September 23, 2013

The Remakes are Coming! RUN!!!

I am tired of people complaining about remakes. I get it, many are not terribly fond of them. The thing is, they aren't going away. They are a part of Hollywood and always have been. I a, also pretty sure that the studios behind said remakes are not all that concerned about you not liking them. Complain all you want, the simple fact is that you are in the minority. We, the community of online movie lovers, count for a small number, a number small enough that if all remake hates stayed home, the movie would still do well.

Simply put, I do not understand all the hate that comes out whenever a remake is announced. I get that many of these movies are not all that good, but some are, and many we will just have to disagree about. Why not wait for the movie to materialize and see of it stands up or not? Where is the harm? If it sucks, it sucks. Move on to something else.

I understand the studios affinity for remakes, you can expand to include book adaptations. They love things with built in audiences. It makes the marketing easier for them, especially with people who will see whatever it is based on whatever the source is. I can also understand why people may not be terribly happy about them, thinking they are using the source to turn a buck, or not paying enough respect to the source.

There are valid points on both sides of the argument. I tend to be more of a moderate when it comes to remakes. I will let them prove themselves to be bad. I mean, remakes have always been a part of the movies in one form or another. Think about it, the classic Wizard of Oz was not the first filming of that story. There are even directors who have remade their own works, and I am not talking about George Lucas' endless tinkering. Among the names who have gone this route are Alfred Hitchcock, Cecil B. DeMille, Yasuhiro Ozu, Michael Haneke, and Takashi Shimizu.

Even producers get in on the action, like Roger Corman. He was on board for remakes of The Masque of the Red Death, Humanoids from the Deep, Death Race (2000), among others. Then you have American International Pictures who started up a television arm in the 1960's and remade some of their black and white features for color television.

What is the point of all this? Well, just to show that remakes are not recent. They may be a bit more prevalent, but it is nothing new. It is not something that is going away. Yes, it may be more in your face and often a grab for cash rather than any artistic merit, but still, let the movies prove their worth before throwing them under the bus.

What I like about remakes is the potential for genuine creative interpretation of the same source. I like seeing the different ideas that can be brought to familiar material. Think about comic books and how they get rebooted for new audiences every so often, this is a similar idea. Look at Tim Burton's Batman and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, hell, toss in the 60's Adam West flavor and the animated series from the 90's. They are all good, yes good, but they are all very different, yet still hold onto what Batman is.

So far as creativity and new angles brought to remakes, here are a few that I like: John Carpenter's The Thing, Not of this Earth, The Ring, The Lake House, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Fly. There are others, these are but a few. On the other side you can find such atrocities as Prom Night, Day of the Dead, One Missed Call, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Clash of the Titans, The Mechanic, and Red Dawn.

All I'm saying is stop complaining, it ain't going away. Don't like it? Don't go, simple enough. Just take a wait and see approach, if the movie is bad, we'll see soon enough. Or don't listen to me, continue complaining. I just think we would be enter served supporting that which we do love, get the word out about the original films, the smaller films.

While studios don't care about the small contingent of haters, more individuals will listen to the recommendations from the same people. Then those people pass on those recommendations and maybe add a few of their own. Let's create an atmosphere of positivity, giving movies the attention they deserve rather than focusing on issues that we will really have no effect on. Who knows, maybe the reverse will happen, studios will ale notice of support for smaller lesser know originals and try producing some of their own? Miracles can happen.

Bottom line, let the remakes prove themselves to be bad, they will be made regardless of your complaining. There are good ones. In the meantime use your platform in a more productive fashion, promote the good stuff you love. Maybe we can chip away at the cynicism that infects online fandom.

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Wendell said...

Excellent post. I couldn't agree more!

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