Wednesday, April 05, 2006

50 Cent goes to "The Dance"

Would you pay to watch 50 Cent get hit in the face a lot? Maybe. But, the more important question is, has Hollywood just completely run out of new ideas?

The latest disturbing trend is taking perfectly good documentaries and remaking them as fictional works. It didn't work with "Lords of Dogtown," which butchered the fun of out of "Dogtown and Z-Boys." This weekend, Antonio Banderas conspires to suck the life out of the vibrant "Mad Hot Ballroom" as he teaches misguided youths all they need is dance in "Take the Lead." A wretched idea from the start.

Now Nicolas Cage and 50 are linked to "The Dance," which was once a little-seen 2003 documentary about former prize fighter BIlly "the Kid" Roth, who volunteered his time coaching boxing in Louisiana's toughest prisons. 50 will play a lifer who Roth (Cage) thinks has the chops to be a champ.

I haven't seen "The Dance," but I love boxing movies. And if you ever thought it might be fun to spend a little time in prison in Louisiana, Netflix "The Farm," a look at life inside Angola thats as compelling as it is terrifying.

So why does this leave me cold? Not so much for this specific project. 50 is a surprisingly good actor, and I can take Cage in moderate doses. This could be great.

It's just the idea of taking great documentaries and, seeing how well they worked, simply stealing not just the idea, but the whole story. I'm sure a fictional take on "Murderball," possibly featuring Tom Cruise's return to a wheelchair, is in the works somewhere. "March of the Penguins" is most likely bound to become an animated tale featuring smart-alec penguins voiced by John Leguizamo and Chris Rock. I'm gonna stop now before I get queasy.

In much better news, all hail the mighty Lady Terrapins, pictured celebrating above as a conquered Dukie hangs her head in shame. I love it anytime Maryland beats Duke in anything, but to come from 13 down to win the title? Fear - and cheer - the Turtle, indeed.

Young Kristi Toliver is already a better clutch shooter than JJ Redick, and could definitely whip him in a boxing match. Man, would that be fun to watch.

And finally, Erik Bedard takes to the mound tonight against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a bid to keep the Orioles in first place for at least one more day. Keep hope alive.


actonbell said...

Documentaries into movies--I hadn't heard of this trend, and I agree this doesn't sound good. I did see the Dogtown doc and thought it very interesting, but can't imagine it as a good movie! I really like documentaries.
So, Keira's going to be in Atonement? I haven't read that one, but will need to, if it's going to be a movie. I'm on the fence about McEwan, so far--liked one book, but disliked another...
thanks for visiting!

Matt Carter said...

Why'd you stop? You were on a roll, putting Tom Cruise in a wheelchair for a Murderball remake. How 'bout:

"Roger and Me" -- Robert Redford puts on a pair of glasses, a Michigan State hat, and 70 lbs to play Michael Moore. Juliette Lewis makes a cameo as "The Rabbit Lady."

"Outfoxed" -- Stephen Colbert makes the move to the big screen, portraying Bill O'Reilly on a murderous rampage. Al Franken plays himself.

"Grey Gardens" Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange star as the eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Onassis in a remake of the Maysles brothers classic.

Ooops, sorry. That last one is for real. Now you want to talk about queasy?

Reel Fanatic said...

Very funny stuff Matt ... you're right .. unfortunately it could go on forever!

Matt Carter said...

I think the trend you've ID'd here is just another example of how the people who control the purse strings in Hollywood would prefer to place safe bets. They like proven concepts (best selling books) proven directors (even if they haven't proven themselves lately) and proven formulas (even if audiences are tired of them). Then they're always surprised if their horse finishes out of the money, beaten by some longshot they've never heard of. As long as they control the distribution channels I guess they can muddle along this way...

Laura said...

enjoying the posts here (and the pics). thanks for visiting my blog!

sci-fi and super-heroes said...

Hi, thought i'd drop in to say thanks for checking out my blog mr.moviebuff. Was interested in knowing your thoughts on the oscars but didn't see a post for them. What was your choice if i may ask. Well keep promoting movie going experiences cause sitting home in from of the tube watching some of these movies is a crime.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for your interest sci-fi ... here's my rather lengthy post from before the oscars:

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