Guest Author - Gail Kavanagh
Is it just me, or has Hollywood run out of ideas? In spite of original successes like James Cameron’s Avatar and the Harry Potter movies, coming up with new ideas seems beyond the capabilities of most film makers, who are jumping on the remake bandwagon in a big way.
The question is - why? Most of the movies being remade were classics, still enjoyable today, and still available. True, we have now have even more whiz bang CGI to play with, but wouldn’t that be better employed creating new worlds, instead of rehashing the old ones?
Conan the Barbarian is a case in point. The movie trailer is online now, and while it looks suitably spectacular, one can’t help but wonder why a remake was called for in the first place. The studio blurbs that it will more closely follow the original book by Robert E Howard, but we’ve heard all that before. The main reason seems to be to exploit the latest he-man on the scene, Jason Momoa. That might have been a good idea BUT - in the trailer now on line he seems to have been made up to look like Arnie, with a big bumpy forehead.
Stargate Atlantis devotees know that Momoa is gorgeous. Why not let this Conan be gorgeous too? True, Conan is a barbarian but there’s no reason why he can’t be a good looking one. Trying to turn Momoa into Arnie is pointless. There is only one Arnie, and only one Conan played by him.
While I initially looked forward to this production, after seeing the trailer all I can think is is ‘why bother?’ Just remaster the original.
But remake Hell is just around the corner, with dozens of movies slated for the ‘why not’ treatment. A remake of The Black Hole is on the cards, by the people who came up with Tron Legacy. That was a sequel and passes muster, but why a remake? If there’s no Sam Neill in this one, it will lack the only good thing the original had going for it.
In another What The? move, the people who made Fast and Furious want to remake Russell Mulcahey’s iconic Highlander (the original, not the dire sequels). What, weren’t Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Clancy Brown good enough for you? They were good enough for me, so good that I’ll be watching the original again, not some remake.
Then there’s Escape From New York - who could reprise Kurt Russell’s wonderful Snake Plissken? Jake Gyllenhall? What about yet another Battlestar Galactica remake while we’re at it - based on the original this time. Oh please.
The aim may be to bring a fresh look at these classics for young audiences (who regard everything as ‘so five minutes ago’) or it may be to show how much better these movies could have been with today’s actors and techniques. Or it may be that they haven’t milked these classic cash cows enough. Or - is it most likely is that these movie geniuses don’t have any original ideas of their own?
Come on guys, if James Cameron and an English welfare mother can do it, so can you.