As I flicked through the Independent on my way to work today trying vainly to find some real news (of which more tomorrow) I was vaguely aware of Keanu Reeves entering my consciousness. Not a frequent occurrence I can assure you. Maybe there was a story about him in the gossip section. I turned to the film pages of the magazine, read a pretty damning review of Jet Li’s new martial arts flick Fearless, and scanned the rest of the page to see what else was on offer. Nothing which rated more than two stars out of five. But because Keanu Reeves was strangely on my mind my eye lingered on the film title The Lake House and my subconscious pulled together the various factoids lodged deep in my memory from browsing the koreanfilm.org forums. It’s the Il Mare remake co-starring Sandra Bullock.
The reviewer didn’t like the film any more than he liked Fearless.
Reeves is amiable as ever in his woodenly inexpressive way, and Bullock plays along adequately, but the feyness of the enterprise and Rachel Portman’s maddening score grate on the nerves. You’d have to really hate football to seek refuge in this particular house.
I wasn’t particularly fond of the Korean original:
Scenes too short and jumpy. Annoying music. Stupid time-machine letter box
is what I jotted down when I watched Il Mare a couple of years ago. I also remember being amazed at the lack of planning controls in Korea, that such a brutal portakabin on stilts1 could be built on an outstandingly beautiful bit of coastline. I’ll go back to the Korean original one day to see if I like it more the second time round. I certainly won’t be wasting two hours of my life to acquire more first-hand evidence that Hollywood remakes aren’t as good as the originals: I need to catch up on the YesAsia deliveries I haven’t been watching because I’ve been spending too much time building this site. The Lake House seems to be on fairly wide release, so form your own views. But my guess is you’ll be better off watching the football or Fearless.
- It seems from the above image that the ghastliness of the original Korean construction is preserved in the remake