Comment On Why We Are Happy To Be Caught In A Web Of Movie Remakes

Why we are happy to be caught in a web of movie remakes

From The Amazing Spider-Man to Total Recall, is our thirst for familiar stories growing, or are fresh ideas simply drying up?Enthusiasm for The Amazing Spider-Man has been tempered by a caveat. In the words of Roger Ebert, "We didn't really need to be told Spidey's origin story again." It's only five years since the same studio gave us the third instalment of a different version of the same arachnid hero's exploits. The pace of cinematic coprophagia seems to be hotting up. So does its volume.Last week on this site, Ben Child bracketed Sony's reboot with the forthcoming remake of Total Recall. However, also coming shortly are remakes, reboots, reinvisionings, reimaginings, reinventions, retoolings, rethinks or reinterpretations of Carrie, The Great Gatsby, Godzilla, Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, American Psycho, Judge Dredd, Tomb Raider, Frankenstein, Akira, My Fair Lady, All Quiet on the Western Front, Rebecca, Short Circuit, Barbarella, Starship Troopers, The Seven Samurai, Scarface, A Star is Born, Suspiria, RoboCop, The Birds, Death Wish, Westworld and plenty more. All this has revived a familiar complaint: why can't we have fresh stories instead?The bleat can be overdone: it's not as though everything is second-hand. An analysis of American-made releases in 2010 found that 60% were neither remakes, sequels or prequels, adaptations from other media, English language copies of foreign titles, 3D retrofits or even retellings of ancient myths. All the same, that leaves 40% that were indeed one of the above, and it's those films that took the lion's share of both multiplex screens and studio budgets.Moans about this state of affairs are long-standing: Ebert's own TV show was grumbling away on this theme back in 1976. Yet even then, retreads enjoyed an august history. Since 1903, Hollywood has made 29 versions of The Three Musketeers. After all, filmgoers have got to know why they're buying a ticket. Trusting your favourite stars and directors is all very well, but there's nothing like buying into a story that you're sure you already like, especially if you've grown to love the characters.In theory, knowing what's going to happen ought to ruin narrative impact. Fury about spoilers on this site suggests that for many, it does. Still, others seem to delight in being told the same old tale over and over again. Those who've tried to get their kids off to sleep without a 48th retelling of an all-too-familiar favourite will recognise the syndrome. Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces helped persuade film-makers like George Lucas that their job consisted of retelling mythic stories. Box-office returns have taught them they can even keep the same protagonists and titles.If anything, a thirst for the old, old stories is actually growing, as "retromania" feeds an appetite for cultural archaeology. Once, the young were repelled by their parents' faves, but in the era of YouTube and Netflix, archive artefacts have acquired their own kind of cachet.It's easy to blame a "creative vacuum" in Hollywood on corporate greed, but ultimately it's demand that shapes commercial realities. Directors may prefer to innovate, but producers need to feel confident that the public will welcome their output. In the 1970s, with the studio system in decline, auteurs enjoyed a day in the sun. The likes of Roman Polanski could get something like Chinatown made without too much difficulty. Since then, big business has tightened its grip, and much bigger budgets mean that there's much more at stake.Nowadays, studios tend to be valued largely on the intellectual property they possess, so they're forced to sweat their creative assets. Remaking their older titles boosts brand value and therefore the total worth of the business. Hence the milking of old faithfuls like The Omen, Halloween, The A-Team, Fame, Fright Night, Conan the Barbarian, Arthur, The Green Hornet and Straw Dogs. If Sony had decided to park Spider-Man for bit, the rights would have reverted to Marvel; it couldn't have afforded to let that happen. Thus it is that unlike Polanski, directors like Marc Webb, who've cut their teeth on a jeu d'esprit like 500 Days of Summer but want to get on, find themselves entangled in franchise-land.So, we can all look forward to déjà vu over and over again. You know you like it really. Some of cinema's greatest triumphs have been remakes, including The Fly, Airplane!, Heat, The Magnificent Seven, The Thing, Ben-Hur, A Fistful of Dollars, The Maltese Falcon and Some Like It Hot.ScreenRant has had a go at setting out rules for what might constitute an acceptable reiteration. These come down to the insistence that something new must be added to what is old. By this measure, The Amazing Spider-Man does pretty well. I'd tell you why, but some of you don't like spoilers.Action and adventureScience fiction and fantasyDavid Coxguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

ASK NEWS:
  • Getting Buck - Memphis Flyer
    We have lots of movie stars and rock ... He caught on to the buck jump so ... reason to contemplate a happy future ... Reed, who spent five ...
    11/20/2014 - 5:38 am | View Link
  • Onalaska graduate making his mark in movie business - Online La Crosse Tribune
    ... stage actor and then a movie actor ... college exchange program caught his ... com and Amazon.com Web sites. ... we’re all just fighting ...
    11/20/2014 - 4:20 am | View Link
  • Finding Beauty in an Oakland Alley - National Geographic
    ... the rehabbed art deco movie palace ... National Geographic "Happy to ... A shimmering race car caught midlunge. ... is showing up now on ...
    11/19/2014 - 5:23 am | View Link
  • Marvel Comics Solicitations for February 2015 - IGN.com
    The top five team-ups from Marvel Comics - Examiner.com
    11/18/2014 - 12:36 pm | View Link
  • Facebook Workplace Product: Bloomberg West (11/17) - Bloomberg
    ... partnered with amazon web services ... We are just happy where we are at ... with the director of the movie and ... It really caught fire ...
    11/17/2014 - 9:50 am | View Link
  • More
YAHOO NEWS:
  • DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: November 2014
    Find a complete guide to TV and movie titles heading to Blu-ray and DVD throughout the month of November, including 22 Jump Street, Maleficent, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and much more. Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at Metacritic
    10/29/2014 - 3:29 pm | View Link
  • Vimeo tech chief takes on 'terrifying' online video challenges (Q&A)
    Andrew Pile has to make sure his service works with everything from phones to smart TVs, even as video-streaming technology constantly changes.
    10/25/2014 - 7:27 am | View Link
  • Sex and the theater: An actress bares all about onstage nudity
    An actress gets an education in onstage nudity
    10/24/2014 - 5:55 am | View Link
  • The 100 Best Simpsons Episodes to Stream
    The Simpsons is having a moment. After over two decades on the air and 552 episodes, the show feels more relevant now than it has at any point since its prime. In addition to the show celebrating its 25th anniversary on the air (the 26th season debuts this Sunday, Sept. ... More »
    10/21/2014 - 2:39 pm | View Link
  • ‘Oddly Normal': Otis Frampton discusses a young half-witch’s bad wish
    Oddly Normal is as conflicted as her name. The smart, sullen schoolgirl star of writer-artist Otis Frampton’s emotionally stormy all-ages […]
    10/20/2014 - 1:08 pm | View Link
  • More
BING NEWS:
  • “Rosewater” and “Happy Valley.”
    In the film’s early scenes, as the election nears, Bahari, warily hoisting a digital movie camera, hangs out with some genial students who support Mousavi. You can sense that Stewart is trying to find his way: as Bahari gets caught up in protests and ...
    11/22/2014 - 9:39 am | View Link
  • Kafui Danku’s ‘Happy Deathday’ premieres, receives warm reception
    Whiles watching the premiere of her latest productions at the Silverbird cinema, Accra mall in the company of other movie enthusiast, it became apparent per the reaction of viewers that the production caught on well with the people. ‘Happy Deathday ...
    11/15/2014 - 11:16 am | View Link
  • Hump Day Report: Happy Halloween
    Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD ... Halloween costumes on the Web for 2014:
    10/29/2014 - 5:32 am | View Link
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour: Rating The Ratings And Whither The Weather Movie
    (You can try it as a web app, too.) Glen is happy about a game that I can ... particularly a very successful video project. (He's also happy about a movie he caught with his kids, but what else is new with that guy?) Glen is happy about an opportunity ...
    08/14/2014 - 1:00 pm | View Link
  • VIDEO: Iranian 'Happy' dancers in jail after Rouhani's pro-Internet speech
    "It's beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," Pharrell Williams, singer of the Happy song which appeared on the soundtrack of the US movie Despicable Me ... to connect to the World Wide Web," the official IRNA news agency ...
    05/21/2014 - 1:15 am | View Link
  • More
BING SEARCH:
  • CNN Video
    China makes NYC look like the 3rd world. Bourdain: 'The Bronx is a magical place' Bourdain surprised by the modern South
    11/22/2014 - 5:20 am | View Website
  • Elvis Presley: Gospel "O Happy Day" (live)
    Elvis Gospel Playlist (175 great videos): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=... Also very recommendable if you'd like to know more about Elvis and his ...
    11/21/2014 - 9:49 pm | View Website
  • Naked Happy Girls: New York Undressed Sexy Private Home ...
    Twisting and turning, lounging and laughing; I've never seen so many New York's girls, so happy to be naked at home. Andrew has a special way of bringing out the real ...
    11/21/2014 - 8:09 pm | View Website
  • Video: MSN World Exclusive: Woman In Black
    Search through hundreds of millions of breaking news, cool viral, TV show videos from all over the Web
    11/21/2014 - 10:01 am | View Website
  • NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast
    Pop Culture Happy Hour is a lively chat about books, movies, music, television, comics and pretty much anything else that strikes a nerve, all in a weekly roundtable ...
    11/21/2014 - 8:42 am | View Website
  • More

Comment On This Story

Welcome to Wopular!

Welcome to Wopular

Wopular is an online newspaper rack, giving you a summary view of the top headlines from the top news sites.

Senh Duong (Founder)
Wopular, MWB, RottenTomatoes

Subscribe to Wopular's RSS Fan Wopular on Facebook Follow Wopular on Twitter Follow Wopular on Google Plus

MoviesWithButter : Our Sister Site

More Movies News