April showers may bring May flowers, but spring also brings with it that in-between month in Hollywood – award shows are fading into memory and the season of the blockbuster doesn’t arrive for another month.
That’s not to say that some of the efforts from Tinsel Town are watered down, but it’s interesting that three remakes, which have sprung from the creative seeds of Hollywood’s uncanny ability to update anything that isn’t nailed down, are hitting cinemas this month.
Re-Do It For One More Time
The original 1981 Clash of the Titans followed the journey of Zeus’s bastard son Perseus (Harry Hamlin) on his quest to slay Medusa and rescue Princess Andromeda (Judi Bowker – her career went places). A Greek chorus of legendary English actors (Sir Laurence Olivier and Dame Maggie Smith chief among them) starred as mythological Gods, while Ray Harryhausen’s special effects served as co-stars.
Sam Worthington is stepping into the sandals of Hamlin’s character, though, not his glorified bed sheet (sigh) – as the Avatar star sports more of a Russell Crowe Gladiator look. Seeing as the film is being released in 3D, I would have opted for Hamlin’s attire. But enough about the fashion, here’s the scoop on the remake’s plot.
Perseus is still a bastard who heads up a mission to defeat… let me guess, Medusa, right? Well, yes, but this time out he is also up against ruthless underworld God Hades (Ralph Fiennes), who is attempting to wrestle power away from Zeus (Liam Neeson), before he decides to “Release the Kraken” on humanity.
Will Perseus emerge triumphant? Find out on April 2.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…a burned and disfigured child killer with razors for fingers on one hand walks into a group of helpless teens dreams and slaughters them one-by-one. I told you to stop me!
It’s no joke that Wes Craven’s classic 1984 fright fest, A Nightmare on Elm Street, is being revived with Jackie Earle Haley taking over for Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger – filmdom’s answer to No-Doz – on April 30.
The new batch of victims who are seven, eight, gonna stay up late, or nine, ten, never sleep again features two prior remake offenders: Katie Cassidy (the new “Melrose Place”) and Thomas Dekker (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”).
Nightmare also stars guy candy actor Kellan Lutz (Twilight) and Kyle Gallner (The Haunting in Connecticut), while relative newcomer Rooney Mara takes on Heather Langenkamp’s heroine, Nancy Thompson, from the first film that spawned countless sequels and launched Johnny Depp’s career.
Ain’t Nothin’ But A Green Thang
In The Joneses, as in keeping up with them, which stars Demi Moore and David Duchovny as Kate and Steve, a couple who seem to have it all – or do they?
Their picture perfect world orbits around their extremely popular 2.0 kids (Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth), while high-end gadgets populate their posh abode, which houses their true agenda.
Kate and Steve are not a real couple and the kids are on loan, as they are mere instruments hired on by a company to keep “The American Dream” alive, by shilling a variety of products to their neighbors.
This look at contemporary consumerism has been hailed as “a sharp, funny, and very timely satire” by Elle Magazine. Opens in limited release on April 16.
A Matter of Life and Death
After.Life finds its star Christina Ricci in a state of shock, following a harrowing car accident, and wakes up to find herself being prepped for her own funeral by mortician Liam Neeson.
He assures her that she is in a transitional condition, neither alive nor dead, and is at the threshold of the afterlife. Neeson’s Eliot Deacon character attempts to convince Ricci’s Anna Taylor that he can not only commune with the deceased, but he is the only man who can help her cross over and may just want to bury her alive. Don’t go into the light, Christina!
After.Life also co-stars Justin Long as her boyfriend, who has a pesky feeling that his lady love’s life still has a sell by date. Opens April 9.
If the title Death at a Funeral seems familiar, that’s because it was a 2007 film directed by Frank Oz, which was later made into a Bollywood film entitled Daddy Cool – talk about being a triple threat!
This re-imagining is done in the vein of Airplane becoming Soul Plane and Can’t Buy Me Love morphing into Love Don’t Cost a Thing.
Simply put, it now features an all-Black cast, featuring the talents of Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Martin Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Loretta Devine, Regina Hall, and Danny Glover.
Similarity-wise, the ensemble cast is in attendance for a family funeral, when skeletons become unearthed in the form of secrets revealed. Of note, actor Peter Dinklage will reprise his role from the original version on April 16.
Article was first published in April 2010.