What’s up people! Welcome to this week’s At The Flix.
What are your prime directives? As we’re about to find out, they do not involve watching remakes.
Anyhow, to paraphrase James Bond, let’s delve deeply into the (cinematic) treasures this week.
Dallas Buyers Club (15)
Beyond the absolute need to see this film for the performances, in particular Matthew McConaughey‘s portrayal of Ron Woodroff, it is his own circumstances which are most fascinating – turning from being a homophobe and bigot to a gay rights activist and the unique tale within.
Woodroff contracted AIDS through unprotected heterosexual sex in 1985 and subsequently given 30 days to live, he went outside of US authorities to not only take on and important medications to prolong his life (he died in 1992), he set up an underground industry to supply such drugs to others suffering from AIDS.
Quite how groundbreaking a story this is is possibly a moot point – the film will no doubt be a powerful history lesson of the mid/late 80s and the impact that AIDS had during that dark time.
The film finally proves once again that McConaughey has completely revolutionised his image – since The Lincoln Lawyer through to Mud to Dalles Buyers Club, he no longer acquires the nickname Matthew Mahogony which Mark Kermode used to describe him as.
Ever since starting this blog, I have had to preview quite a few remakes and more often than not, I have ended up questioning their reason for being. What possible justification is there to show new generations a far inferior and diluted retelling of the very things that made an original great.
With this new version of Robocop, I’m thinking precisely the same thing but even more so. There’s nothing in the trailer that suggests it has one jot of the original film’s dark humour and satire.
Granted, we are in 2014 and it’s over 25 years since the original, but the world isn’t so significantly different that many of the original Robocop’s satirical points don’t still stand very true – crime, police state, the rise of the corrupt corporation, human vs machine etc, etc.
The other reason to be suspicious is the film’s certification. The original was an 18. It was gory, nasty and ultra-violent – nearly all for darkly comic and preposterous impact. I think a 12 year-old will learn far more from the original, irrespective of its certificate.
Paul Verhoeven got the tenor of the original so right and this just looks like a pale imitation by comparison.
Aside from a few TV spots and some billboard and bus ads around the city, this Dreamworks animation has completely escaped my attention until the time of writing my weekly feature.
According to imdb, with something called a WABAC machine, “Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time.” I remember Mr Peabody from Rocky and Bullwinkle and admittedly this film looks rather droll and hopefully will provide entertainment for adults and kids alike. From what I hear, there are plenty of jokes for adults including Oedipus, Einstein, Spartacus and Bill Clinton. This is no doubt a film getting in for the half-term onslaught coming up!
Elsewhere this week…. Showing at the mac from the 10-13th Feb is Eric Steel’s film Kiss The Water (PG), a profile of fly-fishing lure creator Megan Boyd, in what looks like a fascinating portrait of someone whose lures are in demand by folks including Prince Charles. Steel’s film examines her art and how she still makes everything by hand, in an industry where companies are mass-producing.
Finally, this week’s question of the week – what film remake do you think is worthy or even better than the original? Next week, in addition to the usual At The Flix is an anti-Valentines special! Watch out :).
I’ll leave you to ponder this. So, until next week, “serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law” and watch the original.
By Tim Wilson who can be contacted via @Timmy666 or at a picture house near you.