really don't care if Hollywood remakes old movies. Well, not much.
The only time it really bugs me is if I'm at the Blockbuster and
I'm drunk (which is the only way to go to those shitboxes because
then it can look like an accident when you piss on the rack of Goobers)
and I'm meaning to get the classic The Maltese Falcom but
wind up with some 2001 version starring Dolph Ludgren, Burt Reynolds
and Crystal Bernard. Really, though, that's my fucking fault; I
shouldn't get so drunk I can't read the small print, or I should
move somewhere with better video rentals in staggering distance.
Which reminds me, why the fuck does Blockbuster carry Red Shoes
Diary shit but edit the boobs out of foreign films? Do they
have a strong belief that only gratuitous sex is okay for kids?
Or do is there some minimum silicone requirement? That Red Shoes
shit is just a waste of time, it has the bad dialog of porn, the
terrible acting, but it ain't sexy.
get really mad about remakes. It gives the snobs something to bitch
about, and an opportunity to profess their superiority because they
only like the original. Well, if you like the first one, go watch
it and spare me the pissing and moaning. I don't really give a shiny
brass robot nut if Hollywood digs up the dusty bones of its past,
slaps on some new threads and hauls them out to the megaplex. At
this point, none of us should be surprised by the lack of originality
in Hollywood. They will go to great depths to be as shallow as possible.
I think remakes
should be judged on their own merits. And on its own merits, the
new version of The In-laws is one unholy turd. Seriously,
put a thousand Wiccans with loose bowels in the forest to live on
nuts and berries and this is what you'd get. What a fucking miserable
exercise in excess, shrieking and bellowing. The original The
In-laws is a very funny movie and you can rent it right now,
even at your local shitbox. But do not confuse it with this shrapnel-laden
The son of smarmy,
absentee father Michael Douglas is marrying the daughter of neurotic,
uptight podiatrist Albert Brooks. Right up until the week of the
wedding, Douglas is hard to get a hold of. It's because he's a CIA
agent trying to stop an arms smuggler. Of course, he can't tell
anyone this. Douglas inadvertently involves Brooks in his adventures,
and suddenly the whiny podiatrist is jetting to France, fighting
arms smugglers and impersonating a hitman named "Fat Cobra."
You can imagine
the trouble this would cause during a wedding weekend. Well, actually,
you can't because the filmmakers have packed The In-laws
with so much extraneous detail and unnecessary crap that it's impossible
to imagine, let alone follow. It's a matter of nobody involved having
faith in the material, so rather than do the hard work of making
it better, they just make it more. It's like a blind boxer who goes
out and just starts swinging, hoping something will connect.
Is there anyone
in the world who see the words "Michael Douglas" and thinks, "Ooo,
that's gonna be good!" I don't exactly know what unctuous means
(and I'm not asking you to tell me, although I'm sure some unctuous
asshole is eager to), but I suspect that Douglas is unctuous. He's
creepy and leathery, like a really rich child molester with a tanning
booth. And his name sure as hell doesn't mean quality movie. Albert
Brooks has made some really good movies, but not for a long time.
Now, he seems eager to be attached to anything with dollar signs.
Even when he was at his best, he was neurotic but charming. Here
the charm is gone, and he's just whiny. If I just wanted neurotic
I'd go down to the library, make humping noises in the reference
section and watch the librarians react. Actually, I might do that
anyway. It's a slow day. In The In-laws, Brooks never redeems
himself or becomes likable, but the movie acts like he does. It's
funny how a little background music and an arbitrary action sequence
can turn a guy from bad to good, even if nothing in his personality
suggests it. Fucking lazy movie.
wanted to be a slapstick comedy, and it might have worked as one.
Instead, there are crass elements of slapstick, like Albert Brooks
in a thong bikini. But then it takes its action sequences very seriously,
trying to look like a real thriller with big explosions, high-speed
chases and plot twists that I'm sure the makers thought were surprising.
The action is stupid, low-grade and inconsistent. The plot twists
are totally predictable because they are exactly what you'd expect
a shitty movie to think we'd find surprising. What's that? Douglas's
CIA sidekick, whom the movie takes great pains to emphasize the
loyalty of, turns out to be a double agent! Who would've thought?
though, is the feeble attempt to inject some "poignancy" into the
movie by making it about Douglas trying to be a good father. Who
gives a fuck? It's a God damn comedy, and the last thing I want
is some convoluted, pathetic touchy-feely horseshit about that unctuous
prick trying to show affection. Oh, boo hoo, it's so hard being
a father today, what with living a double life and all. All of that
"absentee father" shit is just a cheap attempt to give us a reason
to care about the people on screen because they have so little personality
All of the scenes
are played at a hysterical pitch. Typical of Hollywood, they think
if you scream loud enough, nobody will notice the jokes aren't funny.
But how could we miss the unfunniness of a stereotypical gay Frenchmen
making effeminate passes, or the sixtieth time Brooks expresses
his neurotic displeasure, or the painful dog-for-dinner in the Chinese
What a fucking
dreadful, unfunny kick in the balls of a movie. I'd rather listen
tot he screams outside the van of that guy who does vaginal piercings
by the high school. One finger. Don't pay to see this substandard
crap; rent the original and see what it was like when people trusted
their material enough to let it breathe.
By the way,
there's an interview
with me at Pitchfork Media. Warning, it's pretty fucking
long so only read it if somoene is paying you for your time.
to tell Filthy Something