In this edition of Trailer Thunderdome, we throw into the pit, two films that could not be more unlike each other. On one side, a remake of one of Arnold’s biggest hits from the nineties. On the other, a film version of a musical guaranteed to make Theater Arts majors of a certain age swoon. Which one will survive the pit of chain-saws and bungee cords?
TOTAL RECALL: (Directed by Len Wiseman.)
Truthfully? From the design of the sets and costumes, it looks like the studio was prepared to make a film version of “Mass Effect”, lost the rights two weeks before shooting started and pulled out the script for “Total Recall” just so they didn’t have to eat the pre-production cost.
And if anyone asks, that’s the story they should go with.
I’ll be honest, I was never really a big fan of the original Verhoeven film. I liked some of the design elements and the Rob Bottin creature effects. (Not to mention the Jerry Goldsmith score. Goldsmith was kicking some major musical ass in the nineties.) But while casting Arnold made box office sense, he was a convincing as an average joe as I’d be as Conan the Barbarian. And there was something about the film’s violence that felt tonally off. Like it was too violent for the film that it was trying to be. (And this is from someone who likes “Robocop” a lot.)
FWIW, Colin Farrell’s moment when he realizes that he has mad murder skills plays better than Arnold’s. And Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel kicking the hell out of each other has a…certain appeal. And while I missed Wiseman’s “Underworld” movies, I did not hate “Live Free or Die Hard”.
But seriously, I’m thinking Netflix for this one.
LES MISERABLES: (2012: Directed by Tom Hooper.)
I’m not going to lie. My inner musical theater geek went “SQUEEE” over this.
Anne Hathaway, (A.K.A. My wife in an alternate universe.) is in fine voice and it gives you a strong sense of how Hooper’s handling the tone of the material. As opposed to making a movie musical, he’s choosing to go the Alan Parker route and make it a period film that just happens to have musical numbers.
I understand that given it’s minute and a half length, they could only include one song but it does leave me curious about the two leads. Jackman’s an old musical theater trooper so it’s just a question if he can equal Colm Wilkinson’s original performance. (Don’t give me that look. You knew I was a nerd when you opened this blog!) The big question mark is Russell Crowe. I’ve heard him sing with his old band “30 Odd Foot of Grunts” and he has a decent Rock voice. I’m just having trouble imagining him doing this score.
But the footage looks solid enough that I’m willing to roll the dice. And I’m thinking that “Can You Hear the People Sing” is going to get a lot of play at future Occupy protests.
So in this outing of “Trailer Thunderdome”, The girly musical takes the prize and a nailgun to the privates to the macho action film. Smells like the 21st century to me.
EDIT: 8:37 am. Replaced an expired YouTube embed of Les Miz.