Movie Remakes

Why the F*ck? "Grinds my Gears" template. Annoyance level 4.

Why the F*ck? “Grinds my Gears” template. Annoyance level 4. Image: FOX.

As I have said in a previous post, I absolutely loathe when bloggers up and disappear for an extended amount of time without a reason for his or her absence. That being said, I apologize for my unannounced absence and hope we can get back to the regularly scheduled posts of what really grinds my gears.

This post is inspired by the fact I saw the “Carrie” remake earlier today. Let me tell you, I didn’t think I would see a movie that was as unintentionally hilarious as “Spring Breakers” this year, but “Carrie” came pretty close.

Going into “Carrie,” my friend and I expected to be a bit scared, but probably not as scared as the original movie caused audiences to be. Armed with popcorn and contraband candy, we headed into the matinee showing with high hopes.

The trailers of this movie promised a movie filled with suspense and how “everyone will know her (Carrie’s) name.” Except, none of this is what the movie delivered. In fact, the trailer shows the majority of the movie in the two minutes and 33 seconds shown. Go ahead, watch for yourself.

While it wasn’t what I expected, the atrocious art direction and lack of character development made my friend and I glad we opted for the matinee showing of Stephen King’s acclaimed novel-turned-to-comedy.

But seeing this movie reminded me of many other movie remakes that have ground my gears and thus drudged up old feelings.

While I know Wikipedia is never a reliable source, the site does provide a lengthy list of movies that have been remade (“Carrie” included). Going through both lists, I realized there are many films that I have only seen the remake of — which is mainly because the original was created before my time — and there are others that I have seen both films. Recognizing how there is currently a lack of creativity in Hollywood is just one of the things that grinds my gears about film remakes.

Of the movies that made the list, a few well-known, albeit horrible (in my opinion) that are bothersome:
– “Disturbia,” a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”
– “Fame,” a remake of a movie of the same name
– “Footloose” Not even Julianne Hough could save that train wreck.
– “Red Dawn” The man candy that is Josh Hutcherson and Chris Hemsworth couldn’t allow me to enjoy this cringe-worthy remake.
– “Sorority Row”
– “Yours, Mine and Ours”

Browse both sections of the list for yourself and you can see many of the film remakes that have been made in the past century.

Other remakes such as “Fright Night” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” get in good on my personal list. Films where I have seen both the original and the remake (“The Parent Trap” and “That Darn Cat!” both Hayley Mills movies), allow me to gather some reason behind why Hollywood wants to redo many classic and not-so classic films. Though money is the main driving factor behind movie making, some people want modern audiences to connect and enjoy a story that may need some updating to be relevant to modern times.

Children in the 21st century may not understand why Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey are fighting the Soviet Union — a group of countries that many of which no longer exist — nor why the Cold War is prevalent in the start of World War III. Hence the remake of “Red Dawn.” Shia LaBeouf may be under house arrest, but that didn’t stop him from using his cell phone and computer to stop the killer living next door. Small differences allow studios and directors to recreate a film, updating it for new audiences who may have not seen the first film.

Although I understand why some of these movies are being remade into shitty current-day films, it still grinds my gears that Hollywood feels the need to do so. Stephen King hated Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of “The Shining.” So who’s to say he won’t hate Kimberly Peirce’s version as well? I felt that the actors did a good job with the film, but the ‘updated’ storyline for “Carrie” was completely nonexistent.

Bottom line: film remakes are unnecessary. Updating a film for a modern audience to comprehend means the story must not be strong enough to hold on its own for viewers to discern and appreciate. And that’s why film remakes really grind my gears.

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