Friday, September 4, 2015

Forgotten Flix: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Why not go from a fake '80s Film to a real one?  Today's Film is Something Wicked This Way Comes, the 1983 Film that was a big part of Disney *briefly* being bankrupt.  It isn't totally to blame, as other financial losses like The Black Hole and Tron hurt them too.  In this case, the Film cost $18 million in 1983 Dollars- do the Math, Internet- and only made $8 million.  Hell, the reshoots that the Studio demanded cost $5 million.  You still can't top stuff like Gigli's opening-weekend gross barely matching its 2 Stars' paycheck or Brad Pitt's Indy Film about Jesse James only pulling in $20 million...which was also his paycheck for the Film.  Back to Disney, we forget how much money they lose on Films sometimes.  They had to cheat a little and rely on worldwide grosses to make any money (and still barely any) on stuff like John Carter and The Lone Ranger.  Even then, you are relying upon the same kind of Hollywood Math that claims that Forrest Gump is still financially 'in the red' (in order to not pay the Author his cut).  In contrast, some Films like Mars Needs Moms still officially lost over $100 million!  We just forget all that when stuff like Frozen nets them at least $2 billion- with who knows how much else in Marketing.  Back to this Film though, the Story behind the Scenes is that the original Story's Author- Ray Bradbury- wrote a Script and the Studio made all sorts of changes.  Was anyone happy with the final product?  The Film is about a slice of Americana that gets corrupted by vague evil and vice.  Can childhood innocence save the day?  To find out, read on...
In a town that makes the place in Pleasantville look like Harlem, all is well.
Our young heroes have no real problems.  The biggest one: the old Dad (Jason Robards) that one has.  Oh the...humanity?
When a Circus comes to Town, people in the Town start to change.  Is it for the better?
While nothing explicit happens, good luck getting a Scene like this in a Disney Film today.
It turns out that the man behind it all- Mr. G.M. Dark (Jonathan Pryce)- is giving people what they want, but with a typical twist.

To see this done more recently, watch Rick & Morty.  The Episode- 'Something Ricked This Way Comes!'
The wishes are giving him some sort of power.  That can't be good, right?  Nah.
When Robards won't turn over the kids- who know his secret- he starts ripping pages out of the book of Robards' life...or something.  It is a neat scene...even if it doesn't make much sense.
Robards ends up in the Hall of Mirrors from Conan the Destroyer while trying to stop Mr. Dark.  Can it be done?
In the End, Dark is stopped, the situation is reversed and Robards learns to accept being old.  Hurray for that, I guess.  The End.
Damn slow, but not that bad.  The big problem here is that this one is a hard sell.  It is nostalgic, but dark.  It is slow-paced, but tries to seem dramatic.  It is for children, but tries to talk about the problem of aging.  This Film has some neat ideas, but can't really live up to its ideas.  You can do alot with the Story here.  This Movie tries to make use of them- showing someone getting their Youth, for example- but fails to stay interesting.  It really is the turgid pace that dooms this one.  It takes so long to get going that it is just hard to be all that invested.  It really needs something exciting to happen early on to make the later pay-off worthwhile.  As it is, you have to be pretty forgiving to make it through this one to get to the good stuff.  It isn't great...but it deserves a bit better than the obscurity it currently resides in.  Let's borrow some Tron imagery (since that worked out so well)...
Next up, I cover a recent Film that is all sorts of freaky.  I'm not really sure what the message is, but it damn sure is strange!  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment