Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Question: It Could Have Been So Much Better

Let's take a different approach to a discussion from last week. We've all seen movies that were ok, but could have been so much better. . . like if you added a musical number to Event Horizon or another chase scene to a Jerry Bruckheimer film or you inserted clowns into almost anything! Beep beep Richie! Pick a movie and tell us what you would have done differently to make it the perfect film?


Anonymous said...

The much-maligned Star Trek V (a.k.a. the one where they meet "God") was never going to be a perfect film but I do think it has heart and the campfire scenes with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are great, as is the "I need my pain!" speech. (And Jerry Goldsmith's score is beautiful.)

Having said that, the film was saddled with a Teamsters strike, a WGA strike, a first-time director (Shatner), a low-rent visual effects house (ILM was too busy), and a meddling studio bureaucracy.

If I were a skilled editor/visual effects artisan, I would:

-Redo every single visual effects shot
-Find a way to cut Uhura's "fan dance"
-Re-edit the turboshaft scene (too many decks, the decks are listed in the wrong order, and they pass one deck twice!)
-Try my best to restore Shatner's original ending (Kirk being chased by rock creatures on the planet)
-Try my best to restore Shatner's original vision of the opening credits (a powers of ten zoom from outer space to Earth)
-A few other nips and tucks

Obviously, I'm talking about now and not 1988-89 when the film was made. It'll never be perfect (the story is conceptually flawed) but it could be made better. There are some fan-made YouTube videos with various CGI tests and they look pretty good!

Anonymous said...

And my second suggestion, this time for The Good German: burn the negative and forget it exists! Then and only then will it be perfect. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, There are some sites out there dedicated to re-edited films. The one that got it all started was a re-edit of the Phantom Menace. What they did was to take out all of the "oops" and other cutsie crud that Vader keeps saying. They also all but removed Binks, and they got rid of his voice and replaced it with static and then new dialog in a subtitle.

I thought it made a much better movie.

There are many movies I'd like to re-edit. I'd like to re-edit Pirates of the Caribbean to remove the last 20 minutes, remove some of the slap stick, and just generally end each scene one line of dialog before it actually ends. I think you'd end up with a pretty interesting movie if you did that.

I've actually got editing software and if knew how to use it, I would try that.

CrispyRice said...

Andrew, I'd love to see a decent version of the Phantom Menace. I feel like there must be a good movie hidden in there somewhere.

I'd probably make a lot of movies have not-happy ending if I were re-editing. More realism, more death. Take any teeny-bopper movie and show how they break-up after 2 months in college, for example, LOL.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Very, very cynical! I like it! LOL!

I agree about The Phantom Menace. I think there are probably two good movies in the three newest Star Wars films, though it would take a major remake and you might be better off just starting over?

MegaTroll said...

I'd like to see then hack off the ending of "Casino Royale." That was a great movie until Bond suddenly decided that he was in love and wanted to quit and get married. I also would have filmed the chase scene in Africa from a longer angle so that you could actually see the stunts.

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, Good call. They intentionally set out to make him a more brutal character so that they could get away from the goofy things they'd done with the franchise, and then they end up making him fall in love with the first woman he meets and suddenly he wants to quit being a spy? It's silly.

As for the closeups, Hollywood has decided that they can use the jitter cam and close ups to create action where there really isn't any. That's why so much in modern action films is filmed too close to be seen.

JG said...

My nomination would be "Wanted," that movie with Angelina Jolie. My main beef (other than the adolescent overuse of profanity - "We curse a lot so you have to take us seriously!") is the whole mystic loom thing. I know, I know, it's in the source material, and it could have worked, but it needed to be finessed. As it was, it was a little too...simplistic, I guess is the problem.

And re: Casino Royale, I think that part of the story, where he at least considers leaving, is in the book, but I can't remember right now. It's been a while since I've read it. Just throwing that out there.

AndrewPrice said...

JG, There seems to have been a lot of movies lately that mistake swearing for "being serious."

I generally liked Wanted, but I agree with you. The whole loom thing ended up feeling far too simplistic -- kind of like "oh, we need a motivation. . . here, try this."

On Casino Royale, it might have been in the book (don't know, never read the book), but it really didn't work well in the film IMO -- it really felt like it ran completely against the grain of the character they were trying to make. If he really is the cold-hearted emotionless killer that they spend the whole movie making him out to be, then he would never have fallen for a woman he only knew for a couple days -- certainly not enough to resign.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: I'd remake Milk. This time I'd cast Sean Hayes as Milk, and have the script stick closer to reality. Milk was a demagogue, who like Huey P. Long, exploited a hole in the law which discriminated against an entire class of people. Then I'd change the title to All the Queen's Men. I'd also make sure that this time, Dan White was shown as a deranged, demoralized man who murdered Milk and Moscone for crazed political reasons which had nothing to do with Milk being gay. I might give Sean Penn a small part as a homeless critter picking at his lice.

Tam said...

re: Milk, Lawhawk's version...that is a movie I would actually pay to see.

Tennessee Jed said...

The movie that came to mind first was Patriot Games. I realize there may have been major obstacles to trying to portray Charles and Diana in the movie. I cannot remember which of the Fox Brothers, James or Edward, played the ficitious "royal" in the movie version. They are both wonderful actors, but the character just didn't work and seemed to fundamentally compromise the movie version of one of Clancy's best stories.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'd pay to see that one too, if for no other reason than seeing Sean Penn cry!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Maybe you meant Red Fox? ;-)

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