Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why I HATE Remakes!

     I LOVE movies! I have always loved movies! I am a huge Fanboy and I admit it! I may not be Harry Knowles, but I still consider myself a big nerd. I am the epitome of Weird Al Yankovic's song "White & Nerdy", no kidding! Ask anybody, I'm a comic book collecting, "Star Wars" quoting, "Harry Potter" hating NERD! I have been reviewing movies on my own website since 2000 and I am a college graduate, so I can safely say I know a thing or two. And what I DO know is, I HATE remakes! Why does Hollywood consistently and persistently subject the movie going crowd with remakes, "re-imagining's" and pathetic adaptations of the films we know and love with remake after remake of those very movies we have watched for years! Nowhere do these remake atrocities happen more often than in the genre of horror and science-fiction. Aliens, Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves are prime targets for the remake. Heaven forbid Hollywood would even attempt to remake the real classics! Would they even dare to touch those timeless classics like "Citizen Kane", "Ben-Hur", "Gone with the Wind", "The Wizard of Oz", or even "The Godfather"? Don't put it past them, I bet they would try if given the chance! Unfortunately, that doesn't stop them from remaking those classic horror and sci-fi films, perfect examples being "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "War of the Worlds", "The Omen" and even "Psycho"!
     After several decades it seems like those classic movies are up for grabs as Hollywood runs out of original ideas and says "Hey, lets remake something!" I'm never surprised when some ambitious (or foolish) director or producer (i.e. Gus Van Sant) takes it upon themselves to remake a movie and thinks they can improve upon (if that's even possible). What gall, what arrogance, what an idiot! To think, that they can take a classic, loved and watched by millions for over 50 years can possibly remake a movie and try to outdo those moviemakers who without them, they wouldn't even exist. If there was no Akira Kurosawa or Alfred Hitchcock, there'd be no George Lucas or Steven Spielberg! Without John Ford or Victor Flemming, there would be no Francis Ford Coppola or Martin Scorsese!  The filmmakers of today, now rolling around in their pile of millions of dollars, owe a lot to those original innovators who made the film industry what it is today and influenced countless others to pursue the motion picture! And now, even with all the fancy-ass computer (CGI) graphics and 3D technology (Thanks a lot James Cameron!) Has technology replaced plot and story, has the shaky-cam replaced the steady-cam? When was real acting replaced by motion-capture?!
     After all this ranting, I feel I must address the newest addition to the revolting remake, and this movie is "The Clash of the Titans" (2010)! What would Ray Harryhausen think about this latest disaster? (and yes, he's still alive!) The original "Clash of the Titans" (1981) was always one of my favorite movies, I grew up watching it along with the original "Star Wars" (NOT the screwed up "Special Editions", Greedo shoots first, my ass!) and many others! I loved "Clash of the Titans" because it included two of my favorite things: mythology and monsters! Just the classic image itself is enough to induce awe, Perseus, riding atop Pegasus with Medusa's head in his hand as he confronts the Kraken, awesome! The original was pure fantasy-adventure with a solid story, a logical quest with some classy talent with actors like Laurence Olivier as Zeus and Burgess Meredith as Ammon. With Harry Hamlin, a relatively unknown new star, playing Perseus, it didn't bring him much fame. But what really made the original truly amazing was the special visual effects works of Ray Harryhausen, which would be one of the last films he created effects for. Harryhausen was already famous for his work in stop-motion animation and creatures during the '50's, 60's and '70's with such films as "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963) and "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" (1974) back then when special effects was truly art and took talent and painstaking work by hand, and NO computers! But really, the thing that sets it apart was that "Clash of the Titans" was FUN! Adventure! Excitement! ("a Jedi craves not these things" That's what it was all about. Nowadays we rationalize the special effects with they did the best they could with what they had or at that time that was state of the art but now...who cares! You can't base the lasting ability of movies like that or even the original Star Wars Trilogy (before the revamped edition!)
     The new REMAKE of "Clash..." leaves much to be desired. I admit when I first heard about it, I was excited, I thought maybe it could be good. I saw the trailer and knew without a doubt it was gonna be a huge special effects movie, that's fine. I'm guilty of occasionally liking the big special effects movies. Take "Avatar", I loved it, I plan on buying the Blu-ray/DVD! But, I had my doubts though. I was interested in the director: Louis Leterrier, who directed "The Incredible Hulk" (2008) and "The Transporter" (2002), Great! On the plus side, Liam Neeson is Zeus! Great! Ralph Fiennes is Hades, great, only one problem: Hades wasn't in the original. That was strike one! Strike Two: Sam Worthington, why is he in everything now! He was just in THE BIGGE$T movie of all time "Avatar" like three months ago, when did he find the time to do another big, 3D, CG special effects, action movie! Ok, Strike 3! The BIG problem: The Mythology. For those who didn't pay attention in school when we studied Greek Mythology, you failed! And apparently so did Louis Leterrier. The mythology is so screwed up that it completely destroys the story and Perseus' origin even. Sure the original didn't get everything right (namely Pegasus), but the biggest gripe being that they made Perseus' mother Danae the wife of Acrisius who originally was his daughter?! WTF? AND they have
Acrisius turned into Calibos, one of the villains. Why? Are they even trying, do they even care? Does anybody care? Apparently not! I could go on forever so I'll just say why does Hollywood have to sacrifice a fun adventure with CG/3D BS!?