Why Remakes and Sequels Aren’t So Bad!
Damn! There’s been a lot of uproar lately about the proposed remake of “The Princess Bride.” This was a near-perfect fantasy fairy-tale with romance, swashbuckling, and mental might overcoming evil. I get it! I complain about remakes and sequels, too! Hollywood’s got no good ideas left! They’re sticking to what’s safe! The odds of a remake being better or equal to the original are incredibly slim.
That being said, a remake isn’t going to “ruin the original” like so many people say. It’s not going to “ruin your childhood memories.” The old movie will still be there on your DVD shelf. It’s not like when a remake comes out, the original gets pitched in the dumpster at Amazon’s warehouse and at brick and mortar retailers across the nation.
I hadn’t seen the remake for Ben Hur, but most critics said it was mediocre. It faded into obscurity and the original is still a classic among cinemafiles. There was another remake in 2010 which seemed to fade even deeper into obscurity.
The actors and crew of originals on the other hand probably LOVE the idea of remakes (or if they loved money like me they would). It reinvigorates interest in the older movies (hence, more royalties). When “I Am Legend” was coming soon to movie theaters, my coworker recommended I check out “The Omega Man” and “The Last Man on Earth” which were all the same story. I certainly wasn’t the only one to do this. Each generation feels a little more partial to the version that came out when they were a kid. It’s a nostalgia thing. This is why there’s been quite a few millennials who feel more partial to the Star Wars prequels versus the original trilogy despite all the hate the prequels have gotten.
Sequels also make for a good vehicle if the actors in a franchise need a jumping-off point to get back into the industry. It also lends legitimacy to a sequel if it’s been a long time between films and you’re able to get some returning actors. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma were two great examples used in Rogue One.
Not all remakes suck either. The remake of “Let The Right One In,” which was “Let Me In” was totally well-done, albeit a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the original (aside from when the serial killer was captured, that scene was BETTER in the remake). I strongly recommend you see both.
I lament that LTROI did not receive a wider release in America. LMI, being in English is going to resonate better with Americans, and the movie studios knew it. Is it incredibly nationalist to say? Yes. Is it true? Yes. That’s why we see all these American remakes of foreign movies and TV shows. I wish Americans would give a better look at foreign movies. There’s really some great ones out there. Now that’s not to say that other countries do the same thing. I’ve been curious about the Bollywood remake of 24.
If you’re one of those Generation Z whipper snappers who haven’t seen The Princess Bride yet, then go rent it at your local Blockbuster…err…I just dated myself there. I mean go buy it.