The Remake: Forget It and Move Forward

Written by Barfoot March 30, 2011

The Remake: Forget It and Move Forward By Fabio Bondi

It seems to be a firm belief in Hollywood that if a movie didn’t to great the first time or has remained relevant for more then a decade; it’s time to make a second. But why run the risk of tarnishing a movie title with an overkill of CGI, the possibility of poor acting or irrelevant superstar cameos?

Why can’t the original just be left alone?

Perhaps there is a clog in the creative pipes over at Hollywood, those silver screen newbies are reluctant to accept the baton in this film relay. So, when in doubt copy the original.

The first offense: The Asian Horror Flicks. Horror is not a promising genre to begin with, normally crossing the boundary between cheese and absurdity. The death scenes are more gory than realistic and the premise too predictable for a jaded North American audience to believe. The Ring was a successful import, but does anyone recall The Eye or The Grudge? I can only remember a blind Jessica Alba and a scary orphan mutant. But who cares? We see this on the streets every Halloween—Halloween— another remake that deserves an entire page of explanation.

Speaking of horror what about Charlie and The Chocolate Factory? A classic book title turned into a film by Mel Stuart, later redone into a creepy CGI nightmare by visionary Tim Burton. As if the chocolate nightmare wasn’t enough, Tim Burton also decided to slay the original Planet of the Apes with a 2001 remake. 20 times the budget and 10 times the let down.

But maybe it’s not the filmmakers at fault; instead, it’s the audience. We feel compelled to watch these with the hope that the copy will succeed the original. Even if it fails we’ll give the next blockbuster a try. And when that destroys our hopes we take a break for a few months before the next major comic remake is introduced to the silverscreen.

So how many remakes does it take to learn that the first should be the only? Infinite. With the reboot of the Spider Man franchise by Marc Webb and the most recent Akira, another Asian import, it’s hard to believe this trend will die anytime soon. Sure some remakes justify the original and of course these classics have expiry dates and demand a makeover. But unless they ask, why not keep them as memories for the adults and inspirations for the youth?

Hollywood… Call a plumber.

-Fabio Bondi

 

 

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