Posts Tagged ‘remake



11
Nov
08

TV Update: The Prisoner

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.” – Number Six, Patrick McGoohan, from “The Prisoner”

 

patrickWith these words Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) sets out to escape his confinement: The Village. Number Six was formerly a secret agent; now he was being housed in a village where people only had numbers, not names, and he was constantly being questioned as to why he retired. Each week Number Six matched wits against Number Two (a character that changed from actor to actress), who looked out for the interests of Number One. Whether it was brainwashing, an art competition, or being voted in as Mayor of the Village, Number Six could never truly escape. Adding to his problems was Rover, a giant white ball that would be released from the ocean to capture a captive, usually by suffocation.

 

Currently AMC is remaking the series. Jim Cavieziel plays Number Six, while Ian McKellen plays the head of the Village, Number Two. The filming is said to finish shortly, putting the series on the air sometime in 2009.

 

3dvd_Dangerman.epsThe original series came about because of its main benefactor, Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan was in a series called “Danger Man”/ “Secret Agent Man” from 1960-1962, then 1964-1966. In it he played John Drake, at first an agent for NATO assigned to cases in (and outside) NATO jurisdiction. During the second season he was retconned and became a British agent, working for MI9 (as opposed to MI6). Rumor has it that during a dinner party McGoohan said that he was quitting the series which prompted one guest to ask, “What does a ‘Secret Agent’ do after they retire?” In the case of “The Prisoner,” one puts in their resignation, packs up at their home, then is gassed. When they wake up their in a carbon-copy domicile, except they’re in a place called The Village, and everyone wants to know why they left.

 

I became a fan of “The Prisoner” while in college in the early 2000’s. The series had just been released on DVD, and from the time I watched the first episode (“Arrival”) to the last (“Fall Out”), I was impressed by the writing and acting in the series. McGoohan’s character was “Everyman”; a thinking person putting individuality over conformity. Without using guns he had to outwit his captors, who unfortunately saved their best card for last. Another interesting twist in the series was the revolving of “Number Two.” Number Two would report to the unseen Number One and if he was one-up’d by Number Six, he or she would be replaced. I count Leo McKern as my favorite of the Number Twos.

 

tv_prisoner1“The Prisoner” would go on to influence the spectrum of film, tv, and music. The TV show “MacGuyver,” with Richard Dean Anderson playing the titular role, was based on Number Six. Afraid of using guns, MacGuyver had to find his way out of situations, employing his pocketknife, bubble gum, duct tape, the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth, what-have-you. Heavy metal group Iron Maiden made two songs in homage to “The Prisoner”: “The Prisoner” and “Back in the Village.” There have also been numerous books, comics, and video games that directly, or indirectly, reference “The Prisoner.” An upcoming film is also slated to be directed by Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight,” “Memento”).

 

For more information on the “Prisoner” remake, check out AMC’s site at:

http://www.amctv.com/originals/the-prisoner/

 

For more information on the original series, check out Six of One, the Official Prisoner Appreciation Society. They’re site is:

http://www.netreach.net/~sixofone/

 

 

 

Be seeing you.

Advertisements
04
Nov
08

Remake Radar: Angel Heart (1987)

angel_heart

 

 

 

Welcome to the post-October edition of Remake Radar, where we tackle Hollywood’s penchant for remaking previous films (for better or worse). This edition’s remake: Angel Heart.

 

“Angel Heart” (1987)

 

Stars Mickey Rourke, Robert DeNiro, Lisa Bonet, and Charlotte Rampling.

 

Director: Alan Parker

 

Story: Harry Angel (Rourke) is a private detective hired by Louis Cyphere (DeNiro) to find a man named Johnny Favourite. As he winds through the back alleys and bayous looking for Johnny, he not only finds an Epiphany (Bonet) but he has one, realizing who Johnny Favourite really is.

 

What do we know now?: It’s being remade! (or else I wouldn’t have listed it, would I?) Producer Michael de Luca has purchased the rights to the original movie as well as the book “Fallen Angel” (which it was based upon). Why redo it? I couldn’t even venture…

24
Sep
08

Remake Radar: It’s Alive

 

 

Welcome to the September edition of Remake Radar, where we tackle Hollywood’s penchant for remaking previous films (for better or worse). This edition’s remake: It’s Alive.

 

“It’s Alive” (1974)

 

Stars: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farell, James Dixon, and Shamus Locke.

 

Director: Larry Cohen

 

Story: Frank and Lenore Davies are expecting their second child and soon give birth to a little monster. Literally, it goes on a killing spree any time it gets scared which happens quite frequently. “Hunting and killing babies doesn’t seem to be my specialty.”

 

What do we know now? It’s being released before the end of the year! Directed by Josef Rusnak from a re-worked screenplay submitted by Larry Cohen, it stars Skye Bennett, Ty Glaser, Laura Giosh, and Bijou Phillips. It’s already been released at a German film festival, and should be here in theatres or DVD by year’s end.

30
Jul
08

Remake Radar: Death Race

 

 

 

Welcome to the July edition of Remake Radar, where we tackle Hollywood’s penchant for remaking previous films (for better or worse). Ripping down the highway of recent “remakes” is none other than “Death Race 2000.”

 

“Death Race 2000” (1975)

 

Stars: David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone

 

Director: Roger Corman

 

Story: It’s the future and David Carradine is Frankenstein, a government racer in a three-part transcontinental auto race where you earn points by killing people and surviving against the other drivers. Frankenstein has been continuously rebuilt and is as much machine as man. He is the government’s champion.

Second stringer is “Machine Gun” Joe Viterbo (Stallone) plans on taking Frankenstein out of the picture; he’s tired of always coming in as #2. Added to that is Annie (Simone Griffeth) who is against the government and slips into being Frankenstein’s co-driver.

 

What do we know now? It’s coming out in August! Although Roger Corman was against it, the makers of the film showed him designs and clips from the film, and now he’s apparently on board (in a manner of speaking). Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (“Resident Evil,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Event Horizon”) it’s due for release on August 22. 2008 and will be called “Death Race.” Purportedly this film is a “prequel” to “DR2000.”

 

Cast

 

Jason Statham              Frankenstein

Tyrese Gibson              Machine-Gun Joe

Joan Allen

Ian McShane                Coach

 

25
Jun
08

Remake Radar: The Day the Earth Stood Still

 

 

Welcome to the June edition of Remake Radar, where we tackle Hollywood’s penchant for remaking previous films (for better or worse). This edition’s remake: The Day the Earth Stood Still.

 

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)

 

Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, and Sam Jaffe.

 

Director: Robert Wise

 

Story: Klaatu (Rennie) lands his spaceship on Earth to give a message of peace. The response in kind is to shoot at him. He calls out his giant robot Gort (Lock Martin) and narrowly escapes. Klaatu blends into society by calling himself Mr. Carpenter, and meets single mom Helen Benson (Neal) and her son, Bobby (Billy Gray). He tours around a bit, finds out that mankind has a penchant for warfare, and warns others that if the Earth doesn’t stop making other planets feel uncomfortable, it’ll be destroyed. Speaking of which, unless he gets to Gort and repeats the magic words, Earth WILL be destroyed.

 

Based on: “Farewell to the Master,” by Harry Bates.

 

What do we know now?: It’s coming out at the end of the year! Director Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) will be bringing it to a theatre near you on/around December 12, 2008.

 

The current cast:

 

Jennifer Connelly…      Helen Benson

Keanu Reeves…          Klaatu

John Cleese…              Dr. Barnhardt

Kathy Bates…             ?

30
May
08

Remake Radar: Highlander

Heeeere we are…

Yep, at the end of May and with another edition of Remake Radar. This month’s selection: the sci-fi fantasy summer sleeper flick, “Highlander.”

 

“Highlander” (1986)

 

Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart.

 

Director: Russell Mulcahy.

 

Story: Christopher Lambert (having just finished “Greystoke”) plays Connor Macleod (of the Scottish clan MacLeod) who was born in 1518 in the Highlands of Scotland. In the year 1536 he was killed by an immortal named “The Kurgan” only to wake up and walk and talk as if nothing happened. He’s quickly banished and moves out to the middle of nowhere, finds a wife, and begins settling down when he’s visited by Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Connery). Ramirez informs him that they are Immortal and cannot die unless they are beheaded. Oh yeah, and they can’t age or have children. For the next part, let me quote Connery from the movie:

 

From the dawn of time we came; moving silently down through the centuries, living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering; when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.

 

It’s now New York City, 1986. Connor has to stay alive to fight against The Kurgan as well as keeping his identity a secret from Brenda Wyatt, whose knowledge of swordsmanship gets her caught in the middle of Connor’s quest for the Gathering whereupon if he wins, he will attain “The Prize”: the ability to be able to resume growing old, be able to have kids, and know the thoughts of all men.

 

And remember: There Can Be Only One!

 

Based on a story by Gregory Widen.

 

On a personal note, I hadn’t heard of “Highlander” until some point in the early-Nineties. Once I had watched the initial U.S. Theatrical Cut, I was hooked. Immortality. Scotland. Swordfighting. Women. What else did you need?

 

As with a lot of “original” material, “Highlander” spawned several films (I watched “Final Dimension” and “Endgame” in theatres) that sucked, but the TV show with Connor’s cousin “Duncan” (played by Adrian Paul) was worth watching (except for when they got into the “Dark Quickening”). I tried to like the sequels, but “Highlander 2” destroyed the “mysticism” of the first, the third was a rehashing of the first, and the fourth was entirely unneeded. As for the current direct-to-DVD “Highlander: The Source,” I’m wasting digital characters just mentioning it.

 

But for reasons unknown, there has been resurgence in “all things Eighties.” The rock band Queen has reunited (sort of) and have “rock musical.” “Highlander” itself now has a comic book. I guess it was only time before someone would begin plotting a remake.

 

What do we know now?: “Iron Man” co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway are on this one. They’re thinking of using the “guy who cannot die watches as girlfriends who can, do.” That was the angle Widen supposedly wrote…

 

I’m not calling this game just yet, but I believe that the remake will suffer from serious lack of a rockin’ soundtrack. No rumours yet as to if Lambert, Brown, or anyone else from the original will make a cameo appearance. Original producer Peter Davis will be overlooking the project, though.