Monday, August 6, 2007

Dart’s Top 3 Remakes And Adaptations AKA Dartflix Edition # 20

Every week we hear about or read about a new movie that is an adaptation of a book, comic book or graphic novel that has been greenlighted and put into development as a feature film. Sometimes Hollywood feels the urge to do a remake or and update of an older film like in the case of the original novel that was adapted into the film “The Omega Man” being remade again into “I Am Legend”. Instead of just commenting about new reworkings and adaptations, I will suggest three films that should have remakes and three more properties or source materials to be adapted into future films. It starts like this, son.

3 Films That Need Remakes (In My Opinion):

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Film adaptation by Francois Truffaut (1965)

The original version of this adaptation of the classic Ray Bradbury novel was done by French director Francois Truffaut and was made to show the parallels between the attitudes of adults towards the younger generation in the turbulent late 60’s and the totalitarian government as it’s described in the book. The technology and items that Ray Bradbury just couldn’t be made the way Bradbury described them back in 1967. This took away from the film’s impact immensely. Now the Mechanical Hound can be created thanks to CGI. The TV walls that Bradbury described in his book can be recreated. The film can take on a darker edge and be made into a much more faithful adaptation now. Given the right screenwriter to do the adaptation and the right director, this can be an excellent film. The last time I heard that anyone wanted to undertake this project was Nicolas Cage back in 1999. The project has remained in production limbo since then.

2. Escape From New York by John Carpenter and Nick Castle Directed by John Carpenter (1981)

John Carpenter’s landmark sci fi film was a cult favorite and one of the most influential movies of the early 80’s. This film was responsible for making several youngsters want to be filmmakers (especially Robert Rodriguez). There were several things in Escape From New York that couldn’t be done due the the limits of technology in 1980/1. First of all, it would obviously have to be pushed much further into the future. Imagine how “Escape From New York” could be improved upon nowadays given all of the new techniques and technoloogical advancement that have happened in the 25+ years since the making of the original. Imagine how much better it would look today if it were remade and updated (or butchered and tainted a la Rollerball and Planet Of The Apes). A reworking of this classic film is definitely a good potential future project.

3. They Live by Ray Nelson (8 O’ Clock In The Morning) Film adaptation by John Carpenter (as Frank Armitage) Directed by John Carpenter (1988)

Yet another John Carpenter film that’s a cult classic among film enthusiasts. The problem is that the film is campy and cheesy in certain parts instead of being dark and edgy like it was actually intended to be (which to some people is up to debate). With better acting (seriously, who could do a better job as a protagonist than Rowdy Roddy Piper? Oh, that’s right..ANYONE), a tighter script, better production values and special effects this could be a great mid level project for someone to pick up and refix that could cake up when the DVD is released.

3 Properties/Source Materials That Need To Be Adapted Into Films Soon (In My Opinion):

1. Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Comics)

Of course, all of the executives are looking for more well known properties that have bigger fanbases. I assert that films are about storytelling and in my opinion this Marvel property would make an excellent one to adapt because it’s still relatively new to the public. They are nowhere near the same amount of diehard fans for Runaways that there are for other Marvel properties like Iron Man, meaning that it can be made for a smaller budget by a director with an indie background and a screenwriter that will work closely with the creators of the title. Either way, I see this property as having excellent potential as a feature film between 2008 and 2010. If anyone who reads this blog is in film development holla at me (Yeah, right. If that was the case I would’ve definitely got a call by now...right?) More than likely Joss Whedon (who has the current stint writing for the title) already has an idea of what to do with it, though.

2. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

This book was originally released in 1992 and became a bestseller that has sold millions of copies. The story involves so many elements of the cyberpunk genre and is so off the wall that it would make an excellent property. Everything is privatized, the world is broken up into properties owned by corporations and then turned into independent city states. Crime is corporate and the internet is a living universe of it’s own overrun by hackers and pirates. The lead character of Hiro Protagonist will be a much sought after role in Hollywood. Even crazier is that once Google acquires the rights to the entire universe the shit Stephenson writes about in this book will be closer to actually happening (that plus there really is a Skynet...eerie, huh?). This project would be a bitch to adapt into a film and it would be a tremendous project to take on for anyone. This would have to be a passion project of someone at a major studio with deep pockets. Don’t hold your breath on seeing this one on the silver screen anytime soon.

3. Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

This book should have been made into a film years ago in my opinion. This is one of my all time favorite books and it tells an amazing story. Set in New York City from the time of World War 2 to the late 50’s it chronicles the life of Puerto Rican writer and poet Piri Thomas. It covers everything from his growing up hard in the rough barrios of NYC to becoming a heroin addict to his criminal career that led to him doing a stint in jail. He also has identity issues growing up as a dark Puerto Rican in a Black and White world during the 50’s. This would make a great film if the right team of producers, writers and directors ever got behind it and told the story of this influential writers' life.

For those that ask why I didn’t suggest any Octavia Butler books be adapted over any Neal Stephenson novel, get a late pass . By the way, what happened to that adaptation of Donald Goines’ “Daddy Cool” that was supposed to be in development back in 2005? Enough of my rambling, on to the movie stuff.

Dart’s Top 3 IMDB Trailers Of The Ides Of August (8.1.07-8.15.07):

Resurrecting The Champ

The Hunting Party

Rocket Science

Dart’s Top 3 Apple Trailers Of The Ides Of August (8.1.07-8.15.07):

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising


The Golden Compass

Here are some of my film recommendations for rental through Netflix:
Slow Burn
The Statement
I Think I Love My Wife
Read My Lips
Home Of The Brave
The Code
Hot Fuzz
Escape From New York
They Live
Spawn (animated series)
The Dead Girl
The Host
The Aura
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrells
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Factory Girl
47 Ronin
The Contract
Rome (series)
The Tick (animated series)
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (animated series)
Flash Gordon (1980) (Saviour Of The Universe Edition)
Dark Crystal (25th Anniversary Edition)
Labyrinth (15th Anniversay Edition)
Shaun Of The Dead
Blade Runner (Ultimate Edition)

What the future holds for comic book/cartoon/video game films:

Masters Of The Universe

G.I. Joe



Jonah Hex

Green Lantern

Dart’s Picks:

300- This was not only an excellent and faithful adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel but a dope movie as well. After seeing it I had the urge to rock Red Sox gear and patrol the streets screaming “This is the South End!” and kick tourist mothafuckas and visting baseball fans square in the chest backwards into those deep ass holes NStar has been digging all over the neighborhood. If you play this before a football game, I honestly don’t see how you can lose. This shit would inspire a pacifist with a butterknife by the ocean to hop in the drink and bring the ruckus to a school of sharks. Cop it if you haven’t already.

The Code- This is yet another French crime drama helmed by the Nacieri family (Sami & Bibi). Life in the Parisian projects is rough, especially when you’re a man fresh outta jail trying to be on the straight and narrow and your friends can’t let you leave your old life behind. Soon enough, you’re reverting back to your old ways and old life, like Treach said “no matter where you go, there you are”. This film explains what happens when crime ends up becoming a family business.

Slow Burn- This film was made back in 2005 and has taken nearly 2 years to be released. As was the case with “Harsh Times” I thought it was because the movie was trash. This crime thriller had me guessing until the end. I thought I figured evcerything out in under 20 minutes, like an old episode of “New York Undercover”...nope, I wasn’t even close. This movie far exceeded my expectations.

No Sleep Til Shangai- Todd Angkasuwan’s chronicle of Jin’s whirlwind two week tour of Asia to promote his premiere album “The Rest Is History” is a must see for any Hip Hop fan. I forgot to give this documentary a write up a month ago when I first began listing it as a recommendation but Jin is to be commended for helping to introduce Hip Hop to a whole new audience in China with his album “ABC” done entirely in Cantonese. See what the reaction was to his premiere release overseas.

The Dead Girl- This indie film got rave reviews from several film festivals and it’s finally out on DVD. A dead girl’s body is found and her story is told from 5 different perspectives. This movie is dark and disturbing but at the same time draws you in. You want to know what happened to this girl, you want to stick it out to the end and put all of the pieces together. Definitely a rental.

Hot Fuzz- This parody of cop films and action movies was made by the same people who made “Shaun Of The Dead”. Cleverly made, well written and funny as all hell. This movie not only made fun of several movie cliche’s but it some how managed to make fun of itself for doing so...this is a must see as well.

Dart’s WTF?/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award
Are We Done Yet?- No, really. Are you? I pray to God yes. What happened to the “Bam Bam Buck Buck Boom Boom Pow Pow/Boom Ping Ping!” Ice Cube?

Shit, right now I’d even settle for “Lethal Injection” era Cube. The brother went into Hollywood with a gun and came out with a job...The brother wasn’t mad anymore (If you've never seen "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka" add that to your Netflix queue NOW).

Wild Hogs- Fuck everyone involved with the creation of this garbage (Nah, Dart...tell us how you really feel. Don’t hold back).



Anonymous said...

As a filmmaker and fellow film enthusiast, I have to disagree on remaking "They Live", and I hope they never do. Sure, it's campy as hell, and Rowdy Roddy Piper's acting leaves a lot to be desired, but for me, that's part of its charm. ("Put the glasses on!" "Fuck you!" PUNCH!)If the movie were actually darker, the way it was intended, the spark wouldn't be there; the unintentional hilarity actually commands repeat viewings.

However, I revently re-watched "Escape From New York", and I believe that any remake attempt would HAVE to be better than the original, because using today's standards, the film is pretty damn boring. The Snake Plissken character is fascinating as hell, though, and deserves better. And since we're talking Carpenter, the original; "Assault on Precinct 13" is the shit.

I laughed my ass off at your "Wild Hogs" comment, too. Good shit as always.

Anonymous said...


Good lookin' on the movies. I'm adding "Slow Burn" to my Netflix now.

I'm super geeked about a Green Lantern movie. But who the hell is clamoring for another He-Man flick? Who could possibly top Dolph Lungren?

Oh, and "They Live" can only be re-made by Eli Roth/Rob Zombie/Robert Rodriguez because the original was straight velveeta.

Unknown said...

Wasn't there a movie with Christian Bale and Taye Diggs that remade Farheinheit??

Unknown said...

It was called Equilibrium very good movie. Not alot of people know about it.

alex said...

Runaways would be dope, but I don't have much hope for the property post-Whedon. I was never a fan of Terry Moore, and there's nothing he's done to convince me he can do what Vaughan or Whedon did with it. I'll keep with it for a while just because I would miss Chase and Nico if I dropped it but my expectations are mad low.

@slushygutter said...

Escape From NY was a classic and if done right, could be a hot remake. Imagine the casting possiblities? Who could do the Duke of New York? Ving Rhames; Cube; John Legizumo?

super ugly said...

According to aintitcool news..they are working on a Escape from NY remake..with the gerard butler (King Leonidas-300) in the Plissken role..I read the scriot review and it sounds mainey!..looks like they are doing good things with that property..another comic movie they have started on, is "Wanted" if you havent checked out the graphic novel, do it. It will blow your mind as will the movie when it drops I am sure...keep up the good work. UGLY

Dart Adams said...

Wow...they're actually gonna remake "Escape From New York". Now just if I could get a sequel to "Big Trouble In Little China".