Skip navigation

Well, the Super Bowl is over and done with.  Let us never speak of it again.

Though I must say, while watching the terrible crop of ads this year (ONE good one from Monster.com?  Come on…), I noticed a trend that’s been developing for years now, and seems to be surging in full force now: the trend of “remaking” or “reimagining” a movie from years past.  There is no reason whatsoever to do this.  The only possible explanation I can think of for anyone remaking or “reimagining” (a disgusting word in and of itself) a film is because there are no original ideas left.  I saw no less than three ads for remakes during the Super Bowl, and at least one or two more over the past couple of weeks.  And there are others I’ve heard about that are in production that just horrify me.  Let’s just go through a short list of the few that I’ve heard about recently.

Friday the 13th – Supposedly this is going to be a remake of the first two movies crammed together into one 85 minute package.  First off, if you’re going to condense the first two movies down into approximately half the time, you’re going to leave out some key points from both movies.  There’s no way getting around it.  I don’t really have much else to say about this one that won’t also apply to every other film I’ll be talking about, so this one gets off relatively easy.

Return to Witch Mountain – I just heard about this one today.  First off, “updating” a movie for this generation is a pointless and stupid endeavor.  There is absolutely no reason for anyone to bother “updating” a movie.  Kids can accept that things were not always so technologically advanced as they are these days.  From the trailer I saw, it actually looks more like an action flick than whatever the original was (I have not seen it, but I’d imagine it was a children’s movie).  And then you’ve got The Rock starring.  I’m trying to like him, I really am.  But some of these choices he’s made are just so stupid they boggle my mind.  He’s already a millionaire, why does he bother with such idiotic ideas?  If he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to branch out and do something other than terrible action movies made by Disney.

Land of the Lost – Now we’re getting into the truly absurd: movies that are remakes of old TV shows.  When you’ve run out of movies to destroy, take down TV shows!  This has happened a lot recently, with movies like Speed Racer (which I refuse to see because I know it will be beyond terrible).  I’ve never seen the show, but this, I can’t imagine, will be very good.

The Karate Kid – This is one I heard about on the radio.  It’s the same title, but Will Smith’s kid is playing the kid, it’s set in China, and JACKIE CHAN is playing Miyagi.  That just threw me over the edge.  It’s no longer The Karate Kid.  It’s Young Black Kid in China Gets Trained By a Chinese Guy Pretending to be Japanese.  Fucking ridiculous.

All of these movies, I fear, also share a couple of common themes: the need to “update” the movie for people (mostly children) of this generation, and the seemingly incessant need to use today’s mega-stars in the title roles in order to help the audience “connect” to the characters merely because they’ve heard of whomever is playing the lead.  The first part (“updating” the movie) is silly.  Kids are kids.  They have an imagination.  They can certainly imagine what it was like way back when in the 1970’s or 1980’s when everything wasn’t computer-generated.  They’re getting too spoiled on terrible-looking CGI that pushes the graphics off the bleeding edge and into the “well that just looks silly” chasm.  Nothing looks real anymore.  The last piece of decent CGI I’ve seen was The Sandman’s first scene in Spiderman 3.  That looked pretty cool.  The rest of the movie looked awful (as well as the entire rest of the movie being awful, but I digress), and since then, I have yet to see any CGI that hasn’t looked just plain silly.  It’s all too shiny and fantastical to be taken seriously.  I know that the purpose of a movie is to have the audience suspend their disbelief for two hours, but with CGI that looks as garish as some of the work I’ve seen, it takes me out of that state of disbelief completely and ruins the movie for me.

The second common theme, that of using big stars in title roles in order to help the audience to connect to their characters, is also, quite simply, ludicrous.  There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that a child cannot sit down and watch the original Return to Witch Mountain (or whatever movie is being raped and pillaged) and just enjoy the movie for what it is, no matter who’s in the lead role.  That obviously applies as well for every other remake being made.  You don’t have to have a huge star making $50 million per film so people can go watch it just because they’ve heard of the guy who’s acting the lead.  This is also something that’s bothered me about animated films for quite some time now (I know, another digression, but let me get this one out now so I don’t have to spend an entire extra entry on this subject).  Just about every animated film, be it made by Pixar or Studio Ghibli and dubbed by some American company, is seemingly obsessed with only using famous actors in nearly every major part instead of using great voice actors who will actually portray the character instead of the onscreen character merely being an extension of the famous actor voicing said character.  Follow me?  I’d rather hear Maurice LaMarche or Billy West or Townsend Coleman playing parts than Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and Jennifer Anniston (or however you spell her damn name), because the first three names will adapt a voice to the character, whereas with the latter three, you’ll simply get the animated character molded around the actor lending his or her voice.

So, really, I don’t think that any of these movies, be they classics or not, should be remade in the first place.  I don’t care if the new director thinks he has some “new and fresh” ideas that he wants to dump over our heads like a three-week old bucket of oatmeal, because those new and fresh ideas usually turn out to be the same boring shit that 75% of movies today are doing anyway.  Maybe more like 95%.  The fact that there are so few truly original ideas coming out of Hollywood these days is, no doubt, a huge factor in this influx of remakes and “reimaginings” (god I hate that word).  What the movie industry needs is a fresh batch of writers and directors, people who aren’t afraid to toe the line or boldly step right over it without fear of what audiences or critics might think.  That is when you get the truly great movies.  When a writer and/or a director make a movie for themselves, it almost always ends up as a better movie than any made with the audience, and especially with the critics, in mind.  So don’t go see these remakes.  You’ll more than likely end up being disappointed.

By the way, +1000 bonus points if you actually know who those three actors I mentioned are, and +10,000 points if you can name two characters each of those actors I mentioned portrayed.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. The reason producers do remakes is that they have a built-in fan base, and they generally make money.
    But in any case, should you be critiquing a movie you haven’t seen (or in this case, hasn’t even been made!)?
    John Huston’s “Maltese Falcon” was a remake.
    Also “An Affair to Remember” (1957), “Casino Royale” (2006), “The Italian Job” (2003), “The Departed” (2006), “Moulin Rouge” (2001), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956), “The Magnificent Seven” (1960), and “Scarface” (1983). All of these are good or even great movies.
    You are a creative person. Instead of trashing what’s bad, why not write something that’s good? That’s the best revenge.

  2. I don’t remember if I said ALL remakes are terrible, and I’m too lazy to reread my own post, but I will admit that not every remake is a terrible, terrible movie. Just most of them.

    Oh, I’ll be working on my own script very soon…then I’ll have my revenge!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: