I'll come up with something in a minute.




February 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

5 Remakes I Might Not Hate

I’ve been thinking about remakes for a while now, mostly because nine tenths of the movies out there seem to be remakes of one stripe or another lately. What I’ve been thinking though is that just because most of them are crap, people assume all remakes are crap. It might be true that a lot of remakes are garbage, but let’s face it, most movies are garbage anyway. I’m not just talking about movies today, I mean all movies. People forget that really bad movies have always been with us because time erases the bad and keeps the good. We only notice it with remakes because the movies they were based on are usually good ones and they’re hurt by the comparison.

Anyway, as I said I’ve been thinking about remakes because I’ve seen a few movies lately that I think could stand up to a decent remake. Now to make a good remake I think you need to bring something new to the table. A new setting, a few new ideas, maybe a few different camera angles (I’m looking at you Van Sant!) or even just take a few of the basic story points and make a completely new movie. Lots of remakes are good, and a few of them are so good that people forget about the original.

So I’ve been sitting here, watching some samurai movies (You’ll see why this is relevant in a moment) and thinking about movies that could get remade and how you could do it. I figure all of these could make pretty good remakes in the hands of a director that was any good and if the studio let it be a decent movie instead of demanding that they be allowed to put whatever brain dead flavor of the moment idiots they have lying around in the staring roles. Yeah, I know, but these are dreamcasts anyway. Let me believe they’d bring Robert Mitchum back to star in my first choice okay?

Ronin Gai (1990 – Japan)
This is a pretty awesome little movie in and of itself, but because it’s Japanese and requires either a little fore knowledge or a few viewing to understand the full implications of what’s going on a western set remake could do them good. You’d get the movie in one sitting, you’d understand it, but you need to know a little about the time period to get everything they’re saying. Anyway, you could remake this as a sort of Film Noir throw back. You set it between 1945 and 1958 in L.A. and go from there. You could pretty much make it anytime up to the present really, but I like the golden Film Noir sort of period best for this. You keep the prostitutes, make the ronin into private detectives (Or any outsider tough guys really) and you’re all set. You could put it a bunch of places though, even make it a Jack the Ripper story set in Victorian London.

Goyokin (1969 – Japan)
I’ll save you the effort of mentioning it, you’re going to see a pattern here. This movie could have several settings, but they’d all have to pretty much be before the advent of mass communication. What you mostly have here is an attempted gold heist that requires a bit of chicanery to work right. A boat carrying gold is made to crash on rocks because a beacon fire is put on one outcrop of land instead of another. Once you have light houses, this won’t work, but before that it could. You could put this in the American Civil War (people would believe that lighthouses either weren’t around or weren’t in the area being used) or anyplace in Europe along a coastline. All you’d really need is a coast area that needs to be skirted to work. After that, it’s just switch a few cultural points and the story would work.

Le Samouraï (1967 – France)
Yes, well, it fits with the group doesn’t it? This could be present day New York, possibly Chicago or Boston I suppose, anywhere with a good train system really. This one I’d like to see a remake using pretty much the same script for Jef’s part of the movie. You’d have to change things for the police stuff, because Paris in the 60s and New York in the present have different legal systems and some things you’d just have to change. However, I think it would be really neat to have the character of Jef Costello act as close to the original as possible, just to show that cool is cool no matter where or when. You’d have to get some people who would have enough confidence not to need the constant chatter that American movies often rely on, since it takes almost 9 minutes before anyone says anything in this movie. However, given a good crew and some luck, you could remake this really well without needing a big budget. Not needing a big budget could save a movie like this, giving the film makers a lot of wiggle room.

The Dark Corner (1946 – U.S.A. BABY!)
An actual Film Noir in my list, how do you like that? A modern updating would be cool for this movie. You could set it just about anywhere. You don’t even need a fully urban setting, although I’d think rural would be pushing it. You could get away with it being a suburban area though, some place just big enough to have some people in it. A small town somewhere would do really. Just so long as you could realistically have the basic elements, you could do it fine. You just need a Private Eye who was framed, enough people to watch things happening, a few guys to do the things that get done, not much at all really.

The Thin Man (1934 – U.S.A.)
Wait, what? The Thin Man! Yeah, why not? It’s a good movie, but you could do a much more accurate movie to the book these days. There are a lot of things both said and implied in the book that you just couldn’t do in the movies at the time. Given a more rigid interpretation of the book, you could make it a lot darker, sexier, harder, and all those things Hollywood has a great big stiffy for right now. You could set this during the time period or during the modern day, either would do really. Just so long as you get the whole poor detective who married a spoiled rich girl who is years below his age point across you’d get the interesting parts of the book. Probably going for a synthesis of the book and the first movie would give you the best results. Don’t try to recreate the Powell/Loy combination though, that would be disastrous. No matter what male lead you get, he won’t be William Powell and whoever you get to play Nora, she won’t be Myrna Loy. Just leave that alone and try to get two people who look good together and let them work out what works best for them.

So there you go, five suggestions for movies that could be remade and not suck. I could be wrong of course, but I think if made right these could be worth watching.

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One Joke, Three versions

I would have rather had a face to face, but they didn’t seem to exist and I didn’t want to look all day.

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Henry Ford Museum Pics


This is all bunched together in one part of the museum.













February 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Wonderland (Part Eight)


A Jack Collier Mystery

By Brett N. Lashuay

Look here for last week’s entry!



Part Eight: Alice in Wonderment


            I barely gave Debbie her required nod as I went into my inner office and saw Alice sitting in what is the left hand my client chair as I face them from my desk. It amazes me how some people can sit in a chair, and other people can make it seem like the chair is being graced with their presence. Alice however looked like she wasn’t even aware the chair was there, that she had just sat down expecting something would catch her.


            If I didn’t have a rule against dating sworn officers of the law and psychopaths, I would have fallen in love with her on the spot. I’ve had the rule about officers ever since I’d first met Smith, deciding that anyone with a badge couldn’t be worth the hassle. I only added the second part of that rule as part of a New Year’s resolution. Still, maybe if I offered to do her on the desk, that wouldn’t be a date. No, I had to be strong. That wasn’t the good and proper way to treat a professional woman, but damned if I could help thinking it anyway.


            “Do I call you Miss Liddell?” I asked as I sat down at my desk.


            “Alice will do.” She said and smiled. “Do you know where Peter is?”


            “Peter?” I asked, trying to look dumbfounded. “Peter who? Peter and the Wolf? Peter Pan? Peter Pumpkin eater? Possibly you mean Peter Cottontail. I can assure you that he is hopping down the bunny trail.”


            “Okay.” She said, smiling sweetly, which went a good way to lowering my defenses. “I’ll assume you know but don’t want to tell me.”


            “Or I was just trying to be amusing.” I said smiling back at her.


            “Is he safe?” She asked, looking serious for a moment.


            “Yes.” I looked at the ceiling and then nodded.


            “Okay.” She smiled at me again, a little less worried than she’d been a moment before. “Can I see him?”


            “I said he was safe.” I told her. “I never said I know where he is.”


            “Do you?”


            “Where were you all morning?”


            “Well, I had to report didn’t I?” She asked. “And then they had to go tell the police what happened and start an investigation and everything.”


            “I thought you wanted to get Mister Rabbit’s business partners.”


            “Are you saying you’ve come all this way and not heard about it?” She narrowed her eyes incredulously.


            “Heard about what?” I asked.


            “If you know Peter is safe, how can you not know about what happened last night?”


            “Well,” I said, trying not to look to self amused. “The bunny trail is a very safe place to hop.”


            The look of confusion on her face was worth it. Anytime I can achieve that look, the day has not been wasted. I think it’s the furled brow I enjoy so much.


            “What?” she asked.


            “Well I did tell you that Peter Cottontail was hopping down the bunny trail.” I said.


            “If you’re going to make fun of me.” She stood up, which put a lot of parts of her body into motion. I’m not even a little ashamed to say I noticed as it proves there is still blood moving in my veins.


            “Sit down.” I said standing up as well, just to show her that I wasn’t incapable of motion.


            “Why?” She asked, sounding angry.


            “Because I want to know what you know.”


            “I know a lot of things.” She said, crossing her arms across her chest. “You’ll have to meet me half way at least. I mean I’ve got a badge, but I figured that would just make you resentful. I mean I know women aren’t supposed to have jobs and certainly shouldn’t have any authority or anything, it always makes boys angry when I flash the badge.”


            Ah, so that was the problem, she’d never been taken seriously. That was good, because I’ve always had the big gun for that one. I sat back in my chair, because my leg was starting to hurt, and smiled up at her as a laced my hands behind me.


            “You’ve got me all wrong.” I said grinning.


            “Really?” She asked.


            “Yeaup.” I said with a sharp nod. “I’ve always thought women should work. No one should have to be beholden to anyone else. Women should work as much as men. I prefer it when everyone is even and equal, that’s the only time anyone is ever honest. If everyone knows the other could just walk out at any moment, everyone behaves a little better. It’s only when both parties are independent that you get any really good sex.”


            I then, having appealed to her sense of sexual fairness, went in for the kill. The kill is always good, and I pretty much had her anyway. I was only really going in for the kill because she was dressed in a good suit and if I needed a professional favor from her, the best time to ask for it would be when I’d complimented her for dressing like a professional.


            “Besides, I like how women look in professional clothes. Business suits conceal and enhance in ways most people just don’t appreciate.”


            “Oh.” She said blushing so deeply that I wondered if her hands were the same bright red as her entire head and neck seemed to be.


            “So why don’t you and I just talk like professionals who are more or less on the same level with each other and be honest?”


            “Okay.” She said sitting, and still blushing. One day I’m going to do this to a young woman in front of another man so he can ask how I do that.


            “So what happened last night then?” I asked, trying to get her to tell me everything without my telling her anything if I could get away with it.


            “Did you meet Chester Cat last night?”


            “Yes.” I nodded.




            “Before Peter and I called you on our way to the garage.” I said.


            “Did you see his little assistant?”


            “Yeah.” I nodded. “He was with her at the time.”


            “Well.” She said with a sigh. “When we got to the warehouse, they were there waiting for us. The Heart woman was putting the head of one of those men that attacked us on a tripod. When we came in and saw what was going on, Cat came up behind us with guns in his hands and told us to keep quite. Then Heart hit Peter a couple of times and told me to go home.”


            “Did you?” I asked.


            “Cat took me to my car and watched me drive off.” She said. “I went to the office and told them what had happened. I made a pretty full report of what I knew. It took a little while, but they got with the Detroit police and found out where the Wonderland Gang hung out. There were five decapitated bodies. I guess they took all five heads away with them, because they didn’t find them at the scene.”


            “There were six of them there when we went there.” I said opening my desk drawer and looking at the envelope. “And if it doesn’t go beyond you and me, I shot part of Jabber’s ear off.”


            “We didn’t find any bullets.” She said.


            “Some one took them out of the wall, placed them in an envelope, and left it at my office.” I said taking the envelope from my pocket and tossing it on the desk. “Of course my providence on this envelope is very shaky. What this means though, is that one of the six either ran in the two minutes tops that we weren’t in that house or they have a hostage somewhere.”


            I said this all without voicing my privately held suggestion that they had a headless corpse lying around for an emergency. I didn’t want to upset Alice unduly if I didn’t have to.


            “Why would they need a hostage?”


            “I have no idea.” I said, shaking my head. “It’s totally possible that when I shot Jabber in the ear one of them ran.”


            “That girl.” She suggested, “They had a nervous looking girl with them.”


            “No.” I shook my head. “Can’t be her.”


            “Why not?”


            “Because your bosses are already using identification marks besides her head to confirm her identity.” I said, trying not to show what a god damned idiot I was. Smart people don’t fuck up like this.


            “How do you know it’s not her?” She asked coldly.


            “I just know.” I said shaking my head. “It’s a lucky guess that she wouldn’t run is all.”


            “Jack.” She said leaning towards me. “Don’t make me take off my belt and beat you.”


            “Why not?” I asked. “Your pants would fall down and besides, you have no idea how kinky I am. I might like that sort of thing.”


            Not only did she blush, her eyes bulged to their maximum size. I then leaned forward so that the two of us were very close, I decided to whisper because of the closeness.


            “Look Alice.” I said, trying to sound like a conspirator. “Peter is safe, but I’m very worried that someone is trying to frame him.”


            “Is this still Mister Cottontail?” She asked with a sharp snap.


            “No.” I said shaking my head and smiling at her in that special way. “Mister Rabbit.”


            “Mister Peter Rabbit is safe?”


            “Yes.” I said letting my dark eyes drill into her.


            “Do you know where he is?” She asked. “Have you spoken with him?”


            “He’s safe.” I said.


            “What do I need to do to get you to tell me anything?” She leaned closer and pressed the tip of her nose to mine. “What do I need to do for you Mister Collier?”


            Her tone suggested that I might make several interesting proposals to that question. I would have made several extremely unprofessional suggestions to that, but I have a rule against dating people with a badge. I moved my head around hers and whispered into her ear.


            “Talk to the Federal Prosecutors.” I said moving my lips to they brushed her ear lobe. “Tell them that Peter will turn state’s evidence in return for any possible wrong doings.”


            “What?” She pulled back and was suddenly standing up straight.



This is part eight of twelve, come back next week for part nine and every Thursday until we’re done to see what happens next. If you get lost, one of the tags here should help you. The Wonderland tag will take you to the story while the Jack Tag will take you to Part One of every story we post here.

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment