Well it is Monday again, which means you are back in the office, back typing boring emails, making boring phone calls, shooting the breeze with people you hate “good weekend?” “yeah… and you?” “yeah…” scintillating stuff… back to staring at clocks or getting in to a massive tizz about work issues, which is horrible, work steals enough of your time and now its taking your emotions too… the bastard. Well rather than babble on about work as that’s just depressing lets do a blog about “Remakes”, and call it Episode 29 of the Aldershot Woes.
Well it’s Monday again, which means we are back in the office, back typing emails in HD whilst being blasted by space cannons and diving out of harms way as bullet time Matrix style photon blasts narrowly pass us by missing us by microns but being close enough to, in fine detail, tear through the fabric of our work shirts. Back making 12.4 mega-dolby super surround-sound speeches in to the latest I-phones with frequent close ups of the poxy apple logo. Back to talking in quick snappy unrealistic “Friends” type banter with photo-shop enhanced work colleagues, none of whom are old and shit all of whom are young, and if male completely henched out of proportions and if female have boobs big enough for a family of squirrels to lay safely nestled through out a cold winter, all with teeth so white you need those special glasses they have for looking at eclipses to look directly at them. All the clocks are cool “24” style countdowns, and if you get in a tizz about something it ends in a highly improbable angry movie love situation, as obviously its all just a big boiling pot of hot unrealistic sexiness. And that’s not fair as work is already taking your time, but this summer…. It’s taking your soul too, in 3-D, starring Miley Cyrus and them walking eyebrows from the teenage girl vampire saga.
Remakes are shit. In fairness I could just end my blog there and I would be justified in doing so, then I could get Hollywood to remake it but instead of words it would just be a huge 3-D spinning bit of poo and a soundtrack featuring Lady Gaga doing a cover version of your favourite song (just imagine it, and shudder). But I won’t leave it at that I will go briefly in to the subject, as I need to vent my spleen over the advert for the new A-Team movie which I saw for the first time this weekend, as it was just all completely wrong. They have got the deep-voice “this summer” movie guy recreating the intro to the A-Team (you know, in 1973 a crack team of commandoes etc etc…) and he just gets it all wrong. It sounds wrong, he says “soldiers for hire” instead of “soldiers of fortune”, the whole delivery is off and well, its just plain wrong… I feel like a Christian who’s bought an audio CD of the bible only to find out it been read by Joe Pasquale and Bobcat Goldthwaite. Now some people may be thinking “well, what’s the big fucking deal?” my wife certainly didn’t understand why I leapt up and started punching the television or why I was sobbing like a madman for hours afterwards. But this is just the latest in a series of Hollywood remakes of my childhood memories, and I really don’t know how much more I can take?
Like everyone who is my age, I was born in 1983 so all my first childhood memories are from the genuine golden age of cinema. Star Wars was a BIG part of my life and like all sane men between the ages of 45 and 23 I watched the films religiously and can recite most scenes at will, but it was the unparalleled popularity of these films and the unrelenting greed of its creators that sparked the recent obsession with remakes.
“An extra scene, fuck off… in New Hope, with Han and Jabba? No way… I have to see this”. This was everyone in 1998 when in warming up for the triple-shit of Star Wars prequels George Lucas re-released the original trilogy in CGI wanker-vision. It would take genuine espionage to make these films bad, like CGI-ing Nick Cleggs face on to Darth Vader or replacing the John Williams score with soundtrack to Mama Mia, and the revamps weren’t bad, they were just wrong. The extra scene with Jabba was shit, if something is not good enough for people in 1976, chances are 20 years later it will still be shit. The occasional shot of a CGI Bantha or a shinier X-wing aside, there was very little point to the re-release, it just took some original charm away from the movies and replaced it with what now looks very dated special effects. But millions of people went to see them again and it made a whole heap of money, and remember this is art, so that’s all that matters.
At that moment a financial epiphany hit the creative minds of Hollywood, rather than trying untested ideas which take thought and an element of risk, “let’s just re-hash old ideas?” This is, from a marketing view, the absolute bollocks… fans of the original will want to see it, the characters are established so you can forgo expensive “actors” and have grinning morons with shiny teeth, it just becomes a paint-by-numbers franchise exercise, which is guaranteed to make “x” amount of dollars, regardless of how shit it is. However from an artistic or entertaining aspect this practice is stunting the industry and denying future generations their own Star Wars… But if I am honest I am not worried about the artistic integrity of Hollywood, Star Wars is a rip off of a bunch of Japanese films anyway, what I do care about is the reformatting of MY childhood memories… for the love of god Hollywood, just stop doing things wrong!
Now in the last 10 years there have been too many shit remakes to list them all, and also so many have been so shit that the memory of them has already evaporated from your mind… Dukes of Hazard, The Pink Panther, Alfie, The Italian Job, Godzilla, St Trinnians, Any Horror film you can think of, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Shaft, and there are thousands more, and the common bond is none are as good as the originals. I am sure at least one must be any good or at least viable, but I’ll be damned if I can think of it now, Reservoir Dogs is a remake of a scene is some Korean film, but that’s kind of different (cue letters from angry Koreans). The overwhelming majority of these remakes are just soulless cash cows, and I am not against the remakes in principle, it’s just that now when you look at the big movies for the coming year, at least half are remakes, and most of them are crushingly disappointing.
“One shall stand, one shall fall”. The greatest line in one of the greatest films ever made, Transformers the movie. I love Transformers, I loved the cartoons, the comics and above all the toys, giant robots fighting a massive war, who can turn in to cars and planes and shit, fuck yes! Now like most people my age, a real-life Transformer movie was the stuff of geeky wet-dreams, and when I heard it had actually happened and been made and was coming out for real in my life time, the cynicism fell away and I was like a child at Christmas. I was so excited I broke my first law of movies and went to a cinema to watch it, yep I organised a loan to by the tickets and sold my organs on the black market to fund a tiny flat cup of ice with some Coke splashed on top and a thimble of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. What followed was 2 hours of “what, no, that’s shit. Oh come on, what, it doesn’t even look like a transformer. Oh fuck off, no, what, really, god no, just finish, just shoot me, no, no, no, no, no, no!” Easily one of the worst films I have ever seen, and before the Megan Fox brigade jump on, yeah she is attractive, so what? How could anyone make such shit looking robots, what was with there faces looking like the inside of watches, why did they take so long to transform, why was it so confusing to watch, why was Bumble Bee (the gayest robot since the bum-o-tron 4000) the lead robot character, how did someone think this would be good in anyway? But who cares, it made fifty billion trillion squillion pounds at the cinema and a dozen sequels are planned, and everything cool about my Transformers is forgotten and replaced with new utter, utter shit.
Remakes are here now and unbearably popular, add some CGI and a bird with some big norks and that’ll do, just throw a dart in to Blockbusters and what ever it hits, BAM remake that bitch… “Oh, Scarface… right cast Ashton Kutcher as Tony, CGI up a chainsaw, replace the machine guns with photon blasters, set it in space and have it so he learns a lesson at the end of the film and rather than dies he chases Elvira to the airport and stops her getting on that space cruiser, and he gets married and Manny is his best man and they all dance like eejits to Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga’s rendition of “White lines don’t do it” by grandmaster flash and Melle Mel.
Well that’s my spleen vented, remakes are a load of shit though, and they are always done wrong as they just shouldn’t be done in the first place, if you are going to see the A-team, then you are an idiot, it should be boycotted and we should all Jihad its makers, but I suppose you never know it might be good like the remake of erm…. Err… yeah.
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