While talking with my friend David the other day, we got to discussing our favorite movies, as friends are wont to do periodically. As always, I brought up the fact that sets my opinion apart from that of the rest of the civilized world: I really love the movie Van Helsing.
I like the movie-monster pastiche it presents, enjoy both the male and female leads (Hugh Jackman & Kate Beckinsale), applaud the true-to-Shelley handling of Frankenstein's Monster, get into the action hardcore, and feel on the whole that it does a good job of transporting a James Bond flick to the 1800s.
I do understand that the movie has several glaring flaws (e.g. Dracula's overacting, the insanity of the subplots, and Kate Beckinsale being an 1800s female who dresses like Madonna and acts like Victoria Beckham), but I forgave the movie all those faults because it looked so goddamn awesome.
I mock movies like it's my job, but this is one of those ones I give a free pass because it gives me all the elements of the most kickass movie ever, and it doesn't give me time during the movie to realize that half of the reasons I like it are my own extrapolations from actual scenes.
That's right: I like Van Helsing partially because I have added to it in my head, making it a better movie by creating new dialog, plot points and action sequences. And I love the movie more every time I watch it...because each viewing means I get to make up more.
Now that I've defended my position pretty soundly, I'll return to the topic at hand: talking about Van Helsing with David. David said that the primary reason he could not even make himself watch the movie is that, when he thinks of Van Helsing, he thinks of the old man who stoically defeated Dracula. In other words, Peter Cushing:
He therefore finds it distasteful and/or untenable that Van Helsing would be a thirty-something action hero. In other words: Hugh Jackman:
To which I replied (in all seriousness), "I can see that. It'd be like if someone's putting out a Sherlock Holmes movie, and you find out it's starring Jason Statham."
Jason Statham, star of the Transporter films, Crank, and (shudder) the DungeonSiege movie -- the man I would consider this generation's Bruce Willis-- playing Sherlock Holmes (also played at one point by Peter Cushing, incidentally), the legendary proponent of Mind Over Matter, Brain Over Brawn, who usually had Watson along simply so somebody else could get powder burns on their hands. Ridiculous and analogous, right?
We agreed on that point, and a few moments went by... at which point I realized that I really, really wanted to see that movie. Not Van Helsing, but:
What a kickass Sherlock Holmes movie that would be. Logical, yes. Willing to bash a few Moriarty-goon skulls to get enough breathing room to use his own, Hells yeah. Able to identify mud by color, chemical content and region of origin, true. Able to pleasure femme-fatale Irene Adler (maybe sexed up in this version to Irina Adlokov) and good girl Mary Russell alike,
Watson could be Mos Def or Paul Rudd or someone similar, and the Baker Street Irregulars would be a teenage street gang led by Shia Labeouf. Moriarty...okay, I'll keep Dennis Hopper as a fallback option, but top choice: Stephen Dorff.
Because even though he's not really that big a name around Hollywood, he may have been the one decent thing about the movie Blade (oh, all right, Jeff, the wall of fetuses was also pretty cool).
Now that I've cemented plans for that movie, obviously, we need others to be similarly directed and cast.
Van Helsing --> Hugh Jackman (today's Kurt Russell)
Sherlock Holmes --> Jason Statham (today's Bruce Willis)
Hmm...how about something for Clive Owen (today's Mel Gibson...in...in a good way though)…
They’re making a Hobbit movie, right? Let him be Gandalf. Let’s see those Middle Earth baddies try to pick on the short guys when they’ve got One-step-better-than-Viggo-Mortensen at their backs.
And for Vin Diesel (today's Sylvester Stallone)...
Obviously, we need an Albert Einstein flick. Just before the climax, he realizes he’ll never escape from Germany if he’s got wild, poofy Doc Brown hair, so he shaves it all off and kicks some Nazi ass in:
And something for Daniel Craig (today's Michael Biehn)...
Let's see...some classic role usually played by an older man that stereotypically calls for urbanity and stiff sensibility, but that Daniel Craig can endow with action and bring back to the forefront of an awesome-factor-starved viewing public's consciousness... Oh! I know!