Pre-Casting: Spiderman (as an actual John Hughes movie)

So today’s the day. The UK release date of one of the most joyful and fun films of the summer; Spider-man Homecoming. As reviewed here you can tell we love it, so we needed to do something for this. So we decided on this; pre-casting. Much like (i.e. almost exactly the same as) our recasting series only taking place entirely in the past. In this case, it will be if it was made in the mid-to-late 80’s. Yes, we’re turning it into a literal John Hughes movie. Notes before we start; we’re ignoring hindsight for this, if someone was awful in the 80’s but suddenly gained magnificent acting ability in the 90’s, we can’t use them, it’s based entirely on them in the 80’s, future potential means nothing in this.

Peter Parker – Andrew McCarthy. 

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This is probably the hardest super-hero to cast, ever. Most superheroes you just need an actor who can do one of the following:

  1. Occasionally look dark and brooding.
  2. Be muscular and cool.

Spider-man is the opposite of that, darkness in that character is like a rabbit in the zoo, it just doesn’t belong and if you try to tell me otherwise I will beat you around the head with your “Welcome To The Rabbit Enclosure” sign. I don’t want to say he needs vulnerabilities as that makes it sound like you need him to be able to cry, but you need to cast someone who ideally you can never imagine being a superhero. That’s part of the character’s charm is that he’s truly leading a double life. Bruce Wayne still has an identity and a life worth living outside of Batman, you take away Spider-man from Peter Parker and he’d be destroyed as a person. You also need someone who not only CAN deliver a cheeky one-liner in middle of a fight scene but also make it seem like they’re the kind of person who would DEFINITELY do that if given the chance. Andrew McCarthy is one of the brat pack actors that people seem to have forgotten about for some reason, which is unfair as he was tremendously talented (still is, only has moved into directing with Orange Is The New Black). He’s someone who can play a wise-ass, but not an ultra-confident bullying one. As such I think he’d be perfect for this.

Mary Jane Watson – Molly Ringwald

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Some of these justifications will be longer than others. This one is simple; She’s Molly Fucking Ringwald and everybody is a little bit in love with her, if you’re not, you’re lying to yourself, and to me.

Anthony Michael Hall – Green Goblin

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I always thought he had a hidden darkness to him, like his characters are just one insult away from snapping and trying to destroy the world. So thought he’d be great as Green Goblin, thinking specifically of how the character was portrayed by James Franco in the movies. Somebody who feels underappreciated and overshadowed by his friend. Someone who would definitely describe himself as a “nice guy” whilst he plies women with alcohol so he can sleep with them. Someone who’s villainry is not only justified to himself, but he also sees it as the only logical thing to do.

Sandman – Emilio Estevez

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Cheating with the ages a bit here, but it’s an 80’s comic book movie, authenticity to the source material was never exactly top of the list. In this he’s a football player who got injured when he was a background character in a Spider-Man fight scene and so harbours a grudge against him. He follows him around to gather dirt on him and ends up in a freak accident where he becomes Sandman. Never really considers that Peter Parker is Spider-man as he’s so far different in terms of social status that he doesn’t acknowledge him. You need an arrogant dick with a ruthless stare for this, so Estevez.

Aunt May – Mai Zetterling

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Finally, someone who wasn’t in the breakfast club. The trouble with casting Aunt May in things like this is it can be easy to forget her toughness and determination. You need someone who seems like the kind of grandparent who treats their grandkids really well, but who is feared by her own children. Odd thing about this casting is it would have been her first film in over 20 years, and last time she was seen she looked a bit different, she was one of the original sex symbols in cinema, so to see her go from that to kindly Aunt May would be an odd transition, and would definitely help ticket sales even if only out of curiosity.

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Flash Thompson – Rob Lowe

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Obviously. Although this is dependent on one thing; Flash Thompson’s character being merged with Sandman is a definite possibility in this so would need to be differentiated enough. I think only way to do this would be in their interactions with the characters, Flash is the tormenter of Peter Parker, whilst Sandman is tormenter of Spider-man, play enough off the similarities between the two and it could end up being pretty intriguing.

 

So, that’s it for today. Where did we go right? Where did we go wrong? And why did we not cast John Cusack?

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The 5 Most 90’s Movies Of 2017

Baywatch/Power Rangers

As I’ve said before, who exactly were these films aimed at? People who liked the originals won’t want to watch these as tonally they’re completely different, and it wasn’t as though there was a huge demand for them. Now if they did it in the 90’s, that’s a different story. Those two shows were both at their peaks and films released at cinema based on those would have made big money. But 90’s was a weird time for TV films, they tended to have terrible reputations (not entirely because of all the terrible films based on Saturday Night Live skits, but they certainly didn’t help). The only one that comes to mind that REALLY worked was South Park, which seemed to be the tipping point for the show and changed it from “this show will cause harm to children” to “cultural icon”.

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On the plus side, if this was made in the 90’s, it wouldn’t have attempted to be “dark” and “gritty”

Kong

Ideal director: Roland Emmerich (again)

Again, why exactly was this made? This would have made A LOT more sense in the 90’s. Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and Dragonheart (google it) showed what could be done back then, and the capabilities of creating a realistic looking giant ape (which is trickier than other giant animals mainly due to the hair, seriously, hair is REALLY hard to animate without looking fake as hell) was possible on a fundamental level, as proven by that classic film, Mighty Joe Young. Come on, you know that film. Oh, you don’t? Nobody does? Oh, okay, maybe that’s why a Kong 90’s film wasn’t made.

Spiderman: Homecoming

Ideal director: John Hughes

Very specific time of the 90’s, early 90’s. John Hughes 90’s, that time when films aimed at children seemed to still be suffering from an 80’s hangover. The perfect time for this would have been around 1991. With Batman Returns about to be released, and with the success of the first live-action Batman still in minds, studios would have bought up more comic book properties and used them in unique ways. A Bush/Reagan-inspired ultra American Superman movie would have been made to try to make people try to forget about Quest For Peace, a Terry Gilliam Watchman would have been made, with David Bowie doing the soundtrack (and probably playing Dr. Manhatten), and to cater for teens a John Hughes Spiderman would have been made. Okay, it would have been better in the 80’s, and casting an 80’s Spiderman Homecoming is a whole different conversation altogether (that’s called foreshadowing).

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Happy Death Day

This would have killed in the late 90’s. Just after Scream landed but before horror got all serious and torture-porn-ey. Probably with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the lead, with a soundtrack consisting of The Offspring and Blink 182. The more I think about this the more I think that would have been fucking awesome. Basically like Idle Hands, which is one of the most 90’s horror films I’ve ever seen in my life (and is quite funny).

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Actually love this image

 

Geostorm. 

Ideal director: Roland Emmerich

Here we go, the film that inspired this entire list. I showed someone the synopsis to this and their response was “are we sure this wasn’t made in the 90’s?”. Kind of cheating as this film was delayed horrifically and wasn’t originally meant to be released this year, although not massively cheating as it was supposed to be released in 2016, which wasn’t a massive difference, although it does explain the obvious reshoot moments. It’s not just the story where this is 90’s, a lot of the story beats seem to come straight from a 90’s perspective; English villain, a moment where a dog nearly (but doesn’t) die, a small child, a needlessly happy ending that seems to come out of nowhere and completely ruins the notion of self-sacrifice.

 

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I guess this should have come earlier. Whoops

 

How We Got Through…October 2017

A Monster Calls

Just as depressing as the film, actually slightly more so. This isn’t something you enjoy as such, but it is something you appreciate because of how brilliant and heartbreaking it is. Also, the book I got looked beautiful in terms of artwork, is like everything was drawn with charcoal, really suited it. Although the film had a unique look as well, but that was more “watercolours”, this is very different, childlike, but an advanced child.

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Ayoade On Ayoade

I got this, was a fun read, but I don’t need to read it again. I can’t imagine what it’s like to read this if you have no idea who he is.

Bachelor Number 2

I actually love Aimee Mann, first heard her on an Anti-Valentines Day radio show. That single show was probably the most influential radio show I’ve ever heard, I got into Aimee Mann, Regina Spektor, and a few other bands whose names don’t occur to me anymore (one was basically a woman leaving a series of increasingly angry voicemail messages set to a dance beat, loved it for some reason). I describe Aimee Mann’s music as basically “Acoustic Snark”. She’s best known for her work on the Magnolia soundtrack (almost said Memento there for no reason whatsoever, because they both begin with M? That’s stupid even for my mind, might as well have said Monty Python And The Holy Grail, that’s an M too) but her other stuff is great too (in particular The Forgotten Arm, and yes, I would understand it if you forgot that prior to this was a full sentence that you forgot how it began, what with the extended parenthesis).

Danny Collins

Kind of sweet. You can tell Pacino is having the time of his life here, it seems like the role was written for him. A very well-written and performed film, with a pretty cool soundtrack. When I first saw it I expected it to be just okay but it’s actually really good. The music is good, the performances are good, and the background characters are rich in terms of characterisation. The trouble with a lot of films is making everybody seem like they’re actual people, making them seem like they exist when the cameras aren’t pointed at them. This does that very well, even the minor characters feel fleshed out.

Detroit

This film suffers from the same problem as a lot of films about the subject do, the villains are so 2-dimensional that it’s hard to buy into the film. The trouble with doing films about race set in 1960’s etc US is that you can’t create a compelling villain. To me, a good villain is just a misguided hero, one where you can kind of see their point. You can’t have that with this, the bad guys are so obviously wrong they’re impossible to defend, they’re obviously pricks. Which is depressing as that’s what it was like back then, a lot of people in power were indefensible pricks who deserved to be punched in the kidneys. Also, the pacing is weird, you have an entire subplot about a band that doesn’t really add anything except 30 minutes to the runtime.

Fist Fight

Pointless. Not entirely sure why this exists. Slightly funny in parts but seems like one of those films that perpetually came out a few years ago and you missed it and forgot it exists.

Flatliners

Brave move killing off who they did. It’s weird as it’s not really sure what it wants to be, is it a remake, a sequel, or something entirely new? Nobody knows, least of all the film itself.

Geri’s Game

One of the very early Pixar films. Shows a lot of promise but lacks that certain Pixar magic. They got a lot better but you can see the early glimpses of what makes Pixar pixar.

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How To Be A Serial Killer

Really enjoyed this. A lot of fun, the kind of film I wish I wrote. Funny, original, and stylish.

The Inbetweeners

Funny, crude, but the second film is a massive disappointment. Weird how quickly this series has left the public consciousness.

IT

Wonderful soundtrack. Some films have had better songs, but few films I’ve seen this year have had songs which suit the film better.

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Also, fucking terrifying.

Keanu

The best use of George Michael in cinema. Ever. Has a great ending too.

Laid

Probably the only sitcom I’ver ever seen which features a scene where the main character tries to fashion a splint out of ice lolly sticks so that they can rape a guy who will stop everyone they’ve had sex with dying.

Solace Of The Road

Not too great a start, but a great closing stretch. The writing reminded me very much of someone I went to uni with, but less good.

The Mountain Between Us

When it was just “two people trapped on a mountain”, was a superb film. Once they added the romance bit I kind of tapped out, just didn’t work at all. And the “realisation shot” was straight out of a low-budget music video for a James Blunt soundalike.

The Ritual

This film did something I will forever love it for; it put most the bits from the trailer in the opening half. I liked this as it meant you weren’t thinking “ok, what from the trailer haven’t I seen yet?”. Chilling, well told and well performed. Book is now on my “to-read” list.

The Snowman

A lot more brutal than I expected. The reveal of the killer could have been done better, and it juggled too many characters at once so was a bit of a bloated mess. Not as terrible as I thought it would be though.

The Witches

Loved it!

The Young Offenders

Kind of charming, rather funny. Has a scene where a disabled drug dealer shoots someone with a nail gun. Seems like a tv show, which as of next year it will be, and I can’t wait.

You Can’t Kill Stephen King

Not a fan. I expected it to be funny and meta, but was just a bit nonsensical. Just wasn’t very fun. Not saying it was serious, far from it, it just seemed a bit “meh”, the film equivalent of dust in the wind.