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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Abigail Faix
Abigail Faix
Features Editor

My name is Abby, I am a fourth-year student at Northern. I am studying Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Political Science. I've always been passionate about journalism since I was in high school....

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

THE END — Me, sipping my tea, as I prepare for my last few days at Northern. Finishing college is a tad more anxiety-inducing than I expected, but it feels good nonetheless.
Opinion — A nervous editor's reflections on time spent at NMU
Harry StineDecember 8, 2023

‘Death’ can’t live up to original classic

In 2004, Frank Oz created the magnificent comedy “Death at a Funeral.”  The widely popular film was giving a state side release and received praise from critics everywhere. Now, in 2010, we get the same film, with the same exact title, but the performers have been replaced with popular black actors. This is what happens when Hollywood runs out of ideas.

“Funeral” is set on the day of Aaron’s (Rock) father’s funeral. What is supposed to be a day filled with sorrow becomes a constant struggle to control Aaron’s family.  As his family arrives to his childhood home, everything begins to go wrong. The body of his father is misplaced with a Chinese man, one man is given LSD and Aaron is blackmailed by a gay midget. As the day progresses, Aaron must find a way to solve his family’s numerous problems and somehow keep his sanity.

I understand this movie is not to be taken seriously, but the acting is awful and the script is even worse. Most of the dialogue is recycled from the original, but  many of the lines have been dumbed down in an attempt to be original. Rock is very weak in the lead role, but he still manages to have some funny moments. Loretta Devine is awful, but Martin Lawrence is the worst actor in “Funeral.” He made me want to leave the theater every time he attempted to be funny. Tracy Morgan is the reason I’m giving this film two stars. He is hysterical, and I loved every scene he is in. Danny Glover is much too young to play his role, but that’s a mistake in casting. James Marsden is pretty funny, but his counterpart in the film, Zoe Saldana, was simply annoying. Luke Wilson has no point in this movie, but he is the only character they changed from the original film.

The plot is the best part of this film. The problems that occur are hysterical, and the idea of using one of the most depressing situations is ingenious. “Funeral” uses every actor at the perfect moment, and the weak cast benefts from the brilliant story. They never use the same character for an extended amount of time, and they manage to give every character a unique image, which is very impressive.  The entire film is filled with a quirky sense of humor that was present throughout the original film, but the newly added dialogue takes away from numerous hysterical events. There is a lot of potential for this remake, but the attempt to remove the original dry-humor does not work.

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Director Neil LaBute should be ashamed for not using one ounce of creativity or originality. I could have left the theater for 10 minutes and still have known everything that happened. I don’t even want to call this a remake because I think that takes away from the original. It may seem unfair to compare the two films this much, but when you use every single scene of a great film you are asking for disaster. Beyond this large issue, I still have trouble understanding why they made every character an idiot. The complete lack of intelligence is insulting, and it makes the movie look bad.

I’m not a big fan of the cinematography by Rogier Stoffers. The moving shots are sloppy, and the rest is generic. The music by Christophe Beck is terrible. The annoying tunes that constantly play could be declared elevator music, and the rest of the score is taken from the original film.

Overall, this is one of the most pointless remakes since “Psycho.” I do not know why anyone thought remaking “Funeral” would be a good idea, but it ends up being one big mess. There are a few funny moments, and Morgan is great, but overall I did not enjoy this film. I recommend it for anyone looking for a lighthearted comedy. But if you have seen the original, avoid this film.

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