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Spout About: "The Smurfs" is a Remake; "Back to the Future" Alternate Ending; "Bridesmaids" Outtakes

by Christopher Campbell
May 26, 2011 3:18 AM
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Spout About is a daily look at what people are discussing related to the films currently in theaters and the classics we're still talking about. Have another topic worth addressing? Let us know.

There are a number of reasons I've been thinking about leaving NYC lately. One is that I'm about to get married and will be having kids soon, and we want to raise them outside the city. Another is that it's way too expensive for a blogger's income. Apparently I'm like many of New York's younger adults, according to a recent poll of those under 30 wanting to take flight in post-WW2-like droves. But this week has brought new, somewhat related additions to the pro-moving side of the scale. Watching Martin Scorsese's new documentary "Public Speaking" (read my review here) gave me insight from Fran Lebowitz on how and why the Big Apple is just an uncool tourist attraction these days. But this is something I've known for the last couple years and which was horrifyingly also proven with the new trailer for "The Smurfs."

I refuse to link to the trailer, because you've either seen it or you really don't want to. Anyway, it reminded me way too much of "Enchanted," that Disney fantasy from a few years ago (and the subject of my first ever post on Spout) in which a cartoon princess is transported to a very cartoon-ish Manhattan for what's basically a remake of Disney's own "Splash." Yes, many New York-set movies have a similar fish-out-of-water angle, particularly in the 1980s when Hollywood gave the city a greatly exaggerated image boost, which likely related to Lebowitz's tourism boost observation (I've actually written a paper on this Koch-era trend, if anyone's interested in reading it). But the "Enchanted" parallels to "Splash" are especially noticeable.

"The Smurfs" is a little off-track from "Splash" (no romance between Smurf and human, as far as we know), but it has it's own certain lifts from the plot of "Enchanted." More importantly, it similarly seems to exaggerate a fantastical idea of NYC that NYC is already trying to be in real-life. And it kind of makes me afraid for how much more Disneyfied and Smurfalicious the place could get in the future. Now that Sidney Lumet is dead, he can immediately commence rolling in his grave.


More notes, links and things up for discussion after the jump.

- Is the "Back to the Future" trilogy based around some secret agenda Doc has against the Tannens? Great Scott! That's what I got out of this alternate ending for the first film, which gives a twist to the whole bullies are evil message:
[via Have You Seen This?!]


- At Movies.com, Jeffrey M. Anderson examines the films of Terrence Malick, ahead of tomorrow's release of "The Tree of Life." Before getting to the actual titles, he defines poetry as Malick's work fits into such consideration:

let's demystify that term a bit. The word probably scares and annoys just about anyone who had to read and deconstruct a poem in high school. A poem is simply this: it's a way of putting together words (or images) to evoke a certain reaction or emotion. That's really it. There's no deconstructing necessary. You read it and you feel something, or you don't, and the poem doesn't work for you. It's the same with movies. Sometimes a certain image can inspire a certain feeling, even if it's just a Christmastime Budweiser TV ad with those trotting Clydesdales.


- At Yahoo!'s omg! blog, Bill Hader lists his favorite summer movies as a promo for his hosting of TCM's Essentials, Jr. series. He names "Jaws" as his favorite movie, period, and also admits to watching USA's "Up All Night" show. Glad I'm not the only one who remembers Rhonda Shear. Here's one of his picks:

BETTER OFF DEAD /JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (BOTH 1985): It seemed like at least one day every summer my sisters and I would watch Better Off Dead and Just One of the Guys all day.


- As you can imagine with an improvisational ensemble like that of "Bridesmaids," many alternative one-liners were attempted for different scenes of the movie. Many of these were really, really dirty, and many others just go right over everyone's head. Funny or Die has an outrageously NSFW outtakes montage. Behold Jon Hamm's filthy mind, Melissa McCarthy's out-there bachelor party ideas and some appreciated extra few seconds of the underutilized Wendi McLendon-Covey:
[via Pajiba]


- The "remake" of "Total Recall" has cast Bill Nighy as resistance leader Quatto (spelled Kuato in the original), but it's unclear if he'll simply be taking on Marshall Bell's role (George) from the original and have a creepy troll living inside his gut, or if he'll be playing that ab-dweller. I'm guessing the former. Also confirmed for the movie are Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel in the Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin roles, respectively. I have an issue with this only because they're both pretty much the same type. Part of the point of Stone and Ticotin being so different is that the former was the protagonist's wife and the latter is his fantasy. Being married to Beckinsale and having your dream girl be Alba is pretty flat-minded for both Quaid (here played by Colin Farrell) and the filmmakers.


- Here's one of those wtf?! casting could-have-beens: Kurt Cobain as Lance, the drug dealer, in "Pulp Fiction." Courtney Love claims Quentin Tarantino wanted the Nirvana singer for the part, which went to Eric Stoltz. Brad Pitt was also a possibility.


- James Sherlock at Den of Geek lists "10 things that make watching sci-fi and fantasy special." Here's from his address of the genres' timelessness:

Star Trek: The Next Generation began in the late 80s, but unlike many shows of that era, it still looks fantastic, almost as if it was filmed yesterday. Sci-fi set in the future, whether dramatic or comedic, often has the advantage of not looking dated a decade from its first showing.

But, more importantly than this, these stories are timeless in themselves. The huge amount of science fiction remakes that have cropped up in recent years tells us that these are stories that have something for every generation to enjoy. To use a horrendous cliché, these stories are like a fine wine. Well, you know the rest.


- I expect that Sony Classics' version will be a lot tamer, but here's the new NSFW UK trailer for John Michael McDonagh's "The Guard," which I recommend as an hilarious showcase for Brendan Gleeson's comic talents:
[via Twitch]

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