To Remke or Not, That is the Question

What he has to say:


The concept of a remake is not something new. Despite popular belief, many films have been remade before 21st century. It is not a completely new idea, but most interestingly there have also been some new revelations in this aspect of the movie making business. 

Firstly, I am sure we have all noticed the increase in remakes over the last 10 years. It has always been a bit of a gimmick, but it is very gimmicky now. New versions of previously made movies pop up all the time. So much so, many folk claim there no original ideas left in Hollywood.

The other thing I have noticed is this new language that is being thrown around. I've seen it before, but it has come to my mind again after having recently read about the Supermanreboot”. The word itself is really quite open-ended. Sometimes it is a declaration of a fresh start (on film) for a character already known to the audience (think Batman Begins and The Dark Knight). They are not sequels to the Burton films or the two horrible sequels that followed (they are literally so bad they shall not be named). They are stand-alone movies about an already established character that have no connection to any previous movies.

Then you have situations in which reboot is meant to establish some kind of connection to a previous movie. Take 2006's Superman Returns (which is ironically being rebooted itself by the movie I referred to above). Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie is supposedly a "sequel' to the earlier Richard Donner films Superman and Superman II. However, they said to ignore Superman III and IV. Confusing, right? You may need to call Good Will Hunting to help you figure out such complex equations.

There also seems to be yet another category of movies that this term applies to. If a movie is bad, you can simply ignore it and make another movie with the same (or very similar) title just a few years later. This new Superman movie, Spiderman (also being rebooted), The Hulk, The Punisher, some of the later Halloween sequels all seem to follow that line of thinking.

Oh yeah and have I mentioned there are currently at least two separate movies connected to, but not related to The Wizard of Oz? In case you are interested you can read more about that here and here.

I know, I know, this is all very confusing and frustrating. Some people find it so confusing, that they have an anti-remake/reboot stance. As a whole, I do not and I highly recommend you don’t take that approach. You could miss out on some good stuff.

For example, the SyFy channel’s 2004 version of Battlestar Galactica is a top-notch drama. With 3 feature length movies and 4 seasons worth of the show itself, I’d put it against anything out there. Additionally, is there anyone out there who can tell me Burton's Batman is better than Nolan's two movies? Don't get me wrong, I think Burton's was very entertaining, but it's more of a Tim Burton movie than a Batman movie. I also prefer the 08 Hulk to the 03 one by a wide margin.

But when is enough, enough? Movies are getting reboots 3, 4, 5 years after the previously failed attempt. Is that too soon? Is it even a time issue? It's tough to say, and I think they are best evaluated on an individual basis.

Take the rumored Total Recall and Robocop remakes for example. Personally, I scoff at the idea of the mere mention of it. These are Paul Verehoeven classics! Which funny enough, were both inspired by books written by Philip K. Dick! Nothing really is original, is it?

This article was written on September 24, 2010.