Tuesday, May 26, 2009

" If the apocalypse comes, beep me": Well, for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans, its here

Buffy: I wish we could be regular kids.
Angel: Yeah. I'll never be a kid.
Buffy: Okay, then a regular kid and her cradle-robbing, creature-of-the-night boyfriend.

Wow. I had an inkling that "Terminator Salvation" would get housed at the weekend box office by the family-friendly "Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian," but this is just downright embarrassing.

It's almost like the makers of the latter issued a dare-bet: "We'll give you an extra day, and I bet we can still beat you handily," because that's exactly what happened. Over the three days they were in direct competition, "Museum" took in about $70 million at the U.S. box office, while McG's flick netted only a truly paltry $53 million; add in his extra day numbers from Thursday, and he still lands in second place with about $67 million.

A sad saga indeed, but as a lead-in to the simply insidious tale that's about to unfold here, it's also quite cautionary. Because while for my money McG made a serviceable and even entertaining summer flick, he really didn't bother to absorb much of the Terminator mythos before he simply starting blowing things up (which, of course, certainly his its own entertainment value.) Had he studied just a bit more, his movie might have been embraced the way "Star Trek" has been by the franchise's fans and just about everyone else in the world (well, probably not, but it at least could have beat a movie with Ben Stiller getting slapped by two monkeys - you see, it's a sequel.)

And I really have tried to give up on ranting about remakes because it's just come to seem like a tremendous waste of energy. You wanna make English remakes of my two favorite movies of 2008 - "Let the Right One In" and "Tell No One"? Fair enough. I'll simply ignore them. But a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie without Joss Whedon? Well, as Buffy herself might say, that's just a whole new level of suck.

So, what exactly are these jokers up to? Well, initially Whedon and since some very talented comic book artists have been continuing the "Buffy" saga in fine form in funny books. With Jane Espenson taking over the writing duties for the issues coming in July, and with Oz returning to the story to help battle the current Big Bad, Twilight (no, I'm not making that up, and it's insanely funny), I'm certainly in for the fifth volume of "season eight."

And just writing about those characters points out all that's wrong with the drive to create a "Buffy" movie that surfaced in the Hollywood Reporter this morning. It seems that Fran Rubel Kuzui, who to give credit where its due both directed the first "Buffy" movie and wisely brought Joss Whedon along to create the rather famous TV show that followed it, has held on to the rights all this time. And now it seems she's just completely lost her mind.

To finally get to the point, with Vertigo Entertainment but without Joss Whedon, she's gotten it into her head to make a "remake or relaunch" of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" story for the big screen. If you'll excuse me for a second, I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

What in the world is "Buffy" without the writing that made it so funny and sometimes magical from week to week? Well, she's just a girl who fights vampires, which in the wrong hands could add up to simply a big ball of meh. And, just to ensure that when this finally comes together, it will be one of the most hated movies of all time along with being a box office Hindenburg, THR reports the movie will have "no connection" to the TV series, meaning it wouldn't use "popular supporting characters like Angel, Willow, Xander or Spike" (no Spike? sheesh.)

This was pitched at THR as similar to what Abrams did with "Star Trek," but I don't see how that could be more wrong. As anyone who's seen his flick by now (and, I'll admit, I've seen it twice already) knows, he made it work because he not only brought along all of the "supporting characters" in the Enterprise crew but also created a brave new world for them to inhabit. Kuzui, however, is instead apparently just trying to pretend the "Buffy" TV show and its creator didn't exist, and is therefore headed for nothing but disaster.

OK, that's enough for today about a movie that may not ever even happen. But how much do I love the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV show? I think the show's best couple put it best, so I'll leave it to them.

Drusilla: Do you love my insides? The parts you can't see?
Spike: Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet.

'Nuff said.


jeremy said...

Oh lord. I hope that doesn't happen; however, I can divorce the Kristy Swanson vehicle from the series, so maybe I'll allow it.

Also, I posted about Buffy today.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll certainly stop by and check it out ... The original movie is indeed a minor bit of fun, but I still can't see this succeeding in any way if they just ignore the TV Buffy like they're threatening to do

Mercurie said...

Ye gads, this is a real nightmare for me. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favourite shows (although I actually preferred the spinoff Angel), and I honestly don't think it can be done right with Whedon. And to pretend as if the TV series didn't take place, with none of the supporting characters we know and love? That's just plain wrong. I hope this insidious scheme never comes to fruition...

Reel Fanatic said...

It took me a long time to get into Angel, Mercurie, but mostly because the first season was so episodic with no overall storyline ... Once it got to season two, however, I have to agree with you that it was at least as good as Buffy

bonzo said...

i agree on the whole unnecessary remake thing. and their speeding up the process - Death at a Funeral (which was a recent, somewhat-entertaining "british" movie) is being remade ALREADY with chris rock in an "american" version.

weird that i stumbled upon this blog today - my wife is forcing us to review the "buffy" tv series, and we actually watched today the very episode with the line you quote ("eyeballs to entrails"). i found angel to be a more - interesting? - series overall, but i think buffy is more re-watchable, if that makes any sense.

i'll keep this buffy thing on my radar, but it will be hard to get excited about it without whedon.

Reel Fanatic said...

Akk! ... I have to agree with your assessment that "Death at a Funeral" was only a "somewhat" entertaining movie, and there's certainly no reason to make it again ... I do, however, really like Alan Tudyk and Peter Dinklage, and thought they were very funny in it

bonzo said...

Alan will always be "Wash" to me, thanks to "Firefly" (and of course Serenity). He had a good performance in "Dollhouse" - dunno if you had an opinion on that series if you caught it. When I caught Dodgeball on TV I was surprised to recognize him as "Steve the Pirate" - I hadn't realized I had already seen a movie with him in it!

Reel Fanatic said...

I was lukewarm for much of "Dollhouse," Bonzo, but it did slowly get better as the season went on, enough so that I'll be tuning in for season two

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Lizhfut said...

It took me a long time to get into Angel, Mercurie, but mostly because the first season was so episodic with no overall storyline ... Once it got to season two, however, I have to agree with you that it was at least as good as Buffy

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