A DIRTY DOZEN REMAKE IS IN THE WORKS

A Dirty Dozen remake is apparently in the works, according to breaking news in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood. Such pronouncements have been made in the past over the years but the urgency in which this has been green lighted by Warner Brothers is of worthy attention.  Of course, in retelling the info about the original, contemporary Hollywood beat writers got some obvious facts wrong, especially Mike Fleming of Deadline Hollywood, but more on that later.

Montage of images from the one, the only, the original, THE DIRTY DOZEN.

The man behind the project, David Ayers, has an interesting resume’ as I consider his script for Training Day (2001) to be as impressive as Denzel Washington’s Oscar winning performance. Although known mostly for Suicide Squad (2016), Ayers has also made the WWII-era tank drama Fury (2014) with Brad Pitt so I gave him a lot or room to be judged in terms of a Dirty Dozen remake.

Here’s  what I consider the intriguing part. All articles state the remake will be “updated” from it’s WWII-era roots. “Updated” to what? Korea? Vietnam? Afghanistan? Iraq? WHAT? With Ayers resume’ of other dark police dramas, maybe it’s not a war film at all. Perhaps a bunch of convicts will be released to wreak havoc on the south central street gangs of Los Angeles….except I think that’s been done before, too. Bad enough the same studio is allowing Mel Gibson to remake The Wild Bunch (1969).

And the infuriating faux pas of the Deadline Hollywood article? I’m calling out the author, Mike Fleming on this. The one person in the cast NOT listed alphabetically in the credits or  in the ads, in other words, the star of the film IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED WITH THE REST OF THE CAST! For shame, Mr. Fleming. In case you didn’t know, his name is LEE MARVIN, the subject of my book and this blog, Lee Marvin Point Blank.

Oh, and Donald Trump was impeached today.

  • Dwayne Epstein
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DELTA FORCE IN THE NEWS 3 DECADES AFTER THE FILM

Delta Force, the U.S. Army’s highly trained Special Operations unit, was recently in the news following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 26th. Navy Seal Team Six did the deed on Osama Bin-Laden but it was Delta Force that was responsible for ending the life of al-Baghdadi in northwest Syria. Trapped in a tunnel with his three children, he detonated an explosive device in his vest that killed him and his offspring.
The special mission was months in the planning but raises the question, what does any of this have to do with Lee Marvin? Fans of the actor and/or readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank know that it was Marvin’s final theatrical film.

Lee Marvin as Colonel Nick Alexander in his final film, DELTA FORCE (1986).

A recent online article recounted the unit’s history beginning in 1977 and the cinematic re-creations since then, including Black Hawk Down (2001).
I was not previously aware of the unit’s illustrious history, nor did I include it in the book, as I consider it a career low point for the actor. He was on the money as usual, if a little tired looking. Consequently, it could have been a better project had it included some of the facts mentioned in the article. The reviews at the time were more polite than the film deserved but suffice to say, Col. Charles Beckwith’s legendary unit deserves better cinematic treatment than the Chuck Norris live-action comic book gave it.
I did of course give the film adequate mention and was fortunate to interview co-star Robert Vaughn, who had most of his screen time with Marvin. His take on the experience is well-worth the read. In the mean time, here are some choice reviews….
– Dwayne Epstein

Reviews for DELTA FORCE at the time of its release from The L.A. Times, Variety and Herald Examiner.

 

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ANOTHER MARVIN FILM NAMED TO NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY!

In  2007 it was The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. In 2011 it was The Big Heat. Those have been all of the films of Lee Marvin that have been named to the National Film Registry… and he was the lead in neither film!  FINALLY, the trend may have changed if you check number 14 of this year’s additions, discovered thanks to the vigilance of diehard Lee Marvin fan Chris Gower. But first, a cut & pasted article from Variety online by James Rainey, Dec. 14, 2016 that explains the process…
Anybody wanna guess which film? The Dirty Dozen? Monte Walsh? The Klansman?
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“With the addition of 25 new films — including “The Birds,” “The Lion King,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Thelma & Louise” — the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress now includes 700 films that span more than a century.
The 2016 inductees into the registry include movies long considered classics, obscure documentaries and films once too racy or avant-garde to be accepted by the mainstream. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden made the selections after consulting with a panel of experts who make up the National Film Preservation Board.
Congress established the registry in 1988 with the National Film Preservation Act of 1988 — requiring the Library of Congress to designate and preserve films that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. Films must be at least 10 years old to be chosen.
[….] “Motion pictures document our history and culture and serve as a mirror of our collective experiences,” Hayden said, in announcing the new film entrees. “The National Film Registry embraces the richness and diversity of film as an art form and celebrates the people who create the magic of cinema.” An alphabetical listing of the films newly joining the joining the registry this year:
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1. Atomic Cafe (1982)
2. Ball of Fire (1941)
3. The Beau Brummels (1928)
4. The Birds (1963)
5. Blackboard Jungle (1955)
6. The Breakfast Club (1985)
7. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
8. East of Eden (1955)
9. Funny Girl (1968)
10. The Lion King (1994)
11. Lost Horizon (1937)
12. Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
13. Paris Is Burning (1990)
14. Point Blank (1967)
15. The Princess Bride (1987)
16. Putney Swope (1969)
17. Rushmore (1998)
18. Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)
19. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
20. Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
21. Thelma & Louise (1991)
22. Time and Dreams (1976)
23. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
24. A Walk in the Sun (1945)
25. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

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