The Hollywood Recycling Machine
I recently turned 40 and I have to say that nothing had lately caused me to feel my age until Hollywood began remaking so many movies that I grew up with during the 1970’s. So many of them (POSEIDON, THE LONGEST YARD, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, etc., etc., etc.), and not one of them can claim to have marked any kind of significant place in our movie-culture or made any phenomenal killing at the box office.
Mind you, I don’t condemn remakes entirely. Some are great (THE FLY, DRACULA, KING KONG, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS), but some…well, let me just say one name to you all…Gus Van Sant! I don’t think I’ll ever, ever forgive him for remaking Hitchcock’s masterpiece, PSYCHO. And now, in recent months, I learned of more remakes to come, including HALLOWEEN, THE INVASION, THE THING and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.
The point is – when the hell is it going to stop?? When does enough become enough?? Has Hollywood completely run out of new and original material to put on the screen? How are intelligent scripts (there must be a few left out there) ever going to be given a fair chance if all we keep seeing on the screen is recycled material? When is some Hollywood big shot who makes the green-light decision going to finally say, “No. It’s been done already.”
Most (not all, mind you) of these remakes inevitably discredit and even disrespect the original film that may have already made cinematic history (see my above comment for PSYCHO). When does a film become sacred enough not to be touched?
The answer is simple, but probably impractical – when the movie-going audience decides that they’ve had enough and refuses to waste their time and their money on these remakes. Perhaps it can start with one person; me! At the start of this year, I decided it had to stop and refused to go see anymore remakes, sequels or franchise films and instead, focus my attention on independents, subtitled or at the very least, new stories – even if they did manage to be distributed by the major Hollywood studios.
During this summer of Hollywood blockbuster garbage, I’ve seen only two films: MR. BROOKS (Hollywood, yes, but I loved it!) and A MIGHTY HEART. To all other films that have been done before – you lost me as a customer!
Does anyone else out there feel this way, or am I simply “mad as hell and not going to take this anymore”?