Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trinity Gingerbread, Sep 19, 2019.
Different era ... somewhat different meaning (still inappropriate/nasty/evil).
And blows what I was going for with "And Then There Were None" completely out of the water.
Now that would be an interesting and clever way of doing it. He would be passing down a story that his grandfather had once read him. It would satisfy old school fans while paying respect to the original.
I'm really not a fan of remakes either because all it accomplishes is showing how creatively bankrupt studios are and, in some cases, how poor some of todays actors are compared to their old counterparts.There are exceptions, but in most cases they accomplish nothing but alienating the fans they are trying to reach.
The thing is, remakes are not actually aimed at fans of the previous versions. They're mostly intended to reintroduce an old property to a new generation of moviegoers. Sure, ideally, you want to attract us older fans as well, but that's just gravy.
Rule of thumb: if you fondly remember the previous version, you are NOT the target demo for the reboot.
And just because we hardcore film buffs have already seen the previous six versions of any given classic, that doesn't mean most people have. It will be new to them.
A lot of that depends on who does the remake and why. Was Alfred Hitchcock creatively bankrupt when he remade his own film, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"? Is Elmo Lincoln the only good Tarzan? As for the rest, see Greg's post above mine, posted as I typed.
Was William Wyler creatively bankrupt when he remade his own film "These Three" (1936) as "The Children's Hour" (1961), to take advantage of the greater freedom to deal with previously-taboo subject matter, or when Todd Browning made "The Unholy Three" twice in five years, once as a silent, then again as a talkie?
To my mind, the main problem with the constant refrain that "Hollywood has run out of ideas" is its lack of historical perspective. Remakes, sequels, prequels . . . these have been around since forever, yet somehow it's always today's batch of remakes that's gone too far.
It's funny, I still remember going nine rounds with some guy online who was appalled at the very idea of Pacino's SCARFACE being remade. Why can't Hollywood leave a classic alone, do something new, etc.? But when it was pointed out that the exact same arguments could be applied to the Pacino movie, which was itself a remake of a famous 1932 movie starring Paul Muni, he adamantly insisted that this was completely different since only "film snobs" care about old black-and-white movies, whereas, in his opinion, the 1980s SCARFACE was a classic that could never be surpassed, etc.
Translation: only the movies of his generation were timeless icons, not to be touched, unlike earlier and later versions.
Except, a reboot isn't for the old fans. In fact, that would indeed accomplish exactly what you state, as those fans of the old will push back against the new.
But, studios are not creatively bankrupt as it appears at first blush. Instead, they are relying upon known products that some segments of the audience may only be passingly familiar with. This is the opportunity to introduce an owned property, minimizing their expenses, while potentially reaching out to a new audience.
And if the film fails, it fails. And the original still exists. No harm, no foul.
Judging by the large number of failed reboots, Id say that strategy isnt working. Just because a movie worked in 1980, doesnt mean its going to work in 2019.
@other responses: No one said remakes never happened in the past. But they didnt happen at the frequency that they have for the past ten plus years. And if you try and reboot a classic with a dedicated fan base, then dont be surprised at the backlash.
Not much to add except, well, "The Maltese Falcon". It's been a while, but I was certainly surprised to learn the arguably "iconic" version with Bogart was actually the third adaptation of the story.
Thus, remakes are not necessarily bad.
Surprised by the backlash? Nope, not all. Almost everything garners backlash nowadays.
Also, in the past, we didn't have the constant demand for media. So, it is neither surprising nor upsetting that reboots are happening with more frequency.
The third in ten years no less, which makes me snicker when folks complain that it's "too soon" to remake, say, a thirty-year-old movie.
Heck, there were at least three new adaptations of "Dracula" around 1979 alone, and they're all worth seeing. (The Langella version, the Kinski version, and the Jourdan version.)
Honestly, half the fun of remakes is seeing how different actors and filmmakers reinterpret the same material, which can often be quite fascinating. I love comparing and contrasting various different productions of the same story. It adds to the experience rather than detracting from it.
Exactly. Why not allow different artists explore different facets of a classic? I mean, pretty much many art students study things like "The Mona Lisa" and explore the style and technique through their own experience.
As per usual, my question is "Where's the harm?""
As a rule I'm never opposed to remakes in principle, but I do often find that the kind of remake and where it's drawing it's creative inspiration and motivations from is what makes it sink or swim.
I also tend to prefer to distinguish between a remake and a re-adaptation. A hair-splitty distinction I know, but I feel a significant one.
The former is what it is, another go round of an old movie. Sometimes attempting a whole new angle, sometimes just a generic paint-by-numbers yarn with some shallow references or allusions to the original (this tends to stem from the new filmmakers not really understanding why the original worked the first time, IMO.)
Very occasionally you get a literal, shot-by-shot remake which can range from the shockingly transcendence ('Heat ') to the utterly pointless ('Psycho '), but those tend to be outliers and wildcards.
The latter is for me what one tends to see most often with classic literature adaptations, like Dracula, Robin Hood, Christmas Carol, or literally anything to do with King Arthur or Greek Mythology. That's when it's mostly not about remaking a specific film so much as making another film based on the same source material (see also the upcoming 'Dune' movie.)
There is of course some overlap there since a new adaptation of some source material can still contain within it more than a little influence from previous adaptations ('The Thing ' leaps to mind.)
As far as 'The Princess Bride' goes: it's a cult classic that's very important to a very specific and inevitably diminishing group of people. Unlike many others of my age group, I never saw it in my formative years, so don't quite have the same intense nostalgia for it others do. I only watched it a few years back, mostly to see what all the fuss was about.
So with that in mind, reintroducing it to a new audience is hardly the worst thing in the world since most people (especially young people) tend to only watch new movies and a remake is about the only way they'll come across it.
Since I never got around to reading the book, I have no clue how faithful the old movies was or what room is left for a more faithful take, or what new perspectives would be attempted. However, I do recall reading somewhere that the book contained a conceit that the book isn't the "real" book, but an abridged interpretation of some other work by an equally fictional author, as recalled by how the actual author clams his grandfather read it to him.
I can see that alone being the whole basis for the remake, especially if they bring back Savage...Indeed, the book appears to be deliberately courting "remakes" by already pretending to be one.
This point is probably most relevant. It's not a matter of just rebooting for the sake of rebooting. It's allowing artists to explore something well known, while allowing audiences to be able to engage with a film they might otherwise not be interested in.
From my perspective, copying a famous painting is tedious and may indicate lack of creativity on the part of the artist. Which is fine for an amateur, but not something for the paying public.
Who would go to the Louvre to see 1000 renditions of the Mona Lisa?
Study the line, the color, the stroke, then use it in an original painting.
Study the elements, lighting, character interplay, action, set design, and camera angles, then apply it something original.
Perhaps, but the same really cannot be fully said for film and theater. Film and theater have so many individual contributions that each element is one that can only be practiced by fully doing. Otherwise, we would only have one film or play about Romeo and Juliet, or one version of Dracula, ect. Film and theater lend itself to recreation because of so many individuals adding their own flavor to the work.
I feel the same about paintings.
There are elements in every painting that could be changed and expanded upon by thousands upon thousands of artists.
Is it as good or better if I do a rendition of the Mona Lisa? The expectation in the art world is that the one I do is not the same and not as good. It is excepted in the art(painting) world that there is only one true piece and others are knock-offs, second rate, only a copy.
However in theatre and movies we accept copies and remakes as wonderful, new, fresh and innovative. When did it become acceptable and why? What is the difference between redoing an old film or redoing an old painting? Why is one 'natural' and acceptable while the other is considered lesser?
Because movies come from theater and it's literally impossible to treat theater any other way? You can't ever see the 'original' Hamlet. It's done. If you want any Hamlet at all, you accept the necessity of a new production. And if you don't accept that necessity, then you are literally saying that Hamlet should cease to exist as a piece of theater. Such is the inevitable nature of live action art.
Movies aren't exactly the same but they are close enough to naturally treat them similarly, whether the similar treatment is logical or not. And really from a certain perspective, there is actually logic to be found in there. The Mona Lisa, like all the most famous works of art, never wants for new admirers because old art (if its famous enough) never goes out of fashion. But for large chunks of the population, any movie older than 20-30 years may as well not exist. They will never see it - and if they do, they're as likely as not to get hung up on old techniques (make-up, fx) and old styles (different pacing, different humor) and not really appreciate it for what it is. So, like Hamlet, if you want to keep the story alive, you accept the necessity of a new production.
As for why paintings get a free pass, that's a different question which could have tons of different answers but it's probably worth pointing out that:
A) Fine art is rare - there aren't actually *that* many paintings in the world as famous and heavily defended as the Mona Lisa - partly by nature, but also partly by societal choice (rarity is a signifcant part of what makes art desirable, which is why people pay millions for a painting that can literally be perfectly copied by technology for peanuts). Most paintings in history are not remembered by any significant number of people, and a great many are not remembered by anyone at all.
B) A lot of people treat famous artists like unmatchable geniuses and tend to view someone who dares to 'homage' Van Gogh or Rembrandt as almost sacrilegous. Most people are far more willing to criticize a famous director, screenwriter or actor, even if they're a fan. Internet crazies aside, they're not standing on nearly so high of a pedestal as the 'creative geniuses' of (what society has accepted as) fine art.
Well ya got that right.
The art world is pretty ridiculous.
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