Wednesday 28 July 2010

Sequels, Remakes and Reboots - A Kid In The Front Row Blogathon

Sequels, remakes and reboots completely polarize opinion in a variety of ways. There are those who are vehemently opposed and think they are ruining the industry, and then there are people who think the retelling of stories has always been an important part of culture, or, perhaps-- they think the advancements in technology mean that there is even more scope for greater movies, and believe the tales of Batman and Spiderman can finally be done justice.

These polarizations exist, and nobody seems to occupy the middle ground. Of course, there is the apathetic middle ground. The "Just take my $12 and show me a movie" crowd. But aside from that, there's little agreement.

And then they made 'Toy Story 3,' which everyone loved. What does this mean? Unfortunately, this didn't bring the two camps together. Whilst the latest 'Shrek' was proof that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and in need of original characters, 'Toy Story 3' was a lucky fluke. Or "It's Toy Story. That's different."

For everyone to suddenly celebrate sequels just because 'Toy Story 3' was near genius would, of course, be completely stupid. But it suggests this is not a black and white issue.

I am generally against sequels, remakes and all of that stuff. That they're 're-booting' Spiderman like two weeks after they last did it seems ludicrous to me. My instincts are that it's purely based on business. Indeed, why wouldn't it be? This is one of the biggest franchises going, an undeniable pot of gold for the film studios. But then, maybe there's something I'm missing.

I like the new 'The Karate Kid.' It's a lot of fun. I felt bad feeling this, like I had gone against my own belief system. How dare I like it? Why does it bother me? Why should I not like it? It's things like "they shouldn't mess with the original," "it shouldn't be about Kung Fu," etc. But does it matter? Will a new 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' stop people re-watching the original? Does anyone lose sleep over the fact Gus Van Sant did a shot for shot remake of 'Psycho'? No, everyone just watches the original.

If My friend Pete sees the new 'Karate Kid' and thinks it's the greatest movie ever, and refuses to watch the original.. Why does it matter? I have a feeling it does, but why? Does it matter for me, or for him?

When Spielberg announced he would remake the Jimmy Stewart classic 'Harvey' I was genuinely heartbroken for days. When he dropped the project, I rejoiced, and gave up my hunger strike (I may be slightly exaggerating). But here's the thing:- the majority of people in my life, especially around my age and younger, have no intention of watching old black and white Jimmy Stewart films.. So if they're not going to watch 'Harvey' anyway, what difference does it make if they watch a new version?

I hope you realize my questions are literally that, questions. I'm not saying it isn't important, or isn't different. But I feel that when we get angry about the remakes, we're not entirely conscious of why. Or maybe I'm just talking about me.

So why does it bother me so much when they remake stuff? And why does it bother me when I enjoy the remakes? Maybe it's just part of my personality. I like things to feel fresh and original. I place value on who came first. As for why does it bother me when I like them? That's a more complex question. Or maybe it's very simple--- I've been proven wrong. I enjoyed the the Karate Kid film and I LOVED 'Toy Story 3'-- and in fact, it felt great to be revisiting Woody, Buzz, and co-- and that familiarity is a good thing.

It's easy to take some supposed moral high-ground about how they should only re-make films for reasons of heart and story, instead of money. But, newsflash: 'Toy Story 3' was about money too.

To summarise, in case you haven't realised: I haven't got a clue what I'm talking about. I don't know where I stand on this issue. I identify with the outraged side, and I identify with the part of me that enjoys remakes when they're done well. In fact, maybe I just am the apathetic middle ground after all. (but if anyone in Hollywood ever remakes 'The Apartment,' I will actually kill them.)
This is the first of a Kid In The Front Row blogathon where many wonderful bloggers will be writing about 'Sequels, Remakes and Reboots' throughout the day. At the end of it all, I will be posting links to all of the bloggers who are involved.

Care to share?


  1. I agree with your last comment. Anyone that just thinks of remaking The Apartment (or Some Like It Hot), they're gonna be in big, big trouble.

  2. Looks to me like we're on roughly the same page. Here's my contribution...

  3. Hey, good blogathon and good post. Here's mine:

  4. I am generally against remakes, am a little dubious about reboots (especially so soon after the previous film, such as Spider-man), but I'm fine with sequels. Of course, most of them are cynical cash-ins, but some manage to exist simply to continue the story of the original, and that's fine with me.

    Oh, here's mine:

  5. Here's mine!

  6. I don't know if I'm too late, but:

  7. Such an interest topic, I'm not sure where I stand; though I shall try to whip something up within the next two hours or so.

  8. did...did I make it?

  9. Forgot to add the link after that marathon with the spacing. But learned a lot about html that I didn't know before: