Monday, March 2, 2015

Old School Flix: Suddenly (1954)

I finally get to see the *good* Version of this Story.  Awhile back, I did a Film requested of me by Bob- Suddenly.  This turned out to be the 2013 Remake of a 1954 Film starring Frank Sinatra.  Who said- 'Guy who made Bloodrayne- you should Remake Sinatra?'  Who did he think he was, Jonathan Demme?  As a stand-alone Film, it is just not that good.  Compared to the Original, it is even worse.  It just falters in every way when it has to compare to this one.  Don't misunderstand- this isn't God's greatest creation or anything, but it does exactly what it wants to do.  Boll's Film does not.  Let's start at the top: Frank Sinatra plays the villain here (in one of the rare times he does so).  In the 2013 Film, it is Dominic Purcell.  Look- I don't hate Dominic, but he's just so damn flat in every Boll Film I've seen him in.  It's like he hates being in the Films, but has to.  I don't know if that's true, but it sure seems that way.  The Story is mostly the same, although some changes are there.  I will give you an overview of the Story and tell you what is different- two for one.  Sound good?  To find out why you would ever name a Town 'Suddenly,' read on...
The Film's B-Plot involves the Sheriff of Suddenly yearning for the Widow in Town.  They never say what War he died in, which is odd.  She is resistant.
That day, he learns that the President is going to be stopping in town briefly that evening.  Lots of work to do.
Also arriving in Town are Sinatra and his two goons.  They are there to kill a President!
His plan involves borrowing a House just up the hill to shoot from.  This stands in contrast to the Remake, where it appears to be way out in the Woods.  100 yards makes more sense than 1,000!
 While waiting for their time to strike, Sinatra and company decide to...Monologue.  ALOT!
Seriously, the Film's middle half is almost entirely Monologues and Speeches- either setting them up or executing them.

They are good, mind you, but...damn, guys!
As the time approaches, our heroes must work in secret to stop the killer trio.  The Police kill one, at least.
Thanks to some tricks with wiring (see a later Poor Bastard of Cinema), the attempt is stopped.
 They kill the one henchman with wiring and shoot Sinatra in time.  He even mugs in death.
...and unlike the 2013 Film, they don't feel the need to waste time with the 'Hiding Fireworks' Sub-Plot and to seem 'dramatic' by killing the grandfather.  The End.
Oh so much better!  The Story here is nice and simple.  There are a few key things to accept- the family situation, the Assassination Plot- and they work.  This isn't the most complex movie out there- so what?  It has good Acting, good Direction and a Story you can get behind.  The short timeline of the Story simplifies things and gives it some momentum.  Stories like this work when you don't have too much time to stop and think about little things that may not add up.  After the Uwe Boll Film, I was really hopeful that this wouldn't suck.  I didn't want to go 'Oh, this is as bad as Boll's Film,' that's for sure!  The odds of that happening were admittedly-low.  So many things in that Film- the dry Acting, the Melodrama, the silly Plot Points and the pointless Fireworks Sub-Plot- were just so bad.  Here are two Examples of how Boll does things worse- just for fun.  First, we have the set-up of the kid hiding Fireworks in the Forest...only for there to be no point.  In this Film, we have a Sub-Plot involving the kid getting a fake Gun that looks very realistic...and it plays into the Climax.  Second- in Boll's Film we get some silliness involving the power being rerouted just to shock one of the bad guys to death.  In this Film, we have them route the power from the TV to a metal table to kill one of the bad guys.  So much less stupid.  In the End, this is a nice, simple tale that still works over fifty-years later.  As a bonus, my Version wasn't the computer-colored one where Sinatra was given Brown Eyes!  Hey Grandpa, what do you think of Uwe Boll's Remake?
Next up, I take a look back to a nearly-forgotten piece of Film History.  Why settle for a Universal Classic in just one language?  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment