Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Bigger Chill: WTF?

There was a brief time, when I was about 15 or so, when I was completely convinced that "The Big Chill" was simply the worst movie ever made. It obviously isn't, but bear with me here.

How do you sell to a kid who's just barely starting to figure out what's cool and what's not about the '80s that it really all just sucks because everything that mattered happened 20 years ago? I've watched it once since and warmed to it a bit, but I certainly never need to see it again (although any movie in which Kevin Costner exists only as "the dead guy" has to have some kind of merit to it.)

In the end, it's just hokum, no matter which generation it's about. Sayles' "The Return of the Secaucus Seven" is a much superior flick, if you simply have to get your nostalgia on. And, though I really can't figure out what the heck this one is even after seeing the trailer twice, director Julie Taymor has seemingly raided the entire Beatles' catalog to encapsulate the '60s in the upcoming "Across the Universe."

Or, if you're somehow already nostalgic for the '90s (and probably not in a way remotely as funny as anything VH1 cooks up), this movie might just be for you. It seems, and I can't make this stuff up, believe me, that "The Big Chill" is being remade with an African-American cast and a contemporary setting. If you can excuse me for a minute, like Christine Taylor in "Dodgeball," I just threw up a little in my own mouth.

OK, I'm back. So, let's see ... according to Variety, writer/director Lawrence Kasdan will have nothing to do with this, and the story will be retitled, but the original script will be used as a "template," with the cast members, who were in college together in the '90s, reuniting at a South Carolina beach house for the funeral of a friend

The first of many questions I have to ask is, what in the world was so great about the '90s? I was in college myself for the beginning of them, and I have to say I had a blast. Living in D.C., I even attended a few protest marches and the first inauguration of Bill Clinton. But if you can name me one thing that was accomplished in that period that's already worth lionizing in this manner, please let me know what it is.

But perhaps I'm looking at this the wrong way. If this is simply a college-reunion flick starring some pretty folks (I always like to see Gabrielle Union, if I get a vote), it will just come and go and be somewhat pleasing to a lot of people who aren't me. And if I get a vote for the dead guy, I'll take Rob Schneider ( assuming that, since he's dead, he doesn't actually have to be black.)

Pacey as Fletch? WTF, take 2

Is it OK to admit that I've seen more than few episodes of "Dawson's Creek" and even found them to be entertaining? I certainly hope so, since I just did.

That said, I don't ever need to see Joshua Jackson (aka Pacey, now there's a tough name for you) in anything, much less in one of my favorite film franchises. If the fine folks at have it right, however, he's about to step into the shoes of Fletch (I almost vomited again, but fought the urge this time.)

The "Fletch Won" prequel has been in development limbo for years now. It had two promising but fitful starts, first with Kevin Smith and Jason Lee on board and later with Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff. Somehow Steve Pink and Josh Jackson, the latest director/actor combo to land the whale, just doesn't hold the same appeal.

To be fair to Mr. Pink, he did write the screenplays for two fairly great movies, "High Fidelity" and "Grosse Point Blanke." What's the link there? John Cusack, of course.

Cusack as Fletch, with the very funny Mr. Pink as writer and director? For that I'd be on board right away. But Pacey? There's just no way I can see it.

Three bits of good news

OK, that's a lot of bile for a Wednesday morning, so here's some sweet nuggets to wash it all down:

No. 1: After passing on another "Mummy" movie, Rachel Weisz, in what can only be called a fantastic case of trading up, has landed the role of the mother of the young girl who has been abducted and murdered in Peter Jackson's upcoming "Lovely Bones." Great novel by Alice Sebold, so should be a great flick. 'Nuff said.

No. 2: "World Trade Center" scribe Andrea Berloss will adapt the story of the Fugees, a youth soccer club made up of international refugees that just happens to be based in Clarkston, Ga. I'd much rather see a documentary about these rather remarkable kids, but this could still be a lot of fun. Even better, Universal, which bought the rights to the New York Times article about the club by Warren St. John, will pitch in $500,000 to build them a new soccer field.

No. 3: Danny Boyle's "Sunshine" will indeed be coming out July 20, in the U.S., and if I can get it to load, here's the poster. Enjoy!


Mercurie said...

Well, the economy was better in the Nineties. I am nostalgic about that. But I don't think that would make for a very good movie.... I'm like you, I don't see how one can get a good movie out of the Nineties....

Lorraine said...

Grunge music? Yeah, that's about it.

I always liked "Return of the Seacacus 7" better. Don't tell.

Marina said...

Sunshine Coming Soon = A Very Happy Marina

Anonymous said...

Chevy Chase IS Fletch. No one else needs to try. Although, I'm still stumped as to why they only made 2 movies with him in that character.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think I'm with you on that, jp, but I was intrigued by the possibility of Kevin Smith and Jason Lee ... I think he has the chops to pull it off, but Joshua Jackson, for sure, does not

Divinity said...

The bf has always maintained that The Big Chill is Keven Costner's best work to date. :)

Jonathan said...

Kevin Smith could have made a great "Fletch" film, and I think the "Scrubs" crew would have been fine as well. And as much as I love the original, I cannot call it one of my favorite film franchises since they only made two, and the second one pretty much sucked. But that's just my opinion.

Reel Fanatic said...

I guess you're right that only two movies can't rightly be called a "franchise," Jonathan, but I have to admit I liked the second Fletch flick almost as much as the first one .. And Kevin Smith certainly would have had a blast with this