Thursday, February 03, 2005


Enough already with these cinematic cover-versions...

Assault on Precinct 13 wasn't total shit; it was just, well, kinda ordinary...but by the end it committed the cardinal sin of being boring. Some very dodgy acting in places, particularly from Laurence Fishlips who seemed to think he was still in The Matrix: "C'mon, Laurence....(slap! slap!) wake up, man! You're in a difference film...(Slap!) Hey, don't nod out on me, man! (slap!) Someone get some coffee over here! Quick, get him on his feet...that's it, keep him movin' 'til the doctor gets here and gives him his shot..."

Forrest Whittaker would've wiped the floor with Ol' Fishfood in the Philosophical/Zen-Gangsta stakes. And why use Ethan Hawke when you can Kevin Bacon? Nice to see Stacey Keech in a film again, even though he's actually Brian Dennehy.

But where did that fucking forest come, no, not Forrest Whittaker...a real know, trees and stuff...I know Detroit's just across the puddle from Canada, but an urban forest is just one suspended disbelief too far.

And don't directors know how to do Suspense any more...or don't they teach them that at MTV Film-School? No, 'course not, you don't need Suspense in an Usher Video.

One of the reasons Carpenter's original was sooooo great was that the assailants were faceless and silent, scurrying around in the shadows outside, swarming like insects... their motives for attacking were minimal and primal; they were relentless, almost inhuman; their numbers seemingly endless... and that made the whole thing pretty damn creepy. I was looking forward to an update that featured unstoppable, crack-crazed urban cannibal-tribes armed with semi-automatics and butchers knives...

But Hollywood just can't help itself; it has to explain everything away...and in giving the 'enemy' faces and voices and motives it earthed the atmosphere and turned a potentially cool siege movie into ho-hum tuesday-night DVD-fodder. Thank Christ Carpenter refused them permission to use his theme-music: it's still one of the great iconic (or maybe iconoclastic) pieces of film-music ever...

even Afrika Bambaata couldn't nail that sucka.