Movie predictions are a pain in the ass. So I'll try to be less smarmy and more to the point in my foretelling of the feature to come.
“Fright Night” stars Colin Farrell & Anton Yelchin and is scheduled for release 19August2011.
From what little I could glean from IMDB and a couple of the movie rental houses (if any of you folks are listening, pay up and I'll start name dropping) the movie is basically like any other 20+ year remake. Meaning, it takes its roots from the 1985 original, updates it to a more modern tempo and flare in keeping with today's mind frame.
Does this mean I'm a dust farting old curmudgeon and won't see it for some puritanical bullshit reason that falls under the hospices of “the original is...” or “the book's much better” blow hole bullshit scenario? Not at all. In fact, I am one of the few that relish in “can't wait to see” what they've done. So put that in your ass & smoke it.
As for the story? If you haven't seen the original & you can stomach a bit of the 80s dynamics (probably not the best descriptor), then take a moment and rent it. It's fun, tongue in cheek and not to be taken seriously. That's what made it popular. It was a pseudo comedy. [wtf? let's just say comedy...]
A twist of gender roles moved to the girlfriend, Amy Peterson (Amanda Bearse) who is wanting to take the relationship to the next level, is sidetracked by a less than eager boyfriend, Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) who's preoccupied with a curiously gay, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) (undertone mentioned because I have a degree in cinema & photography) TV host of a vampire horror show, redundantly named... you guessed it, Fright Night.
Amy gets pissy (because a girl can deny the vag, but god love you if you deny the dick, right guys?) so she hits the bricks for a bit and Chuckles fumbles around for a while trying to figure out WTF he did wrong, all the while a new Greek Adonis, Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) (with a creepy man servant) has moved in next door. After which, mom's all hot & bothered and several of his classmates and neighborhood animals all start disappearing. OK the animals thing is probably not true. It's been a while since I've seen the movie, so I may have made that up, but the movie is a comedy so I'm trying to keep it comedic.
As you can probably guess, Jerry's the vampire eating the town. Charley decides to nut up and take on Jerry with the help of Peter, but Jerry thinks he can keep Charley at arms length by attempting to eat (take that in whatever context you deem necessary) Amy.
Hows THAT for summing up a movie in one sentence!?! Take That Gene Siskel, you arrogant fuck! [yeah, yeah, I know... it was in desperate danger of being a run-on sentence, but I had to just “go” for it]
Hows does this play out in our almost 25 year old update? My guess is that it's going to be more visceral. The trailer already has a foreboding atmosphere not present in the original. Basically all the characters of the original are there. Although I'm sure script has been messaged with changes aplomb.
The original was rated R so I see no reason for that to change in new version. Editing techniques and the ability to improve on imposed violence should be more than enough to push the envelope of the MPAA into wanting to bleed from the eyes. In fact, I was hard pressed to see how they got the R rating in the original to begin with. The heavy makeup FX, hard nippled Amy stand in was a good attempt, but I still think they had to bribe the viewing panel for the rating as they exited the screening booth.
Getting back to the remake, Colin Farrell plays Jerry and from the looks of it, the man is in his element once again.
I've never disliked a performance he's done, just some of the movies he's been attached to. I'm not going to start rattling them off because that would be like picking out each time you wet the bed. It might have been one of your fine performances. Might not have been your bed or your room. Hell, there could be a myriad of explanations, each and every one not worth going into 'right' now. So there.
He's not exactly a Chris Sarandon, but for this particular retelling, we're not looking for the that Bela Lugosi, tuxedo, top shelf, Audi A1, $300 manicured ass here... Is it me or does that last last sentence smack of gay? Fuck it, I have a huge cock & I'm not looking for a date with the man... this is a prerelease movie.
As I see it, that's going to be a real appeal of this movie... a plain Jane, guy next door with a night job that just so happens to be a major chick magnet. Not too far from the realm of believability and that's what makes the movie more alluring. Not to mention the fact that Colin can turn on the creep factor to 11 in less time than it takes for the electricity to move from the wall outlet to your vacuum cleaner when you turn it on.
Anton Yelchin plays our unsung hero Charley. Being the effervescent old fart that I am & out of the "name every celebrity at a moments notice" game, the last movie I remember seeing Anton Yelchin in was “Terminator Salvation”. If you still don't know who I'm talking about, he's the guy that played young Kyle Reese. [comment all you want I REALLY liked the movie, so fuck off]
Again, with only the damned trailer to go by, I can only speculate as to how the character is going to be perceived in the rest of the movie. Going by that alone, here's my take... unlike the original, I 'think' he just has a falling out with his girl friend. You know, the “you won't/don't talk to me” bullshit break down in communication excuses that has them at odds for a couple of days that has Charley wrapped up in his own little world and clueless. Clueless enough that he doesn't realize that folks are disappearing around him.
Also different from the original (hope, plead, wish so hard I shit myself) is that Charley mans/nuts up fast enough that he starts facing the vampire quicker for the one on one confrontations that slowly but surely escalate throughout the movie. That's my hope and dream for a fucking remake, but then Hollywierd doesn't want to make money, they want to make dumb ass shit sandwiches and think we as consumers want to take a bite. Again, don't hire/pay me the big bucks to spoon feed the crowd what they want.
I just REALLY hope they don't go with the comedic route on this film like they did with the original. It's a different time and a different age. People are just not going to go for it. Comedic elements are fine, it'll break up the heavy dick bending, bone breaking drama of the rest of the movie and will be very welcome. I, for one, won't be willing to sit through another rendition of the original despite how much titty or carnage you throw onto the screen.
Now for the pissing festival...
The movie is slated for the tale end of the summer movie run. Having worked in the movie theater business I KNOW what this ends up meaning for movies and it literally is a 50/50 chance of survival. So here's a little movie history of the original movie juxtaposed to the new movie and I'll let you folks decide what the proposed fate may be.
The 1985 movie was released 02Aug1985 and damn near payed for itself that opening weekend. After an eight week run it tripled (which is quantifiable bullshit, but that's another blog) its money and 30+ years later Hollyweird thinks they can do it again. But the “key” here is that it was released early in August.
Now we look at the date that this movie is going to come out. 18Aug2011. Granted, we have nothing but pure speculation to go on and shit facts that I have 5/6 years of threading film and counting tickets to know what audiences are going to pay for. The topper for this insight was due to the theater I worked in was a 'second run', dollar movie drive-in. So I knew in advance what movies had already flopped or sold before they even got to our theater.
And what it showed was sadly, stuff that comes out this late in the game... has a better chance of flopping than a chance of breaking even; you can all but forget block buster anything. Which may mean... Foresight on the Hollyweird horizon may have such late summer shit that this movie may in fact be the better of “that” weekend crop; thus making it the only hopes of pulling down the only 'break even' movie for the last of the summer finger banging squad.
Why did I write that descriptor sentence? Well, other than possibly 6 movies of unbelievable bullshit-o-rama expenditure to make already released (2 at the moment, the other 4 before or on July 4), the recession has kicked the shit out of every one. Those six movies went into production well before the recession hit and with no choice BUT to spend the bullshit-bomb-cake-bucks. Your guess is as good as mine if they're going to break even or not. But as I have read, Hollyweird cooks the books so fucking hard you would think California is a third world nation.
However, recession & all, Hollyweird is not one to look a gift horse head in the teeth either, so they're going to go cheep shit as well. Which means a LOT of the earlier films made back in the 80s that cost a shit ton in mechanical FX, cost a pittance now with digital.
“Fright Night” is VERY safely one of those films. Other than the finale', the rest of the film costs are wrapped up in egos.
The script has passed the 25 year copyright mark, so Hollyweird scarfed that fucker up and pressed that SOB in a heartbeat, so no money spent on paying the writer's fees, script rights or other inclusive rights.
Judging from Colin Farrell's acting career since 2009, ANYTHING with a leading role must have been as alluring as a groupie to an exposed rock stars dick, so I'm assuming (yeah, yeah, I know... get it out of your system) a huge chunk of change wasn't dropped there either.
Anton Yelchin, well, he's still young. Trying desperately like everybody else to make a name, get some titles under his belt and make a fucking living. Hell, can you blame him? At this point in his game... this is his first leading role... I think the studios fucked him for that reason alone and paid him about twice over scale. I.e., they (studio, production, whomever, not the artists) got off cheep.
In a nutshell... A BUNCH of the cast is both young and ENGLISH. No, for those of you who are dipshits, I don't mean English speaking, I mean literally from England.
What does that have to do with anything? Why, one other little thing (political) that Hollyweird gets pissy about & doesn't want the world to know about its greasy underbelly.
Keeping it short, both England & the US have a hissy about labor disputes. This comes into a HUGE ass raping, nuclear battle when it comes to film productions especially overseas. England basically fucks around when compared to the US when it comes to TV & film production. We keep going 24/7, England still takes time for tea and tries to remain human.
So when we take a crew over to England to make a movie we CAN'T use US stagehands to build sets or use electricians, you get the idea. But here's another kicker, you can't use US actors either. Bet you smart asses didn't know that shit did you!?! Learn something new everyday.
“You're a fucking dumb ass Russell!!! I see American actors in “pluh” all the time”
Good eye McRetard, but you still don't know why. Now I'm going to tell you why. “WORK EXCHANGE”.
This is why both sides of the pond get pissed off all the time. Neither side “trade” stage hands. Camera men, photographers & some specialized artists on "rare" occasion. It's a huge pissing contest and just not worth going into at the moment. But actors, they trade them out ALL the time. So when England pisses us off with a bad deal on a production, we cast a few of their premiere stars in some REALLY shitty movies (don't act like you haven't seen one, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"). Not to worry, they do it to us too.
My hopes lie with the fact that they (Hollyweird) doesn't fuck up this relatively descent movie because they're still holding onto a 60+ year old fuck-fuck game. Am I hoping for Academy Nominations? Don't be a fucking moron...