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Remakes... Everywhere


Streets_Disciple
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They're fucking everywhere. Upon joining a FUCK HOLLYWOOD group on Facebook having watched The Hitcher (of 2007, obv.) and deciding that it was generic tripe, I'm just of the opinion that many of us are at a loss for a sense of originality.

Is it because the human race is exhausted of any inspirational creative notions? Is it because finances are fucked and it's cheaper to variate around an old concept, with consumer predictability and comfort, rather than have something fresh developed? I'm not a film buff, far from it, but where video games are concerned, sure, I can see the attraction from a standpoint, but, they're not going to keep up forever, surely?

Bit of a shit opening post - I'm too tired to really contribute more than that at the minute, but I'd like to hear the opinions/speculation as to why/understand of from a forum with a heavy interest and developed taste in video games and movies makes of seeing the same moles popping out the same holes, whacked with the same money that was shelled out for x amount of years ago.

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I think they've just been more brazen about it in the last two decades. I'm not a literary expert, but aren't most Hollywood films remakes anyway, of either earlier movies or even stuff like classical Greek stage plays?

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It's nothing new. If anything, it's less common than it once was. Warner released three versions of The Maltese Falcon in less than 10 years, for example. It's probably more obvious now that we have such easy access to such a vast amount of information.

It's just businesses taking the low risk approach. A remake is a proven concept, a safe bet. The result of making something truly original is completely unpredictable. So they make the old one again. The more expensive something is to do, the more conservative they tend to be. Still plenty of fresh ideas getting released for the iPhone, Xbox Indie, Steam, etc.

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It's also more obvious now because all of the executives pushing or greenlighting them were teenagers in the 80s/90s, so want to remake everything that made a lasting impression on them at that age

I read that somewhere

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Is it because the human race is exhausted of any inspirational creative notions? Is it because finances are fucked and it's cheaper to variate around an old concept, with consumer predictability and comfort, rather than have something fresh developed?

A little from Column A, a little from Column B. I'd like to go so far as to add a Column C, which is a bit vague but is basically to do with how most scripts written in the Western world are by people living in LA/ New York about people living in LA/ New York, and they have all been to the same scriptwriting MFA programs and are kind of festering in a mire where they have very few new and unique experiences (because LA/ NYC has everything they could want!), and so are drawing on films of the past for their material. It's one of the reasons why as editor of my uni's lit journal most of the fiction I get sent is about students living in grotty bedsits and pontificating about the sex/ club/ booze culture they live in, written by students living in grotty bedsits and pontificating about the sex/ club/ booze culture they live in.

And then when someone thinks "Ok, enough of this," and gets on a plane to Taiwan for a few months, their scripts are shot down for patronising foreign cultures (although, anyone who has watched Eat Pray Love can see why).

Admittedly this is only the subjective opinion who knows a few writers in and out of Hollywood but I thought one or two people might find it interesting.

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I dont know. I know a lot of people that are very dismissive about older films, especially black and white ones, and I can totally understand people wanting to update classic stories in a way that appeals to people that would otherwise never give a toss. One of my favourite films is Casablanca, and I've been trying for ages to get one of my best friends to watch it but never managed to persuade her because she just thinks it looks boring. I'd like to think that people making remakes are the kind of passionate enthusiasts that really care about the source material and just want to spread the love in whatever way they can, and to do things in a way that treats the original with respect. Of course, that doesnt happen very often, and generally a remake is about selling off of the name value of the original. Or in the case of the multitude of slasher films that have had remakes (some quite good though) they are probably pretty easy, quick and cheap to knock out. Probably profitable too as the name alone can make them stand out.

I remember Jackie Chan once asking about the idea of remakes (I cant remember why, either there was talk of remaking Police Story after Rush Hour was a hit and Hollywood started loving him...well, more than previously anyway) and he replied with something like "sure, I have no problems with films being remade, I just dont get why they do it with good films. Why not re make the bad films, and make them better? I thought Police Story was fine, I have other films I'd rather go back and do properly!". Or something similar anyway. I like the sentiment, though I can see why Hollywood wouldnt (part of selling a remake is the name value of the original - unless there's some kind of hook people are going to be far less excited about a remake of a crappy film).

Besides all this anyway, the best remake was Clueless.

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