natural disaster, or an alien film. Don't be all three, badly.

Alien vs. Predator (any of them)- These films have been woeful. For a sci-fi fan it's such a great premise, but somehow everyone that's touched it has turned it to shit.

Moulin Rouge- Scrap the original concept, the songs, and the setting. Nicole Kidman can still die, but otherwise add some guns and change it from musical to a taught political action film where Daniel Craig needs to take down a dangerous terrorist outfit operating under the name 'Moulin Rouge'. I'm not saying it'll be good, but it'll be better than the original.

Street fighter- The original attempt does deserve a nod of appreciation for being so shit it's kind of good, but it was still pretty bad. I think the problem with attempts to breathe live into this one is that people overcomplicate it. Forget realism, forget too much plot, just stick to a bit of fighting with a load of pyrotechnics chucked in.

The Invention of Lying- make it funny.

So to summarise, Hollywood can go a remake any film it likes, as long as that film was originally shit. Messing with the good stuff just isn't on. Look at what Lucas did with Star Wars and Indy. He just couldn't leave it alone.

What would be on the your list of films to protect from these money grabbing bastards? I've started one, feel free to suggest more-

-Any Arnie action film
-Back to the future
-Mad Max
-Tango & Cash
-Beverley Hills Cop
-Naked Gun
-Lethal Weapon
-Young Guns

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Where do all the pigeons go?

I've always lived in fairly urban surroundings, and one of the things that always goes hand in hand with this is a plethora of winged rat. The humble pigeon.

If you live in, or near, any major city you'll know that there are thousands of pigeons inhabiting train stations, monuments, and kebab shops. This is something that you just accept, but as usual my inquisitive nature and vivid imagination has lead me to wonder a few things.....

1. Where do pigeons live?

You see a lot of them knocking about during the day, but at night they're few and far between. I can only assume they all live on the quieter roof tops of your chosen city. This leads to my second question...

2. Why aren't there more dead pigeons?

Seriously, where are they all? This point was really the point of this post. Given the vast number that inhabit any given city surely you'd expect to see a few more corpses. Aside from the odd pulpy road kill, you don't really see any. I can't believe that any councils pest control service is efficient enough to clear up the potentially huge number of corpses that a pigeon population represents. I mean my council struggles to collect my rubbish, which unlike a pigeon corpse, is in the exact same place every fortnight.

I know what you're thinking, maybe there just aren't that many pigeons, well I'd like to dispel that. Being a bit of a geek I've done some rudimentary research (thanks google)-

The pigeon population of Britain is 2.7 million. If we assume that they die at the same rate as us (bear with me) that would mean 27,000 of these pigeons would die every year, that's 74 per day.

Now given that pigeons don't have medication, or hospitals (i've never seen one) we can expect that figure to be a bit higher. Where are all of these dead birds?

Now onto my usual crazy theory part of the thread-

The answer obviously has to be, the pigeons graveyard. Much like the fabled elephants graveyard this is more than likely a mystical, abandoned rooftop. When a pigeons eyes go misty, and memories of fighting over scraps with other vermin flood the mind, the pigeon follows an instinctive coo to this mythical, lofty, rooftop. Probably caked in the shit of million pigeons before it, it hobbles about on gammy legs and finally carks it.

So now all we need to do is discover this location and the mystery is solved. On a completely separate point, there is always a lot of crispy duck knocking around china town....

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The John Connor paradox

Deep breathe here people, we're going down the rabbit hole....

Before we go any further, let me try to clarify some things. Terminator, and the entire universe that has since been built up, is a favourite of mine. The original film blew me away, even if some of the effects are somewhat shonky by today's standards.

terminator eye surgery arnold schwarznegger

As a film in its own right 'the Terminator' made sense and everything worked. Reese was sent back in time, to save Sarah Connor, by her son John. Reese wanted to do it as he was rocking a chubby for Sarah since John gave him a picture. I'd imagine scud mags are hard to come by in the war torn post apocalyptic world, so it make sense that a soft focus 80's photo would flick his switch. Anyway, the point is that it all encompassed one timeline, and the problems with time travel aside, all made sense.

Then James Cameron went back for a second bite of the cherry and created 'the John Conner paradox'.

What we learn from T2 is that John Connor was conceived by Sarah and Reese in T1, uh-oh. Here's where the paradox occurs- how can John send Reese back knowing that if he doesn't he won't exist. John Connor can't exist without Reese, which means Reese needs to go back. This means that in the Terminator universe, everything up to Reese going back HAS to happen. This goes against the idea peddled in T2 that the future isn't written, as it has to be for John Connor to even exist. If they actually managed to stop judgement day at the end of T2, John Connor would cease to exist.

So to believe the time theory in the Terminator universe you have to believe that fate has already been written and that what we are watching, is in fact history. This goes for all four Terminator films. The only time we'll see events that haven't been fated to happen will be at the point when Reese goes back in time.

All of this means that really all of the events in the Terminator series are John Connor's fault. If he hadn't of been born, Reese wouldn't have gone back, and neither would the original Terminator, therefore stopping Skynets original inception (remember the arm and the chip). Ironically if the terminator in any of the films to date had succeeded in it's mission to kill Connor, it would have also destroyed itself and skynet.

I must point out that at the end of T3 they mention that Skynet was in software, and never a machine. Poor old Miles Dyson died for squat in T2, it does however alleviate some blame from Connor. Him and his mothers ineffectual bumbling counted for dick in the end.

Welcome to Hotel Headfuck.

Well there you go. I've included a time line highlighting the key circular points. Hopefully the next instalment, and there will be one, will not muddy the water further.

Who'd time travel eh?

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