Tag Archives: remake


Note: Obviously this was written before it was revealed that Saville was a manipulative nonce. There was that clip from a Nolan Sisters documentary that was a tad seedy at this point, a strange comment with Louis Theroux and some David Icke forum rumours about him getting up to no good at a Jersey childrens’ home. Plus those necrophilia rumours.

“I spend a lot of time in the stacks in the libraries, looking at these stacks of unreadable masterpieces that men devoted their lives to, standing on the shoulders of geniuses before them — Bertrand Russell, ‘Principia Mathematica’ and all these things — who will read those? How will they change society? How do they really factor into things? Me? I was able to contribute with a lot of tricks. Those tricks now have names and those tricks factor into what everybody else does. In a very meaningful way I have helped create a vocabulary by which this community communicates. I mean you’ll hear people chat and listen to how skaters talk and the words and expressions…things that we created, it’s our language, but it’s also physical and it helps define us as individuals and how we fit within that framework and it helps define our community itself. And so, when I look and think of the contribution of all these geniuses and the smell and the browning paper of these dusty books that no one will read I think I am so rich in that what I have done has meaning.”
Rodney Mullen, ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography’

I really enjoyed Stacy Peralta’s ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography’. I enjoyed it so much, that not even a Fred Durst appearance could curb my enthusiasm (in fact, his memories of ‘Thrasher’ previews for ‘Animal Chin’ made my forget about his rapping). Skate folk love gossip and trivia almost as much as hip-hop fans do, so there’s bound to be some people who’ll complain that Peralta’s film only skims a pivotal moment in time, but there’s a humanity to his portraits of Hawk, Caballero, Mullen, Mountain and McGill, with plenty of introspect, tales of crumbling under competition conditions and a lot of footage that should resonate with anybody who grew up in the 1980s. This one won’t make for a Hollywood adaptation a la ‘Lords of Dogtown’ but it’s a tale that must be told, covering the vert to street switch, two craze periods for skateboarding, a golden era of graphics and plenty more. 110 minutes felt a little skimpy toward the film’s climax, but deleted scenes on a DVD are more or less guaranteed. The highlights of the film are tales of CR Stecyk’s lunatic copywriting and creative concepts, Rodney Mullen’s sensitive, intricate recollections of self and family imposed pressures and Lance Mountain breaking down at the end under the false impression that he doesn’t deserve the success he attained.

There’s some interesting talk of the marketing of the Bones Brigade too, and it’s fascinating to see how these personalities came together to change the industry, but Mullen’s final summary (see his excellent TED talk for an expansion of this worldview) as quoted above should stick with viewers, even if they get lost mid Rodney’s trail-of-thought., It’s a joy to celebrate legends while they’re still living. If you want a semi-definitive skate history you’re going to have to set aside at least 10 hours and play ‘Dogtown & Z-Boys’, ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography’, ‘Rollin Through the Decades’, ‘Stoked’, ‘The Man Who Souled the World’ and ‘Deathbowl to Downtown’ in one sitting, This documentary is an era of neon icons thoughtfully distilled. Who thought the stars of the only non-porn VHS you paused and rewound until they had a permanent static mist would wind up getting this kind of glossy treatment 25 years later?

In all honesty, there still isn’t a skate documentary that can surpass the skateboarding dog in sunglasses at 1:48 into 1976’s ‘The Magic Rolling Board’ (kudos to eDboy1955 for uploading this 16mm transfer). Skate peaked right there.

Berlin just got a pop-up Stüssy store in association with the gents at Civilist accompanied by an exhibition of German photographer and streetwear don Konsti’s work in documenting the city’s close-knit Tribe back in 1989. For years these guys had to make do with tees and sweats listing other cities, but now there’s a Stüssy Berlin collection. About time too.

After a recent post about Nike Cram shoes and another regarding Jimmy Saville’s formidable footwear collection, the impending Jimmy Saville auction is riddled with deadstock rarities. OG Pegasus, Terra T/Cs, Le Coq runners, unworn Cram Windrunners and ZX 600s are all in the mix. Jim might be fixing a posthumous wish for some fanboys out there who rarely see these things on sale.

With all the unnecessary brouhaha about Frank Ocean swinging both ways (doubly baffling, because more than a few soul stars have been gay and a handful of hip-hop pioneers are gay too), it’s fun to see that MMG members have been liberally and obliviously using the word “poof” as the sound of a genie-style magic trick being executed as per the chorus to ‘Black Magic’ where Rick Ross ditches MC Hammer during a backseat brainstorm smokeout in favour of the equally satin suited Vegas magic legend David Copperfield. Everyone’s favourite goon turned lyrical monster Gunplay even added a hashtag to it. The song could be misinterpreted as a pink pound anthem,“Pooof! There go the car! Pooof! There go the crib! Pooof! A 100 mill! Whooo! David Copperfield!” If ‘Black Magic’ blows up and goons in clubs do magical fingers at every #poof, I want to see it.

2012 and 2013 is the year are the years of missing the point by remaking Paul Verhoeven films. The mock ‘Rekall’ ads in the States for ‘Total Recall’ are pretty poor and should have been briefs for real ad agencies if the quest was to go “viral” or get attention and now it’s official that ‘Robocop’ is being remade, thanks to this OmniCorp commercial. I’m glad Hollywood is going tits up. Without bodies used as shields, Michael Ironside, rapists being shot in the genitals and ED-209 turning an employee into tomato puree, a remake of Verhoeven’s work is pointless. I hate ‘Robocop 2’ but even the ads within that film were better than this teaser.

For no reason other than because I didn’t update this blog on Wednesday (blame German Wi-Fi). here’s a couple of Nike-related ads from years ago.


I had to post this 1995 ‘Vibe’ spread of the Wu again, just because Frankmatic reminded me of just how incredible this smokey Norman Watson portrait of the group is. ODB’s Phat Farm rugby and Rae’s Polo Sport and oversized mobile phone stay amazing, or as RZA would put it, wemarkable. I was also a fan of an earlier shoot of all nine members from early 1994 (which spent a few months on my wall in colour form when I was younger courtesy of HHC), with Champion ‘C’s, Meth’s phenomenal plaid shirt, the mysterious ‘Q’ and ‘Down Low’ brands and U-God rocking the New Balance 577 very nicely indeed. Full crew shots were a rarity, but they always had me hunting for the gear on show.

But that’s me living in rap’s past. In fact, I was recently reminded of the Starter Bell Biv Devoe collection of hats and jackets that was meant to lead to a Boyz II Men collaboration too (I guess the denim shorts, shirt, tie and cap look was deemed lucrative), which had me hunting again.

I’m a hypocrite. After decrying rap fans stuck in the past on this blog (and seeing as one of my pet hates is blogs writing that “As you may have noticed…” bullshit as if they’ve got a following, I won’t pretend anyone read the original post but it ran as follows: stop living in fucking 1993) I realised that I’m musically frozen in 2003 when I thought the Roc would become the ultimate rap powerhouse, that Cam and Jay were friends and that M.O.P. and Victoria Beckham might not be the worst collaboration ever. I was even optimistic when Damon Dash (remember ‘America’ magazine?) was lording it up in a Chelsea property, before he was evicted in early 2005. Don’t pretend you didn’t think that the Roc-A-Fella roster was remarkable too. Then it all fell apart.

The Diplomats recorded some of their best work around that era too, and Diplomat Records put out classics, whether Def Jam or Koch were involved. 2003’s ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ is the best release from that era. Then there were insane amounts of mix CDs that friends would bring back in stacks from New York visits, full of Heatmakerz productions or amazing Purple City performances. For my money, and taking affiliates into account, Dipset are the greatest rap group of all time. They ticked all the necessary boxes —  insane production choices, goonery, attire and fly gibberish. That’s what I look for in my music.

Yeah, you can throw down Native Tongues and the Wu, but if you’re on a lengthy roadtrip, those jazz breaks and Staten’s Hudson on PCP flows are going to grind you down. You will never, ever bore of a healthy dose of the Dips. Especially ‘The Answer’ by Juelz and Cam’ron’s ‘Bigger Picture.’ And considering that you could seemingly hoard a terabyte of Dipset tracks and still be hunting the stadium rock samples that never cleared, you could make it a return roadtrip too without skips. Well, I might skip ‘Magic’ by JR Writer for being a little too dumb, but the rest would play uninterrupted.

But I’m white and white people fucking love Dipset. Miss Info’s recent Q&A with the reformed crew and the subsequent show made me ponder just how much I wish the Diplomats continued their ascent before the 2007 disintegration of the group. The fact that Jimmy brought out ASAP Rocky (who was recently in the studio with AraabMUZIK) as an example of Harlem’s future is both heartening and depressing, leaving me wondering as to whether the new Diplomats album would ultimately emerge sounding dated and half-arsed next to rap’s new breed. That hiatus as a group dynamic could prove sonically harmful, but as a live act, their individual achievements make for the best setlists ever and Miss Info asked some strong questions, including matters of Killa’s claim that, “I get computers ‘putin” from ‘Get ‘Em Girls.’ In his answer he reveals that he’s prone to the crime of retweeting without crediting the source.

Dame gets a bad rap, but no matter how obnoxious the antics, I respect his business approach. The haircut tantrum in ‘Backstage’ directed at Kevin Liles — instigated by a promo jacket but hinting at a bigger problem — should have been turned into a million comedy gifs, but you don’t make a mark by keeping your mouth shut. Still, that footage of Dame losing it in a Def Jam boardroom that was released a couple of years back wasn’t half as entertaining.

Combat Jack’s piece on him two years ago was tremendous, dissecting the psyche of Mr. Dash and I’ve been enjoying a YouTube highlight reel of his finest moments on camera, including the aforementioned shouting match on tour (incidentally, that video of DMX that XXL posted recently is sad, bar the deeply quotable “Little Beet?”  query — especially after watching a 1999 Darkman in ‘Backstage’) and some legendary asshole soundbites. But a great Dame interview on HiphopDX last week addressed that moment and showcases some previously unseen humility.

With Steve Stoute, another Dame opponent,  doing the promo rounds for this excellent book, ‘The Tanning of America,’ this footage of him talking RBK, hip-hop marketing at corporate level and how it shouldn’t be done plus related topics, ends with some chat on the Dash subject. Mr. Stoute is a businessman worth listening to. Lesson 101 from the Dash affair seems to be the importance of not burning bridges on the road to riches. Whatever your opinion of Damon, he was instrumental in aiding and abetting multiple movements that set the stage for Mr. West to go couture last night in Paris, with Dash getting his hipster on while everyone else was still in voluminous denim.

On a wildly unrelated note, this French flick looks like fun, with ‘Sleepless Night’ continuing the Gallic winning streak when it comes to thrillers. So much so in fact, that it’s already being optioned for a remake. Because unlike France, America has run out of cinematic ideas entirely.


Let me start by pointing out that this blog entry is merely an excuse to post this Panther Books edition cover of Sol Yurick’s ‘The Warriors’ up here as some form of thug motivation.

That’s the only reason.

[[And before I commence rambling, big up Carri for the brief but brilliant Cassetteplaya show at Men’s day for LFW today – I thought I’d underdressed with the Polo, camo and AF1 Duck Boots, but her having ‘Bingo’ by Gucci Mane and ‘Salute’ by Dipset as a catwalk soundtrack (complete with models painted gold with gold hi-tops to match) vindicated my sartorial choice. The blazers, wood-handled umbrellas and leather holdalls around me were out-of-place, unless they concealed “Louie belts with the guns still tucked in ’em.” I doubt they did.]]

This cover just looks awkward — the gang member depicted looks about forty for starters, with a Mercedes badge and non-menacing font on the back. Where’s the sleeveless cut vests? If I started a gang, we’d rock the Undercoverism sleeveless hoodies (shouts to Acyde), the IronHeart black denim numbers, or — if we were hard up — prison fatigue jackets at £3.50 a throw. But then just as this cover hardly represents its content, the original novel bears very little resemblance to the final film. At least there’s a substantial resemblance between Richard Price’s ‘The Wanderers’ and the resulting film – both classics, even if some of the darker short stories in the former were excised.

Despite the whitey on the cover there, the main gang aren’t tactically mixed-race and they’re not even called the Warriors — they’re called the Dominators, and the Dominators are pretty brutal, making the book a far more gritty affair. While it’s still a trashy read, it’s not half as daft as the film. The same applies to Leon Garfield’s anti-vigilante novel ‘Death Wish’ and the subsequent “adaptation.” But I still love the films these books inspired, even if both authors were left fairly pissed off.

They still seem to be scheming a ‘Warriors’ remake with Tony Scott involved. This is a bad idea. His ‘Man on Fire’ was good (though I favour the Scott Glenn version — a onetime Sky Movies late night staple), but his version of ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ was insipid.

This remake could well be a repeat of John McTiernan’s dreadful ‘Rollerball’ remix of a few years ago. I’m still smarting from the director’s cut of the original (the comic book captions and “Sometime in the future…” concept are badly misjudged), but Walter Hill is still one of my favourite directors — I concur with this tribute here. Anyone who directs ‘Extreme Prejudice’ has earned the right to fuck with own his films to his heart’s content. At least the novelization came over a decade before the film itself — anyone else remember the 1983 Scarface novelization which opens with Tony getting his face cut in Cuba by a cuckolded love rival? That book even ended with Tony being blown to bits by his own rocket launcher. Liberties. Major liberties.

It’s nice to know that the more obscure ‘Warriors’ gangs have been named in recent years. The UK fansite is phenomenal. Not only does it let you know who was a Jones Street Boy, that those fucking mimes were the Hi-Hats and that the camp-looking Moonrunners repped for Pelham, there’s a whole thread dedicated to identifying every other gang in the film that’s just mind-bogglingly exhaustive. There’s even some replica vests being produced within that community of obsessives.

I hope the remake gets put on the backburner — despite some tough competition from Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Luther impression during ‘Shame on a Nigga’ and Puffy’s prior to the ‘Flava in Ya Ear’ remix, I still love the ‘Crunk Muzik’ video…notwithstanding the rollerblade content. Isn’t that what a crappy update would end up looking like?

And ya’ll might know your ’80 Blocks From Tiffany’s’, but I still want to see more video footage from the 1971 Hoe Avenue Truce meeting which inspired the Cyrus-led park gathering that opens ‘The Warriors’ — there’s footage in Henry Chalfont and Rita Fecher’s ‘Flyin’ Cut Sleeves’…though apparently that was all strictly for show, with the real truce being a more thugged-out affair, worked out behind-the-scenes…


As a kid I hated sudden bangs—hated them. No amount of explanation that everyone else was equally as startled would stop me losing my mind on fireworks night or any balloon-riddled birthday celebration. One of my earliest memories is ruining some kind of swimming gala by having a Damien-level tantrum because a starting pistol had the audacity to go off while I was in the building. My mother says it was instigated by me sitting on a balloon—which promptly went bang—as a tiny idiot. If you’ve got a fear, everyone knows you’ve got to overcompensate. And overcompensate I did via a lifelong preoccupation with cinematic carnage.

But Russian roulette scenes still make me sweat. It’s the guaranteed mark of a crazy film character—there’s some staggeringly obvious examples out there, but Geoffrey Lewis’s character in the underrated ‘Way of the Gun’ gets an effective debut playing the game. It gets under my skin. As a six-year old I recall hearing about Jon-Erik Hexum dying after playing around with a gun loaded with blanks and I became grimly fascinated. The recent bizarre footage of a guest being brain-damaged at a Russian wedding during an impromptu game that utlilised rubber bullets had me ruminating on the topic too. It beats Chris de Burgh and rope lights, but it was still an unfortunate move.

When my friend and trusted source of cinematic recommendations, Calum, put me onto a French film called ’13’ (which is more commonly known as ’13 Tzameti’) a few years back that contained something so grim that reviewers merely alluded to an unfortunate situation, I took the tip seriously. He was pretty wild-eyed about the movie and rightly so. Using a microbudget, local actors, family members and making good use of gloomy black and white plus some hugely imaginative touches, Géla Babluani made a classic bad-choice thriller that’s one of the most intense films ever, laden with hairpin trigger tension. And everyone knows that a good foreign language film means a minority view that’s ripe for a US remake. Sad but true.

But wait! The American ’13’ has Géla behind the camera too! How can it go wrong? Never forget that George Sluizer was responsible for the awful 1993 revisitation of his masterpiece, ‘The Vanishing.’ Then the concern begins. ’13’ isn’t a terrible movie by any means, but it makes a point of justifying the existence of a slew of familiar faces with back stories that split the narrative from the original’s cold jumpiness. Another wasted Mickey Rourke convict role feels like ‘Iron Man II’ overspill, 50 Cent is predictably bad and Jason Statham is no fun when he’s not walloping bad guys—instead he’s scowling, growling and wearing a pork pie hat here…because he’s British and that’s expected of him. Michael Shannon is an annoying ringleader who contorts his body and face, shrieking his way through the murderous proceedings. Even Sam Riley’s innocent who made a dodgy decision becomes less sympathetic too early on.

Inevitably, Ben Gazzara is excellent and Ray Winstone’s angry turn works in the high tension surroundings. Chuck Zito is a welcome face, just because he seems like the sort of man who would attend a real-world clubhouse in the vein of ’13’, but when you know the faces in the room, a fair proportion of the fear is distilled. The film switches between quiet contemplation, bickering and the main event; headshot by headshot, and it’s a bore. The final act is stretched out to tearing point too. If you’ve never watched the original, you might enjoy the remake, but the inconsistent pacing gives you too much time to trip in the plotholes where its predecessor never let you exhale enough to stumble.

At least the redux makes good use of that chilling circle of lost souls stood gazing at a lightbulb (now with added spider logo). It’s an arresting visual, but it’s the custom t-shirts for each unfortunate participant (presumably debtors, addicts and suicidal types) that make the most impact. The jagged duct-taped numbers on t-shirts are retained. Of course, if some won’t survive the first round, and if brain matter is flying through the air, there’s no point getting a shirt custom-printed, though the tapers kindly put a smaller chest number on too. It’s a striking image that captures the anonymity and disposability of these human lives, but it looks very, very cool indeed. In the new film it’s grey on a black shirt. In 2005 it was black tape on a grey marl shirt. The original wins again. But as Miss Claw Money agrees, someone needs to remake the tees in an official capacity with optional bloodstains…the nihilistic aesthetic is amazing.

The first stylist to arm thirteen models and kit them out in thirteen hastily numbered styles of grey tee or sweatshirt, gets my full, undying respect. Live ammo is optional…but preferable.