The Sacred, the Profane, the HollywoodBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // June 29, 2012 in Movies
So MGM has spent good money in post-production to turn the fictional invaders of America from Chinese soldiers to North Korean soldiers. The project, >Red Dawn<, is a remake of a film from the 1980s. In that initial version, the invaders were Soviet.
Reactions I've heard to this news border on the incredulous, as though there were artistic integrity at stake, or else verisimilitude. The Chinese could muster enough bodies and energy to occupy America from sea to shining sea, but not the relatively sparse, malnourished populace of the northern half of the Korean peninsula?
Isn't this just good business. Why bypass the chance to distribute the film in China; why not, instead, write off the least viable communist theater-going market?
But if it's courage the armchair movie moguls, tweeting from their home theaters, want from Hollywood, here's my list of suggestions for more worthy sacrifices of business sense for the sake of creative tension.
1. Remake >The Ides of March<, with George Clooney reprising his role as a psychopathic governor running for President, only this time make him a Mitt Romney Republican instead of a George Clooney progressive.
2. Remake >Michael Clayton<, only this time make the corrupt company a charismatic personality-driven tech behemoth that makes shiny consumer gadgets that mesmerize and addict, instead of a faceless corporate chemical company. It's too simple and preordained that a chemical company will poison schoolchildren. Of course it will. You have to be Julie Roberts and Albert Finney (in >Erin Brokovich<) to make that premise suspenseful.
3. Remake whatever that reality show is about a contemporary ad agency, the one the cable network AMC is pushing and running after >Mad Men< airs. Only this time, have the employees watch a season or two of >Mad Men< on DVD, realize they are in the wrong decade, and hang it up to teach high school history in a suburb or brew beer in a logging town on the Olympic peninsula.