Everything Old is…Fair Game for a Remake

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

What’s up with Hollywood lately?

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like they’ve become a bit remake-reboot-inspired-by happy. I’ll admit, I’m young, and with not even 30 years on this Earth I may have overlooked the obvious back when I was younger, but recently when I see movie news I feel like all the ideas I see have already been done. I don’t mean it in that “Oh, this is so old hat,” kind of way, I mean literally I have seen these movies before.

Let’s start the ball rolling with the book-to-movie trend. I love books. It’s exciting to see a story that I’ve enjoyed brought to the screen… but lately I feel like I could see almost the entirety of my reading habits that way. Seriously, as a person who enjoys fantasy and sci-fi movies I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie that wasn’t based on a book or comic. Hunger Games, Avengers, Warm Bodies, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Hobbit… the list goes on and on. Should I broaden the spectrum? Ender’s Game, The Giver, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars. Even How to Train Your Dragon is loosely based on a book series!

The last movie I saw that wasn’t based on a book was probably Jupiter Ascending. Wait, let me fact check that one. Oh, thank God. I thought for sure I was going to have to have a tantrum of some kind. Admittedly, the movie lacked something as it pitted world-building versus character building but hey, there were issues with the three Hobbit movies, too… like the fact that they didn’t need three of them. Anyways, like I said, that’s maybe the only fantasy movie I’ve seen in the past few years that wasn’t a book first. You just don’t find them. They’re like the mythical unicorn of fantasy films. You hear about them existing in the wilds… but you never see them, not when there’s all the advertising for the next book series turned movie!

Hollywood seems to have latched onto the idea that popular books make popular movies. With all the money they can make from it I don’t blame them. You have a built-in fanbase. The problem is that no matter how much I enjoy seeing my favorite books on the screen I can’t help but feel a little… bored. Already loving the book kind of sucks the excitement out of a movie. I know who’s dying, who’s getting together, and how it ends. Half the fun of seeing a movie is to get so engrossed you worry for the character’s safety, on the edge of your seat with anticipation of whether the girl gets the guy. To be quite honest, when I was gifted Horns for my birthday, both the book and the DVD, I watched the movie first. I had neither seen nor read it before it was given to me. I insisted on watching the movie first. Not because I thought the movie would pale in comparison to the book (most people enjoy the books far more than the movie adaptations) but because I wanted to watch a movie and be surprised, dammit!

Thinking of things I’ve already seen before can we spend a moment to talk about the influx of remakes and reboots? The big story lately has been all about Ghostbusters. They have an all female cast! Wouldn’t you know it then word gets out that there’s also plans for another Ghostbusters that features men. Let’s hop on that bandwagon right away, right? Don’t get me wrong, Ghostbusters was a fantastic movie, as was the second one (though Vigo the Carpathian still scares the crap out of me). They were made quite some time ago, longer than the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie (I’m not going to get into that remake/reboot…the lips upset me too much to even consider seeing. Or further complicate it by mentioning the gem of my childhood was a comic book first.). Do we need to reboot Ghostbusters? Can’t we let Ghostbusters be Ghostbusters and keep the awesome story alive by, you know, watching the original?

This morning I looked at my list of headlines and one of them was that Scarface was getting a remake. I nearly flipped my top, and felt myself compelled to click to find out what possibly shenanigans they were talking about. Sure enough, they’re taking the premise of the movie, putting it in a different time, a different place, but basically telling the same story and I’m assuming they’ll title it Scarface because why get the buzz surrounding it now if that wasn’t the plan? The script will be brought to us by the guy who also penned a remake of The Birds. Yes, HItchcock’s classic really needs an update. Just like Nightmare on Elm Street and Carrie did.

What, did people suddenly run out of new ideas? Are they too scared to take a risk on something new? Are we the people becoming complacent as we wallow in the same story in different packaging?

Hollywood isn’t the only show in town. There are tons of indie films that are doing fantastic things. I just wish the indie stuff could go a bit more mainstream, you know? As a person who typically can’t even tell you what’s in the regular theatres I’ll never be able to track down limited release stuff. The fault is in my own preferences for entertainment. I’m far more interested in books, in board games, in hanging out with friends to even be able to see trailers for the mainstream stuff. It’s a problem.

Perhaps I was blissfully ignorant as a child, but I just feel like the ideas running around Hollywood back then weren’t so…used. Like the movies that stand out in my mind were those that didn’t stand on the shoulders books. Of course, mine was the generation that saw such fantastic reboots as The Brady Bunch Movie, and Dukes of Hazard, so maybe Hollywood is exactly as its always been, I’ve just never managed to see the man behind the curtain before.

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