The reboot/remake. This is rapidly becoming one of the more “fashionable” trends in Hollywood. Year after year, more and more reboot/remakes are being churned out. No film is sacred. From classic pieces of cinema to even the most lame crap-fests, nothing seems to be out of the question. I find myself wondering; what happened to originality? What is prompting Hollywood to continue on this path? Will this trend ever end? I know, sooner or later, movies will begin to be similar to one another. There are only so many ideas worthy of film, after all. But have we really gotten to that point yet? I say no! It’s time for Hollywood to give up on the constant reboots and remakes. Pace yourselves! I have no problem with the occasional reboot/remake, especially if the original film was crappy. Or so old that it is deserving of a new millennium makeover. But we must make Hollywood understand, not every film is worthy of this. And some films were so great in their original form, the reboot/remake only serves to taint their legacy.
You would be surprised to hear some of what is currently being discussed at some level in Hollywood. Let me give you an idea. “Casablanca” is currently being shopped around studios in an attempt to try to remake one of the greatest films of all time. The driving force behind this remake? Madonna. Yes, Madonna wants to remake this film, and star in it! No, I’m not kidding. Some of the other remakes/reboots that are in some level of production include: “Child’s Play,” “The Birds,” “The Fly,” “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” “Short Circuit,” “Footloose,” and “Porkies.” They are all scheduled to either release or wrap filming around 2010. And that is not even a complete list. There were a lot more that I came across in researching this article. In addition to these films which we have not heard much about up until this point, we also have the films that have been in the news a little more recently. “Clash of the Titans” currently has a director and a star in place (Louis Leterrier and Sam Worthington, respectively) and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is set for release in a couple of weeks. Reboots and Remakes may never go away!
To be fair, there have been some remake/reboots that have turned out great. And they have done nothing to taint the legacy of the films upon which they were based. The first, most popular example would obviously be “Batman Begins.” The Batman films leading up to “Batman Begins” ( “Batman and Robin” and “Batman Forever”) were total crap-fests. So it was definitely necessary to go in a different direction if Batman was ever going to be a box office draw again. So they did, the Batman was completely re-imagined, taken in a whole new “darker” direction. And voila! Box office success. Begins did okay, and the sequel to Begins, “The Dark Knight” broke all sorts of records! Another fine example of quality remake/reboot film making would be “Oceans Eleven.” That turned out to be a fine movie, and eventually it spawned sequels. So not all reboot/remakes are bad.
All too often though, remakes/reboots turn out to be terrible wastes of time and money. Let me give you some examples of pure remake crap: “The Pink Panther” “Cheaper by the Dozen” “The Alamo” “Fun with Dick and Jane” and “The Poseidon Adventure.” All total pieces of cinematic garbage. Why remake these films? The originals varied from decent to great, but none of them were bad. Yet the remakes ended up awful. There is a lesson to be learned here. Don’t mess with the classics. Some stories just should not be messed with. And if there isn’t a good reason to tell the tale (i.e a great new story or new filming techniques that would just absolutely make the original complete) then don’t bring it up. What ever happened to originality? Why do we have to keep reaching into the past to get ideas for the future? There has to be someone out there with some original ideas. Instead of consistently remaking/rebooting old franchises, how about we give the young, unknown writers a chance to bring their original scripts to the big screen. I understand that there is a fear of taking a chance on young, unknown writers. But the films can’t possibly be worse than the remake crap that is being produced a half a dozen times a year.
Here is a little something for the true movie buffs out there. Don’t you find it sad with all the remakes being churned out, most of the younger generations don’t even realize that they are remakes? It is depressing that the classic films of yester-year are no longer being enjoyed by new generations of fans. I assume that is the reasoning behind all of the reboots and remakes, and I understand that. But more often than not, the “new film” doesn’t even come close to the original. So, how is this for an idea: How about theaters organizing viewings of the “Classics” on the big screen. Instead of remaking the film, remaster it and play it on the big screen again. Introduce a whole new generation of fans to classic movies like “The Fly” “The Birds” and “Casablanca.”
Will things ever change? I doubt it. There are a lot of factors in play here. It is easier to take an existing film and “adapt” it for modern audiences. And I’m sure there are some producers out there with genuinely good reasons for the remakes. Fans really deserve to see the classics, and there are some people out there who just won’t watch an “old” film. So the thinking here is that they have to be remade to expose people to the ideas that were classic films all those years ago. But Hollywood is quick to forget the legions of fans loyal to the classics. People who don’t want to see the movies that were so great back then, get ruined by the Hollywood of today. It will never change. If only it would slow down. One or two a year tops. I love the classics, I am a major film buff. But I also yearn for fresh ideas. I want to see new areas explored, new concepts and issues addressed, new adventures! Is that too much to ask?
Am I the only one?