Friday, November 03, 2006

De Palma and Capone, together again

One of my favorite movie sites in the world is the Frenchie This morning they had an intriguing tidbit, which I'll do my best to translate (though I haven't spoken French regularly for more than 15 years.)

If I have this right, Brian De Palma is cooking up a prequel of sorts to "The Untouchables," to be called "The Untouchables: Capone Rising." It will be written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien and, as the title implies, it will be about the arrival of Capone in Chicago and his rise to power, plus the beginning of his relationship with copper Jimmy Malone (played with relish by Sean Connery in the first flick.)

De Palma definitely has his detractors (including me; I couldn't even bring myself to watch "The Black Dahlia.") As popcorn flicks go, however, I thought "The Untouchables" was a lot of fun, and this certainly could be too.

Shooting is scheduled to start in june 2007, so this is definitely one to keep your eyes on.

Hughes brothers are back

Allen and Albert Hughes accomplished a singular feat in my book, before disappearing completely for the last five years: They managed to make four good movies in a row.

Arriving in style with "Menace II Society," they got even better through "Dead Presidents" and "American Pimp," then stumbled a bit with their still-entertaining take on Jack the Ripper, "From Hell." And then, for whatever reason, they just stopped.

What does it take to bring them back? The chance to bring the 1970s TV show "Kung Fu" to be big screen, of course. They apparently lobbied for the job for more than two years, and I for one am glad they got it.

Why? While I've railed fairly consistently against remakes in this space, "Kung Fu" is ripe for updating. Though I watch it when it's on, it's hardly a classic. It's a good concept that could use a dose of style from these two talented directors.

Shooting for Legendary Pictures is scheduled to start next year, and the brothers have apparently already reached out to the Shaolin Temple outside Beijing where nonviolent monks who train in martial arts were the inspiration for the series protagonist, Caine.

I'm sure many will disagree, but I don't see how this can turn out to be anything but fun. Welcome back, Mssrs. Hughes.

Huzzah to Emory

While I wish they would have made this stand on cinematic rather than moral ground, the end result can only be a good thing.

McG has been hatching a remake of "Revenge of the Nerds" (stop a minute to digest that excremental concept), but Emory University, just up from the road from me in Atlanta, has thankfully blocked his path.

Balking at the raunchy nature of the project, Emory has backed out of its agreement to allow the film to be shot there, forcing it to at least temporarily shut down and fly all the actors back to L.A.

Fox Atomic was alerted to the issue four days before the shoot was planned to start on Oct. 9. After attempting to shoot at other colleges in Atlanta, the decision was made to call it quits and figure out a new plan.

Production is now officially on hiatus, with the clock ticking, considering that winter (and snow) is approaching, and much of the film is set outdoors in autumn, back-to-school weather.

A Fox Atomic rep said that Fox was still hoping to release the film in August and that all of the cast and crew remain intact.

I love Emory already for a completely personal reason: Dr. Wojna from its hospital removed a cyst from one of my tear ducts, and did a bang-up job. (In an example of the kind of humor I appreciate only when it happens to someone else, he waited until the operation was over to say "I'm sure glad we didn't find any cancer in there." Sheesh.)

Anyways, for whatever reason Emory did this, it has to be commended. McG must be stopped, by any means necessary.


Anonymous said...

I've never understood the impetus to remake a good movie--good for Emory!
As for DePalma--he definitely is indulgent and retarded at times, but Carrie is seriously one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Then there was the polarizing Femme Fatale. I fell into the genius camp rather than the excrement camp. I think most of the people who actually like it are cinephiles--the Last Year in Marienbad meets Double Indemnity story was so outrageous it was great. Water him down to the Untouchables level and he feels more like a technician ham-handedly grinding gears (and letting his actors get away with chewing the scenery). So, I'll probably wait for video for any Untouchables prequel.

Reel Fanatic said...

You and I divide like many film fams on De Palma, Jeremy ... While I agree that Carrie is a masterpiece, I just couldn't follow him to Femme Fatale ... and I'll still admit I quite enjoyed The Untouchables

Jim Marquis said...

When I watch a DePalma movie I just put the "plot" section of my brain on hold and enjoy the tricks and visuals. I absolutely loved Carrie, the Untouchables, Dressed to Kill and Mission to Mars. I respect how he made Scarface and I thought Snake Eyes was underrated.

Anonymous said...

While I love many De Palma's films, I have to admit that he can be very, very uneven. I love The Untouchables, but like you I didn't want to go near Black Dahlia.

As to Kung Fu, I think the Hughes Brothers could do a good job with it. I watched the show as a kid, but I have to agree it is hardly a classic. But the concept behind it does have real potential and I think that could be realised in a big screen remake.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think they're a perfect fit too, Mercurie ... I've liked all their movies, but I think "American Pimp" would have to be my favorite

Divinity said...

heh, it's actually "Messrs" as the plural of "Mister". I only know that because I had to look it up last night. Not really a lot shorter than writing "Misters", is it?
Loved the Untouchables. Actually liked the TV show too. Maybe I'm just a Ness/Capone groupie.

Lori said...

I love 'Untouchables'...but I don't have a lot of faith in a successful prequel. DePalma is soooo very hit-and-miss.

Glad to hear the Hughes have something in the works. With them directing I think 'Kung Fu' might actually be okay.

And yes...go Emory! Stop McG whenever, wherever and however you can!

Anonymous said...

Forget stopped, McG must be annialated.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm definitely with you on that, Emma ... maybe we should just take up some kind of paypal collection and hire a hitman to take him out ... I'm sure noone would ever convict us!

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching 'The Seventh Seal'. I loved it but that nay have something to do with the philosophical bent I am on. French film noir is also a good reason for NF...Thanks for stopping by!

Kiyotoe said...

I have a cousin who attends Agnes Scott and she said that they were filming "Nerds" there. By the time I got there to check it out, they were gone.

Oh well.

Reel Fanatic said...

Apparently the "Nerds" folks contacted every school in the Atlanta area to try and salvage their shoot, but everyone turned them down, Kiyotoe