Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tyrrany of a Construct, Pt. 3

So in my last posts I discussed the entire remake meme in Hollywood, and the creeping lack of originality in the industry. Add in another bit of speculative fiction that was in many ways an icon of my generation (that is, the X'ers): there will apparently be a remake of the old classic Red Dawn.


So my question here is why? Why does this movie need to be remade? What sort of relevance does it have today? When Red Dawn came out in the heady days of 1984, it was still the heady days of Reagan, Star Wars Defense, the "Evil Empire," and Yakov Smirnoff ("In communist Russia, movies remake you!"). In this zeitgeist Red Dawn was the perfect movie: freedom, resistance, and dogged courage against tyrrany. So what if they were Cubans? There were Russkis in it too! It was the sort of movie you watch as a young teen-ager to stoke the fires of anti-Communism.

So what are they going to do now? Communism is dead, chapter in history that has been closed and forgotten. Should it be about that, it would totally lack the relevance that the original movie marinated in. Perhaps the US will be invaded by Al Qaeda? Iran? North Korea? Maybe space aliens...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tyrrany of a Construct: Hollywood Remakes Pt. 2

On a different discussion group I saw the following item posted. The key items I'd like to draw attention to are the "reboots/remakes" of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Alien." Yes, that's right: Alien.

The corpse is hardly cold on Buffy before this one came out. I admit I'm not a Buffy fan, but Buffy fandom is in many ways like Trek or Star Wars fandom: very dedicated to the franchise. I think the real kick in the pants with this is that Josh Whedon will apparently not be on board for this.

The apparent "Aliens" remake is more of a head scratcher. This one is going to be produced by Ridley Scott, who was of course involved with the original. So there is a link to the original, but is this to be some sort of Lucas-ian "director's cut?"

The real problem here is not that Hollywood can't make a good movie, but the meme that Hollywood is bereft of original ideas anymore. The success of franchises such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica merely has created an environment where Hollywood will capitalize on this success, and possibly churn out remake after remake.

Here's the thing: a remake is usually just not neccessary. Lots of people will argue that Star Trek needed a reboot. I totally disagree. All the reboot does is recycle old characters and concepts into a new digitally exciting movie. With a franchise as rich as Star Trek, there was plenty of room to do something different and yet original, but still maintaining the familiarity of the Trek Universe.