Like I said yesterday, I have been trying to wrap my words around this post and for whatever reason it’s been really difficult. Instead of just scrapping the whole idea, I’m going to write it out and post it. So this is going to be more like a Thesis statement as opposed to the final Essay. I’m sure you won’t mind, so here goes…
Some time last week, I read online that the 90’s Camp classic “Tremors” was going to be remade. This joins a long list of 80’s and 90’s flicks that are getting the Hollywood Makeover for the newest generation. I am not alone in getting slightly annoyed with each of these announcements, but after complaining about how it seems Hollywood has lost ALL creativity and originality, I wanted to really analyze this trend and figure out where to point the finger, and how to end it… if at all possible.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, and like most of my peers, we feel like these remakes are unnecessary and a little disrespectful. I think these remakes effect us on a personal level, because a lot of these movies like “Poltergeist” and “Gremlins” are such a part of our youth, it feels like our memories are going to be tarnished.
The other thing is that it feels like our Generation of Movies was so much more creative, and it looks like Hollywood is being lazy and exploiting our favorites for a quick buck.
When you think about it, the 80’s were the decade when the Sequel became a requirement for any big Box Office movie. There have always been sequels, for instance “Bride of Frankenstein” and “Son of Kong“, but with all of our “Friday the 13th“‘s “Die Hard“‘s and “Star Trek“‘s, we definitely took things to a new level. It’s funny, because you have to think that the way WE feel about Hollywood now is probably the way the previous generation felt about all those crappy sequels and remakes that came out in our time. We’ve become our parents, griping about the way things used to be and talking down about things now.
TECHNOLOGY BE DAMNED
One of the biggest catalysts for all of these Reboots and Remakes has a lot to do with modern technology and the things we can do nowadays with CGI. “Tron” or “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” for instance were remakes that benefited from the enhanced effects techniques, but the “Tron” remake came nearly 30 years after the original, a good amount of time in my opinion. It gets ridiculous when you have “The Amazing Spiderman“, which came only 5 years after “Spiderman 3“. There was absolutely no need for this Reboot, but because the 3D technology was so big (and studios and theaters could charge $5 more for them) the project was greenlit. So sometimes Hollywood will Reboot or Remake a Movie just for the simple fact that they think it might look “cooler” with more CGI, but a lot of times too much CGI takes away the heart of a Movie. That was my biggest complaint about the “Tremors” remake, the original was good because of the limited budget for effects, throwing in too much would take away some of the fun of the original idea.
CAN’T BLAME THE YOUTH
All of these Remakes and Reboots and Prequels, that are clearly made to make a quick buck, wouldn’t be as popular if people didn’t go pay money for a ticket. However, you have to think about who is actually going to the movies nowadays, and it’s Teens. But let’s not get too down on the youth, because going to the Movies is less about loving the art form it’s more of a social experience. Kids go to the Movies on the weekends to get out of the house and share laughs and conversations with their friends, they’ll literally go to anything that’s not sold out that day.
To their credit, films like “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” have been doing great numbers and are NEW ideas in Hollywood. Sure, they are based on popular Young Adult books – but producing them takes more effort and creativity than just re-doing an already established Movie and sometimes plucking dialogue word for word.
Obviously the youth doesn’t have the same attachments to those older franchises like WE do. And as much as we would love for the youth to watch and appreciate the originals, if you remember being that young you’d know that you can’t force teens to watch something they deem as “OLD”. So we can’t blame them for the desecration of our favorites.
So if we can’t blame the youth, and we can’t really blame Hollywood for wanting to make some money, it falls back on US. Us 25 through 40 year olds who grew up with these Movies tend to trash the idea of Reboots and Remakes, but once the Movies finally come to theaters it’s almost an uncontrollable urge (Devo!) to go and see how trashy they are. And it’s understandable, if you compare a Movie remake to a remake of a favorite song, 9 times out of 10 we will check out the remade song just to see what the new artist did with it. Same with Movies, we might go to check out what Hollywood has done with say “Total Recall” knowing it won’t compare to the original. We go to prove ourselves right, but Hollywood only sees that our $14 or $20 went into their pockets. So, ultimately, we need to suppress our curiosities and know that our version was and always will be the best.
Hollywood is obsessed with money, the Youth is obsessed with what’s New, and we become the bitter old people who never thought we’d be saying “back in my day”. Us as moviegoers sometimes can’t resist what the media forces down our throats, but we should TRY to do better. The only thing that ever changes a trend in Hollywood is that ONE uniquely fresh Film, like “Pulp Fiction“, that throws out all of the rules and conventions and becomes a blockbuster. Until something like that happens, Hollywood will continue to be lazy because they figure the crowds are dumb enough to accept their laziness. So, let’s not be dumb anymore.