(Originally posted on Up All Night News this summer)
Movie remakes? Can’t kill them and can’t avoid them. They are the new plague in Hollywood and their consistency is as absolute as their aggression.
In the first of many segments, fellow UAN scribe Kristen Ashly and I will tackle groundbreaking topics and things that men and women usually differ on. The worst thing a man can hear is “well, a woman wouldn’t say or think that”. Well guess what, that goes out the window in this brand new Up All Night edition because here, a man AND a woman get to weigh in on pop culture debates, historical conundrums or shit that basically makes you step back and think about. The DH in baseball. Women roles in Hollywood. If the world ends, who do we want leading us to safety? The stout reliance of Chuck Norris, or the unsure yet passionate bow and arrow carrying, sharp-witted Jennifer Lawrence? Kristen is as sharp as it gets, and we will tackle it all.
First up, movie remakes in Hollywood. Good, bad or plain ugly? With the new trailer for Point Break‘s remake spreading around the net, this seemed like a timely battle to partake in.
Buffa’s Take on Remakes
They suck. 99 percent of the time they don’t work, fail to connect with audiences old and new, and are a general mistake. Remakes are a painful reminder of Hollywood’s inability to create original interesting material. They can’t seem to find writers with good scripts or they look for the almighty dollar. How long before Beverly Hills Cop is remade with Kevin Hart or Indiana Jones is brought back with Chris Pine slapping the whip? Grow up and reach deep, power suits of Make Believe Land. Stop selling out and making tired old drivel. Stop walking into the bank and getting money out of that account. Create a new one. Fans may not get it at first but they will appreciate the new content eventually.
Point Break is a sad reminder of Hollywood’s reluctance to produce original content. The first trailer inspires me to walk out to the theater on opening day, grab one of those cool little one sheets of the poster and whip my ass with it. Why touch a movie made in 1991 by Kathyrn Bigelow that still resonates today as one of the best crime thrillers? Why make Patrick Swayze twist and turn in his grave and tarnish one of Keanu Reeves’ best roles? I feel like sending Gary Busey (so good in the original), who is stuck in a nutcracker haze these days, to the screening just to act weird and make everyone uncomfortable at the premiere. This remake is unneeded. I am not old in saying that. Hollywood’s tactics of making money are getting old. It’s sickening. Also, the guy playing Keanu Reeves’ part couldn’t act his way out of a box. Seriously, it’s nasty bad. Watch for yourself.
Kristen, what do you think? Are you ready for a remake of Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, and Candyman?
Kristen’s Take on Remakes
Alright, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, a little.
It’s fair to say most film remakes are absolute garbage. You can’t turn on the television, or visit a movie theater, without seeing some classic movie turned into a steaming pile of crap. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for example. Whole generations, yes, multiple generations, grew up on that film. Gene Wilder was the perfect cast for a creepy candy extraordinaire. Then, Tim Burton crawls out from under his rock, and creates Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He couldn’t even get the name right. I love Johnny Depp, in most roles. This turd nugget was too much, though. Who knew you could make a movie worse than a novel about a man who kills off children one-by-one? Another example: Footloose. If any director in their right mind thought they could do better than an 80’s Kevin Bacon, they were insane. And yet, they decided to make a new version anyways. The actors, the script, the dancing: terrible. I am embarrassed to admit I even watched it.
But, there’s a reason why people grab at remakes. It’s the same reason why studios adapt novels into movies. We have the imagination of children. We want to know what a classic movie or novel would look like if we had full reign. Sometimes, the script and plot is exactly the same, like in the case of True Grit. But studios want to see the movie with newer special effects, with a different cast. I can understand, to an extent, why remakes are so popular.
They don’t always fail. Some are better than the original. Take The Departed, for instance. Most people didn’t even know that movie was a remake. It’s a remake of the trilogy Internal Affairs. Martin Scorsese, the genius that he his, took his best actors, created a stellar script, added some insane music choices, and built a gem. Or even The Manchurian Candidate. The original was okay, and followed the novel closely, but the Denzel Washington version was time relevant, and well scripted.
The truth is, just like movie tastes, remakes should be judged on a case-by-case basis. It wouldn’t be fair to compare The Departed to Footloose.
There you have it folks. Two minds. One Man. One Woman. One Topic.
Find Kristen on Twitter here.