by Chris MaGee
Some people might think me a bit reactionary when it comes to Hollywood remakes of Japanese films, but here is an example of just how bad remakes, regardless of where the original film comes from, can often be a bad idea. In this particular case it's a really, really bad idea.
Regular readers of the Pow-Wow blog will know that I've been scratching my head about the Japanese remake of Alexander Payne's Oscar-nominated film "Sideways". It's story of two middle-aged buddies with borderline drinking problems taking a road trip through the California wine country just doesn't scream out to for a remake (hell, it doesn't even require a bad U.S. sequel), but the folks at FujiTV and 20th Century Fox have gone and remade it with Fumiyo Kohinata and Katsuhisa Namase taking on Paul Giamatti's and Thomas Haden Church's roles while Kyoka Suzuki and Rinko Kikuchi are stepping into the shoes of Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. And now there's a trailer for the Japanese "Sideways"... and no surprise here... it looks terrible. I find the inclusion of Cyndi Lauper's 80's ballad "Time After Time" to be especially nauseating, but don't let my obvious enthusiasm for the project [insert sarcasm here] affect your judgment. Head over to Nippon Cinema and see for yourself how bad a remake can be.