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Mr. Beaks Talks HORRIBLE BOSSES And Remaking WARGAMES With Director Seth Gordon!

HORRIBLE BOSSES may boast a murderer’s row of comedic talent, but all-star casts like this hardly guarantee an entertaining night out at the movies. These things can go south in a hurry: CADDYSHACK II, CLUB PARADISE, NOTHING BUT TROUBLE, YEAR ONE… there’s nothing more excruciating than watching some of the funniest people on the planet struggle to generate a single laugh. And since most of these performers have been hired for their improvisational expertise, a very good screenplay can quickly come undone just to accommodate a particular actor’s insistent “brilliance”.

These productions require the calm, sure hand of a director who knows how to keep his stars happy without ever losing sight of what’s best for the film. Basically, they nee someone who knows what the fuck they’re doing. After stumbling a bit with the all-star misfire FOUR CHRISTMASES, it’s pretty obvious Seth Gordon knew exactly what the fuck he was doing on the set of HORRIBLE BOSSES – and, additionally, knew precisely what to keep/jettison in the editing room. This is a slickly assembled formula comedy. The premise – three best friends conspire to kill each other’s monstrous superiors – is cleanly conveyed, the leads play effortlessly off of each other, and the hired-gun supporting cast comes through with most of the film’s biggest laughs. There are no serious internal-logic lapses, no dud scenes and, provided you’ve been enticed by the trailers and commercials, no reasons to feel like you didn’t get exactly what you paid to see. This is as good a studio comedy as we’re likely to see this year.

I interviewed Gordon four years ago on the floor of the San Diego Comic Con, where he was promoting his excellent documentary KING OF KONG (one of that film’s subjects, Steve Wiebe, makes a cameo in HORRIBLE BOSSES). Since then, he’s become a reliable TV director (helming episodes of COMMUNITY, THE OFFICE and PARKS & RECREATION), and flirted with a number of unmade studio movies (including a biopic version of KING OF KINGS). He recently signed on to direct MGM’s remake of John Badham’s WARGAMES – which sounds a helluva lot more promising than the studio’s proposed abasement of ROBOCOP. Should HORRIBLE BOSSES open big at the domestic box office this weekend, one of these in-development projects will surely get a greenlight. Or maybe New Line/Warner Bros. will lure Gordon back for HORRIBLE SUBORDINATES. Regardless, Gordon’s gonna work – and that’s fine by me. We need more studio-friendly directors who aren’t aiming for the lowest common denominator.

Mr. Beaks: The theme of the summer, aside from superheroes, seems to be R-rated comedy.

Seth Gordon: I know, right? They all hit. It’s got to be THE HANGOVER. 2009 just gave everyone permission.

Beaks: It seems like these films are made because they are R-rated concepts, and because they do appeal to adults. Was that the idea when you came onto the project?

Gordon: They developed [HORRIBLE BOSSES] for five years or something. I would say the initial draft, which was that long ago, was really R in concept. I don’t see how you would do it any other way; they definitely went there in terms of the language. The draft that I signed on to was a rewrite done by [Jonathan M.] Goldstein and [John Francis] Daley, these two talented writers. That was just the funniest thing I had read in forever. I was crying laughing. They had taken the character that was eventually going to be Aniston’s character, and they created something I had honestly never read before. It was so edgy and… “raunchy” is kind of a misleading word, but it certainly goes there. There’s nothing shy about that character. So I literally, just because of that character, wanted to be a part of the movie.
Obviously, we have all had some shitty bosses historically, right?

Beaks: Yeah. Absolutely.

Gordon: If you are a working person, you have at some point had something like one of these - most likely like Spacey’s character, just a bastard you have to answer to. That’s why I wanted to be a part of it.

Beaks: Were you casting the script as you read it?

Gordon: Kind of. Between KONG and this movie I had gotten a chance to do a couple TV things, like COMMUNITY and THE OFFICE and PARKS AND RECREATION and MODERN FAMILY. And what I saw, which I hadn’t understood previously, is how divided Hollywood is in terms of the executives that run… the TV and film worlds, and how actors are very rarely given the opportunity to cross over. It’s occasionally true, but you can name them on one hand, like [Steve] Carell. It’s just rare right?

Beaks: Yeah.

Gordon: That was my instinct: get some guys that are known in TV that haven’t yet “proven themselves” in the film world yet, and surround them with actors that are incredible dramatic actors that aren’t often in comedies. That was the pitch. Obviously, at that time, I didn’t think that Bateman was necessarily an option. He had read the script on his own or through his agents or whatever in response and, of course, that was a no-brainer if he cold get involved. I knew Charlie and I knew Sudekis, and I knew that they had worked together and had a great chemistry, so that just made sense. And then it was about “Who are these actors going to be?” Aniston was my first thought. I honestly don’t know why it was my first thought, because it’s certainly not obvious. But I was so happy that she saw the wisdom in doing that and going there, because she really could. She’s such a great comedienne. And then Colin I knew from IN BRUGES; even though he hadn’t done anything like this character, I just felt like he could do it. And Spacey, I think, is the closest; he’s the most familiar, in a way, in this role of anybody in the cast. SWIMMING WITH SHARKS had a guy like this, but actually who wasn’t as evil as he is here.

Beaks: People have certainly latched onto that idea of [Spacey’s character] being somewhat of a callback to SWIMMING WITH SHARKS.

Gordon: For sure.And that was no accident, you know? Anston is doing something new, Colin is doing something new, Charlie isn’t as known as he deserves to be, Sudekis same thing, Bateman is a known quantity, and so is Spacey. And that makes a lot of sense because they are put across from each other as sort of the emotional core of the movie: that undeserved misfortune of a fucking asshole ruining your life. (Laughs) By ruining your work.

Beaks: (Laughing) Maliciously and inventively. The glee [Spacey] takes in ruining [Bateman’s life]--

Gordon: He had no problem adlibbing within that character, I must say.

Beaks: I think Charlie Day is someone who, because of IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA… you either know and love his work or you just don’t know him at all. I hate to draw comparisons to THE HANGOVER, but it could be that kind of breakout role. You look at Galifianakis in that movie, and [with HORRIBLE BOSSES] it seems like Day is really positioned to do the same.

Gordon: I hope so. He deserves to have a breakout opportunity. For me, the only fear in making that comparison is that was such a stratospheric change in awareness of Galifianakis. I don’t want anybody’s hopes to get that high. I want this to be wonderful for Charlie, but it’s difficult to compare yourself to the most successful R-rated comedy ever - and then it’s successor which was even more successful. I hope that happens for him.

Beaks: What is it about Charlie?

Gordon: I think he’s just the full package in the sense that he has created a TV show, he is a very accomplished writer, he’s got incredible comedic timing - which means that he is discovering new stuff all of the time and improving takes that just get better and better, but always different. It’s never a step back. It’s never stalling out, so that is just such a dream as a director to have someone like that who brings so much life to the movie.

Beaks: The way he plays the character is important. In talking with people who’ve only seen the trailer, I think the one hurdle is “Well, why doesn’t he just fuck Jennifer Aniston? I would!” But he’s not that kind of guy.

Gordon: You buy it. [Charlie] is married to this wonderful woman, and… that’s part of why I knew he would be able to carry it off: he would just be able to tap into the real relationship he’s got. Sure that’s a hurdle for some dudes, but it’s not enough of a hurdle that they wont come see [the movie].

Beaks: Once the film was cast, were the characters then tailored to the individual performer’s sensibility?

Gordon: When Goldstein and Daley heard a table read, where you heard [Bateman, Sudeikis and Day] talk in their voices, they definitely were like “Okay, we’ve got to make a couple of adjustments.” Bateman has got such a particular point of view in take and tone, and they each have such a unique voice that we adjusted the movie wherever we could to that - not only in terms of the way they would phrase certain things, but when their character would commit to the journey. Because Bateman is such a rational guy, and he’s so good at playing the reasonable guy on screen, that the moment where that guy was scripted to commit to the plan was earlier than it made sense for Bateman doing that character to commit the plan. Does that make sense? He would just be like “Really, I don’t know…” We thought he would be hesitant a little bit longer. So there are certain things that had to be adjusted for sure.

Beaks: Once you’ve shot the film, you’ve got all of these different sounds… it’s like tweaking levels, I would think. How does that work, when you go into the edit with all of these great performances in the mix?

Gordon: That was a lot of what I had to do, was just balance it all the way throughout. For example, Charlie… when he gets to that place… I don’t want him to start there; I want him to become that. What we said was basically “You are regular; you are the straight man to Aniston’s character until you scream ‘Rape!’ And once you scream ‘rape’ about those blackmail photos, you have switched into that other gear.” I think that that really works for the film, because you identify with him and you relate to him until that point. And then you are already with him, so you are on that journey as things go crazy.

Beaks: Tonally, you cite within the film THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, which is a nice way of saying, “Yes, we know, audience, that you are thinking this, too.” But were there any other films that you looked to in terms of tone?

Gordon: OFFICE SPACE. I love that movie. Lumbergh is such a great antagonist. I sort of saw Spacey’s character as an evil Lumbergh. Lumbergh is kind of a twit; he isn’t aware that he’s bad. I think Harken, Spacey’s character, relishes how evil he is, and that’s sort of how I saw him. And then there are any number of great ensemble comedies that I think are a point of reference. I think THE HANGOVER is a point of reference. OLD SCHOOL is a point of reference. Just those movies where a group of guys get in a bad situation.

Beaks: How is it directing all of these different personalities, and people with different backgrounds? You have people with TV backgrounds? You have an Academy Award winner in there…

Gordon: A couple of them. It was interesting. Because it was a comedy, and one that everyone got and clicked with personally, it was mostly just fun. The hardest part of my job was knowing where and when to say, “We have had enough.” We had so much great stuff and you always want more, so the trick was balancing burning people out with experimenting and finding new things. That, I think, is the hardest part. It was really fun. Jamie is so different from Colin, who is so different from Kevin, so in a way the set changed every time we had a new honored guest. It was always the three guys for the most part and then we would have our “Aniston Week” and our “Spacey Week” and out “Colin Week”.

Beaks: God, that must have been a blast.

Gordon: It was. It was awesome.

Beaks: I know in a movie like this there’s going to be a lot of improvising. How did that work?

Gordon: This was not a situation where we turned the camera on and just started riffing. Because they are writers, I think that’s critical. They know what the function of the scene is and they know the beats that have to be accomplished. In a way, I guess it was more like CURB [YOUR ENTHUSIASM] in some ways than it was like improv class. It was much more, “We know what the scene has to do, and there’s a bunch of ways to get there. We know the characters we have created thus far, so let’s adjust the scene within those parameters and play around.” It was very contained I would say, but having said that, in the editing room I probably had two or three great choices for every single line all the way through the movie. So it became about shaping those.

Beaks: How fearless was Jennifer in playing this character?

Gordon: Completely, staggeringly fearless. You know my conclusion ended up being that the characters she has been playing for a while are more a result of what she’s been offered than what she can do. She is an incredible comedian. She’s such a pro, and has got a really exceptional range. It’s just no one gives her the chance to do this stuff. I think this was such a departure that that’s part of what’s compelling about it for her.

The nature of this business is so fucking risky that you need to use casting sometimes to hedge your risk; you would rather put someone in who you know is going to work in something than really have it be a departure. This was like riverboat gambling with some of what we did, and I think it really worked. There are so many new ways of casting folks that the sum of all things is full of surprise. And that’s the ultimate goal: to not know where a story is going to go. For an audience, you don’t know where it’s going to go. As soon as you know where it’s going to go, you are dead. But no one knows [Gordon lets slip a major spoiler].

Beaks: Which is a great. I really appreciated that. That throws you off the scent, I think. And still… it’s that tricky thing of kind of rooting for the guys even as they are about to commit murder. You have still got to have a smidgen of rooting interest, and that seems to be, in movies like this and something like THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, where even though it’s wrong, you still kind of want to see them accomplish the task.

Gordon: Because they are likable enough dudes that somehow you want them to win, even though what they want to do is so very wrong. But you see how evil the bosses are, which is even worse. The ethics are definitely awkward, but in some ways self-consistent.

Beaks: That’s the thing. I don’t know if I would even call it a dark comedy. It has dark elements, but it’s mostly just a rambunctious comedy.

Gordon: I so appreciate the distinction, and I’m glad you feel that way. Dark comedies have a certain formula to them, and this departs from that.

Beaks: Jamie [Foxx] is such a great actor, and he’s taken so seriously anymore. It’s just great to see him cut loose and have fun again.

Gordon: It’s almost like people have forgotten that he started in comedy. He’s actually continued to do comedy, but he got all of these awards for the drama stuff. There’s just nuances that you see once it’s [projected] forty-five feet… he just brought so much detail. It’s amazing.

Beaks: And his name. “Motherfucker Jones.” Now… was there another name?

Gordon: Yes. We also had a “Cocksucker Jones” version. I think we have one other one, too. But Motherfucker Jones’s backstory was just the funniest.

Beaks: Was there an involved backstory for Cocksucker Jones?

Gordon: Yeah. I vaguely remember it. I think it had something to do with him going to prison and then co-opting the nickname like it was a good thing. It’s just not as funny.

Beaks: How does your approach differ as a director from TV to film?

Gordon: [In film], you just get a lot more time to play around, and to really create a world, and, for lack of a better way to put it, just to make it right. TV is all about the clock; that’s important in film, too, but it’s just as much about creating that environment, about really bringing you into a space. In TV, it’s like “Go, go, go! Next! Move on!” You just barely get to cover scenes before you have to move on. It’s, like, thirty-two pages in five days, versus thirty pages in three weeks. There’s a big difference.

Beaks: It sounds like you are about to shift gears fairly dramatically with WARGAMES.

Gordon: Yeah.

Beaks: That could be perilous. It’s a movie that our generation knows front to back. How do you approach WARGAMES in a way that I guess honors the original, but is also very much its own thing?

Gordon: I think that’s obviously the goal of what we are going to try and do, which is to honor everything about the original. I think it all comes down to the fact that the world has changed a lot. Technology has changed a lot, and the world of hackers has changed a lot; that somebody would accidentally hack into some part of the government that they didn’t mean to is actually a lot more plausible now. To trigger something that they didn’t mean to, just because they were poking around… it’s a weekly news story that somebody got into the NSA or LulzSec. It’s everywhere now, and, essentially, that story is a lot more plausible in 2011, ‘12, ’13, than it was in 1983. That’s essentially how we are approaching it.

Beaks: Would nukes be involved?

Gordon: I can’t imagine they wouldn’t somehow, right? I mean it’s got to be some international destabilizer of some sort, and nukes… there are people who argue that if there were no nukes, then we would have already had World War III. There are people who argue that the threat of them means nothing happens. So that’s got to figure in somewhere. We are figuring that out now. We are working out the story right now.


This sounds like the correct approach to me. Here’s hoping they keep the emphasis on “plausible”.

But that’s a long way off. Right now, you should get out and see the very funny HORRIBLE BOSSES, which opens wide tomorrow (Friday, July 8th).

Faithfully submitted,

Mr. Beaks

Readers Talkback
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  • July 7, 2011, 5:42 p.m. CST


    by treatment

    i've got a great idea for the re-boot. DON'T DO IT. you can honor the original by not re-making it.

  • July 7, 2011, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I sorta disagree treatment...

    by Somerichs

    I love Wargames as much as the next guy (I remember watching it in computer class in 7th grade), but for some reason a remake/reimagining/call it what you will doesn't bother me as much as it does for some of the classics of my youth (like Arthur). The degree to which technology has progressed since them seems to open it up for the potential of a really great story. <p> The one thing I take issue with, however, is Gordon's statement about it being way more plausible that someone could just accidentally hack into a government site, especially one that gets you access to nuclear weapons. I think the exact opposite would be true: it'd be a thousand times harder to do today what Broderick's character did back then...

  • July 7, 2011, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I saw Captain America today.

    by ShogunMaster

    It was ok, but not nearly what it should have been. They spent the time to make the characters work and that was a relief having recently watched TF3, but the action is weak and has not tension in it. The Hydra soldiers might as well be red shirts on Star Trek because they didn't even succeed on the smallest of missions. They just stood around waiting to be wiped out. And the whole Hydra Red Skull storyline is done in this one movie. No arc, just a one off. It starts with Cap being found in the ice, ends with how he gets there, and spends a little too much time with him being a weak kid turned into a big dude (who jumps around like Spiderman) and still isn't good with the ladies. It's an ongoing joke throughout. The supporting cast is all great, Cap himself lacks charisma, and the action is just meh. I think that's the biggest failing to this one. It really should have been MUCH greater and it just wasn't.

  • July 7, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Re: somerichs

    by BillEmic

    have you been following the news? Fucking everybody's getting hacked these days.

  • I know there's all kinds of hacking going on, even into government sites, but I have a hard time believing any of it is to areas that have access to our nukes. I'd even hazard a guess that that shit isn't even online anywhere that you could access via the internet the way Broderick did with his modem in the original. <P> Then again, perhaps I'm giving to much credit to our government...

  • It's kind of an open secret in the internet security scene.

  • July 7, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    I saw Captain America today.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    He was at Wal-mart. He was wearing a grey USA sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off and a bare midriff. He probably thought that his belly hair looked like abs. He was wearing long jean shorts and flip-flops. I'm sure that fucker had a Budweiser in his car. He didn't have a mullet like she should have; it was more of a messy Justin Bieber type thing going on up there. And he squinted a lot. Captain America, ladies and gentlemen and genderbender, Captain America.

  • July 7, 2011, 7:20 p.m. CST

    No Archer..

    by ShogunMaster

    That was just you looking at your reflection in the mirror again.

  • July 7, 2011, 8:29 p.m. CST

    re: theveryfirst

    by BillEmic

    That was way too funny. I wouldn't be surprised if you're close to the mark when the final product hits theaters. But I can't even remember who the hell played Thunderbolt Ross in that last Hulk movie.

  • July 7, 2011, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Oh wait

    by BillEmic

    It was William Hurt. Eh. Sam Elliot was better.

  • July 7, 2011, 8:58 p.m. CST

    "The only winning move is not to play." Don't remake it!

    by kevred

    Really, it's more plausible that some kid could accidentally log into a military computer now than in 1983? It's more plausible today that the government would rely on some eccentric oddball hermit for all their significant computing needs? No, actually, no it's not. Not a very smart assertion, and one which gives the internets a lot more credit than what it's capable of. These days, the way to achieve what Broderick's character did would be to be part of an underground group of hackers - a very intentional, non-accidental method. Which would turn the '83 premise on its head and drain it of all its charm and innocence. That charm and innocence - from Broderick, Sheedy, the government programmer, and really even the government itself - is the heart of the film. It is ultimately *all that matters* in the film. That type of innocence is gone now. As is the sort of nuclear brinksmanship which set the entire backdrop for the world of the film. And the 'Horrible Bosses' guy is going to find a way to put the heart back in it? Pfft. Find a new story - have the guts to do something original.

  • July 7, 2011, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Not accidental, but within the realm of possibility

    by Truxton Spangler

    And definitely a resourceful, targeted effort. Stuxnet, anyone?

  • July 7, 2011, 10:18 p.m. CST

    JennAni and MattBrod

    by Queefer Sutherland

    For quite some time now I've wanted to feel my dick flexing inside Jennifer Aniston. I definitely like her with the darker hair and the rapist attitude. I'd gladly be her dental assistant. Should've called this one Dream Bosses. At least in JennAni's case. Why not remake War Games? I don't think there's anything sacred in cinema. Especially Matthew Fucking Broderick. If the movie doesn't hold up on its own, you still have the original to watch. Occasionally the remake is better. Like True Grit. Not like Karate Kid. (I hated Jaden Smith. The kid is already a conceited little prick.) But his dad did a better version of The Omega Man with I Am Legend. Even though he's a conceited giant prick. Hell, they oughta try remaking Ferris Beuller's Day Off. I'd really like the hear the pants-shitting that would go on here over that one. Granted, that would be a tough one to top. It's actually very good, still. Ever since I saw it I've wanted to flex my dick inside Mia Sara.

  • July 7, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Actually, we're at Def Con 1 right now...

    by tailhook

    it's a known error that Wargames got the Defense Condition chart wrong. 1 is the lowest, not the highest level. Defense Condition 5 would be WW3. When you raise your defense condition level, you actually raise the number, not lower it :P.

  • July 7, 2011, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Hell I'd piss on a sparkplug if I thought it would do any good!

    by Tim Hendon

    YES! Remake WARGAMES. For all of the 'leave it alone' crowd and the 'argh no more remakes' folks let me posit this- if you don't want a remake why do you care if it gets made? You don't have to see it and if you love the original you can always watch it- when has a remake ever made the original impossible to find? NEVER.

  • July 7, 2011, 11:55 p.m. CST

    The problem with a remake...

    by tailhook

    is that the core conceit and message that the first film imparted has been done. So you're either watching a Greatest Hits tape where you check off benchmarks, or they rework the core conceit and message of the original film and destroy what worked in order to tell a 'variation' of the story. Either way, they're literally in a no win scenario, and as we all know.. the only way to win, is not to play.

  • July 8, 2011, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Just watch the fucking original. I thought watching older movies was

    by Dennis_Moore

    part and parcel of an interest in film?

  • July 8, 2011, 5:58 a.m. CST

    The WarGames remake

    by buggerbugger

    won't star a 20-year-old Ally Sheedy and that is why it has •already failed•.

  • July 8, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    The problem with a wargames remake

    by Dreamfasting

    Wargames is not merely a little adventure movie about a hacker, it's also a very serious critique of the idea of ever having a perfect command and control system in a MAD strategy. The problem is that there isn't the same fear of nuclear war any more. The original wargames works because it was set in an era where people genuinely feared that any day, WWIII could start by accident. I knew people who really had that quasi-sucidal melenchology of working out where to live based on being close enough to a primary target to not have to worry how to survive the aftermath. We have a whole generation that has been raised in a post-MAD world. Not everyone even recognizes Mutually Assured Destruction on sight and fully realizes what it meant. Even though the nukes still exist, nobody really thinks about them seriously any more. Just a few years ago the president a beaucratic snafu led to the president not even having valid launch codes for several months and it was just shrugged off. The cold war is over, the public has accepted that sanity has prevailed. If you did a modern remake (that wasn't pure camp), it would practically have to reinvent the cold war. Then again, with so much of intelligence gathering being automated, perhaps that, not the nuclear silos, is where to begin? A hacker accidently plants a scenario detecting a wave of deep cover sleeper cells setting off an escalation of paranoia?

  • July 8, 2011, 9:57 a.m. CST

    gL finding 2 leads as charming as Brod & Sheed

    by Tigger Tales

  • July 8, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Seth Gordon is 1 out of 2 in my book.

    by PopCultureJunkie

    I absolutely loved "King of Kong" but Horrible Bosses was only ok. Hangover (the 1st) was better.

  • July 8, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST


    by D_T still a huge favorite of mine. It works great as a commentary on machine replacing man, cold war fear and it's amazing how the tech doesn't seem dated (it's worked in so organically in the movie ... I totally buy MB, his room/computer setup ... always loved the nerds he goes to visit "You're giving away our best secrets!!") It's also - like another TB'er point out - got heart and innocence. It also took place in a time when a home computer was a rarity (relative to today), and the whole concept of hacking was underground (haha, I remember setting up my "war dialer" to hit blocks around the school phone numbers). Maybe make it about cyber-terrorism, like the cataclysmic event is some kind of total, worldwide computer shutdown that [would] kill power, cell, networks, etc. Make "the game" some kind of hacker contest, but the winner is basically handing over the solution to the bad guys to bring about the shutdown[?] Though that kind of misses the point, that in the original the "enemy" wasn't a them, it was +us+

  • July 8, 2011, 5:42 p.m. CST

    d_t they already tried that, remember

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    It was called Die Hard 4 and it was fucking ludicrous. Although watching Bruce Willis trying desperately to defend the film here and getting his ass handed to him (while simultaneously getting a sloppy bj from those same talkbackers) was super entertaining.

  • July 9, 2011, 12:30 a.m. CST

    another remake...>Y A W N<

    by blueant

    Put down the craCKpiPE Hollywood, make something new.

  • July 9, 2011, 3 a.m. CST

    Wargames remake! In 3D! With No Broderick an NO NUKES!

    by HarryBlackPotter

    Wargames (and Red Dawn) reflect the paranoias of the 1980's when we thought that the USA and Russia would nuke it out at any moment. People who remember living through the 80's will remember that time and how genuinely scared we were that any day the missles would be flying ("Hallelujah!"). WW3 anxiety infiltarted every aspect of culture from pop music (Nina's 99 red balloons) to movies (Red Dawn, Wargames) TV (The Day After, Threads). It was a scary time, and although the world is still fucked up and we could all bite the big one any moment, we're not afraid of a single nation (Russia) anymore - we're afraid of the decisions our stupid government makes and the power of the media (see what's happening with Murdoch / News Corp in the uk at the moment). Movies are only relevant when they reflect the times, the zietgiest if you will (a NOW movie would be something like Social Network because 99% of us are plugged into that world one way or another), so remaking a movie build around fears and anxieties from 2 decades ago is a waste of time. They might as well make a 3D, CGI movie of another 1980's icon - PAC-MAN! It would be far scarier!

  • July 12, 2011, 6:50 p.m. CST


    by treatment

    i too am approaching year 40 and these "classics" of my youth are an intrinsic part of my being. no, i don't watch War Games every day. probably haven't seen it in a decade but i can visualize just about every scene in my head. the National Lampoon Vacations, Trading Places, Just One of The Guys, Goonies, Ghostbusters, Back to The Future, The Breakfast Club, etc still hold true and genuine today. i don't care how plausible a storyline re-boot would be, i don't care how technology has advanced, i don't care how great Matthew Broderick's stunt double performs in the 2013 +/- version... i want to remember the movies and its characters that helped shape and mold my youth so i can watch the very same thing happen with my own kids.