Monday, December 7, 2009

"Death at a Funeral" Will Change Film History

And if it doesn't, we're just not trying hard enough.

Neil LaBute and Chris Rock are re-making Frank Oz's "Death at a Funeral," a movie released only two years ago. Oz's movie was pretty funny but far from perfect. Its box office draw was just ok, despite the involvement of Whedon mainstay Alan Tudyk and everyone's favorite little person Peter Dinklage. The brilliance of this re-make is how little time has past since the original.

This isn't "Ocean's 11" or"The Manchurian Candidate." This movie hasn't been around long enough for anyone to have a deep emotional connection to it, so now's the perfect time to build on the original. It had many problems, and better filmmakers have a responsibility to do better.

Everyone loves Frank Oz, but he's the guy who put Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Edward Norton in a movie and turned it into a flop. Talented he is, a good filmmaker he is not. The studios gave him a few chances, and along the way, he got half way toward making some pretty good movies. Let's re-make all Frank Oz's movies, using a better filmmaking team. They could even re-team De Niro and Norton. That's not so far-fetched, Peter Dinklage is reprising his role in the new "Death at a Funeral."

Let's look even further in the future. Hollywood should start re-making every well-conceived, yet poorly executed movie. No need to look to decades past. Let's start with the "Star Wars" prequels.

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