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Sometimes the Great Hollywood Machine makes me SO angry!

January 19, 2010

So, my husband and I went to see Up in The Air today. We got there in time to watch the previews, which is always my favorite part of going to the movies, so that was awesome.

There was a trailer for a Focus Feature that I can’t remember, staring Ben Stiller that I really have no interest in seeing, and there was a new preview (finally) for Shutter Island, which I’m really excited about, but didn’t want to see, yet again, the same preview that we’ve been seeing for months.

There might have been another one in between, but then there was a preview for a movie about a funeral. The first shot is of a black man, staring down at a coffin saying, “Who is that?” and “That’s not my father, you brought me Jackie Chan!” And as the trailer progresses, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, no, they didn’t.’

But oh yes they did. Just wait.

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I were watching a different indie movie, and we saw this preview:

And we said, “British comedy? Alan Tudyk?! That guy from Pride and Prejudice!” (Okay that was mostly me… :D) We said, “This we have to see!”

So, we rented it, and it was just as brilliant as we thought it would be. A little understated, as British comedy tends to be, but nonetheless amazing. I promptly started recommending it to everyone I knew who might possibly appreciate it. (Not everyone appreciates British comedy, sadly.)

But, as Eddie Izzard says, “Whereas if the [British] film did any bit of business in America, if the film did some decent bit of business, then Hollywood would take it, and they’d remake it, and they’d up the budget by fifty million…”

Compare the above trailer, to this one:

A “remake with an urban spin” indeed.

The movie feels cheapened, somehow, much like when Hollywood took one of my favorite Japanese movies, Shall we dansu?, and remade it for American audiences. Because we’re apparently not cool enough to get the subtleties of the Japanese version? Or because no one wants to watch a movie with subtitles? I just don’t get it.

And I’m sure that the remake of Death at a Funeral will sell like hot-cakes among its target audience, so it’ll make a bunch of people a bunch of money, but I just don’t get why they felt it needed to be remade at all (other than the obvious money thing, and maybe that’s all the reason they need).

I should change the title of this post. It doesn’t really make me angry, it really just makes me sad.

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