Remake: The War on Originality
By Jordan Waldmeier | 2/19/2015
I Was a Visitor in Their World
On a cold winter night, after getting off of work, I decided to stop at the only place one could go to at 3 o’clock in the morning, Wal-Mart. At this time of night it’s not the same store as it is during the day; hundreds of angry shoppers (Walmartians), screaming children, and the lazy motorized-shopping-cart folk. No, at this time of night the store is filled with creepy night-dwellers (even Walmartian-ier), stockers that idolize Elvis, and drunkards in search of Hot Pockets. I should fit right in. I make my way to the electronics section to take a gander at the newly released movies.
They Drew First Blood
As I am browsing, a couple of late teen/early twenty-something fellows begin to observe and comment on the many movies in front of them. After a few minutes of praising and complementing the likes of movies starring Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, Tyler Perry, and many others; one of them picks up a copy of “Red Dawn.” Another exclaims, ”Oh! I freaking love this movie, brochacho!” His buddy grabs the case and replies, “Wait! Where’s Thor? This isn’t ‘Red Dawn.’ This one has the crazy ‘tiger-blood’ guy in it. This must be the lame original movie.” And with that comment, my eyes lit up with hellfire. I grabbed one of them and threw him head first into the nearest flat-screen TV for a quick death. The other, the one who needed to realize what blasphemy has just exhausted from his mouth-hole; I take him by the neck and plow his face through the endless rack of movies. I then suplex him into the $5 DVD bin, grab a 6-inch-thick copy of the book “The Stand”, and begin to beat him profusely - all while interrogating and informing him on the difference between the shitty remake and the real “Red Dawn.” I grab him by his shirt to bring him closer to me and ask, “Do you understand?” He replies, “But….. Who’s Patrick Swayze?” My heart is broken and I can only respond in a Darth Vader-esque “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I apologize for the Walter Mitty like imagining. In all actuality I let out a large sigh and walked away (seriously though, every bit of this actually happened). Thus bringing me to the subject of this fine article: Remakes, man.
If You've Read Any of My Articles...
If you’ve read any of my articles, you may have noticed that I’m a big fan of movies, and hearing comments like the one above really breaks my heart. Growing up I was introduced to many great films, so now when I see the latest released remake, the term “killed my childhood” tends to come to mind. I can remember it like it was yesterday, I was in kindergarten, my class was asked the age-old question; “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The typical responses were teacher, pizza deliveryman, football player, gynecologist, firefighter, Warren, astronaut; my response was RoboCop (hey it’s possible; it’ll hurt, but still possible). So when the 2014 “remake” was released, it crushed my childhood, like a fat man sitting in a plastic lawn chair. Other notable remade disasters include: Total Recall (hey look, three boobs!), Poseidon (twitchy Kurt Russell), Nightmare on Elm Street (killed by hairless cat man), The Wicker Man (I’m going to punch you while wearing a bear suit), Planet of the Apes (scientific), Friday the 13th (I like tunnels), Footloose (everything is better with Bacon). The list could go on and on.
They Aren't All Bad
Contrary to popular belief, there are some remakes that I do like, such as: Dawn of the Dead (haters gonna hate), The Thing (the 1982 version, silly), Evil Dead (it was...groovy). In the end though, the bad heavily outweighs the good. “Remake” isn’t the only term used by “filmmakers,” they’ve also coined the terms “reboot” and “re-imagining.” Sounds like compensation to me. If you’re going to remake something, the least you could do is honor and respect the original. Like RoboCop for example, how can you take out all of the important elements that make RoboCop the Christ like figure he was in the original, leaving only two factors: He’s a robot, and he’s a cop. Your “remake” turned RoboCop into the exact opposite of what he was, “RoboDad.” You should be ashamed of yourself. “Reboots” tend to be a more accepted term. For instance, the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” trilogy was obviously killed with the release of the third film in the series. Spider-Man must live on as a franchise, so we have to start over fresh with a reboot, introducing “The Amazing SpiderMan” (which as recent news reports, is now dead as well). Then there is “re-imagining,” which is a way of saying that your remake is so bad, we had to create a new word to excuse your mess. Some like to throw “adaptations” into this category, but it simply does not apply. I’ll save my love/hate relationship with comic book movie adaptations for another time.
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Why must people feel the need to alter greatness? When you want to make a movie, don’t take something that doesn’t belong to you and shit all over it. Be inspired by it, be worthy of it, pay homage to it. Did you know that while Jon Favreau was making “Iron Man”, he was heavily inspired by, “RoboCop?” Maybe try to write something original, with easter eggs of films that inspired you. Some like to say that the remakes are better for the younger generations. WHAT?! Don’t deprive our younglings of masterpieces, because one day they will grow up. My Sesame Street just so happened to be the back alleys of future Detroit. “But there’s violence, nudity, and curse words!” Hey, I grew up on these. It’s nature versus nurture. The world isn’t full of “Be-Wells” and sock puppets. How would you like it if I remade the Bible, and made Jesus a talking dog that wasn’t crucified but was peacefully euthanized instead? Beautiful things shouldn’t be tampered with.
About the author:
Hello universe, my name is Jordan Waldmeier. Scientifically, I am 28 years of age, as of 2014AD. I was born and raised in Sulphur, Louisiana and moved out of my mothers home at the young age of 27 and a half. Currently residing in Lake Charles, Louisiana (a whole bridge away): I am an observer of the human species, mentally taking notes on their actions around me, hopefully to be recorded to paper before they are lost by the inevitable dementia embedded in my DNA.
I am a collector of modified, petroleum formed, 6 inch scale likings of comic book superheroes and other science fiction icons. My favorite tree is one that has been processed into a 22 page full-colored comic book. Both of my parents are still alive, therefore, I am not Batman.
"Be excellent to each other."
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