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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

REMAKES, REMAKES,REMAKES,REMakes,remakes,remakes,remak......

 Hollywood has never had a problem with remakes (Judy Garland's Wizard of OZ is the 6th film adaption of the L. Frank Baum book) but since the 90's the reliance on them (as well as big budget adaptations of old TV shows and cartoons) has slowly tumbled to the point that it has become, boring (to this we can also add unnecessary sequels that try to revive long retired cash cows) I understand that money is the motivation of 99% of all Hollywood's output, why risk money on something new and untested when an army of marketing men and accountants are spouting the economic advantages of brand recognition. This solid gold  financial structure has also given rise to what is surly the bane of modern Pop Culture, the Prequel. Films and TV shows who's entire shtick is telling us how the cool stuff we've loved for years became cool in the first place. I love the Ramones but that doesn't mean I want to listen to a trilogy of 3 hour long cd's of a 12 year old Dee-Dee learning to play the bass.
What I don't understand though is why we the public continue to fall for it. Over the last 10 years we've had every thing from Star Wars to a Nightmare on Elm Street and most recently Tron 'updated for a new generation' and with very, very few exceptions they never fail to disappoint but yet the Hollywood money machine continues to churn them out and you can't just blame cinematic hacks like Michael Bay (Transformers 1,2&3) and McG (Charlies Angels 1&2, Terminator Salvation) even directors who's reputations are built on creativity and originality have been tempted by the rewards a remake has to offer. After becoming a fan favorite with low budget cult classics Peter Jackson took a step into the mainstream with the excellent the Frighteners then strikes box office gold with the Lord of the Rings but after 3 adaptations instead of making something original he chooses to remake the stone cold downer that was  KING KONG and then there's Tim Burton a director who's originality tag is some what questionable. According to his directorial listings on IMDB out of his 27 directorial credits 10 are either adaptations or remakes. The trend for the remake (re-boot, sequel, prequel...) is in no danger of dying out anytime soon (the Spider-man re-boot comes out next year only 4 years after the end of Sam Raimi's trilogy) although Ridley Scott has changed his plans for an Alien prequel perhaps because of the overwhelmingly negative response it's announcement received online rather than the need to produce something original. And so gentle reader here is a short list of what we can expect while we wait patiently for the 'new'. (the following are listed at
Annie, Evil Dead, Wild Bunch, West World, Lethal Weapon,etc, etc, etc...........

To add some balance here is a recent blog from the film critic Mark Kermode on the subject of remakes.

1 comment:

  1. I watched True Grit a few days ago and although I enjoyed it and was inmpressed with the young girl in it I was left wondering what the point was.
    The worst must be the remakes of foreign films where they dumb everything down for the US audience though.
    However I don't especially hate the horror remakes as much as everyone else it seems.
    Most of them add better SFX and while no one would get an Oscar their performances are a step up from some director in the seventies getting his mates in to do it.
    I suspect much of the antipathy towards these movies is from the cool kids thinking that they get scenester points for preferring grainy low budget shit that showed promise over what the director would have made if he had the cash.