Have you seen those Elle or Vanity Fair issues where they do tributes to past movies and their iconic scenes using today’s stars? For Instance:
Lea Michelle In “The Creature from The Black Lagoon”
Jayma Mays as Tippi Hedren in “The Birds”
It’s a cute, yet superficial way for a young star or starlet to both pay tribute and pander to the history of cinema. Young stars assume they are paying respect by making a simple pose. Yet it’s a pose that is done without any of the skill, technique or talent that accompanied the original performers in the roles. It’s only good for a nostalgic laugh if not for anything else. Sadly nobody seems to have let Kimberly Pierce in on the joke.
These are the first official set images from Kimberly Pierce’s remake of Brian De Palma’s………..I mean Stephen King’s Carrie that were released today. They feature Chloe “Hit Girl” Moretz and Julianne “Body of Evidence” Moore respectively sporting the now iconic outfits of a prom dress with a dash of red food coloring and a white gown and cross ideal for the chic Christian woman on the go.
Its laughable because, in looking at the pictures, you can almost hear the studio heads behind the film deliberating on how to make it more “modern” and distinguish it from its predecessor.
Studio Guy 1: “I got it, Piper Laurie played it with frizzy hair so all we have to do is give Julianne Moore a blowout to get rid of the perm and people will say it’s totally different.”
Studio Guy 2: “Brilliant Boss, but what will we do about Chloe Moretz as Carrie? We can’t have her looking too much like Sissy Spacek or else people will say we’re being derivative.”
Studio Guy 1: “Don’t worry, I got it all thought out. In the original, De Palma played up the Gothic horror element. He had Sissy play it as if she was in a nightmarish trance; an enraptured portrayal of righteous anger, sexual revenge and supernatural intrigue. We can never match that, so just have Chloe looking very confused, like she doesn’t know why she is covered in blood.”
Studio Guy 2: “A masterstroke Boss; the audience will never catch on. They’ll think we’re doing something unique and different, when really we’re just recycling a name brand for a quick cash grab. Still, I’m concerned about the online film blogs like cinemablend, slashfilm, and aintitcool. What if they catch on to our game?”
Studio Guy 1: “I told you it can never happen. They’re on our side now. They tell their listeners not to judge until they see the movie for themselves. They’re so afraid to be negative, or have any sort of standards that they become shills who actually help us sell our mediocre product. Can you believe that?”
Studio Guy 2: “Yeah, especially after they bit the bait with the “Total Recall” remake. For months they told their readers not to judge until they saw it for themselves, even after that lame trailer was released. They didn’t want to seem judgmental so they didn’t caution their readers. They saw that awful film and, even though it stunk, the film ended up breaking even in the worldwide grosses.”
Studio Guy 1: Gotta love those film blogs: “don’t judge until you see it”, how stupid can you be? I’m glad no other aspect of our society tries to function like that. Imagine the army operating on that kind of thinking:
Cadet: “General they have their nukes pointing straight at us and their prepared to fire”
General: “Stand down solider it just looks like they’re firing. You can’t judge them until they actually do something.”
Cadet: “But sir they’ve fired on us in the past (“The Fog”, “The Crazies”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Last House on the Left”, “Straw Dogs”) but you keep on insisting we give them the benefit of the doubt. Yet our country (the cinema) is in shambles and continues to sustain damage. Isn’t it about time we stop giving them (the studios) the benefit of the doubt and start demanding peace (quality, original films)?”
General: “Solider you are so negative. I withhold my judgement on something until I see what actually happens. Maybe the bomb will hit and it won’t be so bad. Maybe it will explode candy.”
Cadet: “Sir, you’re an idiot.”
General: “I know.”
Studio Guy 2: “Hilarious sir, you’re funnier than Dane Cook.”
Studio Guy 1: “Thanks, but I can’t take all the credit. Our publicity department did us a big favor with floating the lie that we’re making the movie different by going back to the source material.”
Studio Guy 2: “Yeah sir, but I still don’t understand what going back to the source material means. It’s not like you can adapt a whole movie to the screen page by page. You have to leave some stuff out in favor of others. So no matter how back into the book you retreat, you always end up doing an adaptation anyway”
Studio Guy 1: “Don’t think too hard about it, cause its obvious the film bloggers don’t. It’s just a lame excuse we thought up to justify remaking something that didn’t need to be remade in the first place. Besides if the public were really paying attention they would know that in the book, Carrie is supposed to be overweight and have acne and thinning hair, so we obviously don’t give a crap about the book.”
Studio Guy 2: “Like De Palma?”
Studio Guy 1: “No De Palma was different. He’s an artist. The specific nit picky elements of the book were inconsequential in lieu of his overriding vision of subversive sexual horror and religious paranoia. We, on the other hand, are just lazy.”
Studio Guy 2: “So sir, when we say were going “closer to the book” we mean it the same way Tim Burton meant it when he kept repeating that very thing while promoting “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” (i.e. we’re deviating from the book as much as the first movie did, but we don’t want the audience to think we have nothing new to offer because we would very much like their money)
Studio Guy 1: “Exactly, we’re deviating from the book but still following a scaled down idiotic version of what De Palma did. As you know, we are deathly afraid to do anything new or different so we just use the source material argument as an excuse to mask our copycat tendencies. The bloggers buy it, and give us some credibility which extends to their followers, which translates to box office dollars for us.”
Studio Guy 2: “It’s amazing sir that nobody has caught on yet.”
Studio Guy 1: “Well some critics and journalists have been wise to us in the past, but they usually go away. The film community ridicules or ignores their dissenting opinions and they are labeled a nuisance or troll. Funny how today having high standards for film gets you labeled a nuisance by your contemporaries.”
Studio Guy 2: “It’s a crazy world sir, but as long as I’ve got money in my pockets, I say to the devil with good cinema.”
Studio Guy 1: “I’ve taught you well. I’m so proud of you. By the way, how are those script revisions going?”
Studio Guy 2: “Excellent sir. We have Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a writer on the hit television series “Glee” doing it so it should be great.”
P.S. Here is a screen shot of starlet Kate Mara paying tribute to De Palma’s “Carrie” from Ryan Murphy’s Elle magazine layout.
Please remember Kimberly Pierce, its good for a laugh, not for a film.