Hollywood has become quite depressing lately. For every original gem like Whiplash or Nightcrawler, the film industry bombards theaters with 500,000 remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, threequels, split into two part-quels, and other cheap fluff that serves no purpose other than to make buckets of moolah.
Just take a look at Rotten Tomatoes’ Top Box Office chart and you’ll find that out of roughly 30 films, 3 are reboots (Jurassic World, Terminator Genisys, Mad Max: Fury Road), 7 are part of a franchise (Insidious 3, Minions, Pitch Perfect 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ted 2, Paul Blart 2, Magic Mike XXL), and 3 are adapted from books (Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl; Far From The Madding Crowd; Testament of Youth), which isn’t a crime in itself (I love many book adaptations), but still demonstrates a lack of original content. Overall, 13/30 movies on the Top Box Office list aren’t original content. And it gets worse.
Not only is Hollywood remaking movies, but they’re remaking great movies, movies that were pristine and beautiful and have since been ruined by these tawdry imitations. Take, for example, a few films that we’ll see hitting theaters in the next few years:
- An American Werewolf in London
- Logan’s Run
- El Orfanato ( turning it into an English version, those bastards! Can’t anybody read subtitles!)
- Jacob’s Ladder (How? Why? Who decided this was a good idea?)
I’m not saying that all remakes and reboots are pure evil. In some cases, they do a story justice in a way that the original couldn’t. But the approach that Hollywood is taking lately is focused on ruining fantastic movies, not improving them for the better. These ideas may sound good on paper (Poltergeist with CGI, Robocop with CGI,), but they remove one of the most crucial elements to a film’s success: the original visionaries
Poltergeist was not an original concept at the time. Ghost stories have had a long and storied run in cinematic history, and introducing a TV and typical 70s charm isn’t what made Poltergeist an iconic film. Steven Spielberg made Poltergeist great, it’s as simple as that. So when Hollywood makes what is basically a shot-for-shot remake of the film, adds in some slick computer graphics, and calls it a day, they’re not making another Poltergeist, they’re making a shitty ghost film.
It’s the same deal with many of the other films planned for remakes. Remaking Jacob’s Ladder? Without Tim Robbins? That’s nonsense, and they know it. You might as well remake Indiana Jones and replace Harrison Ford with Chris Pratt. Not that I’d be surprised if that happened, mind you. And it’s not like these film studios are choosing easy films to remake. Future plans include remakes of, wait for it, Videodrome, Don’t Look Now, and The Birds. If you’ve seen the first two of these films, you know that they were both iconic, highly stylized films from fussy, visionary directors. I don’t care if you want to remake Videodrome with CGI. Without David Cronenberg, it will be a hot mess. Not to mention that the director is Adam Berg, best known for directing music videos, and the screenplay is being penned by the same guy who wrote Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon (and now you know why I feel like crying). As for remaking any film by Alfred Hitchcock, that’s for The Birds (see what I did there?). We’ve already seen what happens when you give a work of genius like Psycho to studio executives. They cast Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates! Vince Vaughn!
Maybe I’m getting too emotional about the cold, hard facts of the movie biz, but I live for cinema, and I hate to see the industry wasted on so many terrible ideas just to serve the bottom line. Call me crazy, but I miss the days before Marvel took over the universe, before every summer was filled with enormous summer blockbusters and all of the quality movies were smushed into three months before Oscar season. I don’t care if Mad Max: Fury Road was the greatest-effing-two- hour-long-movie-about-a-glorified-desert-car-chase-that-you-ever-saw-and-omg-Tom-Hardy! That movie didn’t need to be made. Neither did Jurassic World, nor Terminator Genisys, nor Annie, nor Poltergeist. America doesn’t need a reboot of Twin Peaks or another season of Wet Hot American Summer (did anyone actually like that movie? Or is everyone jumping on the Amy Poehler/ Paul Rudd bandwagon?) We certainly DON’T need a reboot of Full House! What the hell, Hollywood? Do you think we don’t notice this shit? Do you think we’re mindless sheep who enjoy being fed the same mindless fodder we were fed 20 years ago?
Anyways, I could go on and on about how angry I am with Hollywood, but I’ll save my more specific concerns for another post. In closing, I’m predicting that Marvel will be president in 2025. I’ll collect my winnings in 10 years. And if I don’t, it’s because the new director of Videodrome assassinated me. I wish him luck; I know it’s difficult to kill someone when your gun is hidden in your stomach.