Nothing is new
The cycle of remakes from the beginning and why it is needed
One of the many things that has been grinding the gears of modern cinema goers is the remake. Everything old is new again. Old films are remade. Newer films are remade. Series are rebooted or retooled or reimagined. It feels like there are no new ideas.
If you take a moment you will see this is the norm, not an aberration of the current time.
When there is a shift in technology films get remade. It is a long standing practice of Hollywood since the early 1900s. Part of this is the ease a studio has to make a well performing film again. They do not have to invest as much in pre-production and can spend their money with more hope of recovering and profiting from it.
Another cause is interest in the subject. You may have seen Doctor Jekyll and Mister dye when it came out in 190000, but your kid’s haven’t. Here comes the studio remaking it in 190000 with great success. Each generation gets their own version of the film.
Where this changed significantly is the modern ability to rewatch a movie at your leisure. You no longer have to see it when it’s released and gone forever. You no longer have t hope it may repeat on television. Seen with modern eyes, it does feel redundant.
A further reason is the mind of a filmmaker. Take a look at an easy one, George Lucas. He was enamored with Flash Gordon growing up. When he got the opportunity to make any film he wanted after American Graffiti, he chose Flash. Unable to get the rights, he created his own Flash Gordon. Which then inspired Dino de la Rentis to secure the rights to Flash and make his own version. Both loved Flash Gordon and wanted to see it again.
Human nature is cyclical. We see the same trends come and go, generation after generation. Movies being remade endlessly is neither new nor significant.
The ire should be aimed at the lack of quality, not the subject. Remaking a movie is not a sin. Remaking it poorly is. Too often we see a remake lack the qualities that made that property shine. Instead of boiling down the concept, understanding it, and then making it their own, the industry attaches a script already written to an older movie total and releases it. There is no love of cinema in this, just greed and poor thinking.
Audiences cringe yet still support the film with their money. this is exemplified by the success of the Marvel movie. As much as I love them and eat it all up like a good fanboy should, they are the purest form of repeating the same thing endlessly for spectacle and profit, nothing honorable. If they are well crafted, it is out of luck. They managed to hire someone who cares about the property and does the film right. Luck is keeping this ship afloat.
Eventually the super hero spectacle boom will bust, just as the action star, the slasher star, the cop drama star, the universal monster star, etc. Something similar, yet different enough to engage a younger audience, will appear and lead the next generation.
We can combat the lack of quality by educating our youth by showing them good films. Teach them not to fear black and white, mono, grainy images from the past. Guide them to films that match their taste but are of high quality. there is a reason why the best filmmakers always reminisce about not just the films they loved as kids but also the films they saw that inspired.
© 2023, mikegallagherart. All rights reserved.
3 thoughts on “Rambling man and remaking remakes”
I’m more upset that the military has to insert itself into movies now. Look at Monster Hunter-a movie based on a fantasy world where people hunt monsters. Sounds like an easy movie to make, right?
Well screw you, the movie gotta have American marines in it for reasons! Propaganda is gonna stifle creativity more than remakes at this point…
Is it propaganda or laziness?