11/17/09

Opinions and Rants #17: Retrospace at the Movies: Originality is for Suckers


I love it when Hollywood tries to call it a "re-imagining" rather than what it really is - a remake. Don't pretend you're being original when you're not! And when I heard that they are actually planning a "reimagining" of Sanford & Son, I knew it was time to rant about it on Retrospace. Don't believe me? Click here. What's next - a big screen adaptation of The Golden Girls? It's going to happen.

I've already gone into great detail about Hollywood's checkered past trying to remake TV shows. It's not been pretty. I mean, damn, would it kill you to try and be a tad original? In just this past year, audiences have been treated to one reimagining after another: The Taking of Pelham 123, Sorority Row, Halloween II, Friday the 13th, Land of the Lost, Fame, and The Last House on the Left. The preceding few years were no better with recycled movies like Invasion, Poseidon, The Honeymooners, The Wicker Man, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Prom Night, April Fools Day, Planet of the Apes, Psycho, Death Race, The Fog, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, The Hills Have Eyes, Alfie, Ocean's 11, The Amityville Horror, The Omen, Godzilla, King Kong, Dawn of the Dead, etc., etc., etc....

Plus, a lot of the movies flooding the theaters don't fall into the remake category, but still aren't based on an original idea - i.e. GI Joe, Harry Potter and the Transformers movies.

Look. I have no problem with once and a while "reimagining" an older movie - a lot of remakes are truly wonderful. But, Jesus Harold Christ on Rubber Crutches, enough is enough!!


I read on IMDb that Hollywood desperately wanted to "reimagine" Rosemary's Baby in 2008. But, try as they might, the writers could not succeed in coming up with a fresh angle to the original, so they scrapped the project. I don't know whether to be happy that they knew when to admit defeat, or be horribly disturbed that they would even contemplate the idea!

If you think I'm exaggerating, take a look at some of the remakes that are supposedly in the works.  There may be several that never see the light of day, but even if half make it to the big screen, that's pretty sad.

The Last Starfighter
The Evil Dead
Knight Rider (2011)
Death Wish (2011)
Conan the Barbarian (to be called simply, Conan. For release in 2011-12)
Back to School
Logan's Run
Farenheit 451
Hellraiser (for release in 2011, and Clive Barker wants it to be remade)
Tron - (to be called Tron Legacy)
Clash of the Titans - starring Liam Neeson as Zeus!
The Birds
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Warriors
Piranha (This time in 3-D!)
Escape from New York
Porky's (via Howard Stern)
Red Sonja
Sanford and Son
Straw Dogs
Arthur
They Live
The Crazies
Footloose
Meatballs (Harold Ramis also is gearing up for Ghostbusters III)
Red Dawn
Short Circuit
The Thing
Flash Gordon
Barbarella (originally had Robert Rodriguez as director and Rose McGowan set to star, but this fell... yet it's still in the works)
Angel Heart
Dune
The Swarm
Romancing the Stone (Look for it in 2011- I can hardly wait!!.... that's sarcasm, by the way)
The Phantom of Paradise

Note: In true Hollywood fashion, I stole re-imaged the picture from another blog  and ripped off reimagined the title of this post from another blog as well.

14 comments:

  1. If they even try to remake The Evil Dead Ima killin someone.

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  2. I am glad you covered this, because this issue is a sore spot with me. I can't stand it when wonderful TV shows are remade into movies (i.e. "Beverly Hilbillies", "The Little Rascals", etc.) Just because they were successful TV shows doesn't mean they will be watchable movies. And how about all of those SNL skits converted to movies like the Academy Award winning "Pat" and "Superstar".

    Now to make matters worse, one of my favorite TV shows of all time, "Arrested Development", is being made into a movie set to release in 2011! Opie Cunningham, say it isn't so! Someone needs to arrest the development of this sure box office flop. I know all of the original actors are slated to be in the movie and even the brilliant writer of the TV series Mitchell Hurwitz is involved, but this formula is proven not to work. One would be better off just stringing three 30 min TV episodes together and put it on the silver screen.

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  3. I watched the "Clash of the Titans" teaser trailer and wanted to punch a door. It was like 300 but without the color. Seriously, action film directors have been getting by with such muted color pallettes (I blame the Matrix.) And the effects look so meh. There's no sense of craftsmanship, just a blur of ones and zeros. I hope Harryhausen gets a private screening and walks out after ten minutes.

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  4. Great comments from everyone. I agree with Hitch that Arrested Development was a great show, but it doesn't seem like it would lend itself to film. Thankfully, they never made any film adaptations of Cheers.

    They're doing the digital sepia thing with Clash of the Titans? Dammit. Those films look great as high res wallpaper for a computer, but are horrible to actually watch.

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  5. I wish they would come up with some new ideas or just shut down their doors. I'm so sick of remakes or whatever they wanna call them.

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  6. A Sanford and Son movie? That might be a new low! No, wait, I'm sure they can go lower....they have the technology.

    I couldn't agree more on the SNL skits. Fives minutes of "mildly amusing" gets turned into two hours of mind-numbing pain!

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  7. It's all about the benjamins, my friends. The Hollywood cash flow formula.

    Why create something new when you can cash in on nostalgia? Why risk creating something new? Hell, just buy some old property, change everything but the title and character names, throw in some dick and fart jokes, and then rake in the cash.

    Even worse, there's the prevailing attitude that entertainment has to be disposable. "Hey, who cares if it sucks. People will forget about it when they queue up for the next thing."

    It's depressing that original projects are treated like huge insurance risks. Between the remakes and the demonic rise of Reality Television, I fear for the survival of the species known as the screenwriter.

    It might be time to invoke the angry spirit of Redd Foxx and put things right.

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  8. Looks like another couple of years of not going to the movies.

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  9. I find it odd that Clive Barker wants Hellraiser remade: he did, after all, write and direct the first one!

    And Sanford and Son was already a "reimagining" of the classic British sitcom, Steptoe and Son (one of Britain's most beloved sitcoms).

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  10. Please tell me that you were aware that the two people in the picture are porn stars of the 80's!!! LOL! HILARIOUS!

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  11. What's Next? "All In The Family"?? "Three's Company"? "Maude"??

    Wait.. I know I'm giving someone an idea that should not be capitalized upon.

    I guess it's BluRay and TCM for me for the next 35 years. :(

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  12. I have an opinion on remakes but will hold that for now and want to mention that the guy in the image above is Tom Byron a popular porn star from the 80's. Don't ask me how I know that please.

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  13. I agree with Frost's comment. It's Hollywood laziness: recycle something nostalgic and you don't have to come up with original ideas. It's rare to find any real love or craft in these remade reimaginings. An exception, me thinks, is the first Brady Bunch movie, which I think really tried to pay homage to the original TV series. But I can't really think of any others ...

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  14. It's been a while since ths post was made but I thought I would post an update as to which films were made and which ones are definetly in the works.
    Knight Rider - a short lived TV series was mades
    Conan the Barbarian - in production
    Tron - Coming December 2010
    Clash of the Titans - already released
    A Nightmare on Elm Street - already released
    Piranha - already released
    Straw Dogs - in production
    The Crazies - already released
    Flash Gordon - idiotic TV series on sci fi channel

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