C'mon Hollywood #149

... enough with the crappy remakes!
by Sturdy

The remaking of old movies has been a common trend in Hollywood for years now. It’s an obvious complaint, but with the recent announcement of a Elm Street remake , I think things have gotten out of hand. I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying we’ve reached an all time low, but things are bad in Hollywood and the crap currently at theaters and the crap up ahead is really detracting from the good streak Hollywood had going last year. Here are a few rules to follow when choosing to remake an old movie.

Sorry, he’s the only Freddy I’ll ever know.

First, if the movie has a popular sequel, then it shouldn’t be remade. The Freddy movies are a good example. Basically, sequels usually establish a film as a franchise and that burns an impression into an audience’s mind. I’ve only seen the first NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but I can’t imagine anyone other than Robert Englund playing Freddy. The first was a classic because of the coolness of the character and the simple idea. Bay-ing it only removes everything we liked originally. I’ve grown up with previews and TV spots advertising him as Freddy, and there’s no reason to remake any of his films. KING KONG might be the exception to the rule, but in all fairness, its sequels weren’t nearly as popular as the original.

Technically a remake, but updated enough to be worthwhile.

The second rule is to allow enough time to pass. I’m not sure how much time is enough, but I’m going with 40 years for a popular movie and 25 years for an obscure title. Not only does this allow the general movie audience time to forget about the film, but it also gives enough time to make an update worth while. As much as I’d like to see a remake of GHOST RIDER done well, it’s only been two years.

Third, only remake movies that you can actually improve on. For example, I could see a remake of 1927’s WINGS because we’ve come so far with CGI and effects that the movie would be better for it. In fact, anything we did today would be an improvement. It’s not that the movie was bad, it’s just that you can tell it was made in the 20’s. However, I couldn’t see a remake of PHILIDELPHIA STORY because that was a fantastic film that no actor or actress of today is going to match. Plus, there’s nothing that we can do to improve upon the film.

If this was remade today, very few people would even know.

Fourth, be weary of remaking movies with iconic figures and a loyal fan base. You can’t fear fanboys, but you need to respect them. They’re the reason the original film was successful in the first place, so you don’t want to alienate them right off the bat. Just because a particular character is popular in today’s culture, it doesn’t mean that people want a movie of it. Also, casting really young characters in popular roles is a good way to get negative press for your movie.

Fifth, most foreign films are ok, regardless of when they were made. Before I get slammed for that one, let me explain. Most Americans don’t watch foreign movies unless they’re really popular i.e. AMELIE, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, A BEAUTIFUL LIFE, OLDBOY, etc. So of course, those movies would be off limits, among others. However, most horror and action films don’t get as much attention over here, so it’s not as big of a deal. THE DEPARTED was amazing and it was a remake of INFERNAL AFFAIRS. However, does every Asian horror film have to be remade? And whatever happened to the Tom Hanks starring remake of IKIRU ? I was actually looking forward to that one.

The best Asian to American remake ever.

As time goes on, sometimes remaking a movie makes sense. Despite that, remaking a film just feels like Hollywood is giving up. It’s basically saying they can’t come up with anything, so they’re stealing someone else’s ideas. With the hundreds of thousands of scripts out there, there’s no need to remake a film. However, if you absolutely have to make a remake, at least follow the aforementioned rules.

Tags: Hollywood



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