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Friday, April 27, 2007

Some Balanced Thoughts on Movie Re-makes ;-)

Movie re-makes are the worst thing for the public and the best thing for the studios - if they work. The reason re-makes exist is not for the sake of the romantic nostalgia that people seem to think they are there for. That nostalgia only helps the people responsible for re-makes achieve their goal: $$$ and more $$$ - guaranteed (hopefully). Most film re-makes are made by large studios which are run like any other corporate powerhouse. They are interested purely in turning a profit.

At this time in cinematic history, so many movies have been made - good and bad - that the money men and the numbers guys at the studios actually feel they have a good idea what will turn a profit and what will not. The super secret magic behind movie re-makes is: if it's worked before, it should work again. This is why it is incredibly rare in this day and age to find a studio doing a unique or fresh picture. They stick close to established genres and established talent and especially to established property - that being the material that fuels the film.

In the past few years every old movie, TV show, and popular act seems to have been re-made and pushed hard by the studios. The idea is that since the concept worked before at some time in the past to some major audience, it will work again by re-vamping it to appeal to the youth culture of today while at the same time, lassoing in much of the original audience from the previous run. Therefore, the storyline is designed mainly for a new audience but has enough nostalgic moments and throw backs to satisfy the same people who enjoyed to original. This practice has everything to do with profit - the bottom line - capturing as large of a demographic as possible in order to create mass appeal and massive return. The problem with this is that the most populous demographic is usually also the lowest common denominator - the audience that would prefer safe and tested entertainment to a new or challenging theatrical experience. So the studio takes virtually no risk by re-hashing the same stuff that worked when most of its executives were in diapers and makes the most money off the tragic lack of imagination in the largest part of society.

These re-makes don't do anything new or artistic or even timeless. They mainly take everything that is hot RIGHT NOW and capitalize on safe, popular familiarity. Re-makes exist outside the realm of art and within a realm of product, sold to society as some kind of great tribute to an idea that was once wonderful and original but then becomes a tool, a trick, an item in a superstore with packed shelves - sold with a free discount on nostalgia and a chance to be part of history in the making - again. This world needs more imagination, more insight, more ingenuity, more risk, more exploration, more understanding, more awe, more wonder, and less of the same thing again and agaIN and AgAin...

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