Film - I've Got 99 Problems and most of them are film remakes

Kurt Russell

Nate McKenzie tells us why not all film reboots are a good idea...

Here at /G-f we are always taking a look at films that have been remade or franchises that have been "rebooted" for a new generation of movie-goers. Or, in the case of Spiderman/X-Men/etc. they have been rebooted for... reasons that I haven't been able to distinguish. Certainly, the new films aren't to entice a new generation as many of the previous films came out in the same decade as the new versions. I am sure there is a perfectly acceptable reason for doing that. It definitely has nothing to do with money. Nope. Definitely not.

Nonetheless, I love watching movies and I'll watch even the most trite samplings of these studio-baked force-fed money grabs. Sometimes, one will surprise and be worthwhile. Of course, this only encourages the studios but it is not as if they need the encouragement. If they are willing to throw $125 million dollars into a regurgitation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles they will find a reason to remake anything.

But I'm not here to bash what has already been made (ok, maybe a little); what's done is done. I am here to warn against future mistakes - like a Terminator would. I just compared myself to a Terminator so you know how serious I am.

Remakes are not inherently a bad idea. There are some fantastic updates that deserve praise.
An example?..

Dawn of the Dead


Dawn of the Dead. The 2003 remake was deftly scripted and executed. What made it a quality update? Fast zombies. Such a simple twist in the narrative but that monumental detail in the movie spawned a whole new generation of fascination with the undead and created a breeding ground for creative exploration into the possibilities of the genre. 28 Days Later did it first (and possibly better) but it didn't have quite the following (at least here in the states) that Dawn of the Dead enjoyed. And that is not to take anything away from The Evil Dead, Pet Sematary, or even Resident Evil. They deserve praise for perpetuating the genre but a Hollywood-supported Dawn of the Dead really brought about the revival to the mainstream.

Not every movie deserves to be remade; nor does every popular movie deserve to suffer being remade. The generation that grew up with cult favourites from the 70's and 80's is now the generation paying to see movies and, more importantly, the ones making them. Nostalgia is a powerful force. Therefore we have a slate of remakes either rumoured for production or definitely happening in the next few years.

Some things should just be left alone. (I'm looking at you Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

Kristen Stewart

Like the perpetuation of Kristen Stewart as an "actor", travesties such as these will only cease when we refuse to give money to their ilk. The idea of these movies being remade invokes the three stages of Remake Regret:

  • Anger - "What the f***?! Why? The original is perfect! I'm writing a petition like The Walking Dead fans did to bring back Beth, except I want to kill something! Gahh! These people are morons for doing this!" 
  • Denial - "...I dunno. The screenplay is supposedly well written and [insert name of star of original film] is on-board and thinks it is pretty good. Maybe it will be decent. I guess I can give it a chance." 
  • Acceptance - *in a video rant on youtube* "TRAAAAAAAASH! That movie was gar-baaahhhge! I hate [name of director], I hate [name of writer], I hate movies, I hate everything. Please, someone, take the pain away..." 

These following potential bastardisations of beloved films all have been rumoured or are in some stage of being produced.

The Crow - I don't care if Nick Cave is writing the script. Yeah, I'm sure it will be all dark and broody and whatever. But the S.S. Emo has sailed. The late 90's (ok, the very early 2000's) was the last bastion for real, productive teen angst. Goth is dead. Brandon Lee's Eric Draven was a soulmate to those that grew up as outcasts in that era. The Crow is as close to Stairway To Heaven as you can get in terms of "untouchable". I hope the ghost of Brandon Lee finds its way to the set and drops some lighting fixtures, at least.

Escape from New York - No one can be Snake Plissken except Kurt Russell. No one. So stop now before I kidnap the president myself and hold him ransom until an international treaty declaring the filming of a sequel, remake, or reboot of Escape to be considered a war crime and punishable by 1000 years of watching Twilight.

Flight of the Navigator - For all the reasons that The Goonies may be getting a remake/sequel/reboot so to may Flight of the Navigator. I literally wore out three VHS copies of this movie as a kid so you could say it has a special place in my heart; but that's where it should stay. I watched it recently with my 8 year old son and he loved it. Even as an adult I was impressed by how well the story and acting and production stood the test of time. Sure, the now-ancient special effects are cheesy but if it can hold the attention of an 8 year old that worships the CGI superheroes of today then why bother?

The Goonies - Is nothing sacred? A reboot of Goonies, no matter the context, will be received as half-heartedly as Chunk doing the Truffle Shuffle.

WarGames - I assume this is going to be a big-budget action movie starring Channing Tatum. The thing is they already basically remade this into a big-budget action movie. It's called Live Free or Die Hard. No, wait, it was called Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. No, wait - Goldeneye. No, wait... See? Unnecessary. Besides, NO ALLY SHEEDY. I ask you: what is the point of anything without Ally Sheedy??

Point Break - Shut up. Get off my lawn. Turn down that racket. Damn kids with their hippity-hop and their unnecessary remakes. Where's my Ovaltine?

Dear Studio Execs,

I suggest only this: Whoever is in charge of each film should be thrown into the Arena. If they successfully gnarfle the Garthok then, and only then, can their film be made.

You want to remake something worth remaking? How about a movie that had potential but didn't quite put it all together, still has a loyal cult following, a great cast, the elements that sell tickets today and an absolutely ridiculous story on par with Guardians of the Galaxy?

You're welcome.

Image/s - IMDb.