Remakes: Part 2
When will it end?!
If Hollywood is going to continue re-making the movies and television shows that we’ve already seen, then two things need to happen. Either they need start leaving the classics alone, and only redoing the bad ones, or we need to start lowering our expectations.
Later this year, Steven Spielberg is going to be directing a remake of West Side Story, and while I don’t deny it will probably be a good movie, and make a nice profit at the box office, I must ask, Why? Why is it necessary to remake something many say is already perfect?
West Side Story, while clearly a movie of its time, is considered one of the greatest movies ever made, based on arguably one of the greatest musicals ever made, which was based on one of the greatest plays ever written, Romeo & Juliet. What could they possibly do differently with this one, other than to have the guy from Baby Driver sing Maria?
While it’s certainly not a new phenomenon, Hollywood these days is stupid with remakes, and reboots, and prequals, and sequels and spin-offs, oh my! People are paying to see something they’ve already seen even though it’s mostly crap. We don’t laugh at the same jokes after a while or jump at the same scary stories because we become numb to them. That’s why most remakes and sequels suck, no originality.
Oh look there’s a new Jurassic Park movie coming out, what will it possibly be about? Gee, I don’t know, dinosaurs that eat people perhaps?! Good thing we didn’t see that in the last one.
Now I’ll admit that occasionally you’ll get good sequels, like The Dark Knight, or Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and good remakes, like 1996’s The Nutty Professor, or 2005’s King Kong, but for the most part they’re pointless.
You could say it’s just lip service to the fans, kind of a “give the people what they want” sort of thing. But speaking as one of the people, I don’t want.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, tells you what happens to Jesse Pinkman after Walter White dies. Coming from a BB super fan, I don’t care. The story ended perfectly. I love The Sopranos, but I have yet to see The Many Saints of Newark, and I’m not rushing to go because I’ve already seen Tony Soprano’s childhood on the show.
They’ve made 13 Halloween movies, and 5 times have changed the storyline making the previous movies obsolete. Thinking that this will make us as an audience, expect something different, like Michael Myers will stop killing people and get a job at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Hey you know what, that wouldn’t be good, but at least it would actually be something different.
There have been 369 adaptations of A Christmas Carol, one the most famous holiday classics of all time, and they’re still making new ones. I think it’s time A Christmas Carol was like Jacob Marley, “dead as a doornail.”
It’s not just movies either, TV does it too. They’re currently talking about doing a reboot of The Office, which was already a remake of a British show. I’d rather work in an actual office than see them try and redo one of the funniest sitcoms ever made and botch it, because believe you me, they’re going to botch it.
To the fans, I guess it’s nostalgia. We all wish we could relive the experience of seeing Star Wars on the big screen. So, we got the prequel trilogy, and hated them because they weren’t the originals. So, years later we got the sequel trilogy, which was practically a shot for shot remake of the originals, and we hated those. You know why? Because lightning never strikes the same place twice. Well unless you count, The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith, those were great, but that’s beside the point.
Obviously, the studios are in it for the money. Show business is there to entertain us but it’s still a business.
Which brings me back to my previous point: if you’re going to go to all the trouble of remaking something, why not try it with stuff that should be redone?
If the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 taught us anything, it’s that there is a laundry list of crap out there that we are not taking advantage of.
There is a movie called Manos: The Hands of Fate.
It was made in 1966 on a budget of $15,000. It was written, directed, produced and starred a fertilizer salesman. It has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is listed as the third worst movie ever made, according to IMDb.
It’s so bad that the United States Government should show it to suspected terrorists as a form of torture. This is a film that needs to be seen to be believed; it’s that bad.
But, with an actual cast of real actors and, you know, money, it could maybe be good. The fertilizer salesman saw potential, let’s do him justice and properly put his vision on the big screen. I mean it, I want the studio that’s currently working on the Planes, Trains And Automobiles remake to scrap that project and put all of their focus into this. By 2023, I want to see Manos staring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Samuel L. Jackson, Directed by Martin Scorsese. MAKE IT HAPPEN PEOPLE!!!
Will it happen? No. You know how I know that? Because studios aren’t going to gamble with something that people might see, vs. what they know they will see. We will go see the inevitable new Shrek, because we know the story, so there’s a better chance of success, but again where’s the originality? Entertainment these days is the equivalent of playing Baby Shark to your toddler on a loop. It keeps them quiet for two hours but gain nothing new. Let’s face it, audiences are getting lazy. We don’t care about story anymore.
That’s why arthouse films have such a hard time finding an audience. Arthouse films are basically independent movies. They could be weird and creepy and make no sense, but they’re usually the best forms of entertainment because they’re passion projects, made by filmmakers who want to make movies, not just make money.
Do I think we should completely stop remaking old movies, and making sequels to everything? No, but like I said, I do think we need to either lower our expectations, or we should stop supporting them all together. An eighth Star Wars movie was going to suck no matter what. Incredibles 2 was great, but an Incredibles 3 will probably not be. Accept that now, and we’ll all have much more fun at the movies.