C'mon Hollywood #149
... enough with the crappy remakes!
The remaking of old movies has been a common trend in Hollywood for years now. Itís an obvious complaint, but with the recent announcement of a Elm Street remake , I think things have gotten out of hand. I donít know if Iíd go as far as saying weíve 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, heís the only Freddy Iíll ever know.
First, if the movie has a popular sequel, then it shouldnít 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 audienceís mind. Iíve only seen the first NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but I canít 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. Iíve grown up with previews and TV spots advertising him as Freddy, and thereís no reason to remake any of his films. KING KONG might be the exception to the rule, but in all fairness, its sequels werenít 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. Iím not sure how much time is enough, but Iím 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 Iíd like to see a remake of GHOST RIDER done well, itís only been two years.
Third, only remake movies that you can actually improve on. For example, I could see a remake of 1927ís WINGS because weíve 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. Itís not that the movie was bad, itís just that you can tell it was made in the 20ís. However, I couldnít see a remake of PHILIDELPHIA STORY because that was a fantastic film that no actor or actress of today is going to match. Plus, thereís 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 canít fear fanboys, but you need to respect them. Theyíre the reason the original film was successful in the first place, so you donít want to alienate them right off the bat. Just because a particular character is popular in todayís culture, it doesnít 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 donít watch foreign movies unless theyíre 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 donít get as much attention over here, so itís 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. Itís basically saying they canít come up with anything, so theyíre stealing someone elseís ideas. With the hundreds of thousands of scripts out there, thereís no need to remake a film. However, if you absolutely have to make a remake, at least follow the aforementioned rules.
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