Friday, August 31, 2007

Attack of the Return of the Son of the Friday Challenge!

Breaking News from Hollywood! George Lucas and Peter Jackson have just announced that they have acquired all rights to that 1942 Warner Brothers classic, Casablanca, and will be applying their combined cinematic genius and the full resources of both Industrial Light & Magic and Weta Digital to producing an all-new, fully restored, and completely digitally remastered version of this beloved timeless classic! They're calling it, "The Casablanca you always wanted to see!"

Just kidding.

But semi-seriously: given the advances in digital and cinematic technology, along with the apparent complete and utter dearth of new ideas in Hollyweird, just how long will it be before they do stop making mere remakes of old movies, and start digitizing old footage and using it to make entirely new movies? It's already happening in comic books, pop music, and advertising. (Remember that Audrey Hepburn Gap commercial from last year?) How long will it be before the powers that be in Hollywood cease to be content with mere Ted Turner-ish paint-by-numbers colorizations of the old B&W classics, and start using this technology to really remanufacture and update their products? And what sorts of horrors will they visit upon us when they do?

That's today's challenge. Imagine Lucas's "improved" Casablanca. (Or if that thought is simply too awful to contemplate, pick a different director and a different movie.) What will we see? A bunch of Gungans in the back of Rick's, singing along with La Marseillaise? Sydney Greenstreet digitally replaced by Jabba the Hutt? Dooley Wilson digitally replaced by Snoop Dogg, with "Knock on Wood" replaced by a big-budget rap video? (Or has that been done already?) Worse yet, how about if, in the final scene, Rick does not shoot Major Strasser in cold blood, but rather Strasser shoots first, and Rick guns him down in self-defense! And then, instead of the local police showing up, a whole company of hardened Afrika Korps storm troopers burst into the scene, and Rick and Renault narrowly escape to the Nazi bomber that just happens to be warming up on the tarmac outside, where Indy — excuse me, Rick — gets on the MG-15 in the tail turret while Renault, in an exciting action/comedy scene, gets on the flight controls and then is finally forced to admit that he has no clue how to fly a plane! And then

You get the idea. That's the challenge. You have until next Friday to post your ideas here. Entries will be measured in the common measure of awfulness, the SGU (Standard Groan Unit), with the winner to receive either a signed copy of Rebel Moon (I still have 7 crates of the things to get rid of) or a book to be named later.

Ready? Set? Go!

(P.S. Thanks for the idea, Knarf!)