I’ve been having a few… discussions… of late on the IMDB boards. One of the big topics right now on the Horror Board is remakes. Several others are debating the merits of sequels VS new product as well. Some of it nice, some of it not so nice. Some ending well and some ending… Not so well.
The ‘Quarantine’ board is a bad place to be right now if you say that you don’t mind well done remakes. That film is a remake of the Spanish film [REC] and due out this October. Most of the posters on that board are basically your early 20 something film school dweebs who are trying to look cool and slagging remakes of foreign films and the people who watch them. It seems that no remake of a foreign film can ever be anywhere near good and that the only reason we have these remakes is because “Americans are too stupid, lazy and illiterate to read subtitles.”
You can kinda guess that several of those posters and I, an American who loves foreign films, reads subtitles and still somehow manages to enjoy remakes of foreign films, don’t get along like Peaches and Cream. But, dense as they are, they don’t have the majority opinion on remakes, sequels and adaptations.
no, the majority of posters who start threads on this subject have a different view of it. And it can be summed up with one simple saying.
It’s worse now than it ever was before. Hollywood has never before put out as many remakes and sequels as it does now and has never been so creatively bankrupt. One guy said this while calling the late 50’s through the early 80’s the “Golden Age” of Hollywood film making.
Now I tend to brush that aside as nonsense. Between my serious like of old films and my wife’s obsession with them; I’ve seen and read about a lot of old films and a lot of stuff about old Hollywood. To me the times aren’t-a-changing. Hollywood is simply the same old production factory that it’s always been with the occasional crop of gems that we all end up remembering and the many duds that we don’t. I honestly don’t think that Hollywood is worse about remakes and sequels these days or is any more creatively bankrupt than it has always been.
I also don’t have as many problems with the idea of sequels as some seem to have. I’d love to see more new stuff and I’d love to see past their prime franchise make room for new and better things, but I don’t have a problem with a well done remake like The Departed or a well made revival of a past its prime franchise like Batman Begins or Casino Royal.
But what do you think? Is Hollywood really worse today than ever before or is it just the standard “It was all better in my younger days” syndrome? Can Hollywood really have gotten worse in the last 30 years about remakes when you can point to 5 versions of Brewster’s Millions being made in between 1914 and 1945 (and one later in 1985) and 6 versions of The Awful Truth have been made (one unfinished due to Marilyn Monroe’s death) in between 1925 and 1962? Is it really worse about sequels when you can have over a dozen films each of Boston Blackie, Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto, Fu Manchu and others all made in less than a 20 year period?
And, more importantly, do you care if a good film is a sequel or a remake? Would you suddenly feel that The Maltese Falcon (1941) was a lesser film because it was a remake of The Maltese Falcon (1931) or that 2006’s The Departed was based on a great Hong Kong film called Infernal Affairs? Does it really matter if the film is well done, entertains and doesn’t insult the intelligence?