Rob Blues on remakes, reboots and rehashes…
There were three films I saw in the 1980’s that blew me away and in doing so scorched into my mind the brilliance of original film.
Ghostbusters, Back to the Future & The Goonies.
If you are my age then these films will hold a special place in your heart. The first time I fell in love with film for sure. I still genuinely believe that all three films are about as perfect as movies can get. I remember saying to a friend of mine a few years ago that if they ever decided to remake any of my holy trinity then I would stop watching films forevermore. I wouldn’t, I’d had a beer or two and might have gotten a bit carried away, but the sentiment was there. These films are surely untouchable.
And now a Ghostbusters reboot is in the offing. Oh the shame.
Now, I’m not totally against a remake (how can I be? there is a trend for remakes in Hollywood. The Wikipedia page for films that have been made, and then remade, is huge) I just think people should put some effort into it. If a film is released and it’s exceptional, universally loved, then shouldn’t that be that? OK, maybe a sequel here, a prequel there, but at least preserve the purity of the original.
Apparently not. The news of Sony and Paul Feig fiddling with one of my holy trinity leads me to think nothing is off limits in terms of a remake.
Goodfellas? Yeah do it, what’s Zac Efron up to?
Inception? Well let’s give it another year and do it with Matthew McConaughey.
Maybe I’m going a bit overboard here but you get my drift. They always mess with the classics. If it’s not a remake it’s a reimagining. If it’s not a reboot it’s a cover version (you can thank Tom Cruise for that one).
Now, don’t get me wrong, not every remake is a dud, far from it. Just take a look at The Departed. Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong original, is a great film. So is the Scorsese remake. The problem is that hot on the heels of a success like The Departed or True Grit comes a T.M.N.T or an Oldboy. It’s just…when they take an enjoyable or classic film and turn it into something else entirely, it hurts.
Why not remake a rubbish film like Bulworth? Ever seen that? It has Warren Beatty in it. It’s awful. Remake it, do something with it, make it funnier or more tragic. There are things that can be done with that movie. The problem is it would take work. No, lets leave Bulworth alone. How long has it been since we rehashed Spider-Man?
There is obviously a feeling that if you start with rubbish then it’ll take too much work to make it anything other than. That’s fair enough. So why not just start with nothing and make something…new?
Hollywood’s creative minds put so much energy into re-creating that it seems they forget about the potential for new ideas. Did all these writers and directors, actors and producers watch a movie in their youth and stare up at the big screen and say “one day when I’m older I’m going to remake this” I like to think not.
The most recent news of a remake comes in the form of She’s All That. I’m OK with that. It was a fun film originally but I can see where they might be able to do something with it. Anything that starts with Freddie Prinze Jr. and then suddenly doesn’t have him anymore has got to be an improvement, right?
She’s All That. That film where Laney Boggs goes from hot to hotter. This is the kind of remake I can handle. It’s been sixteen years since the original so enough time has passed. It’s not a film that is held in the hearts of an entire generation (in this case that would be Bring It On). It’s not full of amazing performances or classic writing. Yeah, give it your full reimagining treatment.
Ghostbusters. It is a classic film. It is held in the hearts of a generation. It is full of amazing performances and classic writing. Sadly it is soon to be re-whatever-ed
All I know is, whatever the outcome, for me that’s going to be a sad day.
And I mean it this time; if they touch Back to the Future or The Goonies I’m never watching a film again.