Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Anti-Christ himself.

Meet Roy Lee.

Who, you say?

- Did you laugh at Hollywood's attempt at plot advancement in The Ring when the marbles that fell magically created an arrow, thus enabling Naomi Watts and her hopelessly clueless ex-husband to move on to Act 3: Scene 5?

- Did you pass your time fantasizing about what would Buffy do while watching Sarah Michelle Gellar 'be terrified out of her wits' in The Grudge?

- Did you weep while watching The Lake House not because of Keanu "Handsome Plank of Wood" Reeves but for the fallen memory of the original?

- Did you shake your hands at the heavens and yell out "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?" (or the cyberspace equivalent of that) when you found out that Hollywood was going to bastardized Infernal Affairs? Putting some pretty boy blonde hair may draw in the masses but fuck will it mess up a legendary movie and how.

Roy Lee; executive producer, nifty businessman, bastard extraordinaire.

According to this article, his sales pitch is this:

"[Lee] would explain to Asian distributors that their films would probably never sell in America, because Americans hate movies with subtitles, and that they would make more money selling the re-make rights anyway."
Erm, one, way to generalize the American audience, asswipe. And two, the Asian market in itself comprises of different countries and a wide range of languages and if it don't bother us here where we amount for 61% of the world's population, why the hell should we bend over for America? (Run on sentences are more apparent when I'm livid)

Yes, yes, I get that Hollywood is widely seen as the pinnacle of accomplished movie-making and to make it there is to be a god, but to have your product mangled and maimed six ways from the original, is that really worth it? Also, I get that Hollywood is a commercial enterprise where demand/supply meets (though not always consistently) and Roy Lee is merely another business man trying to make a quick buck so don't try to spin that argument on me.

What troubles me so is the quality of the remake is so often substantially inferior to the original. The original Ringu had less 'shock value' but christ, when that girl came out of the TV.. if you watch it again, pay close attention to her movements. Da-yum! And I suppose you could argue that the quality of the movie is really the resposibility of the director and editting team. But really, you want to rip the heart and gut it good to kill the hydra, not cut of one of it's heads.

Go ahead and ruin Battle Royale, why don't you? Just one more notch on your bedpost of "Asian Movies that I've Fucked Over."

[/add on]

At time of post, Roy Lee has yet to acquire the re-make rights yet, so there may still be hope.

Also, I am quite the rabid fan of Battle Royale. Not so much the movie but the Anglosized manga comics. What is Battle Royale? It's a Japanese novel that became a manga series that was made into a new manga series with English words that was made into a movie that developed cult status that will most likely be re-made in Hollywood should Roy Lee get his way.

Depending on which outlet you first accessed that film, the story is set in a future Japan that is in a state of quasi-anarchy due to their economic collapse. The government subscribes to the rule of totalitarianism to keep the people in check and free will is non-existent on the streets of future Japan. To keep the teenagers in school, the government has created a reality-TV type programme called Battle Royale, where one class in year nine will be randomly selected to participate in. The premise of Battle Royale is simple; the kids are shipped off to an island where the last one standing will be proclaimed winner and allowed to go home. I use the term 'last one standing' in the most literal sense. Survivor of the the most savage and depraved, each student is faced with the moral dilemma, to kill or be killed, and if you do kill, how do you choose who to kill first?

It gets you thinking about your friends and the people who you trust. Should push comes to shove, can you take not only a life, but your best mate's? How sure are you that your friends are playing you? How would you feel if your friend had no reservations in killing you off if it meant their survival? When I first came across Battle Royale, it was through the movie. I spent a good thirty minutes after the movie discussing who could do the dirty deed. What I got from it was that apparently guys who have completed their national service will be most likely to to have no qualms about killing anyone regardless of moral dilemma. Something about how the army has brainwashed them to think like a survivor and act accordingly. How true that is, I don't know, but it sure does freak me a little to think that there may be some truth in that hypothesis.

I love the Anglosized manga and the character, Shinji Mimura, even more. An intelligent jock with a ice-cold demeanour and an unattainable aura of cool, Mimura's teh man!!!111!! So it kills me to think about some pretty blonde hair, blue-eyed twentysomething actor taking on the role of Mim. Christ, they'll probably re-name him Bob or something. Oh, Mim, how the mighty will be horribly casted and misplayed.


Since I'm still not quite over the movie, here's a simple equation to sum up how I feel; Brick > Donnie Darko. Booya.