This month has seen the release of yet another Hollywood remake, this time of the classic 2009 Swedish film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. For the uninitiated, the plot is not, as you may think, a cautionary tale of a young Scandinavian girl who holidays in Goa and decides to get a cheap tattoo on her ankle whilst drunk, only to wake up the next day with what looks like elephantiasis. It is in fact a dark psychological thriller, with subtitles for those who don’t know their hurdy from their gurdy.
The remake stars Daniel Craig and
Wayne Rooney Rooney Mara, and comes complete with English language script, naturally, and swanky website that has puzzling catchphrases that Yoda would be proud of, such as evil shall with evil be expelled, and what is hidden in snow, comes forth in the thaw. So, if you really can’t be bothered to read subtitles, then you can watch the new version and find out exactly what they hide in the snow.
But the question that I want to ask is why? I’ve nothing against remaking old films to bring them up-to-date with cutting edge movie technology, but it’s been only two years since the original which, on its own merit, met with much critical acclaim worldwide.
And of course, Hollywood has a dubious track record. Most notorious has to be the remake of The Italian Job, the vintage British film set… in Italy, but still quintessentially British. Fast-forward to 2003 and the all-new and improved Italian Job is set in… California. Wrong. Just so wrong. More like The Bodge Job. And unblievably, clearly missing the innuendo in the title, it is rumoured that they are considering making a sequel called the Brazilian Job! Presumably set in a beauty salon. Anyone for a ‘Brazilian’ girls?
Other remakes are rumoured to be in the pipeline and I’m at liberty to give you the exclusive synopses of these films, with information garnered from my multiple industry contacts.
Lord of the Rings - in association with Cash4Gold. Bilbo Baggins falls on hard times and decides to abort the quest to Mount Doom to destroy the ring, instead choosing a risk-free cash alternative.
Flashdance – the remake stars the Chippendales with an 18 (rated R) certificate. In 3-D. Catch that one in selected ‘theatres’.
Lawrence of Albania – the original 1962 film is given a modern, European edge as Lawrence is torn between his home country and his new mafia comrades. The camel train makes way for a convoy of old Trabants as he navigates his journey across the country.
Gladiators – you’ve all seen the fabulous Russell Crowe in the 2003 classic so steel yourself for the 2011 version that makes the most of commercial opportunities by bringing the story into the 21st century with the gladiators of the hit television series. Be amazed as Decimus Maximus fights off Nitro with a giant cotton-bud. Including special guest appearances from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church as ‘the christians’, armed only with bibles. And God hates steroid abusers placards.
Greece (the musical) – Danny and Sandy rekindle their romance on the beach of Kos, taking advantage of the favourable dollar/euro exchange rate in the ailing Greek economy. Sing along as they make sweet melodies whilst dodging molotov cocktails and plates hurled from anti-austerity cuts protesters.
The Godfather - this time starring Silvio Berlusconi as the mafia don Corleone. Expect the addition of multiple sex scenes with 18-year-old ‘friends’ of Corleone (all apparently ‘integral’ to the plot). In a new twist, Corleone decides to run for Prime Minister to avoid prosecution for financial irregularities. Yes, I know, sounds a but far-fetched. Only in the movies…