Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Finally, GOOD NEWS about "The Wolf Man."

Universal's remake of "The Wolf Man," with Benicio Del Toro as the title monster, has had easily the most (publically) problematic production of any film in recent memory: The first director was fired/quit just as it was gearing up, there were public spats about practical-vs-CGI FX between creature-maker Rick Baker and the production, and recently new editors were hired to "punch up" the finished footage. All signs pointed to the usual trouble: A potentially-cool genre film getting watered-down by a studio afraid to make something awesome and maybe even a little dangerous. It also, even from it's trailers, looked A LOT "bigger" and thus more expensive than many might have been expecting, which could only ADD to the concern if you follow these things: Even if your movie is about a monster who's only real ability is tearing people limb-from-limb, a studio spending big money usually wants a "safe" PG13 rating to garauntee maximum profit.

So, then, it comes as not just good news but potentially SPECTACULAR news that "The Wolf Man" has been rated R for "bloody horror, violence and gore." Now, that DOESN'T necessarily mean all the problems haven't resulted in a less-than-great film, but it IS a strong indicator that things might be going in the right direction. An R-rating, at it's fundamental level, usually means that the film was made "uncompromised" to a certain degree; it also possibly tells us that Universal might think they have something pretty good on their hands, since a "bad" genre film would absolutely get saddled with a PG13 in order to increase it's earning capacity.

If it's "that" good, I'm interested to see what it's reception does for journeyman director Joe Johnston, who's been making solid films without becoming much of a "name" for DECADES now. If this works out, it could end up a big secondary buzz-point for the "Captain America" movie he's set to make for Marvel (if that's still happening, there hasn't been WORD ONE about it since they announced they were making it.)


sniffits said...

Oh gosh! Is it wrong of be to feel pumped up by that trailer? I'm so excited, and I'm trying not to be, considering I'm usually reserved until after the movie comes out, but I'm such a big fan of the old B&W monster classics (wolfman especially) so man, my fangirlisms are just coming out at full force.

Also, agreed on the whole rated 'R' thing. I'm having flashbacks of "Live Free or Die Hard'.

On a completely random note (but a question I've been meaning to ask), I just showed my roomate the Canadian film 'Cube'. What's your take on the movie?

Bob said...

Cube is pretty damn solid for what it is and what it sets out to do. The acting is a little spotty and most of the character-twists are telegraphed waaaay too early on, but it works.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this Trailer in the theater yesterday and Damn! It looks good.

Reminds me of the classic monster movies and their emphasis on terror/suspense over simple gore, though this looks like it has both in equal measure.

Also Hugo Weaving looks like he's giving a career performance, but that's an impossible assumption to jump to from the trailer.

Leoja92 said...

I'm going to keep an open mind about the wolf man. It has a good cast and the R rating only helps sweeten the deal.Besides as far as horror remakes goes its nice to see them remaking a movie from 50 years ago instead of some of the others of there.

Felix said...

Did you mean ''one word'' in this section: '' there hasn't been WORD ONE abou it...''? If not I'm a bit confused at what you meant.

Jeremy said...

Is it just me or is this movie begging for a traditional score?

KevinCV said...

Jeremy: With Danny Elfman doing the music, I'm absolutely certain that he'll do something awesome, yet also pretty traditional. He has a knack for doing that. If he delivers something purely fantastic, I will SO getting the soundtrack of the score if they release one. I absolutely LOVE Elfman's music, and I can't wait to see what he does with this movie!

Bob: Since you brought up the Captain America film, I want to run by you a casting suggestion for him I've had for awhile now, and I want your opinion as a fellow geek, nerd, gamer, etc. The man I have in mind for Cap may a bit controversial, but his name is John Barrowman. He's Scottish, but he was raised here in America, but that not why he'd be a controversial choice, and I'll get to that in a sec. Before you ask, he's bi-dialectical, which means he can do a Scottish accent, as well as an American accent, which is practically flawless if you see him on camera. If you don't know who he is, he plays a character named Captain Jack Harkness on the contemporary version of "Doctor Who", as well as on it's spin-off series, "Torchwood". Anyway, The reason I say he's a controversial choice is because he's a gay man. He was at San Diego Comic Con for the last couple of years to promote "Torchwood", and both times, he's brought up his desire to play Captain America. I think he'd do a great job, and also think he'd be able to pull off Cap's leadership qualities quite well. Plus, he's a total geek himself, and understands our devotion to the material, so that's a definite plus in my book.

Bob said...


Barrowman would be ideal for the role but for one sticking point: He's a bit older than they'd be casting for. Marvel wants someone who can "be" Captain America for at least two films plus "The Avengers," which means someone younger with plenty of career "left" to fill with a 5 to 7 year superhero commitment.

And while I don't know that his sexuality would be a "big issue" for the producers, it unfortunately would be AN ISSUE - that you can count on. The plain fact of the matter is, the guy's name is "Captain America," he's literally a walking flag, and so EVERYTHING about the casting, story etc. would end up getting analyzed with a socio-political spin... and in this it would come from BOTH sides. Certain so-called "conservatives" would flip their shit about a gay man playing Cap, while meanwhile the gay political-activism community would make a HUGE deal out of it as well - the photoshop of Barrowman in costume with the headline "Talk about gays in the military!!" on the cover of The Advocate would be a foregone conclusion. All of which translates to a headache no one selling what's already a risky character (how will it play overseas?) wants.

Either way, it's probably going to be someone younger in the vein of Channing Tatum or Paul Walker.

KevinCV said...

Yeah, I kinda had that feeling, too. I still kinda hold out for some glimmer of hope that Barrowman will get it, even if the chance is nigh on impossible, though. Maybe it's just my optimistic nature. Or maybe I'd love to see Barrowman in a different avatar than Jack Harkness. Hell, it could be a bit of both.

Anyway, thanks for your opinion. It's nice to see someone who's willing to give a concise and well thought-out one, at that. I say this because I've brought up my opinion of John as Cap to several of my friends, and the few that knew who he was didn't react as favorably as I did. Suffice it to say, their opinions weren't as analytical and intelligent as yours.