{08/08/2012}   Remaking films

I struggled with the concept of Karate Kid being remade, I’m not sure why that bothered me as much as it did, but I have just read that Total Recall has been remade with Colin Farrell playing Arnie’s role and Kate Beckinsale trying to fill Sharon Stone’s shoes.  This bothers me greatly.

I am not a sci-fi fan but I absolutely loved that film.  It came out in 1990 around the time I was obsessed with films and would watch everything I possibly could.  I had a dream/nightmare the night after watching that film and it was a sequel to Total Recall.  I remember my sequel being Oscar-worthy, though I doubt that was the case and anyway I missed the opportunity by not writing it down.

I don’t particularly like the concept of remaking films, particularly ones which were good in the first place.  I mean, what was the point remaking Footloose and Wall Street and a Robocop remake next year?  I suppose it is to generate a new audience.  But to me it’s like saying, “Let’s make it again, we can do things better nowadays”.  So, yes, technology/cinematography has advanced hugely since the 1980s but it just seems to be a cheap way of releasing a film.  I could be wrong, but I’m not aware of any of the remakes I’ve mentioned being big hits.

Who watches them?  I guess people who didn’t watch the originals as they were too young/not born then.  But times have changed so much that the concept of a bad boy shaking up the religious town he finds himself in is a little far-fetched in the days of mobile phones, the internet and greater social and cultural awareness; in other words, the premise isn’t as feasible to a modern audience.  So that’s probably why Footloose worked in 1984 but not in 2011.

As far as I know, books are not re-written.  There are books that mirror certain story lines, for example updated versions of Pride and Prejudice where only the basic story line remains, but the language and situation changes.  But it won’t be called “Pride and Prejudice”.  Why then should film scripts be allowed to be, in my mind, ruined by this increasing trend to remake?  I think it takes something away from the original.  It would be much more appropriate to have these films re-released, played in cinemas again.  I like the idea of cinemas playing new releases with, say, a classic 1980s or 1990s film played alongside at peak times.  My local cinema shows such films, though most within the past ten years, but on a Thursday morning.  I’d love the chance to go and see, for example, Top Gun at the cinema again.  I hardly ever went to the cinema as a child; most films I saw were on video or on TV.  I’d love to be able to spend a Saturday night at the cinema watching the films of my childhood.

Oh, I’m now thinking of all the films I fancy watching again.  It’s made me realise that I used to actually like (never fancy) Tom Cruise.  I also remember one of the few films I saw at the cinema was Crocodile Dundee because my dad loved those films!  I’d happily spend another Saturday night at the cinema watching Crocodile Dundee I, II … and I believe there was a III, but made much later so never watched.



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