May 29 2008

Someone Wake Me When The 1980s End Again

Flash GordonApparently the studios in Hollywood have suddenly realized the 1980’s were twenty years ago, and it’s time to remake every movie under the sun. The latest reports I’m hearing have us seeing remakes of the 1980 version of Flash Gordon, 1984 invasion thriller Red Dawn and the original Highlander movie from 1986.


None of these films need to be remade. Flash Gordon, for being critically panned, has turned into a campy classic that would just be impossible to duplicate. Think of when they tried to make a sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Shock Treatment tried so hard to capture the vibe of RHPS, and it failed so miserably as to be painful. Camp classics just happen, they can’t be made intentionally. The recent Flash Gordon TV show was a failure when it even tried to stick somewhat closely to the source material, why does anyone think this will work better now?

Red Dawn I think is going to be even harder to pull off than Flash Gordon. For its silly premise, the movie was actually an engaging story, perfectly suited to the then political climate of the Reagan era White House, the turmoils in eastern Europe and people’s raging cold war fears. Unless the plot is changed to represent the Chinese as the invading force, this film doesn’t have a chance in hell of working in this day and age. Plus, a change to the Chinese is just asking for trouble in my opinion. We don’t have the same situation with them that we had with the Soviets, why invite trouble by making a movie that plays in to fears that so few share this time around?

As for Highlander… -sigh-. I enjoyed the TV series because it built on what the original film had presented to us, but it did not interfere with the original work at all. This is possibly one of the greatest sci-fi films of that time period, and it just doesn’t need to be messed with. True, the sequels have sucked, and that should tell everyone that there was something unique to the original work, but oh no, let Hollywood go mucking around with everything again. The original work was sublime, understated and about as close to perfection as you could get with such a story… just leave it alone out of respect.

Hollywood obviously has problems, and I’m not sure they know what to do about it. There seems to be no fresh ideas, just remakes and sequels, all of declining quality, that are slowly making people wonder why they are even going to the movies anymore.

Remakes are out of control. Unless you have something startling to bring to the work, say like the current Battlestar Galactica TV series as opposed to the original, than just leave it all alone. All you are doing is sullying good memories for some and embarrassing yourself in the end with your failed project.

point breakNot only are we facing these remakes, but now they are also adding in sequels that just don’t need to be made. Terminator Salvation (or whatever the silly name ends up being) continues the Terminator series which has been “ended” multiple times, and already has a new continuity running with a television series Way to confuse the consumers! In the category of “there is no way this needs a sequel because most people probably forgot the original”, Point Break II is being prepped. Does the original Point Break really need a follow-up story? Heck, for that matter, did we really need another Indiana Jones? No, we didn’t, and we certainly do not need a follow up to a surfing cops-and-robbers movie.

The movie industry is devoid of any original ideas any more it would seem, and when they do happen on one, they are only concerned with making it into a series of sequels. I am fully aware that the movie industry needs to make money like any other business, but what about not strip mining what was not only good from the past, but what is completely pointless to continue. At the end of the day, it’s not only the movie going public suffers, but the filmmakers who could still be making decent films, but instead they are forced into questionable projects because there is simply nothing else getting the green light from the studios.

Can they be saved?  One would certainly hope so, but the first thing I would recommend they get rid of this seeming “remake” addiction they’ve acquired, and then move on the undying love of sequels.  Not everything needs a second attempt, or a second installment.  Make your money and move on to something new and, hopefully, orginal.

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