Remakes: A Love-Hate Relationship

Remakes: A Love-Hate Relationship

Lauren PesinWednesday,14 January 2015

While there are many remakes I hate even the thought of, there are some great ones too. We often bitch about how Hollywood lacks original ideas, complaining that all movies seem the same. In 2014, only one original movie (Interstellar) was a top ten worldwide box office film. It was the only movie that wasn’t a remake, reboot, or sequel. That tells me that although we complain about nothing new, we actually love the old and familiar.

It makes me wonder, what evokes our ire over remakes and why the deep love/hate passion for select remakes?

When a beloved classic movie is being remade I, like many others feel somehow annoyed, cranky and downright indignant. Why would they remake movies that were soooooo good? Then, I consider awesome remakes, such as:

Scarface (1983); the original was made in 1932. Who knew it was a remake?
The Departed (2006) is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs;
A Star is Born (1976) is a remake of a remake (1937 and1954);
Annie (2014) is a remake of the beloved Annie made in 1982; and
The Birdcage (1996) is a remake of the 1978 Franco-Italian film, La Cage aux Folles.

These represent what some call “re-imagined” movies, where they keep the good conceptual stuff from the original and make the movie new, updated by adding a fresh look or a slight twist inviting a new generation to the cinema of the past.

Then there are horrible train wreck remakes, to include: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), an adaptation of the 1964 movie; Conan the Barbarian (2011); The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008); Footloose (2011); and Arthur (2011). It hurts my brain to think about them.

Now, some may view a remake as being enough like the original to seem familiar, but with some cool new ideas and elements that seem like a fitting tribute. However, if the original elements that we liked are not in the remake, we tend to hate it. For example: if you loved the original Conan movie because of badass Arnold, you may gouge your eyes out over the new abomination; if you loved the legendary Gene Wilder, the 70’s vibe, and the Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka, the Charlie adaptation might make you physically ill; and all I can say about Footloose is there is no Kevin Bacon.

Remake rumors typically elicit a negative reaction. Why bother? Why ruin the original? There are very few movies that people actually rally for a remake of.

The movies that you might want remade are those that were made from a book that were turned into an awful movie. Some examples include The Compass and Battlefield Earth. They could have been good, but they both failed. I would appreciate it if they were remade.

We fight against remakes, but as we discussed there is as much of a chance that a remake will be good as there is that it will blow.

Since we will always continue to watch remakes, we should just stop acting like we are too good for an old idea.

It may seem silly to some, but I can think of quite a few John Hughes movies (specifically Sixteen Candles and Pretty and Pink) that if a remake was announced… it would infuriate me. Why? Why does the thought of remakes upset me so much? I don’t know. The movies I love will still exist. A remake may in the end just make people more interested in great classic movies.

Still we are emotional about movies. Are there any movie remakes that would really piss you off?  Would it matter if the remake was phenomenal? What about if it was terrible? Would you go see it, even if the thought of a remake makes your blood boil?

Don’t lie to yourself. The answer is yes, so stop complaining about it and enjoy the movie!

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