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Remake! Reboot! Sequelize! Prequelize!

19 November 2012

I’m not generally one to rail against the remakes, the sequels, the prequels, and the reboots Hollywood has been going insane with lately. Sure, I’d love to see more original content, but reboots and remakes of existing properties don’t make me angry or anything. I don’t so much feel as if anyone is “raping my childhood” when they remake a movie from the 80s. I just tend not to watch things if they don’t look like they’ll interest me. I vote with my wallet.

Now, there is a vocal contingent on the Internet who thinks remakes, reboots, and derivations of existing properties are an affront to the source material. People should never remake anything, ever!

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I don’t agree. Sure, I’ll see a remake every once in a while and think Now, did this really need to be remade? The new Red Dawn, for instance, or Spider-Man being rebooted ten minutes after Spider-Man 3. But even I tend to forget that sometimes, Hollywood gets it right.

I saw the remake of Fright Night this weekend. I haven’t seen the 80s one in years, but I remember it seeming cheesy to me even when I was young. The new one? Actually kind of great. They corrected the problems with the first one and made a very decent movie.

I also saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and I thought it was a pretty clever little prequel. It’s another one of those where I remember the original being a bit cheesy (in all the right ways). But the Tim Burton remake was still shit, though.

What about you, mi amigos? Ever seen a remake, reboot, or other derivation of an existing property you thought was pretty great? What’s the worst one you’ve seen?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 November 2012 0650

    I never understood the remake frenzy, but…as much as we like to think art = integrity (or vice versa), when it comes to movies, it’s often about money. Even with many smaller films. I tend to gravitate toward quirkier movies myself, but I’ve been there for a lot of blockbusters in my time. Not many remakes, but still…I’ll watch most things.

    A sacred film to me: Time Bandits. I was 12 when it came out. A friend and I took the bus one town over because our theater wasn’t showing the movie. We watched it, and I must say…I’d never seen anything at that point in my life that left quite the impression on me. And for the record, after seeing Star Wars when I was 8, I insisted everybody call me Luke.

    Time Bandits was the movie that made me think, “Someone MADE this. Someone came up with an idea, somehow wrote it, someone got together with a bunch of people to make this movie I’m sitting here watching. Someday, even if it’s the guy who cleans up the mess left behind, I want to be on a movie set to see how it all happens. Even better…I want to write!”

    When the movie ended, I hid in the back exit area and came out in the dark to watch the movie again. I went back on Sunday and watched it one more time.

    Why talk about Time Bandits when we’re talking sequels? Because a year or so ago, I remember reading about a Time Bandits remake. No Terry Gilliam involvement…I heard it might go as far as a family-friendly franchise! Oh, the horror, right?! I mean, this isn’t me losing it when some crappy thing from the 80s is remade into a crappy thing in the 2010s. This was a movie that still holds up for me today; this was the movie that — dare I say it — changed my life! And it may be remade into a franchise?!

    But I don’t care.

    It doesn’t matter because the original Time Bandits is the original Time Bandits. Nothing can change that. And maybe some kid will watch the remake if it hits the screen and watch the original. Maybe — dare I say it — the remake(s) will be good. Even if they aren’t, if they evoke some sense of wonder in the mind of a kid today, even if I think they are an abomination, I’d be a crappy person to piss all over something that makes a kid happy, just ’cause it’s not what I want it to be. And hell…maybe Gilliam will make enough money to fund his next Quixotic endeavor and NOT run out of money and halting production.

    It would be nice if the money made from remakes went to making smaller films that try a bit harder…and maybe they do. Generally, it seems remake money goes to more remakes so people can afford to, ya know, live in LA. But if a remake of even a cherished movie from my past is butchered before the altar of the mighty dollar and some of those dollars trickle down to make the next modest budget sleeper, I’m fine with it.

    If I have any complaint about remakes, it’s this: people who complain about people messing with sacred things. When I was a kid, I LOVED Speed Racer. So did friends who came unhinged when it was announced they were making a live action Speed Racer movie. Sometime in my early adulthood, I went back and watched a lot of Speed Racer and ya know what? It kinda sucked. At the very least, it was not the awesome-fest I remembered growing up.

    It’s like the death of Hostess and people coming unhinged. Really, when’s the last time most of the people bemoaning the fall of Hostess actually bought and ate a Twinkie? The things were never that great to begin with. But it’s the thought of a memory — our childhoods — that we hold sacred. I haven’t seen the Speed Racer movie, but the cartoon that I loved as a kid best stays sacred in my memories. Even a remake starring Adam Sandler as Speed Racer, Pauly Shore as Racer X, Lindsey Lohan as Trixie, and a poorly rendered CGI Chim Chim can’t take that away. Even watching the cartoons as an adult and thinking, “Man, these do NOT hold up to my memory of them,” can’t take that away.

    There are much bigger things to hold sacred than a movie that was probably never all that great to begin with.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to try starting a rumor of a Raiders of the Lost Ark remake starring Carrot Top…

  2. 20 November 2012 0950

    I’ve never understood the problem with remakes (outside of what George Lucas does – er – did). The original is still there. It’s not gone; you still have your memories, and can revisit them thanks to the various forms of immediate digital gratification out there (I remember the days when you have to wait about three years before a movie would show – once – on broadcast TV, and it was an event in & of itself).
    If you’re that vested in something, and a remake comes out, the solution is wicked simple – don’t go.
    That being said, what were the producers of that monstrosity ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ thinking?!?

    • 20 November 2012 1306

      That’s totally correct. If they remake Back To The Future with the kid from Twilight or something, no one’s going to come into your house and steal your original versions.

      Though George Lucas might…

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