Paprika (2007, Satoshi Kon, theater) - 6
Hostel Part II (2007, Eli Roth, theater) - 8.5
Firstly, I forgot to mention in the last post that in addition to going in with lower expectations, it also helped to know better than to pay any attention to Eli Roth's insane overhyping of the film and how disturbing it is. There is nothing in this movie that is going to "change horror history". In fact, the scene I can only assume he's referring to has already been done in (for one) Cannibal Holocaust, the director of which, Ruggero Deodato, has a fucking awesome cameo in Hostel 2. So, obviously, Eli is well aware he hasn't done anything original.
But anyway, outside influences aside, I thought it was a lot creepier than the first one, and I liked how it spent more time with the torturers and we learned a little about how the operation worked. And I also thought the girls in it were a great deal more likable than the boys in the first one.
Funny Games (2007, Michael Haneke, theater) - 10? 11? See rating for original Funny Games?
In general, I fully support movies being remade, because in virtually every case so far, it's been for movies that could use an update. Unfortunately, they may not always be updated successfully (Pulse, for example, is a pretty not-good movie in my opinion, and I was thrilled that Hollywood had taken the opportunity to fix it, and I haven't actually seen the remake, but apparently, they fucked it up even more). But more often than not, I think you end up with The Hills Have Eyes or Dawn of the Dead, which both had good originals, but the new ones were much improved (again, only in my opinion, I know I'm saying some pretty controversial things right now (though, as always, you should keep in mind that there's not much difference between my opinion and FACT)). A remake of Funny Games made me really nervous, though, because that is a film that cannot possibly be improved upon. It's fucking perfect. Well, apparently, Haneke agreed with me. The US version is identical. Aside from the actors and the language, he didn't change a single fucking thing. So, in some sense, I felt like Why even bother? I mean, who is the target audience for this? Will they really try to sell this as a mainstream movie? Or will they keep it in arthouses, and sell it to an audience that's already willing to read subtitles, and may as well be watching the original? But as I was watching, it was literally impossible for me to be upset about the pointlessness of it, because the movie is so remarkably similar that I ended up feeling ecstatic to be seeing one of my favorite movies in the theater. The new cast is awesome, and every performance is just right and fully satisfying. There's really nothing to complain about. I wouldn't even recommend one over the other, it doesn't matter, they're the same fucking movie.
This was a test screening, though, so it's possible the final product will turn into something unfortunate. I tried to do my part to prevent this from happening, though, by filling out the form they gave us with nothing but the highest of praise and basically writing things like "THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING PERFECT PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING AT ALL!!!" and then took part in a focus group. Somehow I didn't see it coming that it would be a "group" thing, and I wouldn't be individually interviewed, so I only spoke up once, and tried my best to explain the purpose of Michael Pitt's character addressing the audience, and how the Rewind* scene fit into the theme of the movie (a few people were confused by it). It's a common complaint about the movie, and one I've defended on numerous occasions, but I was still really fucking nervous speaking in front of an audience. About half the people there didn't like it, but no one really said anything about how it could be improved aside from some issues with pacing (which I don't really agree with, but since I would on just about every other movie ever, it's a complaint I can at least empathize with). Nobody said the little kid should've survived (spoiler alert), so that part is still safe, hopefully. I have a good feeling about it, and I think the final product is gonna be just as perfect as what I saw.
*Speaking of this scene, I don't want to give too much away (even though I already gave away the part about the kid, but this is even more important), but I'll just say that there's a part in the movie where the whole audience cheered, and it was one of the greatest theater experiences I have ever had. Hearing a packed theater applauding and getting really excited, and then just being able to feel their collective faces immediately dropping with anger and confusion as this triumph is taken away from them, was absolutely fucking brilliant.
Now Playing movies I need 2 see
After the Wedding
Brand Upon the Brain
DOA: Dead or Alive
Grindhouse (at Red Vic tomorrow, thinking of going)