Alright. Here’s the thing. I have never made a movie, been in a movie, invested in making a movie, or anything in the vein of having anything to do with movies other than going to a theater or purchasing copies and watching them.
Lately, I have been noticing more and more remakes of older films. Is it simple arrogance of movie-maker types telling us that they can do better? Are any of the original people involved? Excluded? Are these re-imaginings actually better?
I remember watching the older “War of the Worlds”. Sorta. I remember it dragging on and having kinda goofy dialogue, lame graphics, cute girl though. It was an okay movie. I’d never buy it. Probably wouldn’t even watch the whole thing on TV if it were on. But I’d give it a chance. Maybe nostalgia would take over and I would enjoy it again. Most likely, not. But it has happened before.
Now let’s take a look at a big blockbuster Tom Cruise flick. You basically have two stars in this remake. Tom Cruise and Tim Robbins. Tim Robbins character was creepy, overstated, and just plain forgettable. Tom Cruise, doing what he does best, I guess, is very busy and very serious and very appropriate for the film. However, it seems to me he gets a little too excited sometimes in these films.
I have a copy of the newer version. Watched it maybe a few months ago. I must have fallen asleep because I can’t remember the ending right now for anything. In any case, in this case, I think most people who didn’t see the original when it was new would agree that it is somewhat superior to the first. Maybe because of the shiny things (graphics), or the breakout performance of Dakota Fanning. She was good, incidentally. Me, I enjoyed the scale of the sets they were using. Felt like a regular town and stuff. That older movie looked like it was mostly shot indoors.
Now, for the people who went to see the original, I can understand a certain disdain for these remakes of movies you may have enjoyed in the past, but you must understand that more than likely, your feelings are tied to something else (i.e., who you were with, where you were, your age at the time). Outside factors tend to influence my position on several types of things. If they were making Spaceballs again there is no way on Earth that I would get to go see it with Shannon again, and I wouldn’t be 17 again. That will remain what it is in my head forever. However, were they to actually remake it, I would most likely be all negative about it.
All these things are sure to impact my feelings about remakes in the future. But, I believe we must forge ahead. I say give the new “Footloose” a chance. Just because “True Grit” was awful doesn’t mean they all will be. I wonder though. In my head, I already sound like an old crotchety man when I think about remakes of “Red Dawn” or “Back to the Future” or “Terminator”. In my head it sounds like this, “Bah, the original was waaaay better.” Who’s to say.