Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Remakes and Sequels

         Everyone knows by now that Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas for films.  They're going back to classics and even movies that weren't that great the first time around.  Every so often there is a film that seems to be original in some way, making me think that maybe Hollywood has dug their way out of the hole they have been in for awhile.  I can't knock all remakes though.  Last years True Grit was a very well made film, some would even say better than the original and actually was more faithful to the book than the original film.  Sometimes a remake can be a great thing, retelling a story that most people forgot about or telling it from a different prospective can still be considered original.  An example of this would be last years Alice in Wonderland.  The movie wasn't a retelling but was more or less a sequel of the original story and also gave us a different view of characters we know all to well.  As I said before though, not all remakes are great.  Take this years Conan the Barbarian, the film was a terrible remake.  The acting was sub par and the actors were miscast.  The only good thing I can say about the film was the visual effects. 

        Lately the only movies that seem to be original are the superhero films.  Everything from Iron Man to the upcoming Avengers movie seem to be the only original stories that are coming out on the market.  Captain America is an exception, being that there was an original film made a couple decades ago, no one would argue though that the film did need another chance to be told with a bigger budget behind the story.  Another superhero character has been remade a few times and have had several sequels but most would say the most recent outing for batman is the best.  Before Batman Begins was released in the summer of 2005 everyone seemed to be down about another Batman film coming out, most though were pleasantly surprised of how original and inspiring the film was.  When The Dark Knight was released in 2008 it not only surprised but blew away the audience by the powerful performance by Heath Ledger and gave us new hope to sequels and remakes alike.

        We look at sequels as a great way to see the characters we fell in love with in the first film.  Some sequels though are just for the hefty paychecks producers will get, and are usually made until the franchise is bled dry.  The latest film that came out this year with this in mind, The Hangover 2, seemed to be made purely with the intention of just making money.  The film was essentially the same film as the original, this time with a different location and a few different circumstances but in the long run it was the same film.

         I can't understand why Hollywood can't come up with original stories.  There are so many novels and short stories in this world that can be adapted into a film rather than going back to something that has already been made before; there are exceptions to this but they are few and far between.  A remake of The Wizard of Oz, Total Recall, RoboCop, The Crow, Highlander, Judge Dredd, The Great Gatsby, and Godzilla are on the horizon and I am now wondering, why do we need a rehash of what we have already seen before.  Come up with something original for the last time.

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