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Movie head to dead: Death at a Funeral 2007 vs 2010 | August 16, 2010

So, over the past week, I saw the two Death at a Funeral movies. The original, a UK production, came out in 2007, starring Matthew McFayden, Alan Tudyk, Peter Vaughan, Keeley Hawes, Peter Dinklage and Rupert Graves as a dysfunctional family gathering together for a funeral service.

The US remake, released in 2010, stars Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Danny Glover, Ron Glass, Peter Dinklage, Zoe Saldana, Tracy Morgan and Luke Wilson, and it’s the same exact story.

No, really, it is. Pretty much down to every single line. There were a few nuances added to the US version… I can’t think that there was anything in the UK version taken out.

Both were good. I score them both 7 out of 10 (My scale is basically – 1 to 3, don’t watch, it sucked. 4 to 7 is the scale of watchable movies, and 8 to 10 are the really good, noteworthy movies.) Peter Dinklage is in both movies and does a wonderful job, though I have to say that the 3 years from the UK to the US were not kind to his appearance (either that or they intentionally made him look less pleasant to make him less sympathetic a character in the US version.)

Anyone who says that they enjoyed one over the other has a preference to the cast… or they saw the UK version first and are one of those people who take US remakes of foreign films as a personal affront. (While many US remakes of product from other countries ARE a personal affront to good taste, that can be said of much original product, too.)

Both these movies are good, enjoyable, fun watches. Uncle Aflie (US, Danny Glover, UK, Peter Vaughan) are hilarious. Tudyk’s Simon trumps Marsden’s Oscar in the silly department. MacFayden and Rock play likeable, sympathetic older brother Daniel/Aaron quite well. Rupert Graves’ Robert is a better character than Martin Lawrence’s Ryan, though in the end both show enough humanity to be likeable.

I strongly advise not watching them too closely together, unless you want to compare them; as I said, the dialogue is almost exact (except, of course, for the slight changes in the US version, and the obvious changes between American English and proper English.)

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