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11/30/15

Wishful thinking: Why movie remakes typically fall flat

With all the talk of remaking such classics as "The Godfather" or "Death Wish," you can't help but wonder what producers and movie studios are thinking when they go back into the vault of films made long ago and assuming that resurrecting them is the best idea possible.
Ironically, the "idea" discussion is worth noting since most fans believe that remakes are a movie making crutch, and that writers that are competent story tellers are few and far between.
Any time a movie is remade or a movie surfaces that is nothing more than a television show that is made into a real life, big screen film, fans immediately groan collectively rather than meet the movie with positive marks. That typically is the reaction because original movies, original ideas don't exist anymore, but rather everything that is old is supposed to be new again, accepted by the masses and not viewed as a sad commentary on just how movie making has lost its touch.
What's old, or has already been done, should stay left alone, and some movies especially were remade and wreaked of desperation and weren't even done well.
That means they shouldn't have been redone at all.

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Some movies are time period pieces, meaning that they don't translate well from the past into the modern day. Think of the recent remake of "Robocop," the original took place in 1987 and was a gritty, violent film. The original was watered down and weak by those standards.
"Footloose" is another movie that was better left alone given the time in which it was made. Having dancing banned doesn't exactly feel like something that would happen after 2010, but the Kevin Bacon classic had that innocence that followed it through its box office run.
And some remakes take television shows and try to fool audiences into thinking that they're just as good on the small screen as on the big. Case in point is the ridiculously awful "Dukes of Hazard" movie that featured Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson, who played the iconic Daisy Duke character.
Simpson stunk up the movie, and the original "Dukes of Hazard" TV show wasn't exactly a classic, so the movie tried to play it low key and fun, silly and stupid quite frankly and achieved with the "stupid" part really well.
Movie characters and the films they are featured in always leave an indelible mark on fans and audiences alike. They're drawn to these movies thanks in large part to the originality and writing. When both of those are missing and the movie is just a rehash of the past, you're hardly going to have much of a future in the film industry.

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