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Travolta takes Pelham

10.25.2007
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We recently learned that Denzel Washington would star in a remake of the excellent 1974 crime thriller THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, and now his New York transit cop (once played to cranky perfection by Walter Matthau) will be facing the menace of John Travolta's impressive chin.

Travolta will step into the role previously played by the great Robert Shaw, the ringleader of a group of hijackers who hold a subway car full of innocent citizens for ransom. I'm betting their code-names (Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, etc.) get changed in the update, since audiences who don't watch movies made pre-1980 will think it's ripping off RESERVOIR DOGS.

Tony Scott is handling the directing chores (hopefully with less of his recent experimental jittercam techniques), marking his fourth collaboration with Washington. It's nice to see Travolta putting on his acting pants again, as he hasn't exactly bothered with interesting material lately (his frightening female fat-suit visage from HAIRSPRAY still causes the night terrors).
Extra Tidbit: Supposedly when Quentin Tarantino first met with Travolta about PULP FICTION, he was living in Travolta's old apartment.
Source: Variety

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10:44PM on 10/29/2007

I'll wait...

Eh... This is a classic, but since I've always said there's no problem with remakes themselves, I'll bite my tongue here. What hunglowman says is how I'm feeling. There's a lot of mood in Pelham, a lot of attitude that more about the time than the story. Davis touched on the other part I'm worried about -- It's been a long time since the original Pelham. Audiences have seen this quite a bit since then. I think they may be too jaded by too many bad story lines and characters to accept it for
Eh... This is a classic, but since I've always said there's no problem with remakes themselves, I'll bite my tongue here. What hunglowman says is how I'm feeling. There's a lot of mood in Pelham, a lot of attitude that more about the time than the story. Davis touched on the other part I'm worried about -- It's been a long time since the original Pelham. Audiences have seen this quite a bit since then. I think they may be too jaded by too many bad story lines and characters to accept it for what it is. (see previous comment...)

And Tony Scott, while I feel he picks GREAT projects, I am worried about seeing subtitles like "Mr Blue, I like your pants" flying across the screen in a most distracting way and the stars look very different today.
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12:27PM on 10/26/2007

Sounds like...

... the last 10 minutes of Swordfish, with Travolta in the same role.
... the last 10 minutes of Swordfish, with Travolta in the same role.
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10:59AM on 10/26/2007
Part of what made the original Pelham o dope was how much a snapshot of NYC it was at that moment. The sexism, racism, dopey mayor, trigger happy cops etc. It's very pre-9/11. Hell, the way the MTA dispatchers tell the hijakcers to go fuck themselves is just pre-terrorism in general.

I can easily picture Denzel in Matthau's shoes but Robert Shaw is pretty imposing. Travolat better get back into vincent vega mode for this fucker.
Part of what made the original Pelham o dope was how much a snapshot of NYC it was at that moment. The sexism, racism, dopey mayor, trigger happy cops etc. It's very pre-9/11. Hell, the way the MTA dispatchers tell the hijakcers to go fuck themselves is just pre-terrorism in general.

I can easily picture Denzel in Matthau's shoes but Robert Shaw is pretty imposing. Travolat better get back into vincent vega mode for this fucker.
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6:16AM on 10/26/2007
I'm a Travolta fan no matter what - I even enjoyed HAIRSPRAY **AND** WILD HOGS.
I'm a Travolta fan no matter what - I even enjoyed HAIRSPRAY **AND** WILD HOGS.
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1:48AM on 10/26/2007

Well at least there is that...

I have previously expressed my disdain for this project, in part because I felt like the movie was meant for the 1970s, and partly because I think Denzel Washington is the last person who should try and fill Walter Matthau's shoes (and because Washington loves to play the righteous pontificating good guy).

But while Travolta is a far cry from Robert Shaw, they both have played awesome bad guys (and Mr. Blue is one of those cold-blooded professionals who isn't afraid of upping the ante, cuz
I have previously expressed my disdain for this project, in part because I felt like the movie was meant for the 1970s, and partly because I think Denzel Washington is the last person who should try and fill Walter Matthau's shoes (and because Washington loves to play the righteous pontificating good guy).

But while Travolta is a far cry from Robert Shaw, they both have played awesome bad guys (and Mr. Blue is one of those cold-blooded professionals who isn't afraid of upping the ante, cuz this ain't "Dog Day Afternoon"). And I've been waiting for Travolta to make another comeback from the dead. Besides, sticking him in a movie with Washington is the kind of casting call we all should have seen coming eventually. They're both just too good not to star together.

So while I'm still a little steamed they're using Washington instead of, say, John Turturro, who could put his own serio-comic spin on the laid-back Detective Garber, I am glad that John Travolta is getting a chance to square off with Denzel (because, let's face it, if Denzel is in it, that almost immediately tells people it's got some redeeming value).
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1:48AM on 10/26/2007

Well at least there is that...

I have previously expressed my disdain for this project, in part because I felt like the movie was meant for the 1970s, and partly because I think Denzel Washington is the last person who should try and fill Walter Matthau's shoes (and because Washington loves to play the righteous pontificating good guy).

But while Travolta is a far cry from Robert Shaw, they both have played awesome bad guys (and Mr. Blue is one of those cold-blooded professionals who isn't afraid of upping the ante, cuz
I have previously expressed my disdain for this project, in part because I felt like the movie was meant for the 1970s, and partly because I think Denzel Washington is the last person who should try and fill Walter Matthau's shoes (and because Washington loves to play the righteous pontificating good guy).

But while Travolta is a far cry from Robert Shaw, they both have played awesome bad guys (and Mr. Blue is one of those cold-blooded professionals who isn't afraid of upping the ante, cuz this ain't "Dog Day Afternoon"). And I've been waiting for Travolta to make another comeback from the dead. Besides, sticking him in a movie with Washington is the kind of casting call we all should have seen coming eventually. They're both just too good not to star together.

So while I'm still a little steamed they're using Washington instead of, say, John Turturro, who could put his own serio-comic spin on the laid-back Detective Garber, I am glad that John Travolta is getting a chance to square off with Denzel (because, let's face it, if Denzel is in it, that almost immediately tells people it's got some redeeming value).
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1:30AM on 10/26/2007
Can't wait to see this...Tony Scott directing Denzel Washington squaring off against John Travolta. Awesome!
Can't wait to see this...Tony Scott directing Denzel Washington squaring off against John Travolta. Awesome!
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