Thursday, March 08, 2007

COULD HAVE WOULD HAVE SHOULD HAVE


There was a Spiderman 3 clip released just the other day all over the net with a gorgeously well choreographed fight scene in it. There's a few evil dead moments where the actors appear to get a battering, notably when Toby Maguire gets dragged backwards along the face of a building. A lot of buzz about too many villains appearing in it, but heck, the Spiderman of the comics lives in a city FULL of villains, so I see no problem in the movie showcasing three bad guys. It should keep Parker on his toes. Quite looking forward to this outing but Spidey 3 isn't all I'm looking forward to from Raimi. Apparently he's going to be bringing The Shadow to the screen (it's March now, so this is old news, but hey, it's still exciting news).

Above is the trailer to the 1994 Alec Baldwin vehicle The Shadow (with John Lone in an excellent turn as Shiwan Khan). The movie was unfortunately a flop, panned by critics and fans alike, but I really love this film. Whilst it may not embody all of what the Shadow as a character has to offer, I loved it as a straight talking pulp adventure.

Now, originally, Raimi was going after the rights to The Shadow (in much the same way I mentioned a couple of posts back that Lucas was going after Flash Gordon) but in failing to get the rights to The Shadow (and Batman), decided to come up with his own (much like Lucas came up with Star Wars) and came up with Darkman (starring Liam Neeson). Looking at these clips, and compared to Darkman, I wonder how close the Baldwin vehicle actually was in tone to what we would have got from Raimi at the time (not what we're going to get from Raimi given as he's refined his craft over the years since). Darkman had a favorable critical reaction (two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert) and spawned 2 sequels.

What follows is a scene between Baldwin (playing Lamont Cranston, aka. The Shadow) and John Lone (playing Shiwan Khan). What we also see is a little bit of Ray Harryhausenesque animation in the form of The Living Knife. It started out as a prop on another pulp movie, The Golden Child*.

*The Golden Child was originally intended as a serious adventure vehicle for Mel Gibson, but Gibson turned the role down, which is a real shame because once Murphy came on board it became a comedy. I've taken this plot summary from IMDB and basically taken the words Eddie and Murphy out of it... so now imagine the film not as a comedy but as it was originally intended:
**** plays a detective with a speciality of finding lost children. He is told he is the 'Chosen one' who will find and protect the Golden Child, a Bhuddist mystic who was kidnapped by an evil sorcerer. **** disbelieves the mysticism but finds more and more evidence of demon worship as he investigates.
Also, John Carpenter was originally set to direct with John Barry set to score. Can you imagine it!?!?! Now THAT is the movie I would rather have seen.

1 comment:

Woodrow said...

I remember absolutely LOVING that Shadow film. I know it had some pacing issues, but I thought it really got the tone right. The invisibility stuff was so well done. Indeed, one of my favourite scenes in any action film was that bit where the Shadow realises the empty lot actually isn't empty and the building materialises!
I wonder if I can pick up a cheap DVD now that you've reminded me?