Sequels, Remakes, and Reboots

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:56 PM By Simon

That's right, ladies. The seductive allure of Blogathon has dragged me in yet again. This time, it is courtesy of The Kid, who asks us: why do we hate remakes so much? Or something like that.

Well, seeing as how I'm much too lazy to go looking around for pictures, we're freestyling it. Yo.

Okay, here's why I hate remakes: a lot of the time, they show a blatant disrespect and/or disregard for their originals. Especially remakes of Asian horror films, a trend that might've been put to rest with The Uninvited, or maybe even The Unborn (though it isn't a remake, the generic title, blue tinting, and themes or oddly-jointed demons coming for re-venge could easily be mistaken for such).

You see, they're all too glad to attach the original's good name in press releases, but when it comes time for execution, well, what they do can land anywhere between ineptness, scorn, and all-out hatred.

This is, of course, not true for all cases. Many non-horror films have been remade swimingly. I hear The Karate Kid is serviceable, for example. I mean, there are many remakes every year that go off wonderfully fine, even great. The remake, when done well, can reintroduce a whole new audience to a film beaten down by time, give it new life.

But what sucks is this: for we, the people who saw those movies before they were remade, it holds only a curiousity factor, as we'll likely know the ins and outs before the trailer is released. If they cast someone for the modern day Hollywood glamour, we're out. It will, to us, forever be that thing that makes your blood boil whenever it's on TV, or worse yet, when your less-versed compadres mistakingly think it is the one and only version of the story.

Remakes stand the constant threat of abusing the original's loyal fans, with such key words as 'wider audience' and 'freshen up' and...whatever. Disregarding us as those crusty old-movie fans who don't really matter in the grand Cinema scheme of things.

So take of that what you will. I, personally, like sequels, because my main interest in many movies is the characters, despite myself. Have a nice day.


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July 28, 2010 at 6:48 PM
Derek Armstrong said...

Too true. However, there are always the exceptions -- notable ones -- and I guess it really depends on whether you see the remake or the original first. I thought Abre Los Ojos seemed pretty scaled back and empty after I'd first seen Vanilla Sky, and though I haven't seen Infernal Affairs, I'm guessing right now I'm probably going to like The Departed better.

One English-language remake I'm looking forward to: Let Me In, the remake of Let the Right One In. One word -- okay, three: Chloe Grace Moretz.

July 28, 2010 at 8:09 PM
Dan said...

I agree with you. Some remakes are okay but it's the amount of them lately that's become a problem. Now it's the norm.

July 29, 2010 at 3:13 AM
Runs Like A Gay said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I'm completely OK with remakes. If a production company can afford to pay for the rights to an existing story then why not let them give it a go.

After all if the remake is better than the original that's a good thing and if it's not it won't make the original worse.

I come from a theatre background and every night's performance is a remake of the previous night and that's when you have the same actors in the same set who were directed in the same way. When there are multiple productions this effect is magnified. And imagine if someone said that Olivier's version of Hamlet was so good that no-one should try to put on another production.

August 1, 2010 at 10:35 PM