The Hollywood Reporter says John Carpenter's cult classic They Live (seriously, is there another drector who's made more bona fide "cult classics"? I can't think of any) is the latest passenger on the remake train. The 1988 original is a wonderfully angry sci-fi/action flick about class warfare, Reganomics and aliens. Wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper plays a nameless drifter who stumbles across an alien conspiracy to subdue and control the human race through media-based, subliminal mind control after finding special sunglasses that let him see things as the truly are –dollar bills are really just slips of paper that say "THIS IS YOUR GOD" and billboards are emblazoned with the simple order to "OBEY," while the aliens look like the Nazis who get their faces melted at the end ot Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's a really great little movie that manages to follow the legacy of the best science fiction by using its fantastic conceit to comment on society, while also managing to not take itself too seriously. And it also has one of the absolute greatest fight sequences I have ever seen in a movie, a hilariously brutal, dragged out brawl between Piper and kickass character actor Keith David, with a few pro-wrestling moves thrown in for good measure. Who knows if the remake will be any good – the production still doesn't have a writer attached, much less a director or cast – but given the global economic crisis and the fact that the gap between rich and poor continues to widen into a full-on chasm, an upated They Live could be something awesome. We shall see.
In unrelated news, here are a couple of links that I think are worth your time. The first is Roger Ebert blogging about the death of the newspaper film critic as the mainstream media continues to chase the celebrity-gossip dragon. It's not really terribly relevant to what I'm doing here, aside from the fact that Ebert is one of the best film critics out there and anything he has to say about the state of film criticism is, by definition, important (at least it is to me).
The other is considerably lighter. Ever wonder about the lady with the torch in the Columbia Pictures logo? Or what mountain the Paramount symbol is based on? How many lions have roared before the opening credits of an MGM picture? Here are the answers.