I haven’t wanted to touch on the topic of remakes just yet because I am currently working on my Copycat Theory. And delving into that subject could possibly make my mind explode. My Uncle on the other hand has a lot to say about the subject and I strongly agree with his views on the topic. And I also believe anyone who reads this will too.
Here’s what he has to say:
“Yes, it’s true Hollywood has been feeding us the same recycled crap for decades but the past 20 years have been extremely bad. The problem is as long as the movies they make turn a profit for the studio the big heads in Hollywood will never learn their lesson.
For example, does anyone remember the 1991 Julia Roberts movie called ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’? You remember, she was a abused wife that finally got the nerve to runaway from her abusive husband. As she begins to start a new life miles away, her old husband is tracking her down and finally at the end of the movie he finds her and there is that final confrontation where Julia Roberts character finally has to learn to fight back to survive. Yes? Good.
Now Hollywood took that script and no more than eleven years later we get the 2002 Jennifer Lopez movie ‘Enough’. Only difference between the two movies is, that in the latter version, Jennifer Lopez’s character learns Kick-Boxing to defend herself.
Or better yet, just recently, Hollywood released a movie this past February called ‘The Roommate’ which is a remake (or rip-off) of the 1992 movie ‘Single White Female’! Just read the plot lines for both movies – there almost identical!
I could sit here and show multiple examples of Hollywood lack of vision. From comparing the 1965 James Bond movie, starring Sean Connery, ‘Thunderball’ and it’s poor 1983 remake starring a older version of Sean Connery called ‘Never Say Never’. Let’s look at the plot summaries for both movies from IMDB:
First the 1965 James Bond Movie: ‘Thunderball’ – James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.
Now the 1983 James Bond Movie: ‘Never Say Never’ – James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.
Even with a difference of 18 years (and the fact that ‘Never Say Never Again’ was not produced by legendary James Bond Producer Albert R. Broccoli) the plot lines remains basicly intact. Now this is not always a bad thing…sometimes, just sometimes, Hollywood will reach into it’s bag of old recycled scripts and someone will turn a into a action packed thriller. There was a old 1979 movie called ‘The Clonus Horror’ which was a cheaply produced movie with just a hand full of stars trying to jump start their carrers as Dick Sargent (of ‘Bewitched’ fame) and Peter Graves (of TV’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ fame). Let’s look at the plot lines to both movies:
First, ‘The Clonus Horror’ – ‘A young man escapes from a government-run project called ‘Clonus’ only to find out that Jeff Knight (Peter Graves), a presidential candidate, is conspiring to keep Clonus a secret. Top government officials are aware of it and support the super-secret project, because they are cloning themselves to live longer and better lives at the expense of their slave-like clone counterparts.’
Now, here is the plot line to the Michael Bay Film ‘The Island’ – ‘Lincoln Six-Echo is a resident of a seemingly Utopian but contained facility in the year 2019. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the “The Island” – reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. Soon, however, Lincoln Six-Echo goes on the run after he discovers that he is actually a “harvestable being”, and is being kept as a source of replacement parts, along with others, in a Utopian facility.’
The biggest difference between the two movies? Not much. In fact, Director Robert S. Fiveson (Director of ‘The Clonus Horror’) brought a copyright infringement suit against the makers of ‘The Island’. The lawsuit cited almost 100 points of similarity between “Clonus” and “The Island”, and the court ruled that Fiveson made a prima facie case for infringement. Before the case could go to trial, Dreamworks settled with the plaintiffs for an undisclosed amount. As much as ‘The Clonus Horror’ is a cult favorite, I did enjoy Michael Bay’s version much better, and do to this day.
And don’t EVEN get me started on Hollywood’s remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘Pyscho’ starring Vince Vaughn! If Hitchcock could’ve returned from his grave I’m sure he would have eaten the brains of all those involved in the production of that lame remake (not that between all responsible it would have been much of a meal for old Alfred!). I mean, c’mon! They copied that movie frame for frame! What was the director’s excuse? ‘We wanted to make a frame for frame movie because we knew we couldn’t make a better movie.’ Really? Guess what? If you can’t improve or make a better movie then the movie DOES NOT NEED TO BE REMADE!
God forbid, if those suits in Hollywood decide to make remakes of some of my favorite classics I may have to fly to their offices and beat some sense into them with a aluminum baseball bat! And as of this writing I understand their plans in the works for remakes of following movies (we should all weep!):
Akira (Live Action)
An American Werewolf In London
The Blob *
Fantastic 4 Reborn
The Lone Ranger *
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Three Musketeers *
Spider-Man (already in Production)
The Thing (possible pre-sequel) *
The Ring (in 3-D)
You’ll notice I placed a asterisk (*) next to some of the movies on the above list. Those movies already have remakes to there name. The 1958 movie ‘The Blob’ spawned a 1988 remake which was actually well done (I know, shocking!). Then there is the Universal classic ‘Frankenstein’ which has inspired multiple remakes throughout the years ever since Boris Karloff first appeared as ‘The Monster’ in 1931. ‘The Lone Ranger’ has had his fare share of remakes as well as ‘The Three Musketeers’ (Hollywood has always bastardized classic novels to their liking). 1951’s ‘The Thing from Another World’ would eventually be remade by horror master John Carpenter in 1982. As for some of the other movies on the above list, like ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (1981), ‘Child’s Play’ (1988), ‘Dune’ (1984), ‘Fright Night’ (1985), ‘Godzilla’ (1956 – God, I can’t believe we’re giving them another chance to screw this up again!) ‘Short Circuit’ (1986), ‘The Warriors’ (1979), ‘Total Recall’ (1990), ‘Alien’ (1979) & ‘The Ring’ (1998 Japanese) the average age of these movies is 27 years and were already seeing remakes of these classics being made. So, so sad.
In this day and age, I see more original movies with intricate plots coming from oversea director’s like those from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and even Sweden. That may be the reason why so many movies in the US these days are based on Comic Books or Graphic Novels these days such as the following: Kick-Ass, Wanted, Ultraviolet, From Hell, Constantine, Sin City, A History of Violence and even the upcoming Cowboys Vs. Aliens and Priest…not to mention all the super Hero movies we’ve been hit with these past few years!. It’s just that Hollywood is either brain dead and it’s shows no sign of waking from it’s long term coma anytime soon or the greed of tinsel town is destroying one of America’s last great institutions.”