October 4, 2005
I talk to dead people
The new version of The Warriors isn't a director's cut, per se. Walter Hill has filmed a short "introduction" explaining his ideas behind the changes. Since he'd always thought of this movie as being based in a comic-book world, he added comic-book-style transitions between the scenes.
*Double take - spit take*
By chance, The Warriors (the unchanged release) had just recently made the six or so month journey up to the top of my Netflix queue, and I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it. I'm also shocked at how dumb an idea that comic book thing is. There should be some kind of time limit on directors fucking with their old stuff. There were apparently a few scenes that got cut out of the original American Graffiti release. When it became a hit, they put the scenes back in. That's fine. I'm not going to bore you with a rant about the many re-releases of you-know-what-by-the-same-director, but suffice it to say, from now on, you get five years to dick around with your movie as much as you want. After that, put it in the vault. Huxley wrote a forward to Brave New World a decade or two after he wrote the book basically saying, "Man, there's some stuff in here I wouldn't do anymore. But whatever, that was then, this is now. Fucking with it would be stupid." Do artists have a right to change their stuff after the fact? Yes. Should they? No. If people thought your stuff was good to begin with, whatever lame tweaks you think of twenty years later aren't going to make it any better. They'll make it worse.
And you're lucky The Warriors isn't based on a comic book, or you'd have to sit through my "Just because it's based on a comic, doesn't mean it should look like a comic" spiel. I'll save that for when I see Doom and I'll combine it with my "Just because it's based on a video game, doesn't mean it should look like a video game" spiel.
Now for the original point of this post - Ways you can tell a movie is bad #4 continued - a scene with a dead person. I've talked about this before, but whatever, I'm still mad about it. I saw the by-the-numbers Oscar bait Proof this weekend. It starts off with Gwyneth talking to her father until he reveals... he's dead! How many times have I seen someone talking to a dead person in a movie like it ain't no thing? Too many. Proof almost gets off the hook by implying that Gwyneth is mentally unstable, but since that's the only scene that does more than imply it (being weepy and whiny doesn't count), no dice. Beyond the grave chats always suck. Cut any of them out of a movie and you have just as good (or more likely, bad) a movie. I welcome anyone to come up with evidence to the contrary in the comments.
Oh, and by the way, you may have heard I was a math minor in college. I can say without a doubt that math geeks look neither like Gwyneth nor Jake Gyllenhaal. I know it's Hollywood, but come on. Help a brother suspend a little disbelief here.
Posted by Will at October 4, 2005 11:00 PM
So where does that leave a movie like "Weekend at Bernie's" or even "Dracula" (who's dead, not undead)?
And what about the classic "Heart and Souls" -- full of wonderful dead people!
Posted by: dave at October 5, 2005 9:10 AM
I like "Our Town".
Posted by: Eddie at October 5, 2005 10:53 AM
Our Town, I can't argue with. I think anything explicitly supernatural is off the hook. And any movie with Jonathan Silverman.
Posted by: Will at October 5, 2005 3:29 PM
Jay Silverheels. Wasn't he the guy that played Tonto? These are my last words on this matter.
Posted by: Eddie at October 5, 2005 6:36 PM