Tag Archives: Remake

Review of Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

14 Nov

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) is a thriller/action/crime film, which is a remake of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).

Directed by Jean-Francois Richet (Mesrine: Killer Instinct (2008), Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 (2008)).

Written by James DeMonaco (Jack (1996), Staten Island (2009)).

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Byrne, Maria Bello, Drea de Matteo, John Leguizamo, Brian Dennehy, Ja Rule and others.

The original had a „cold open” of sorts, that set-up the possibility of action in a movie that was more slow-paced, this time we open with a completely frantic scene, with our main character played by Ethan Hawke in an undercover operation, which doesn’t turn out so well. Some time has passed and we see him arriving at a police precinct on the New Year’s Eve, as it is about to close and relocate the personnel.

Then we see a shoot-out in a church, after which Laurence Fishburne is arrested. Soon he has to be transported and the two groups of people who will have to meet at some point are set-up. On the prison bus, there’s four inmates being transported, one of them being John Leguizamo going into his over-the-top neurotic mode. Some shit happens along the way so they have to stay in this half-abandoned police station.

When the new year comes, suddenly everyone’s new year resolution becomes to stay alive, because they get attacked by masked men and the people inside the precinct are left to try to hold them back. They even manage to make them more inhuman by having them be hidden behind thick ski-masks, due to the storm outside. But then they decide to add a decent, yet very unnecessary twist to who the attackers are. I liked the almost supernatural quality they possessed in the original better.

The movie does have some kinetic energy and interesting visuals, like a bunch of lasersights sniping through the windows of the precinct, a cool mexican stand-off, involving like 10 people and almost everyone who dies for some reason gets shot in the head.

Yeah, I know, since the original was in a way a loose remake of Rio Bravo, it is forgivable that they made another remake, but there’s really nothing that the movie brings, that validates its necessity to exist. It’s just pointless, it doesn’t change enough to make it fresh and really interesting and only updating it a bit doesn’t make much sense, because the original wasn’t all that dated.

The score was disappointingly bland, not even worth comparing to Carpenter’s iconic synth-drone theme.

The acting also isn’t that great, to be fair in Carpenter’s version the acting wasn’t the best part either, but it was also a low-budget film, with relative unknowns, who were acting western parts in a modern-day setting. Here we have amazing actors (not all of them, there’s Ja Rule, after all) with huge experience, but the acting is just as unconvincing.

Overall, might be enjoyable, especially if you haven’t seen the original, but even then I don’t think it’s really worth bothering. It’s conventional, some good actors pop up, at times entertaining, but ultimately a waste of time. Not recommended.

PIctured: The most jolly movie rape scene ever.

Review of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

5 Mar

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) is an American mystery/thriller/drama film, which is the second film adaptation of the novel “Män som hatar kvinnor” by Stieg Larsson.

Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club (1999), Alien 3 (1992)), originally a music video director, that is now known mostly for his dark thrillers.

Written by Steven Zaillian (The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), Schindler’s List (1993)).

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Yorick van Wageningen and others.

Before I start, I must state that I’ve recently also seen the Swedish adaptation of the novel and since it’s so fresh in my memory I can’t avoid comparing the two movies.

I’ll start with the opening credits, which I absolutely loved. So often nowadays all you get is a title card and that’s it. Is our attention span really so short these days, that we can’t take a minute or two of the names of people who made the movie? Since I know a lot of people who would say that opening credits are the unnecessary shit of the times long gone, I guess it is true. Anyway, sometimes filmmakers realise that those couple of minutes while they flash their name on-screen can be filled with something visually pleasing and creative and this one delivers some great looking stuff indeed.

And then we go on in the mystery of the film and while I am going to criticize the movie for being too similar to Niels Arden Oplev’s one, it is nice to see them not trying to make it action packed and deliver us a solid detective movie in the age where even Sherlock Holmes is the main character in action flicks. The mystery itself seemed easier to follow, but mostly due to the fact I had seen it unraveled once before.

What seemed a bit confusing at the beginning was the odd language bending. Thankfully they didn’t decide to change the location to the states, but then again, the mixture of real, fake and not right accents was a bit jarring.

They didn’t tone down the graphic sexual violence, which is also good, but for some reason lacked the same impact. I don’t want to give anything away, but the solution to the mystery also had a lot less impact.

The reason might be Rooney Mara’s portrayal of Lisbeth Salander. Don’t get me wrong, she was good, more than I expected after her blandness in the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake. But she doesn’t deliver what I got from Noomi Rapace. The difference is subtle and I think it could be a matter of preference. Also why are outcasts in movies always into metal or goth or whatever? Are they saying people who prefer these subcultures are socially disabled or are the outcasts instantly drawn into black hair-dye, I’ll never know, but from what I know, it’s bullshit.

Daniel Craig is likable and all here, but the problem is that he is a handsome man, there’s no way I’d see this well-dressed, blond, blue-eyed, walking movie star stubble on the street and think “well, that’s an everyman journalist”.

They stretch some parts longer and some compress, but overall I got the sense I’m seeing less than in the Swedish version, which really made me feel the literal translation of the novel’s title Men Who Hate Women a lot more apparent. This also made me root for Lisbeth more and justified her avoiding of emotional attachment and social interactions.

The ending was a lot more drawn out and also made Lisbeth a lot more romantically interested in Mikael.

Stellan Skarsgard is the best thing about the film, he gives a great performance and his villain speech is just awesome. And having Orinoco Flow by Enya play in the background was an inspired choice.

The score also deserves some praise and Karen O’s cover of Immigrant Song, played over the opening credits was interesting as well.

What I am interested to see is if they will make the sequels, I haven’t seen the Swedish ones yet, but I’ve heard they’re not as good so the American ones can actually improve on that.

But what I found very disappointing is how similar the movie’s are. Yes, Fincher adds some stylistic touches here and there, but overall it’s so close to the Swedish one, at times even the sets and shots seem the same.

Overall, a good, but painfully unnecessary movie, recommended if your eyes can’t handle subtitles, but otherwise give the 2009 one a go first. I know it’s so often said “yeah, but the original was better”, but what can you do if it is.

"Yeah, I had to do a lot of preparation for the role, you know, bleach my eyebrows and all."

Review of Halloween II (2009)

11 Jan

Halloween II (2009) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and is a sequel to Halloween (2007), which is a remake of Halloween (1978).

Directed by Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005)), who was also the director of the previous film.

Written by Rob Zombie (Halloween (2007), The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009)).

Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris and others.

Firstly, I must say that Halloween (2007) is one of my favourite horror remakes. And I don’t understand why a lot of people dislike it so much. If I have a classic slasher film remade, I’d rather Rob Zombie does it, he might not be the best director in the world, but at least you can see he really loves what he’s doing. And with Halloween he made the right choice by not just doing a shot-for-shot remake, but he actually did something new and untraditional. Yeah, it’s not as good as the original, but what remake is?

The answer is Halloween II. Sort of. Before you say I’m an idiot, take a while and remember Halloween II (1980). It sucked. So if we say this is a remake of that one, I’d say I enjoyed this more, although it might not be technically a better movie.

Is this really a remake of Halloween II (1980)? Well, the first 30 minutes of it is. Just like with the previous one they took the original story, shortened it and inserted other stuff.

So this film does some new stuff as well, but some of it is so weird it doesn’t work all that well. As always with Rob Zombie, there’s some nice music touches used, like „Love Hurts” by Nazareth at the end.

So here we see Laurie Strode living with her friend (the sheriff’s daughter) a year after Michael Myers attacked them. And she as every other young person with some psychological problems in movies has gotten into heavy metal.

Tyler Mane is back as Michael Myers, but most of the movie he just walks around with no mask, except his beard and for some reason wherever he goes, no one is scared of a fucking 7 foot giant who looks pissed. Everyone thinks they can just take this guy who looks like he could break you in half. Also he somehow manages to move incredibly silently, but then again most serial killers in movies have perfected this skill.

Scout Taylor-Compton plays Laurie Strode and I was pleasantly surprised that her acting seemed improved, but then suddenly she just blasts into the over-the-top territory rapid-firing through the most extreme emotions. So the rest of the movie she spends in crying/yelling/sobbing/being a bitch/insanity mode and never comes back.

The movie needed more Brad Douriff, he was great. Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from Superman movies) is a psychiatrist. Malcolm McDowell is fucking awesome in this as a totally sleazy asshole. And there’s a cameo by Weird Al Yankovic, which really felt out of place.

And they got a kid to play young Michael, who sucks so bad. In the previous one Daeg Faerch was so perfect, he was really kind of menacing. With this one, I think even a cardboard cut-out of Daeg Faerch would have provided a better acting.

So this film does some new stuff as well, but some of it is so weird it doesn’t work all that well. As always with Rob Zombie, there’s some nice music touches used, like „Love Hurts” by Nazareth at the end.

Overall, an interesting, but not very good entry in the Halloween franchise, as I said, I liked it more than Halloween II (1980), but probably won’t recommend seeing if you’re not particularly interested.

"So there I was, getting attacked by Myers, when suddenly I realised what Alice Cooper was singing about. Now I'm like really dark and depressed and... and... rock on!"

Review of Friday The 13th (2009)

9 Jan

Friday the 13th (2009) is a horror/slasher/thriller film, which is a reboot of the franchise and basically a remake of the first four movies of the series.

Directed by German-American director Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Pathfinder (2007)), who is best known for a huge amount of commercial work and directing music videos for various hit singles.

Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who both wrote the Friday the 13th – A Nightmare On Elm Street crossover Freddy vs. Jason (2003).

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Ryan Hansen and others.

So this is the eleventh movie in the Friday the 13th franchise (not counting Freddy vs. Jason). And I can’t help, but wish that they wouldn’t have rebooted it, just so in a couple of years I could see a movie called Friday the 13th 13.

And it also is a movie of another series. The series of horror remakes of 2000’s, most of them (including this one) produced by the studio I’ve already expressed my opinion on – Platinum Dunes. However, I wasn’t all that skeptical because I recently had seen the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, which I enjoyed. But once again Platinum Dunes proved to be able of churning out another mediocre, uninspired and unnecessary remake and walking away with a shitload of money and Michael Bay jerking off to the box office statistics.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate remakes by default just because they are remakes, they just generally seem to suck.

This had the biggest problem a remake in my opinion can have. It did nothing new. Ok, you could argue that this time Jason has some underground tunnels and is more like fast hunter, but really it’s just the same shit as we’ve seen before.

Well it is more of a remake of the second movie since it starts off just like it, with a recap of Pamela Voorhees being decapitated, so they can have Jason already as the killer. And then it has a group of teenagers, who get killed and then there’s this other group of teenagers… that get killed.

I did like a couple of death scenes, but since there was a shitload of teenagers, there were a lot, that I didn’t care about. One that I liked, despite its stupidity is when Jason takes a girl who is in a sleeping bag and holds her over a fire until she dies, still in the sleeping bag. Ridiculous, I know, but that has never been a problem with me.

In the original I might not have cared much about the characters, but this one goes out of its way to make me hate them. Am I supposed to care that Jason is killing a bunch of douchebags and idiots? Ryan Hansen’s character would’ve been unbearable, but him being great in Party Down sort of helped it. Overall the acting was bad. One thing I must admit is that I like Jared Padalecki here a lot more than in Supernatural and I don’t know why, maybe because all the other characters provide a miserable background on which he stands out as a likable character.

It doesn’t change the time the original took place, so in this one Jason is… 51? If there ever is a final Friday the 13th movie, it should end by him saying “I’m too old for this shit”.

It would be hard to make an even more clichéd movie. Modern audiences see through this shit, come up with something interesting.

To its credit it doesn’t have like any slow parts, overall I was kind of entertained, but that’s just because people got killed, not because there was something good.

Overall, a rehashed piece of shit that deserves to be destroyed. Not recommended for anyone, sucked Michael Bay’s penis and even he didn’t enjoy it.

Pictured: At least a couple of reasons why the movie sucked.

Review of I Am Omega (2007)

19 Nov

I Am Omega (2007) is a direct-to-DVD zombie apocalypse/action/drama film, produced by The Asylum, a company specializing in mockbusters. It may also be considered a unoffical adaptation of the novel I Am Legend (1954) by Richard Matheson.

Directed by Griff Furst (Lake Placid 3 (2010), Wolvesbayne (2009)), yes, also the director of the previously reviewed 100 Million BC (2008).

Written by Geoff Meed (Universal Soldiers (2007), 6 Guns (2010)), who works mostly as an actor and plays the main villain of this film.

Starring: Mark Dacascos, Geoff Meed, Jennifer Lee Wiggins, Ryan Lloyd.

You might be wondering about the title, it’s just a combination of two other adaptations the same novel. One is The Omega Man (1971) and the other is I Am Legend (2007), which this movie is trying to cash in on, but I wouldn’t call it a total rip-off. It even came out a month before the Will Smith version.

The script is the worst part of the movie, because the plot is incredibly thin. There’s no explanation for the zombie plague, it spends a lot of time on showing the main character being alone and doing things without explaining them either. That part actually sort of calls back to the novel. He also keeps hallucinating. Then it continues on with the main story which doesn’t make much sense when logic is applied. For example, the main character decides to blow up a whole city for no real reason by using unconvincing amount of explosives.

The acting is decent, Mark Dacascos isn’t the most expressive actor, but he does know martial arts and is a fairly acceptable action hero, being at his best when beating up zombies using a nunchaku and worst when unconvincingly delivering the cliché lines, written by the easily best actor (not much of an accomplishment there) in the movie, Geoff Meed. Meed is playing this buff asshole military guy (with a very peculiar motivation and a strange idea on about its execution), which seems like something Ron Perlman would play in a bigger movie. Both Wiggins and Lloyd are ok.

Since it is a The Asylum production my expectations were very low, but it actually turned out to be not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would, it is a low-budget film, so I can forgive the zombie make-up not being that great or the awful CG explosions, but there’s also good things. The cinematography is rather beautiful, at times even it being shot in HD video looks really impressive and it has some of these things that work in B-movies, like fist or nunchaku fights with zombies, it also does enough practical effects and the CG backdrops aren’t painful to see.

It is not a good movie, but I did for some reason enjoy it. With The Asylum you expect these entertaining, so-bad-it’s-good films, but in this there isn’t much action until about a halfway in. It lingers on the loneliness and the borderline insanity of the main character, seemingly trying to actually add substance to a B-movie plot.

I do recommend this if an I Am Legend’s mockbuster version sounds interesting to you. It is a very mediocre movie. Watch at your own risk. And if you want to see a better, more faithful adaptation of the novel, watch The Last Man On Earth (1964).

"Hey, man, want to buy my long-sleeve authentic zombie shirt?"

Review of The Thing (2011)

31 Oct

The Thing (2011) is a sci-fi/horror film, which is also prequel to The Thing (1982), which was a remake of The Thing From Another World (1951), which was based on the novella Who Goes There? (1938) by John W. Campbell, Jr. So there’s quite  a history there.

Directed by the Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (Zien (2004), Red Rain (1996)) and this is his first theatrical feature-length film.

Written by Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5 (2011), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)), so you know what you’re getting is generic.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and others.

I loved John Carpenter’s The Thing so much and it is widely regarded as one of the best horror as well as sci-fi movies ever, so how could they ever think they could be able to make something even remotely as good as that, I don’t know.

The title shows just how uncertain the movie is about what it wants to be. Sure it is a prequel in a sense that it takes place in the Norwegian station before the events of the original, but in quite a few instances it hits basically the same beats as the original did, which makes it seem a lot like a remake.

There’s a joke in the opening scene and it iss a really good one. But they negated the good impression of the humor in the movie, by throwing in a stupid comedic jumpscare, which I know was comedic, because the guy sitting next to me was laughing (and snapping his fingers) like crazy.

Why did the Norwegians talk in english so much? Even in stress situations, they kept speaking in english for no other apparent reason except so that the americans would understand them. And I really doubt that in the 80’s so many Norwegians knew english that well.

It also throws in some minor references, like the axe in the wall, just to explain the stuff they see in the original, but then they choose to ignore some other.

And it is in a way ironic that the best thing about the original is the worst in this. I’m speaking, of course, about the special effects. I just can’t believe that they fucked up so much. The Thing (1982) showcased practical effect use at its best and seeing them is an experience. However, in The Thing (2011) you get to fully experience how bad CGI still looks and even though CGI always pales in comparison to traditional effects, this was really bad even by exclusively CGI standards. The effects just look laughable and unimaginative. Also if the trailer led you to think there’s a fair amount of practical effects, you are misguided, because all there is an autopsy scene and maybe some brief shots of something that might not be a cartoon.

Also if you’d take off the little subtitle at the beginning saying “Antarctica, Winter, 1982.”, there’s barely anything indicating it doesn’t take place in modern-day.

The sequence that connects the two movies is shown only intersected by end credits, seemingly thrown in there at the last-minute, just to make sense of how the two films fit together.

To be fair, the actors did a decent job and I wouldn’t call it a totally bad film, but there were parts that just pissed me off. I can’t let this to be the only horror movie I’ve watched on Halloween, so I’ll probably have to dig up something classic and enjoy myself.

I’d say this is a very mediocre film with a bunch of shitty CG …things and maybe if you haven’t seen the original, you might like it, but actually you should just watch the original instead. Not recommended, but might be ok for some 14-year-olds, who wants to see their favourite creepy monsters from a standard horror video game (maybe The Thing (2002)) cut out and pasted into a movie.

"Hey guys, I've been waiting to star in my own movie."

Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

15 Oct

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) is a horror/slasher/mystery film and a remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984).

Directed by Samuel Bayer, who previously has been almost exclusively a music video director for various well-known rock bands.

Written by Wesley Strick (Wolf, Cape Fear) and Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5, The Thing (2011)).

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Clancy Brown and others.

This is another horror remake from Platinum Dunes, a production company co-created by, one of the biggest douchebags in film industry, Michael Bay, which, I guess instantly, makes him the producer, although the amount of his involvement isn’t clear. For people familiar with the name, seeing it on the screen should lower the expectations bar quite a bit.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think a remake was necessary, but this is something Hollywood has decided to not let go, I guess, because shit like Friday the 13th (2009) can gross almost 100 million dollars, just because old fans are curious and younger audiences are idiots. Anyway, I thought this was the best possible horror remake Platinum Dunes could have produced, which doesn’t say much.

New Nightmare kind of returned to a much darker tone, but this one is really dark and most fans enjoyed the darker ANOES films the most.

Jackie Earle Haley was the perfect choice for the role, also the digitally enhanced voice was kinda creepy, because it feels like he’s whispering right in your ear. I mean I love Robert Englund as Freddy, but if he was in this movie, it would’ve been so out-of-place. This time Freddy is less talkative, but still does some one-liners, now they’re not as much cheesy-funny in movies 3-6, but more creepy and he’s given some really good lines. “Did you know that after the heart stops beating the brain can function for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play.”

Nancy was incredibly blandly portrayed by Rooney Mara, but Kyle Gallner was fun to watch, especially his freak out in the pharmacy.

They did some new things and that’s what remakes should do. For example, they really accentuated the molestation part of Freddy’s history this time, when previously it was just implied.

Best use of All I Have to Do Is Dream by The Everly Brothers ever.

At the start it tries to trick you with the characters, but if you’ve seen the original, you’ll just be annoyed and not surprised.

The previous movies were mostly notable for the amazing use of practical special effects, this one doesn’t do much of that, but at least it doesn’t give you a golden shower of shitty CG either. Freddy’s make-up needed some improvement and they went for a more realistic burn victim look, which I didn’t mind, but admittedly did look a bit off.

This is movie was generally panned by critics. I guess, they couldn’t let go of the Platinum Dunes brand on it or they hadn’t previously sat through all of those ANOES movies that were filled with bad jokes and incoherent plots, written only to connect together the effect sequences.

It had some really bad parts, but since they got the most important part – Freddy Krueger right, I still found it pretty enjoyable and would want to see a sequel with confusing homoerotic undertones and S&M imagery.

Meow!

Review of Fright Night (2011)

13 Oct

Fright Night (2011) is horror/comedy/vampire film, which is a remake of Fright Night (1985) by Tom Holland.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (Mr. Woodcock, Lars and the Real Girl)

Written by Marti Noxon (Angel (TV), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV)), using Tom Holland’s original story.

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrel, Toni Collete, David Pennant, Imogen Poots, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and others.

The original movie came at a time when vampires tried to find their place into the modern world. It did that quite well and brought along some bad-ass practical effects. It is loved by many horror fans, but while I enjoyed it, I can’t say I’m a fan. So I could watch this version a bit more open-minded than if I was. Also this is the kind of remake I like, it does something new, updating the previous version for the times the new one is made in.

In this era of sparkling, gutless, idiotic vampire teenage romance movies, I take any vampire movie, where they don’t rape the vampire mythos, gladly. I want to see these evil fucking beings, doing what they do best – being bad-ass. And that’s what Colin Farrel is in this, he manages to be menacing as hell. If you’ve seen the original, he is the perfect casting for the role.

Thank god, I didn’t see this movie in 3D, because most of it takes place in very dark settings and with the glasses I wouldn’t have seen shit. Also I noticed only like 3 instances were I thought “Oh, yeah, that thing flying into my face would have been cool in 3D.”

Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays just another nerd, he does an alright job, considering the Evil Ed character in the original, which was so over-the-top that I hated him and found funny at the same time. Even funnier was the fact that he went on to do gay porn, not because of the fact itself, but because I imagine him doing the same overacting ridiculous character there.

From an elderly horror host, the Peter Vincent (the significance of the name might be lost on the modern audience) character is updated to a vampire enthusiast, who puts on a flamboyant magician Chris Angel/Russel Brand type of persona. This character, portrayed by David Tennant, is turned into the comedic relief of the movie and in my opinion is one of the best things they updated for this new version.

Anton Yelchin is the main character Charley, who has a hot girlfriend and tries to forget his nerdy friend Ed and the love for horror movies. This approach is weird, because you’d think the target audience is people who wouldn’t want to be considered “uncool” just because they like horror movies like this one.

The minor cast members I found surprisingly not annoying. Toni Collete is ok as Charley’s mom, Dave Franco as usual plays a douchebag asshole, Reid Ewing plays a total idiot, like in the comedy series Modern Family, Imogen Poots (With that name I instantly knew she must be British) was very likeable and hot and Sandra Vergara was so funny as Peter Vincent’s assistant/girlfriend.

The special effects were ok, but CG just doesn’t hold a candle to practical effects (of which, thankfully, there were some). But the CG wasn’t insultingly bad, so I forgive that. The fully transformed vampire mouths look on the verge of stupid, but I appreciated it as an homage to the original.

There’s quite a few negative aspects to the movie, but I liked it so much more than I thought I would, so I definitely recommend it.
And watch out for a cameo by Chris Sarandon.

Get it? Stakes! Hah! It's like they're doing bad puns as taglines!... oh, wait, they are.

Review of 12 Angry Men (1997)

30 Sep

12 Angry Men (1997) is a courtroom drama/crime  television film, based on the same teleplay as the 1957 film of the same name.

Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist (1973), The French Connection (1971)).

Written by Reginald Rose (Man of the West (1958), The Wild Geese (1978)).

Starring: Jack Lemmon, James Gandolfini, George C. Scott, Tony Danza, Hume Cronyn, William Petersen, Edward James Olmos and others.

Well, this is one absolutely unnecessary remake, that managed to really piss me off. I honestly can’t believe this won a Golden Globe and 2 Emmy’s. The 1957 original in my opinion is one of the best movies ever made, the character interactions, the tension, the morality, the cinematography of it is executed with such craftsmanship and precision, that you forget any leaps of logic or other flaws that your mind might suggest, because your heart is in the dilemma the characters face.

The film is about twelve jurors, who have to decide the fate of the accused in at first glance seemingly clear case.

The main problem with this is that it doesn’t do anything new. The updated script doesn’t help the feeling that the source material is dated. The racial diversity doesn’t add anything much and I didn’t notice how there was added enough for the movie to be 20 minutes longer than the original. Ok, that’s not entirely true, it did make the whole thing seem a lot slower, if messing up the pacing was what they’re going for, then congrats, you did it. The original had this urgency and they occasionally went to the restroom, which allowed characters to ponder their decision and the audience to take a breath, here the actors just seem to go through it with a “let’s get this over with” attitude.

William Friedkin is a pretty good director but this felt amateurish. It’s hard to believe this made-for-tv waste of time came from a director, who made such a genre classic as The Exorcist and won an Oscar for The French Connection. The movie was the opposite of anything “fresh”, the word I’d use is not often used to describe films, but this movie felt “stale”.

George C. Scott doesn’t even come close to Lee J. Cobb’s performance in the original and his breakdown at the end is so overacted and the comments from the other jurors come across as heavy-handed and cheesy. James Gandolfini is underused. William Petersen and Tony Danza would’ve worked better if they switched their parts. All the acting is forced like every line they’re saying is so damn important as if it’s a play and you have to make sure the last rows understand what you’re saying. These are good actors, Jack Lemon, Edward James Olmos? What are they doing here?

I also don’t get why they decided to radically increase the ages of the characters. I’ll give you two progressions of the ages of actors at the time of portraying the characters in both versions.

12 Angry Men (1957) – 32,33,35,37,38,41,43,46,52,52,56,75

12 Angry Men (1997) – 36,37,40,44,46,47,50,67,70,72,80,86

Oh, yeah, you know what would be cool? Let’s make half of the jury senior citizens! It’s not that I’m just pissed about the actors being older, but the only reason for this movie to be made is to update it to modern views, but it ends up just the same only with some race, nationality and religion related remarks thrown in, the increased age of the characters only adds to the feeling of senility.

Overall, I totally hated it, the only thing it has that the original didn’t have is color, yet I’d say the 1957 movie was a lot more colorful  and rich than this washed out crap. Definitely not recommended.

“And that’s what is going to happen to the boy if we send him to prison. Ok, Ossie, you can pull it out now.”