Once upon a time I thought Hollywood didn’t know jack about fairy tales.
You’re talking to someone who suffered through “Snow White and the Huntsman” and stared in dyspeptic disbelief at the commercials for the extraordinary rendition of “Hansel and Gretel.”
“Jack the Giant Slayer,” which debuted as this weekend’s top film, continues the trend of updating fairy tales.
I won’t comment on a film I haven’t seen, but earlier attempts at modernizing these classics only managed to magically turn our most beloved children’s stories into stinking heaps of dragon dung.
To be fair, there are respectable names attached to “Jack the Giant Slayer.” The movie is directed by Bryan Singer, the filmmaker who gave us “The Usual Suspects,” one of my all-time favorites, and the cast includes Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, and Bill Nighy.
That's several tons of talent right there and I hope the film uses them well.
The Village Voice said this new jack movie has “a sure sense of pacing and knows when to make a graceful exit.” However, the New York Daily News declared that the film was “big and loud and so bland it kinda feels like we’ve been sold a bill of goods.”
I used to think that fairy tales didn’t need to be modernized, updated, rebooted, reinterpreted or reinvented. Leave them the hell alone, I always thought. They’ve been around so long for a reason.
Here’s an idea: write something original. Shakespeare based several of his plays on earlier works, but he had one huge advantage over today’s screenwriters—he was Shakespeare.
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But after looking at all the money being spent on these cranked up classics, I’ve decided I deserve my own pot of gold.
I’m going to tap into my inner ogre, cast my own spurious spell over “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and give this tired old tale a reboot right in the keester.
Ladies, gentlemen, and elves, I give you “Goldie—Locked and Loaded.”
In this version, adorable little Goldilocks has been mutated into Goldie, a gun-toting kung fu expert with an obnoxious knack for breaking into houses, a strong hankering for porridge, and a serious case of narcolepsy.
Goldie will go toe-to-paw with a clan of bad news bears who ate her parents and turned her into an avenging orphan.
The climax will be a stunning splatter fest with Goldie displaying both her marksmanship and her martial arts skills.
See Goldie jump through the air in slow motion while firing two .45s. Watch in amazement as all three bears pull the same stunt. Shake your head in disgust when, despite all those bullets, nobody hits a goddamn thing.
After knocking off Bloody Mama Bear and “Babyface” Bear, Goldie will finally square off against the big guy, the Poppa di tutti Poppa, for a bone-cracking duel to the death.
Goldie will get scratched up, of course—she is fighting a bear after all—but she’ll clobber the ursine usurper with a super slow flying spin kick that’ll crack Poppa’s skull like a week-old pumpkin.
The film will close with Goldie and some handsome boy toy having a very happy ending on a bearskin rug.
That’ll be $3 million, please.