Remaking the past, just because we can.

Hello once again my faithful readers. Once again I come to you troubled about a topic in the news realm that we follow here. This topic, remakes. Granted this one I’ve been troubled about for some time and had planned to write about at a future date, but a news story has sparked me into action.

While this one about Scarface doesn’t bother me all that much, I’m not a big fan of the movie to begin with, it does force the question once again of….WHY? Why remake classic films? There’s a reason classic films are classic, it’s because they are essentially perfect as is. How the hell does one improve on a classic? For the most part they don’t. They don’t manage to recapture the magic and chemistry that the original cast had in the movie. They try to change the tone of the movie, making it lighter or darker than the original material, which ends up failing as well. So why do it?

Money is the answer, of course. You have to figure that it’s cheaper to take an already written script, play with it some (or not at all) and hire some director to make it. The money they saved on the script can help pay for a big name star to come in, who’s a box office draw themselves, add that to the already built in fan base who will turn out to either see how successful or how much it flopped, all the while still leaving the studio with a decent chunk of change to go on to the next remake. I don’t know if it’s pure laziness, lack of vision or lack of creativity that helped get this remake craze ball rolling, but I really hope it stops soon.

I blame my generation for this somewhat. We grew up watching a lot of these movies and you always think of how cool it would be if this happened or that happened. Now that we are old enough to be the ones making the movies, guess what, we’re doing that and maybe to the detriment of future generations of movie goers (more on that later).

Now I know what you’re thinking, here’s an old fuddy-duddy who just hates seeing movies he grew up with given a modern touch. Well surprise, nothing could be further from the truth. There have been plenty of remakes that I have enjoyed; 3:10 to Yuma, Arthur, A Nightmare on Elm Street (a very nice reimagining of the original and not a total remake either. Also for the record I was originally against this one, but it surprised me), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Italian Job, The Departed, The Karate Kid (in my opinion not really a remake just a reuse of title, which is fine with me)….well you get the idea. I’m not totally against a remake when it’s done right.

But the majority that I’ve seen or even heard about, I just have to shake my head and wonder why. True Grit for instance, first off I love the original with John Wayne, but I really had to wonder was there a giant outcry from the public saying it would be cool to remake this. Others that make that list, Total Recall, Red Dawn (an awesome movie for its time, but its time has passed), Footloose, King Kong and this list could go on as well.

I realize overall this is not a new concept. In some of my research for this, I did notice some of the classic movies of the 1950s and 1960s were remakes themselves. However it has become much more prevalent. I mentioned earlier about how this would be a detriment of future generations, I still believe that. If we keep showing them that it’s much easier to just reuse a story from the past rather than try to create something original then we are basically sounding the death knell for creativity and imagination.

Anyway, it’s what I think.

So, until next time….


Originally posted December 7, 2012