Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red Dawn Remake Gets Stupider

This is pretty incredible: MGM is worried that the Red Dawn remake they've had sitting (completed!) on the shelf for 2 years will make China mad at them; so they're going to digitally change ALL the bad guys' "stuff" and just call them North Koreans. Really. They DO realize that Chinese and Korean people are a COMPLETELY different ethnicity, right?

24 comments:

Novice said...

No, Bob. It's very likely that they don't.

Chris Cesarano said...

Can the average American tell the difference? They're the ones that will be buying the ticket, after all.

I'm just surprised they'd be fine with pissing off the North Koreans, who have already shown they don't care about launching a salvo of missiles at South Korean ships (by the way, why doesn't such a move count as an act of war anymore?)

Chris Evans said...

Why does this make me think of your rant on Political Correctness?

Bob said...

@chris cesarano,

They aren't worried about china bombing anyone, they're worried about China not letting MGM movies run in their theaters.

I wonder how Milius feels about this, as he was pretty vocal about this remake being stupid because China had shown no historical desire toward colonial imperialism...

Joe said...

1) This makes as much sense as the North Koreans conquering the US in Homefront. Next to none.

2) East Asian actors are interchangeable as far as Hollywood is concerned. On the one hand, this is insensitive. On the other hand, Italians, Greeks, Arabs and Jews have been playing each other in films for decades. So Mediterraneans are interchangeable as well. Let's not even start on northern Europeans. So at least casting agencies are equitable when it comes to cultural insensitivity.

3) Like China, most North Korean military equipment is just modified Soviet kit. Korean People's Army and People's Liberation Army uniforms are almost identical to boot. Swapping a few insignias shouldn't be too big a deal.

As long as they get the linguistic and cultural elements right, I don't think the race issue is a huge deal. What I don't get is this film's been in development for what--4 or 5 years? And just now they're worried about pissing off the Chinese distributors?

Chris Evans said...

True, they're worried about offending China, but what the backlash from doing so is isn't really reliant. All they've done is change who they're offending. The smaller population is an easier target. They're trying to minimize the offense given to a culture and doing so to an excessive/stupid extent because they want their money.

Chris Cesarano said...

I wonder how Milius feels about this, as he was pretty vocal about this remake being stupid because China had shown no historical desire toward colonial imperialism...

Considering he wrote Homefront...y'know, I dunno. My first thought reading this was actually "Why not just rename the movie 'Homefront' and claim it's based on the game?" Of course, that wouldn't guarantee ticket sales like a remake of a classic film.

Unless the trailers somehow wow me, I don't think I'll be seeing this.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Chances are all the actors are going to be 2nd or 3rd generation Americans with ancestries from all over east Asia, so I don't think it'll make much of a difference.

* - added

Looking through the IMDB page, it seems a lot of the actors are Korean anyway.

Smashmatt202 said...

At the risk of sounding incredibly insensitive and racist, they're both pretty much people with squinty eyes, right? That's all an Asian is?

...Is what they're thinking is. Chinese, Japanese, North/South Koreans all have their own different cultures that separate each other, but it's typical for us whiteys to just mesh the whole bunch of them together.

Dave Cesarano said...

Japanese actors Takeshi Kaneshiro and Shido Nakamura played Zhuge Liang and Gan Xing (respectively) in John Woo's RED CLIFFS, and Ken Watanabe nearly got the role of Cao Cao. So, apparently if "slanty-eyed people" do it, it's okay, but if "round-eyed people" cast the wrong Asian ethnicity it's ignorance bordering on bigotry.

The problem I have with RED DAWN is that our relations with China have been rocky since Mao won, and the whole North Korea thing is... ugh. I live in South Korea, and people here are actually LESS worried about the DPRK than in the US!

As for pissing off China, I am just surprised that the suits in Hollywood actually realized it might be a diplomatic blunder after all. Man, I can't help but wonder if two of the prerequisites for being an executive at a studio is 1)being dumb as hell and 2)being utterly philistine in your tastes.

Bob said...

@smash: Most likely. They think that most of us Americans are so ignorant that we won't be able to tell the difference.

kevmon1116 said...

The whole thing reminds me of MASH. It's one of my all-time favorite shows, but it was always a bit weird seeing the same Asian actors playing different roles in different episodes. Mako played a South Korean General, a Chinese commander and a Korean doctor, all over the course of the series. And there were plenty of others noticibly being recycled. clearly we haven't come very far.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Bob

My dad probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference... :(

Bob said...

I'm actually less concerned about the actor-races as I am about LANGUAGE. Are they going to ALSO change the lip-sync, re-dub the Chinese dialogue and paint-over EVERY nametag or bit of Chinese writing, or will these be "North Koreans" who all look, speak and write in Chinese for some reason?

Arturo said...

Bogus

Arturo said...

On the lighter side, IGN just put up an animated short inspired by Sucker Punch, which allegedly gives a little backstory for the movie. If that's true, let's just say shit just got REALLY crazy. OK, crazy-ER.

Nixou said...

@ Bob

I don't know what the saddest: the fact that "China is a millitary threat to the USA" is completely stupid:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

(I mean, come on, the only political entity which could theoretically pose a threat to the US on the battlefield is the EU, and we don't even have a centralized millitary command since our heads of states enjoy their princeling privileges so much)

Or the fact that the producers of this right-wing wank-flick (like porn, but with less sex and more guns) don't even have the balls to finish their project as intended.

Stupid, Insensitive and Cowardly: Red Dawn Two: a Chickenhawk movie, made By Chikenhawks, For Chickenhawks.

***

@Chris Cesarano

"North Koreans, have already shown they don't care about launching a salvo of missiles at South Korean ships (by the way, why doesn't such a move count as an act of war anymore?)"

It IS considered an act of war: North Korea is still officially at war with the south, so acts of war during a war are expected.

Omnikus said...

Well, what do you expect from a bunch of greedy executives rubbing their dicks on money all day. This isn't as much about the Chinese being angry as it is about securing the precious Chinese box office ka-ching. Thanks for destroying another man's work once more, Hollywood.

Christopher said...

@Bob: I think Millius is saying "I damn told you so" or "stop ripping me off" after Homefront (which we wrote) was released this week. Have no interest in the game since it looks like Call of Duty-clone #480,434,521; but I hear that the story at least merits a rental. But I just find it funny that MGM makes this announcement the VERY WEEK this North Korea-invasion situation was released

CraftyAndy said...

they all look the same to me, just like all white Europeans look the same to me. A person would have to point out the differences so I know how they are exactly distinct from one another. Sorry I can't look at a person and figure out if they are itallian or german never understood how people could. Other then money I don't understand why they are afraid offending anyone.
But really why can't we have a movie where america invades china after a economic collapse, annexes canada and mexico and attempts to assassinate Hugo Chavez? That would be a more interesting movie.

rob said...

Think it has anything to do with the fact that the US owes 900 Billion to China?

Smpoza said...

Wow, this is REALLY stupid. C'mon, MGM. Have some integrity. You didn't see Millius making "Brussians" invading America...

On that subject, why is everyone acting like this movie was the only one with an unrealistic scenario? The original Red Dawn was set in the 1980s-when the Soviet Union was the weakest it had ever been AND was on the brink of collapse-and COMPLETELY IGNORES nuclear weapons.

tyra menendez said...

See: controversy over Chinese actors playing Japanese characters in Memoirs of a Geisha.
Also see: Brandon Lee playing half Japanese in Showdown in Little Tokyo. At least the bad guy in that is actually a Japanese guy.

Matt said...

@Nixou

Budget isn't the same as manpower or tactics.

The PRC has far more soldiers than the USA, and is a nuclear armed state as well.

Sure the equipment may be repurposed Soviet wares, but the PRC is far from not being a military "threat".

Realistically though, the PRC and USA going to war is absurd, but that's a different topic