Recasting: Batman

This is pretty simple, we’re going to be casting our perfect Batman film to celebrate the release of Suicide Squad. Now I know, there was a more Batman-ey film released earlier this year, but we did a Justice League casting for that (available here) If you don’t know who Batman is then I’d like to say hello to you, 15th Century time traveller, marvel at our wonders; the internet, mobile phones, bubble wrap. Now read Batman.

Commisioner Gordon

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Denzel Washington

A different take on the character for sure, but he was still the first name that came to mind when I thought about who could take on the role of the stoic Gotham Detective. An underrated complex character, Gordon is one part the intellectual detective and another the bad ass police commissioner. Not only one of Batman’s closest friends (stories varying), in some ways Commissioner Gordon takes on the role of Batman’s handler, or at least one of his human connections that stops him from going over the edge. Without a doubt I believe Mr Washington would be able to bring the much needed gruff take to make the character his own and give a refreshing kick-ass Gordon who’s not afraid to get his knuckles dirty. Also he already knows how to rock a mustache.

Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy-Lee-Jones1Yes, I know he’s already been in a Batman film, but anybody who see’s that one quickly wishes they hadn’t, so it doesn’t count. People say casting Batman is hard, try casting Gordon, imagine trying to find someone who can match Gary Oldman’s performance! Tommy Lee Jones is good at doing the whole “gruff cop” thing, he played it to perfection in The Fugitive. And if Ben Afleck can play an older Batman, then we need an even older Gordon, and whilst Tommy Lee Jones is old, there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that he’s still got it. He still has the ability to become his character and entrance the audience with his performance.

Robin

Logan Lerman

Which Robin you ask? Hmmm. Though I think the extraordinarily talented young star of logan-lerman-photoshoot-logan-lerman-29210026-250-322The Perks of being a Wallflower could work well as most male incarnations of the character, I see him best as Tim Drake, the third, and to me most interesting, Robin. He always focused more on the detective side of Batman (he becomes Robin by working out who Batman is, like a badass) instead of just the physical like Dick Grayson seems to. Also, he lacks the usual tragedy in his past that motivates him to be Robin; instead doing it because he recognises Batman’s need for a Robin.

But why Logan Lerman?  Because I like him and think he just has the right look. From Perks to Noah he’s proven himself a great dramatic actor, and though the Percy Jackson films were…underwhelming at best, he still showed he could handle action well enough.

Taron Egerton

This will obviously only work for a specific Robin. Well, two specific Robin’s: Tim Drake, and Damien Wayne (with slight tweaking so that his initial story arc into becoming Robin happens quicker thtaron-egerton1-564x360an it did in the original source material). Robin should not be the finished article, he should be someone who needs guidance, who needs Bruce, but pretends he doesn’t. He basically needs to be a young adult acting like a petulant child. But you also need to remember that he is still Robin, so his still very dangerous and could possibly kill you due to being trained in weaponry, but not being too great at stopping himself. I think Egerton could do that, he could pull off that dangerous apprentice, and then, when the time comes, move onto further things with the character.

Catwoman

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What needs to be said? Just look at her. Catwoman’s core characteristics are that she’s wiley, sexy, and kick-ass. All things Zeta Jones just seems to naturally emit already, combined with her record as an action star from the likes of Zorro and RED, as well as her dramatic work, she seems like the perfect fit. But more than that, I like that she would really bring the modern ‘woman’ aspect to the role; almost pushing fifty, and as we’ve already seen multiple younger incarnations of the character, a Catwoman with a few miles on her, more experienced and seasoned, would be much more refreshing and exciting than any teenybopper flavour of the week.

Emily Blunt

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Odd choice I know but this was done for a simple reason: if you can be in a male-dominated genre such as an action movie, working alongside a titan of the genre like Tom Cruise, and portray a strong enough character that people remember you, you deserve more roles. Good actress, fantastic with action, and with that sexiness that is (in some iterations), central to the character.

The Riddler

Jesse Eisenberg

Because I, like the few people who enjoyed Eisenberg’s performance in BvS (we do exist,12918618_584740531692129_1489645070_n we’re not just myths), enjoy it mainly just for the entertainingly camp yet oddly menacing fun he gave in his every scene in the overwrought film. He was a needed shot in the arm of fun the film needed. But ‘camp yet oddly menacing’ is not a good description for Lex Luthor, it is however a perfect description for one of Batman’s more zany villains, The Riddler. Some people seem to think Eisenberg was trying to be Ledger’s Joker with his performance, and who really the fuck knows. But! Change his name, outfit and give him riddles to constantly weave, and you’d have a pitch perfect Riddler; the fun camp of Carrey’s but with some genuine menace more akin with Nicholson’s Joker. Sounds good to me.

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Matt Smith

One aspect The Riddler needs is to act like he’s the smartest person in the room. There’s been a tendency to play this character as comedic, he may be somewhat hyperactive and dressed weird (not entirely unlike a certain time traveller), but he still needs to be taken seriously. He should be fun, not comedic, there’s an important difference. He needs to be someone who is not only the smartest person in the room, but also the person who’s enjoying the chaos the most.  Matt Smith actually can be dangerous quite well and he’s proven it numerous times. Plus if he does this we might actually forget he was in Terminator Genisys.

Bane

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

I’ll admit this is mainly superficial. Dwayne Johnson is huge, and so is Bane. So that equalsDwayne+Johnson+aka+Rock+films+scenes+set+new+ogGHuO_x0Tpl perfect casting. But there is a bit more to it than that, I swear. One thing Hardy’s take on the behemoth captured well was how charismatic Bane is, a master of words as well as muscles, but it’s the latter of that is something I don’t think he captured as well. Yeah Hardy was big, but he wasn’t Bane big (I know I know, Nolan realism and all that), that’s where I think Dwayne could come in magnificently; as if there are two things The Rock is known for,  it’s being fucking huge, and being very charismatic. The real hurdle would be whether someone as lovable as Dwayne Johnson can play a threatening villain convincingly and I don’t know, but I think he could. Again I think his sheer size will be his trump card in that department, and I think we can all agree we’ve seen less threatening looking people pull off being evil. Cough. One Hour Photo. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough.

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Batista

Oh look, we’ve both picked former wrestlers. And yeah I know this might be cheating as he’s been in a superhero movie already but come on! I mean, look at the guy! He’s built like a brick shithouse. I actually really liked Tom Hardy as Bane, my only issue with him is that he didn’t really seem big enough, Bane should tower over people, and Tom Hardy didn’t really seem to, he’d be perfect as another role. Batista on the other hand? Him as Bane would make it believable that he could be the one to break the Batman. Already had acting experience in the aforementioned Guardians as well as parts in Riddick and Spectre. If it came to it he could be a Bane that you truly believe Bruce Wayne would fear.

The Joker

Willem Dafoe

Once again, what needs to be said? just look at him; he almost wouldn’t need makeup. de45c1464d61b3b46bf510875f31ffa2Dafoe has made a career of playing deranged and creepy characters, so topping it off with the Clown Prince of Crime just seems natural (and who cares if he’s already played an iconic super villain? No one gives a shit Chris Evan’s played the human torch anymore.) But it’s beyond him just playing crazy well; it’s the lairs and distinctive ways he can play crazy, from a comical bloodsucker in Shadow of the Vampire, to a just plain nasty hitman in Wild at Heart, to just playing fairly normal guys in Platoon

 

Jake Gyllenhaal

This was kind of difficult for me but as soon as I thought of it I knew I had the right one: Jake Gyllenhaal. Now I know what some of you are thinking, “what, the Donnie Darko guy?” “what, the Brokeback Mountain guy?” “what, the City Slickers kid?” To which I say; watch Nightcrawler (and City Slickers, seriously? There is no way that’s the only film you know him from, you’re just showing ojakeff, now go away). Seriously, watch Nightcrawler, he’s insanely brilliant there with a sense of danger and fun that would make him perfect for the role of the Joker. The “fun” there is the most important aspect there for me, Heath Ledgers Joker was disturbing, no doubt about that, but it wasn’t that funny. The Joker should be a clown, their should be a comedic side to him, even if that comedic side is slow-cooked in sociopathy. For proof of this, what’s the definitive Joker story? The one most people use as a reference point for that character? Answer: The Killing Joke. Now, how does that story end? Answer: with a joke. The Joker tells Batman a joke mid fight scene that makes him break down in laughter (and maybe causes Batman to kill him, if certain sources are to be believed). Can you imagine Ledger’s Joker ending Dark Knight like that? It would seem weird and out of character. Gyllenhaal? I feel he could do it.

Mr. Freeze

Ralph Fiennes

Possibly the oddest choice on this list, but I think the most fitting if you know the character well. The Batman Animated Show’s take on Mr Freeze. The seminal show ralph-fiennes-by-kalpesh-lathigra2completely recreated the mad scientist with a freeze-ray into a sympathetic Shakespearean tragedy; a normal man who only became the villain we know because he was betrayed while trying to save his wife’s life, and then became stricken with grief ready to go to any extreme needed to avenge her. So who better to bring this bald heart of ice to life than this classically trained bald thespian? As when he’s not trying to kill boy wizard’s. Fiennes is known for his startling character acting, bringing depth and nuance to countless characters; from portraying Nazi’s to a Hotel concierge. Add in his action experience in the Harry Potter Series and you have an actor seemingly born to bring this chilling villain to heart stopping life.


Tomasz Kot.

I know, I can practically hear the “who?” from here. First off; stop saying “who”, it’s 2 in the morning and I’m trying to sleep. Secondly; watch Bogowie. He’s the lead in that and he has TREMENDOUS presence. The kind you don’t see anymore, he just carries himself in such a wonderful manner that you can tell he’s someone. The major downside to this is that this will probably meabogowien his emotional arc won’t be as effective as it was in the animated series due to English being the actors second language. But there’s a lot of characters in this hypothetical film, and I feel the villain who will have the least screen time would be Freeze, so you won’t have time to go into his tragic backstory, you need someone with presence who can come in for a few scenes and knock it out the park, and I feel he can do that.

Honourable Mention

Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.

I know, we usually try to make casting relatively realistic, but someone suggested this on Twitter and it just blew my mind how perfect this would have been. This is a role you know he would have taken on with gusto and given his all. And because Hoffman was so good you know that even if he was only in it for 10 minutes, people would remember it. People would clamour for him to have longer. This would have been one of the most perfect castings of all time, and it’s a real shame that it won’t happen. I will freely admit, I never liked The Penguin as a character, I found him too silly, too out there, too, dare I say it, comic-book to work. Then I watched Gotham, the Penguin in that is one of the highlights of the series and one of the best characters in television at the moment. So for a film version, you’d need to bigger, you’d need to go better, and who better than Hoffman?

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(Re)Bleed American

Similar to our re-recording of The Black Parade (as seen here and here) which, considering MCR are now planning something for the anniversary of it probably could have been better timed. For those of who didn’t read those this is simple: I pick an album and then pick the bands I’d like to cover each song. For this week I picked Bleed American (re-titled Jimmy Eat World after 9/11), which celebrated it’s fifteen year anniversary this week. So, here goes.

Bleed American – Fall Out Boy

Fast, raucous and the sound of a drunken house party. This song mainly needed to have the guitar strong at the front, and a strong enough vocal performance to carry this off. So I found FOB to be the perfect choice. On the downside I was going to pick Patrick Stump to do one of the later songs, had to go against that for this, and can’t have two Stumps, that way madness lies.

A Praise Chorus – Less Than Jake

One of the only songs I owned before I had the album (live version on a compilation) so will always have a special place in my heart. I was going to pick an acoustic band to cover this song as I feel that would make a good version and turn it into a kind of sweet piece of music, would add an extra level of emotion to it. Then I listened to it again and pictured someone singing it and doing that weird “jumping with your shoulders” thing at certain points of the song, then realised the jumpy dancy nature of it. As such I thought I should play up that aspect of it, and there’s only one way to do that: MORE HORNS!!! Then LTJ voices were in my head and it just meshed perfectly.

The Middle – Regina Spektor

Weird choice I know. This song is ridiculously peppy and brilliant, so you’d expect me to pick another pop-punk band for this, maybe Green Day, maybe Sum 41, maybe even go slightly ska and go with Reel Big Fish. But I feel that musically they would all sound too similar and would just be “lead vocalist” karaoke. This song is in my top 100 of all time, so if I hear it covered I want to hear something new done with it, I want to hear a completely different version. Maybe a female vocal version? Maybe a female vocal version done on a piano? Maybe Regina Spektor? Yeah, Regina Spektor. Her voice is haunting and beautiful, and to hear her sing this would add an entirely different layer to it and could end up being quite emotional.

Your House – Say Anything

Again, to add emotion. But not a “weepy weepy cry cry” emotion, Max Bemis voice is perfect for that bitter angry sarcastic misanthropic tone. So if anything this will do the opposite of what my previous choices have done, instead of adding emotion, this will change it, it will make the entire song seem angry instead of sweet, but also like he’s broken by the entire experience. Was also considering Saves The Day for this, as his voice would also be perfect for a Jimmy Eat World song.

Sweetness – Tegan And Sara

Mainly because this version would be danceable as hell. It would seem slightly less angry but it would be the perfect song to put a smile on your face and an extra skip in your step as go through your daily routine waiting for death.

Hear You Me – Amanda Palmer

Because I’m not letting you get through this album without crying your eyes out, and what better choice than this song? And what better way to do it than an empty voice at a piano just completely draining you of everything until you’re an empty husk of who you used to be.

If You Don’t Don’t – Desaparecidos

Hot damn I love Conor Oberst, his voice has a kind of shakey uneasy vibe to it, like he’s about one incident away from completely breaking down or going insane, you can’t tell which as it sounds like both at once. As such it would be perfect for this song, but I couldn’t go with Bright Eyes as musically that would be a terrible mix, so I went with his other band, Desaperecidos. Musically very different from Bright Eyes but equally amazing in parts, them covering this song would be the soundtrack to a thousand stroppy teenagers.

Get It Faster – Bright Eyes

I know, more Conor Oberst, I’ll go sit in the corner and think about what I’ve done. And now I’m back and here to tell you why you’re wrong to judge me. Because this would be amazing! Now for this I’m thinking of specific type of Bright Eyes, the kind of weird death-disco/digital-folk from Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. This song revolves around the slow build up and then the vocal release, and few people accomplished this as well as Oberst did on that album.

Cautioners – Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Because it’s practically a Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly song already, just written and performed entirely by someone else.

The Authority Song – Marina And The Diamonds

This is purely because I’m curious as to what it would sound like. It could be a complete disaster, it could be the best thing since sliced bread warmed up with cheese and Worcestershire sauce.

My Sundown – My Chemical Romance (With Full Orchestral Backing)

Now when I say My Chemical Romance I mean full-on Black Parade My Chem. When they were at there most bombastic, their most theatrical, and (some would argue) their best. Them doing this would be the perfect closing to this project, it would be big enough so that the compilation felt like it had a closer, a grand finale to the audio trip through the album. The orchestra? Well that will just make it better, will make it seem bigger, will make it seem more draining, you will listen to this and feel exhausted by the end of it, which this album needs, as the original is (dare say it) kind of a bland way to close it.

So that’s this over, what do you think ? Where did we go wrong? Where did we  go right? What would have been better?

Recasting: The Justice League

So to celebrate (or commiserate: we haven’t seen it yet) Batman Vs. Superman (or to give it it’s full title: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of The Rise Of The Planet Of Justice League Of National Geographic) we thought we’d do a blog about it. Marvel’s cinematic universe is in full swing (although after the somewhat muted reception to Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it’s fair to say there is a lot riding on Civil War) but what about the DC one? It’s irrelevant to this blog anyway, as we’re reshaping it anyway with our traditional recasting. So here we go!

Superman/Clark Kent

"The Hunger Games" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Wes Bentley

This was quite hard to do really. I say this as a completely heterosexual person, but Superman has to be good looking. And in a certain way. He can’t be hipster good looking, and he can’t be the kind of guy you imagine stepping shirtless out of a lake, he has to be 1940’s good looking. The kind of guy you imagine playing snooker in a smoke-lit bar. I was going to go for Afleck for this but then realised someone better: Wes Bentley. Otherwise known as the guy who died in the first Hunger Games film. To me he has the look, he has the hair, and he has the certain “otherworld”ness that he needs.

OR

Matt Damon superman

An American as the American icon! Perish the thought! But really, even as he gets up there in years, Damon still has the boyish charms of a boy scout, but the chin and body of a harden soldier. His charismatic roles in light-hearted films like, The Martian, Ocean’s 11, and The Informant shows he can play adorkable very well, while his Bourne franchise shows he can kick-ass with the best of them. Dye his hair black and bulk him up a bit and, BAM-BOOM-WACK, we’ve got a lovable Clark Kent and a badass and charismatic Superman. Really he seems like an obvious choice, and I’m surprised he’s never been approached before. Admittedly he’d have to be an older Superman, but what’s wrong with that?

Batman/Bruce Wayne

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Tom Hiddleston

I know, never going to happen but I think he could do it. The reason why I never really brought Bale as Batman had nothing to do with his performance as Batman, it was his performance as Bruce Wayne that I hated. Bruce Wayne is basically a swaggering cockhead, Bale never had that “I’m the smartest guy in the room” mentality. Hiddleston would. I know some people may doubt he’d be physically imposing enough and to them I say this: Michael Keaton managed it. Side note: I was also considering Tom Hardy for this.

OR

Clive Owen

I really like the look of Ben Affleck as Batman, and I’m not surprised the early reviews for OwenBruceBatman v Superman are siting him as the best thing about it; but as my co-producer said, this is recasting, so we have to recast. So I choose the grizzled British badass himself Clive Owen because… well look at him. Those eyes. That chin! He’s shown he has the charm and wit to play a convincingly smarmy Bruce Wayne in films like Closer, and the action experience and intensity to be a terrifying Batman. Again another older pick, so realistically there would be a restriction to how long he could play the part, but who cares!

Wonder Woman

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Lily James

Yes, I know, Gal Gadot looks like she’ll be f*cking superb. But the name of the blog is recasting so I have to recast. This choice was made entirely because of Pride And Prejudice and Zombies, for which she was absolutely amazing and kicked the right amount of ass. I was also tempted to go with Ronda Rousey before remembering I have no idea if she can act or not. There’s a real lack of women in hollywood who could make believable action heroes.

OR

Emily BluntALL YOU NEED IS KILL

I just like Emily Blunt, can’t lie that’s part of it. But there are a lot of legitimate reasons why she would be a great Wonder Woman. One) she actually looks like a woman, not a teenager (and that’s only a small poke at Gal Gadot, who does look good). And two) with her excellent turns in the recent action heavy Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario, she’s shown she can own complex action set-pieces with the best of them, and can play intelligent militaristic characters with human flaws to a tee; traits a good Wonder Woman needs, coming from an island of Warrior Women and all.

Green Lantern

Nathan Fillion

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Mainly because in my head I can hear him do the Lantern Oath in my head. And he looks like the kind of guy who’s had powers bestowed upon him, rather than having been born.

 

OR

Michael B. Jordan

John Stewart has always been my favorite Green Lantern, and after the disastrous abortionlantern of 2011’s Hal Jordan Green Lantern film, I think a change of pace with the hero is needed. Now Michael B. Jordan maybe a bit young to play the part, but he’s a fast rising star who’s already proven himself to have the chops to carry a film and do action well, so a younger take on the character could easily work, and add some needed levity to the DCCU. Honestly Jordan would make the perfect Cyborg too, having already voiced the character in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, but we didn’t include him on this list because well, who thinks of Cyborg when you think of the Justice League!

Aquaman

eye-candy-ryan-gosling-4Ryan Gosling

Imagine the fanservice! The film would have an excuse to have Ryan Gosling walking slowly out of a puddle of water, thereby doubling your ticket sales AND encouraging a few more puddles of wetness in the audience. He has the looks, he DEFINITELY has the star power, and if you’ve seen Only God Forgives etc you know he has the acting skills necessary. Aquaman is generally regarded as a bit lame by the mainstream audience, so it needs somebody who can kick it back into relevancy. And who better than Gosling?

OR

Charlie Hunnamimg_0665

I haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy, or even Pacific Rim, though heard great things about both. The only things I’ve seen him in are Crimson Peaks, which was fine, and the UK Queer as Folk series, which I didn’t realize was him till just now. So this is based purely on look and reputation, but Hunnam looks perfect to bring the king of the sea to the big screen, and would actually fit the character’s iconic (and heavily mocked) design, adding the much needed edge and toughness too it, instead of just changing it like the Jason Momoa version has.

Re-Recording The Black Parade (Take 2)

You know the drill, and you know why. So in the words of the Virgin Mary “let’s get on with it”

The End – The Mars Volta

When I read the previous one this one annoyed me because of how great the choice was; mainly because it would work similarly to Eulogy off England Keep My Bones. As such I had to try to take it in a different direction:

Instead of it being acoustic-ey and building up. I decided to go with a choice that would just be balls to the wall insane, and would probably end up being about 5 minutes long. Just a Spanish Jam sequence of insanity. If you haven’t heard of The Mars Volta and you’re too lazy to watch the video above I’ll try to describe them for you: the sound of an acid trip whilst driving through the dessert.

Dead – Horrorpops

For this I focused mainly on the slight twang underlying the song. So I went with these guys:

They have the twang, they have the right drummer for it, and admit it; it would be pretty cool to hear female vocals do this song wouldn’t it?

This Is How I Disappear – Peeping Tom

I should probably start with explaining who Peeping Tom are. It’s basically Mike Patton from Faith No More, being very cool. This is one of my favourite albums I own and has some truly amazing songs on it. I can see his version of this song being a bit slower, a bit darker, and a bit more (I shan’t mince my words here): f*ckable.

The Sharpest Lives – Less Than Jake

My first choice for this was Survival Guide (mainly because I’m still in mourning for Tsunami Bomb) but couldn’t find the song that would showcase it well enough. I then realised that that would mean WAAAAAY too much slow synth based stuff this early on. So changed my mind. Other ones that went through my head were Jimmy Eat World and Biffy Clyro. Then I just thought: TRUMPETS!

 

Welcome To The Black Parade – Cobra Starship

Now this is just mean. This song is so MCR that it would be almost blasphemy. So this can only really be covered two ways: 1) a slowed down cover like Ben Folds would too. 2) Someone just going all out and bombastic as possible. Now contrary to popular believe I prefer the second. You need someone to just attack this like a circus ring leader mixed with a serial killer. So who better than Cobra Starship? Now I know, i’ve put a lot of synth stuff in this, but this is different: it’s dance-synth

I Don’t Love You – Ben Folds

Mainly because I imagined it in my head and it made my brain cry

House Of Wolves – The Used

Ok, so file this under the “never going to happen” section. But admit it, it would be pretty cool wouldn’t it?

Cancer – Ke$ha

I know! I know! Calm down! Stop throwing things! Hey! Hey now! Which one of you threw a sink? That could have really hurt! Yes, I know this is controversial, probably the most so on this list. But believe me, she can f*cking do it. I have a Bob Dylan tribute album containing songs by Bad Religion, My Chemical Romance, Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem etc. All very respectful bands. But my favourite song on it? F*cking Ke$ha. Makes me tear up every time.

Mama – Paul McCartney

Now I was tempted to go for Gogol Bordello for this. They would have matched the crazyness, and then some. I admit, I was also tempted to go with Dead Kennedys because it would have been intense as hell. So I just went awesome.

Sleep – Coheed And Cambria

Oh man I have to do this? But this song sucks. I don’t like sleep (which makes sense as I’m an insomniac). So yeah, erm, Coheed and Cambria I guess? At least then the guitars will come crashing down and wash upon you like a tsunami bomb.

Teenagers – Billy Talent

Intense guitars, a chorus made for shouting by a crowd of thousands, and a bitter sarcasm running through the entire thing. Who else could it be?

Disenchanted – Bright Eyes

Because it’s the only thing that could make this sound more emotional and brilliant

Famous Last Words – Fall Out Boy

Don’t know why, I just feel this would seem kind of cool and brilliant.

Blood – Helen Arney

Because ukuleles make everything better.

BONUS SONG

Because I really really really want My Chemical Romance to cover this.

Re-recording The Black Parade (take 1)

Similar to our Recasting blogs, in this new category we take a look at popular albums and dream up insane but also sometimes sensible choices for which acts we’d have cover each track…if for some reason the album was ever re-recorded or something. This week emo-poster child My Chemical Romance’s seminal album, the rock record that made people take them seriously and completely miss the point,  The Black Parade.

 

The End.Frank Turner

It’s already starts acoustic, so let’s get this record kicked off with Mr Acoustic punk himself, to toss some tables and add a true sense of honesty to it. Now this could go either way, one) it’s a slow moving purely acoustic track like Journey of the magi, that really feeds the heart. Or two) it’s a builder like Do you believe that starts acoustic then builds to a true foot-stomping, jaunty rocker.

Dead! Streetlight Manifesto

This is one of the safer choices on this list. The grandfathers of ska punk taking this fast fun rock tune and jigging it up with trumpets and rough vocals; simple but effective.

 

This Is How I DisappearBrandon Flowers

This isn’t The Killers I’m talking about. I’m talking about the right now Brandon Flowers’ solo career of glorious 80’s pop jams, and that’s what I want him to do to this. Slow it down, throw in the sexy synth and pulsating drum machines, swoon over it, and make it an 80s crooner you can dance to! Why? I don’t know. This is just the song I can see fitting that style better than any other, and because at its heart it’s still a love song.

 

The Sharpest LivesRed Hot Chili Peppers

Being one of MCR’s quickest lyrical songs, Anthony Kiedis’s rap style of singing would suit it to a tee, adding a wiry wit to the sharp lyrics of partying and drinking problems. Then throw in Flea funking up the bass, and suddenly this downer song will shine like a fun sunny day while still meditating on the dark issues of drinking ya self into an early grave. Sounds like a Chili’s song to me.

 

Welcome to the Black Parade – Andrew Jackson Jihad

The oddest choice I’d say on this list; but when it comes to a classic anthem like Welcome to the Black Parade, a song that’s such a staple of the band, there’s no point going for an act to try and match it. All you can do is give it to people who would completely change it; and that’s what this emotional and endearingly nasal, folk ska-ish band would do. Strip the grandness down to its black bones and give you the raw emotion behind the song, in an honest, cutting, but joyous fashion.

(give them a chance, they’re a grower)

I Don’t Love YouCounting Crows

One of MCR’s most swooning songs, about the realization that the love you once felt so strong has withered up and gone. So who better but the rambling beat poet-esque Adam Duritz and his roots rock group, to strip away the melodrama and bring it down to its meaning and words as he heart-wrenchingly rambles through them. It would be poetry to my ears….if only mine.

 

House of WolvesTouché Amore

This is a personal favorite of a lot of people who don’t even like My Chemical Romance. It’s a swaggering punk-rock jam; so let’s turn that up to eleven and let post-hardcore giants Touché Amore, shout it out at double volume and double the speed. It would be louder, it would be rawer, and it would pack twice the punch.

 

CancerRegina Spektor

It’s a sad song, but give it to the endlessly cheery Regina Spektor and…it would still be a sad song, but her natural quirkiness would add a new humor to contrast and emphasis the misery, and overall add new depth to this death lament.

 

MamaPoets of the fall

Poets of the fall have a lot of kinship with My Chemical Romance. They’re both theatrical rock bands with a flair for the overdramatic, though Fall’s style falls more in tune with a light operatic Rammstein. And if you’re wondering if you’ve heard them before, they did most of the soundtrack of Alan Wake. But yes, Mama; a bold, melancholy and jaunty tune that you could either strip down or build up, so let’s build this fucker up to the operatic hard rock epic this band would turn it into, till it wouldn’t sound out of place in Repo: the genetic opera.

 

SleepWhite Lies

After their seminal third album Big TV, these 80’s loving new wave rockers have become one of my most listened to on my iPod. So this song was less of a case of what band could play this song, and what song would suit White Lies synth laden ethereal style, and of cause Sleep fits perfectly. The slower, sombre tone is begging to be synth-ified and crooned out by Harry McVeigh’s baritone, which would add a dramatic, dark, danciness.

 

Teenagers Green Day

Because of course; some bands I picked because of how different they’d make the song, Green Day I picked because they could arguably do it better and punkier than MCR already did. It wouldn’t be very different but it would make it even funner, and add some needed levity to this pretty silly anthem.

 

Disenchanted Bruce Springsteen

I’m not talking about the Born to run, Born in the USA, Springsteen, I’m talking about the Youngstown, Devils and Dust, Springsteen, the stripped back folk Springsteen. That style combined with Springsteen’s world weary voice, would really bring a nuance and heartbreak to these lyrics, and turn it into an old country ballad in all the right ways.

 

Famous Last WordsRammstein

My Chemical Romance have had forays into metal once or twice, and the ender to this epic album is definitely on the side of hard rock, so who better to take it over the edge while maintaining the glory and finesse that comes with it, than the German metal gods that is Rammstein. Their fast heavy style combined with Till Lindemann’s grizzled bellow would just make this an orgastic and epic affair; the perfect way to end this bizarre genre hopping cover album.

So what do you think of this new Black Parade? Agree? Disagree? Couldn’t care less? Who would you want covering these songs? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page here.

OH SNAP! Bonus track!
BloodBob Dylan

Because it would be funny, because Dylan’s ramshackle voice and sweet melancholy could actually turn this silly little diddy into a genuine song of loss and lament. And that would be the best joke of all.

 

Come again Friday, when our other producer recounts his cast for his Black Parade!

Why we love the Scott Pilgrim Comics (and who we’d have cast)

 

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Like most I saw the 2010 Edgar Wright adaption of the Scott Pilgrim comics, named after the Second volume, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, before I knew anything of the comic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it for the quirky video gamey action comedy it was. And with what little I knew about the comics I was led to believe that the film was a fairly accurate version of the Scott Pilgrim story. Having now read the series (and loved it), it is not it turns out…well not completely.

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Writt413DrfEHYBL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_en by Bryan Lee O’Malley, I have been a fan of his work since I read his latest graphic novel, the funny and poignant Seconds, and his first graphic novel the very poignant and funny Lost at Sea; both of which are excellent. But Scott Pilgrim is his greatest achievement so far; combining fun and funny geekerific humor with an interesting story and a host of relatable characters.

tumblr_le4ojxn9qH1qao2elNow as I said the film is an action comedy, with the romance there to thread together all the epic fight scenes and video game gags, and when it comes to fights and gags the film has it fucking spot on! The look, style and tone of each fight is very true to the style of the comics, and even the tweaks and changes they made to the fights (in the comic the twins are robotic engineers not techno musicians) are very in keeping with it. There is even a lot of dialogue and scenes recreated verbatim from the comic….but (and I think you could all feel that coming) despite all these aspects (which are basically the movie) it gets right, I have come to dislike the film. This isn’t just because of all the fascinating side-character backstory and development they left out, that’s just adaption for you, or that the lead characters Scott and Ramona are fairly off (though I will get to that). It’s because it got the tone and heart of the story wrong.

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Nega Scott is also more than a last second joke

The action and comedy is right, but Scott Pilgrim isn’t an action comedy, it’s a surprisingly nuanced romantic dramedy about the trials and tribulations of mature love, and learning to accept that change is inevitable and the more you run from it the worse of a person you become (the fact all the Ex’s turn into coins (change) isn’t just because video games); with the awesome video gamey world and fights being the sprinkles on top of the cake, not the cake itself. It’s like if the 60’s Batman was the definitive adaptation of Batman; okay it got some things right but there’s more to it than that.

tumblr_n04c5zpItu1t72jf6o3_r1_1280I know and accept that when adapting a six volume series into a two hour film a lot of details are going to have to be changed and left out, but I can’t forgive that the core of the book (the maturing and the romance) was one of them! And I KNOW it’s there in the film…But Scott and Ramona’s romance is there just for motivation and plot so that the fights scenes can happen…but it’s not what the film is about. I would have been fine for them to cut one or two of the ex’s out (the twin’s being the easiest) in favor of more time to develop the romance, but nope, perish the thought of missing one minute of the nerdgasm fight scenes.

And by the end it claims that Scott has gotten better as a person, but that just feels mostly tacked on because it needed to be there not because it earned it, and don’t even get me started on Ramona’s character…actually do, because that leads me into…

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aww what a sweet moment, wasn’t this so good in the….oh wait…

Who we would of cast….and I talk about characters n’ stuff.

This isn’t going to be a full cast list, as apart from the leads, I think the casting, from Scott’s friends to the Evil Ex’s, was pretty spot on all around.yrb6l4dl

The Problem with Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim: Honestly he’s okay, not terrible just michael-ceraokay. He captured the geekiness and immaturity of Scott well enough, and was funny and likable to a point…because he was just playing Michael Cera. What he really lacked was the charm and boundless charisma Scott has, that despite his looser ways draws people to him, and makes sense how he has so many friends and ex’s. Cera is just too meek and awkward to pull that off, Scotts the loveable slacker (like Fry from Futurama really), not just an awkward dweeb. He also couldn’t connect with the emotional side of Scott, which to those who have read the series know is vital to his character, Cera always opting for a gag or funny line over a real moment (and I know that’s on Edgar Write just as much).

Rudderless-Movie-Featured-ImageAnton Yelchin as Scott Pilgrim: not a perfect fit, but the damn closest I could think of. His most famous turn as Chekov in the Star Trek reboot (that isn’t his real accent by the way) proves he can be funny, dorky, and energetic. His lead role in the enjoyable Fright Night remake shows he can lead a film with charisma and be plenty charming. And his role in the underrated romantic drama Like Crazy, more than proves he has the dramatic chops to add the depth and lonely nuance Cera sorely lacked.

 

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Same lines but a much more adorable vibe than the film

The problem with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers: She’s just too calm lo1tk3b3faced and cool to me Ramona. The Romona Flowers’ of the comics is an emotional tornado of spunk and bad decisions, yes there is a cool hipness to her, but most of all she is an adorable, free spirited, mess, who has just as much growing up to do as Scott; that’s why you bought them together. Mary Elizabeth Winstead just looked and acted too good for Scott in the film, gone is the hyperness and vulnerability, in its place smugness and an air of sweet superiority. It always felt like she was just playing with Scott and not actually interested in him deeply.
Her character as a whole is fucking terrible when compared to the books really, but the biggest unforgivable flaw (and I know this is a problem with Edgar Wright’s adaption) is that she is never a damsel in distress in the comic! She can always take care of herself, be it fighting or running away, and that’s clearly seen most of all in that, SHE DOSEN’T GO BACK TO GIDEON! Though it’s made clear he still has an emotional hold on her, she never returns to her clearly abusive Ex like some weak willed doormat, instead leaving on her own journey of self-discovery to work out how she feels about Scott before returning to help kick Gideon’s ass together. Now I know the film came out before the comic had finished, and they did a pretty good job in predicting where the story goes and the points it needed to touch upon, but I think we all can agree Edgar Wright could of delivered something better than the old save the princess scenario. And I don’t agree “But video game!” is a valid reason.

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THAT’S MORE LIKE IT!

emma-stone-short-bob-haircutAnyway…
Emma Stone as Ramona Flowers: I don’t think I even need to go much into why this would work, we all know how good Emma Stone is, from Crazy, Stupid, Love, to Birdman; and with every way I’ve described Ramona from the comics, who else could do it better?

 

 

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The comic has quite a few quiet moments of self reflection

 

 

It wasn’t till I wrote this that I realized how quickly and how much I’ve come to dislike the movie of Scott Pilgrim, so I’ll wrap this up. If you like or even love the film, more power to you, it’s a great action comedy with more heart than I think I gave it credit for, but for those looking for something more I can’t recommend the comic book series enough. All the side characters you love get buckets more of development, especially Scott’s band mates, and his own ex’s Knives and Envy. It’s sweet, funny, and just damn fine literature; a comedy that knows the heart is something to cherish and care for, and not just pull badass katanas from.

Recasting….The Saga Of Darren Shan (a.k.a: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant)

Vampires_assistantWelcome, welcome, welcome. We’ve been doing this for a while now and thought we’d try a new series: Recasting. In this we’ll both be looking at established franchises and casting our ideal movie versions. Throughout the series we’ll be looking at franchises such as Batman, Justice League, Artemis Fowl etc. But we’ll start with The Saga Of Darren Shan, a literary franchise which isn’t well known, but is well regarded. Now, this has already had a film adaptation (to stretch the definition): Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. But our casting for this will probably be different. In fact, I’ll be surprised if we had any cast members at all from the film. So, let’s begin.

NOTE: We will be using pictures from the Darren Shan manga (yes there is one, and it’s awesome) for comparisons, as its a WAY better adaption of the books.

Darren Shan

Played in the film by: Chris Massoglia

Asa Butterfield as Darren Shan

asa-butterfield-jacob-porter-miss-peregrines

Darren

Though at this point 18, with his timid and youthful look he could easily pass for around 13-15 (as young as he’s played before). That is still older than the 11 year old Darren at the start of the series, but this is Hollywood so having him start a bit older I think is fine, as long as they don’t make him seventeen or something (¬_¬ looking at you thoa who shall not be named). Having already led films like Hugo (amazing), Enders Game (decent), and X+Y (pretty good), he’s already proved himself as a capable leading man with a talent for heart and action. And his natural timid deminer I think would suit Darren, who’s always been shyer and would give him room to grow into the badass he becomes later in the series.

c977213066ca47b4191dd9c41aee4108This was actually the hardest one for me. I had to find a young enough actor who would age well with the series. One who could have both the youthful naivety of the first few books, with the fight of the last few. So in the end I decided to go with: Nicholas Hoult. When you watch About A Boy you just see the look of innocence on his face. Someone who still has hope and joy, then you watch Mad Max: Fury Road years later and you realise he will cut a bitch

 

Larten Crepsley

Played in the film by: John C Reilly

Peter Capaldi as Larten Crepsley

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Because who fucking else. If his run as the Doctor has proven anything, it’s that he can be dark and brooding when he needs, but also light, funny, and heartfelt. He has the look, he has the presents, he is Larten Crepsley. And no one else could possibly do better.

Going to keep this short, and keep it simple. As this is the one where I feel we may have chosen the same actor. Peter Capaldi, from The Thick Of It, Neverwhere, and a small indie low budget show called Doctor Who. It’s got to the point now where I don’t even have to think a bout it, if I read Crepsley, I read it in Capaldi’s voice. It just works so well, not only in dialogue but in the clothes and actions too.

 

Steve Leonard

Played in the film by: Josh Hutcherson

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Logan Lerman as Steve Leonard

Though typically known for his more timid troubled characters, like in Perks of being a wallflower (best film of 2012) and Fury (damn good flick), it’s that same bitter darkness I believe could lend well to Steve’s chasteveracter, as he is so messed up and troubled. He also has a much broader physical presents than Asa Butterfield, and his ability to come across sweet and caring as well as intense as fuck (again Perks of being a wallflower) I can definitely see him in a strong opposition to Butterfield.

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Ok, this was hard, I needed someone who could appear friendly but also have an undercurrent of psychopathic killer. As such I settled on Iwan Rheon, better known from Misfits. He played a nice character in that, but I feel he could pull off angry psychopath quite well. 

 

 

Mr. Tiny

Played in the film by: Michael Cerveris

Jim Broadbent as Mr. Tiny

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Again I have to agree with my writing colleague; Jim Broadbent has that perfect mix of charmingly harmless but with this clear dark undercurrent to him that would lend perfectly to Mr Tiny. Because Mr Tiny needs to have an off charm and humour to him, he can entertain you while also being able to make you shit yourself. And that’s Jim Broadbent in a nut-shell.

6bbd588d2b6338484eab45604d594f641382363851_fullThis was actually quite difficult as well. As he has to be someone who has all the capabilities of being charming and lovely, but also just pure evil at the same time. As such, in the end I went with Jim Broadbent, Horace Slughorn from Harry Potter, and Slater from Only Fools And Horses. This is an actor who looks like everybody’s favourite uncle, albeit an uncle you’re fairly certain keeps dead bodies in his basement. Actually, now I think of it, he’d pretty much just be bringing back his performance from Hot Fuzz.

Others

Gary Oldman as Mr. Tall

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An odd choice, but a good one. Mr Tall has 78422always been an ambiguous character, the leader of Cirque du freak and possibly so much more, he needs to loom confidantes with a tinge of menace, but also be a kind soul who can sympathies with his many freak comrades. So of cause Mr Oldman not only has the acting range to pull off all of the above, but he has the stoic look and presents to match.

Some of the others I felt would work:

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Kurda Smahlt: Chris Addison. Also from The Thick Of It. I feel he could pull off the huhnervous and manipulative nature nature of the character quite well.

 

 

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Vancha March: Ryan Reynolds. Specifically: Bearded Ryan Reynolds. A slightly sarcastic loudmouth vampire fighter. I feel he’d do well.hu