Sunday, 14 August 2011

Remake Hell

Some would say we live in a Golden age of Sci-Fi. With blockbuster mainstream movies such as I am Legend and Avatar receiving prime billing in a way almost unthinkable in the past you could be forgiven for agreeing. Of course the past was far from a sci-fi drought, we have had our ET’s and Star Wars manias but pivotal movies such as Robocop and Total Recall were largely VHS hits with the cinematic impact being far less then the big players of today.

This is a massive shame because there is more style in Officer Murphys shotgunned little finger (which I believe is still in the corner of a Detroit warehouse) then in the sum of the current rash of Blockbusters. Why? Well apart from the huge overuse of CGI (a matter for another day I think) many modern blockbusters feel essentially lifeless to me. Avatar was ever so pretty but as dumb as a typical Russell T Davis season Doctor Who Finale. I Am Legend lacked a spectacle that it should have exuded with deserted new York just being rather...meh and the less said about the CGI baddies the better.

That is not to say that good movies haven't come out. The low budget “Moon” was truly wonderful and Danny Boyles “Sunshine” a great hidden little gem. It seems, however,  that in the main Hollywood studios have forgotten how to produce great films. Whether due to interference in the vision or a simple lack of skill and for some reason we have movie after movie that, rather then a coherent and exciting plot, seem like a string of ideas. This is particularly evident in the Matrix sequels and Predators where we seem to travel from set-piece to set-piece with no real thought for the overarching plot. It is almost as if there is a long checklist of “cool” ideas a film must have in it. Chase scene? Check. Stunning vista? Check. Twist? Check. Misleading Character? Check.

The movie industry has been regaling us with remakes of classics such as Halloween and Friday the 13th and these show all the flaws in moviemaking that I have mentioned above. Add the fact that these films essentially needed no remake and you have a strange situation i call “screwing with my dreams”.

Imagine my horror when I read on IMDB the current slew of sci-fi related remakes coming our way. Total Recall, Robocop and Westworld are all slated for a remake. This honestly horrifies me. I love those films, every attempt to remake the original is an insult to the work and effort put into a classic movie. It is wrong and unnecessary.

They wouldn't remake Star Wars or 2001 so why are these lesser films fair game? The industry seems to think that that we want these movies bigger and better, they were already big enough and good enough for us. I truly fear the future...and Yoda can tell us where THAT could end.

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