Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Roy Scheider in Jaws
August 5, 2010

Here are a few reasons for Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema being Roy Scheider’s iconic reaction shot to the monstrous great white shark in Jaws:

  1. It’s Shark Week, so only it seems apropos.
  2. When I was home sick on Monday, I decided to re-watch Jaws because sometimes it’s important to shake it up and stray from my usual sick-day viewing requirements.  Variety is the spice of blah, blah, blah.  Also, it’s Shark Week, so that too seemed apropos.
  3. Mostly, though, I’m firmly of the mind that believes Roy Scheider’s reaction in the above image is fabulous, and this is the most important reason, so let’s take a quick respite from living every week like it’s Shark Week and discuss, shall we?

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When the Monster Demands a Mate, She’d Better Be Sexy!
June 18, 2009

No sooner than you could say “I bet you the Frankenstein monster just loves himself some foxy boxing,” my friend Sarah came across a bit of Hollywood casting gossip that seems to suggest that this whole Bride of Frankenstein remake might be more screwed than we think.  The producers are aiming to cast someone along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Anne Hathaway, which is the sort of shit they always say, but still, yeesh.  I’m saying nothing against either’s talent or beauty, but be more creative, Hollywood!  This is what you’re trying to recreate:

You’re remaking an indisputable masterpiece and reenvisioning one of the most iconic characters in horror, and the best you  can think of is Anne Hathaway or Scarlett Johansson?  Ugh!  That’s the sort of braintrust brilliance we’ve got funding this movie?  Egads, it’s time to upgrade the Bad Idea Alert to DEFCON Dreadful!

The real kicker, though, is the source for this buzz, aka, the ever trustworthy New York Post, which reports:

BRIAN Grazer is remaking “The Bride of Frankenstein,” but this time, the female monster is going to be a babe. “She’ll be young. They’re looking for a person with great power and sex appeal,” a Hollywood insider told us. “Someone along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Anne Hathaway.” In the 1935 original, the frizzy-haired bride was played by bug-eyed English actress Elsa Lanchester. The new Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment version, first disclosed by The Hollywood Reporter, will be helmed and co-scripted by Neil Burger, who wrote and directed “The Illusionist.”

Really?  REALLY???  The totally unwarranted jab at Elsa Lanchester’s appearance is trashy and gross, but the New York Post is trashy and gross, so that’s not shocking.  Par for the course, if anything.  But there’s still plenty to take issue with.

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How Can We Save the Bride of Frankenstein Remake from Being the Worst?
June 17, 2009

When the Bride of Frankenstein met the Frankenstein Monster, she was shocked and horrified.  Her iconic scream was the scream of “DO NOT WANT!!!”  This is actually quite sad because the time the Monster has spent with a blind man has taught him about kindness and companionship, and her rejection reaffirms his status as the monstrous Other.   Given Jame Whale’s own sexuality, it’s hard to not read Bride of Frankenstein as an empathetic allegory about the demonization of the homosexual.  And, if nothing else, the Bride’s one fabulously fierce diva.  Simple logic dictates that I love that movie to pieces.  

But if you put a movie on an altar of love and adoration, Hollywood’s going to feel morally obligated to remake it.  And by remake it, I mean shit all over a perfectly good thing.  Bride of Frankenstein‘s no exception to the Hollywood rule, so when I read the news on ComingSoon.net of an upcoming remake , I totally put on my Bride face like it was my Sunday best:

bride of frankenstein

The Risky Biz Blog claims that Neil Burger, the director The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones, will be writing and directing.  I haven’t seen either of these movies, but I’ve heard The Illusionist is really good, so I guess things could be far worse.  Ehren Kruger could be tapped, so that’s something.  But it’s not enough to stop me from being angry enough to shit diamonds.

I’ll inevitably get pissy about any remake that messes with a key film in the development of my movie taste, or any movie I just happen to really love, because virtually all of them end up being brainless, soulless exercises in corporate greed and Hollywood’s inability to put faith in (or even look for) original, intelligent material.  The rare remake that does work, like John Carpenter’s The Thing or David Cronenberg’s The Fly, requires a truly original take on the material and a talented director.  Without having seen any of his movies, I can only say this much about Neil Burger:

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