Gangster Squad Being Reshot to Protect Our Precious Innocence
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Gangster Squad Being Reshot to Protect Our Precious Innocence

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | July 25, 2012 | Comments ()


When we last checked in with Gangster Squad, it was a beautiful spring day, and we were lamenting the waste of a fantastic cast and a lot of dapper period clothes on a lazy exercise in cliche. But the studio behind Gangster Squad figured that the best way to get us to talk about their film was to make it piss us off anymore.

Warner Brothers has frantically pulled the trailer for Gangster Squad, which was running in front of The Dark Knight Rises, because it features a scene in which mobsters open fire in a theater. Not only that, Warner is trying to drag the actors back to reshoot scenes in order to fully excise the offending scene from the film. I'm reminded of networks removing the World Trade Center from television shows with CGI. I'm reminded of the occasional television episode that gets bumped to air out of order three months later in a dead slot, if ever, because it happens to touch too close to reality.

Great art reflects reality, it's a twisted mirror that emphasizes and distracts and somehow in the end shows us something more real than reality. A great artist would cut off his arm before changing the work to avoid drawing those parallels. A studio though? They recoil like an elbow brushing a still hot burner if their excuse for art touches a nerve that resonates. People might get mad, they might get upset, the studios worry at night as they doze atop their piles of money. When art becomes a business, this is the consequence. Art that actually manages that feat of touching a nerve is sent back for reshoots.

But then, this demonstrates quite clearly that this film was never much art to begin with, that the initial conclusions that it was a mindless repetition of pretty people shooting at each other was dead on correct. I'm convinced now Warner, go ahead with the reshoots and the editting. Anything to ensure that your finished product does not make people think or feel in the least.

(source: Cinema Blend)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Charlie

    Sensitivity is a virtue. Maybe it's not all about your entertainment, you know?

  • Justin Kuhn

    Seemed like at one point Raimi's Spider-Man was going to fight Green Goblin on the then the movie was released with a totally lame boss battle on a totally lame bullshit mossy castle set (somewhere in NYC).

  • dahlia6

    Here's a thought, one that has been repeated ad nauseum and yet no one seems to take it at more than face value. If you think a movie is going to offend you, don't see it. If a song comes on the radio you don't like, switch the channel. Shit pisses me off all the time on TV/radio. So I change the channel. No biggie. My widdle bitty feelings remain unbruised.

  • Marc Host

    Oh, oh, I want to reminisce too.

    This is just like when they re-shot The Running Man to be less like the novel once 9/11 happened.

  • Eve

    This is just plain ridiculous.

  • Bert_McGurt

    This reminds me of when radio stations (in Canada) temporarily pulled the Tragically Hip's "New Orleans is Sinking" from the airwaves after Katrina, despite the fact that the song was written two decades before the hurricane. It's easily the band's best-known song and Canadians had been listening to it for years, but suddenly it was forbidden because of those events.

    I understand the need for sensitivity in the wake of tragedies like this, but those who are going to be affected by the scene (or song) in question already have the tragedy in the back (or front) of their minds anyway. If a scene in a theater is going to trigger an emotional response, it will have already been triggered just by the act of stepping into the theater they're watching the movie in. Or by watching any scenes of gunplay. So removing the scene only deals with a very specific part of that emotional response. It's merely putting a Band-Aid on a gaping emotional wound.

    Of course, pulling the trailer and releasing a warning to potential attendees about the scene in question is a perfectly valid response to the tragedy in Aurora. Giving the people affected an opportunity to avoid the film is definitely reasonable. I just don't think it necessitates a major rework of the film.

  • BWeaves

    I recommend the George Carlin idea of replacing all the "kill" references with "fuck" references. "OK sheriff, we're gonna fuck you now. But we're gonna fuck you slow." Just turn it into a porno.

  • See also Collateral Damage, which was edited and had a delayed release due to similarities with 9/11. Schwarzeneggar plays a firefighter whose wife and kid are killed in a terrorist bombing. Scenes involving a hijacked airplane were cut entirely.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    What? did they take the smoking out?

  • Stallonewolf

    Can they retroactively remove the scene in Inglorious Basterds when they shoot all the nazis in a movie theater as well? Give them walkie-talkies or something?

  • Tammy

    i dunno. Speaking as an artist who makes work in the performing arts world, I'd have to know the context of the scene to know if the reshoots were really such a bad idea.
    If it were my play, I could see any number of instances where I would be willing to change a scene because of extenuating circumstances in the world. If the scene is crucial to the storytelling, I'd want it to stay, but if it's not, and if seeing it would do people harm or take people out of the story, instead of serving the story the best way it could, I'd cut a scene.

    Do I doubt the studio is taking that kind of artistic care with their decision. Absolutely. But I am just saying I can see how there **could be** artistic decisions at play, not just crass monetary ones.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Instead of showing people shooting other people in a theater, I'm guessing they'll show people shooting other people in a different location. It's still gun violence. If they really wanted to remove any offending images, they would replace all of the tommy guns with walkie-talkies.

  • bleujayone

    This reminds me of an episode of "Northern Exposure" where someone kills themselves and in their suicide note claims the reason behind it was a goofy song Chris played on his radio show. Chris then started throwing out every song or artist he had that could potentially hurt or offend someone until it was pointed out that there would be nothing left at all if people were that overly sensitive.

    Life can suck sometimes, people. But the solution isn't to run away from anything that could potentially remind you of that, but rather to embrace things that can help you cope and make sense of life's strange events. Art has long been humankind's dysfunctional lover in that it has been treated with equal parts embraced passion and unsubstantiated blame. This instance is no exception.

    Besides, this is all just hypocrisy anyway. If Hollywood were actually sensitive towards their clientele's feelings and not just pandering to the moment, then half the crapfests we've been forced to endure would would have been properly made with quality in mind and the other half would never have seen the light of the projector.

  • KatSings

    This reminds me of when they pulled Earshot from broadcasts during the original run of Buffy because of Columbine. The added irony in that situation being that the "shooter" on the show was going after himself, not anyone else, so it wasn't actually related.

  • BarbadoSlim

    Entertaiment via pussification and and overreaction. I'm all for being sensitive about tragedies, but if we are going to be insulated from imagery every time some asshole pulls something one of these days all we are going to left with is reruns of Cops and Campus PD.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I think it's more the businessification of the entertainment industry that has led to it's pussification. Thou shalt not offend anyone, ever, because that could potentially impact profits.

  • Anyone going to a theater to see a movie called Gangster Squad knows what he is in for. I can see pushing off the release date a bit, but this is just ignorant.

  • Eve


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