Yesterday it was announced that the classic film Footloose is being remade. They are taking the old Kevin Bacon classic and adding a fresh feel, new actors (obviously) and bringing the dancing piano man back to the big screen. (Have you ever played 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon? The way it works, from where I learned how to play it, is that you can name ANY actor or actress and within seven movies you can find one that he or she was in with Kevin Bacon. It get’s pretty confusing but it really works. You should try it.)
But in the new feature film Kevin Bacon will not be playing the lead role. And all the while I will hope that he makes a cameo appearance, TV heart throb and tear puller, Mr. Chace Crawford will be playing the lead role. But that is not what brings me here today. I do not want to talk about the new film, or the actors that will be tearing up the screen, but I want to talk a little bit about remakes and why anyone ever thought that they were a good idea.
The funny thing about this is that today, on my lunch, I watched a random episode of South Park. I just clicked over to South Park Studios and selected a random season. Them same pattern, chose a random show. And the show happened to be about Hollywood producers taking their classic pieces of art (the first time I have heard South Park make an accurate statement by calling films art) and tearing them apart to add a modern day twist, special effects, and new age actors.
The episode joked about Star Wars and some other classics and even introduced two of the biggest producers in the history of film, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The boys went back and forth, all the while being supporters of a man that killed nearly thirty infants (it was in self defense) and joked about why movies are remade. But the question that I keep asking is why. Why in the world do producers take films, such as Footloose, and waste time, money, efforts, and my patience to produce a new film?
But it happens all the time. Look at movies like The Last House on the Left. The old one was amazing. It was scary (although I have never seen an actual scary movie, but you get the point) and it included cutting edge technology and the blood actually looked real. But the new one sucked. It was terrible. It was over before it even began and even though they used some cool camera angels and a lot of female nudity, it was a boring and stereotypical thriller.
But there is a way to combat this. They keep making the Halloween movies. They will never stop making the Friday the 13th films. And you can be sure that until the day Lucas dies they will not stop making Star Wars inspired films. But they are doing it “right” for lack of a better word. They do not remake movies, they just keep the pattern going and continue the storyline. Of course, Star Wars went in the opposite direction to pull this off, and used some pretty impressive effects to pull off the latest three, but they were not remakes. Same characters as they carry on through their lives and just stick with what they have to work with as far as props and technology is concerned.
Take Terminator for example. The first one was two hours too long, it was slow, had a terrible plot, and had awful (but at the time the best they had) stop motion action. Of course any movie that starts with Arnold butt naked in the middle of the screen is a box office smash, but the movie was terrible. But after watching it all I wanted to do was watch the second one. And no, it was not because of a nude governor. And then there was a third, and now a forth film. But it carries on in time. It keeps the same characters. And sure, the new one will blow us out of our chairs with the special effects, but I bet it does incredible at the box office. I bet that fan boys will go see it multiple times. And I guarantee that it just jump starts (if he is not already there) Bale’s career.
Do you think that it is worth it for a producer, or a film company for that matter, to keep making movies after their time has come and gone? Are we really running out of ideas for new movies that we have to take old school thoughts to pack the seats?