Movies have been a part of society for over 115 years. The first motion picture was made in 1878—The Horse Motion, by Eadweard Muybridge—in which Muybridge asked Leland Stanford (a wealthy race horse owner and eventual founder of Stanford University) if when a horse trots, does all four hooves leave the ground simultaneously? Really? I’ve always wondered if a person could keep their eyes opened when they sneeze yet no genius invention ever sprouted in my head (lucky him). I feel like I’m getting off subject.
Since the first motion pictures, movies emerged with themes about love, cowboys, important people in history, and the occasional ode to the racial tension in America (thanks a lot “Birth of a Nation”, you son of a bitch!). At the time, ideas were pouring in—original and new, though with some similarities. But it is not their fault. In high school, I learned that there are only seven basic plots for stories in the world– overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, the comedy, the tragedy, and the rebirth. Now, these plots are can now be seen rather than read in all movies. Although, I do highly doubt that Gigli would fall under either one of those categories, but I digress. However, these stories have been constant plot themes in popular movies such as Beowulf, Dracula, Aladdin, Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, and even Harold & Kumar Goes to White Castle, oddly enough!
Well, Hollywood, what in the heck happened? You used to be cool. Now, it seems as though the sweatshop they keep in the basement of movie studios to spruce up some creativity has shut down and all the tiny innovating workers were laid off (There is no such sweatshop…I think). In the recent years, all that I have seen sprouting out of uterus that is Hollywood are nothing but remakes! Don’t get me wrong, this is not the first time remakes have been made. There have been plenty of them throughout the years such as, Oceans 11, Robocop, Dawn of the Dead, Planet of the Apes and Carrie; just to name the few. But to me, those are susceptible to a little sprucing up (This is my opinion; my blog). Since the creation of CGI, producers and filmmakers were jumping at the chance to make movies such as Planet of the Apes seem more real and exciting. Dawn of the Dead was gorier, when at a time you had the slow walking undead, now you had the zombies who so happened to be track stars holding up helpless souls in a mall. Yea, I get it. But what about the originals who do not need all that computer wizardry?
Let me start at the root of my rant. This Memorial Day weekend was a great one. I took the kids to the zoo, ate some hot dogs, and relaxed. And what do I like to do after a relaxing day? Television, that’s what. Low and behold, the first thing to pop up in my channel guide for my viewing pleasure was Alex Haley’s, Roots. Really? Roots? One might ask, “But B, why are you upset about Roots being that you yourself are black?” Thanks for asking, imaginary person. The answer is that I am not upset more than I am just tired of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with the original movie with the guy from Reading Rainbow (LeVar Burton) and the dad from Goodtimes (James Amos). My problem is that there is no reason in all of heaven and hell for it to be remade. How many versions can you actually have of Kunta Kinte getting his foot chopped off? How many versions shall we hear him being whipped for refusing to say his name is Toby? How many I say? I’ll tell you. We only need one damn time. Many will argue that a remake is needed for the new generation, but I have to ask this question—have they not heard of a DVD or Blu-ray? There is not much difference when it comes to movies like these. There is no CGI needed; no explosions. All there is are whips and chains. I’m pretty sure they could have used that money to create something more…inventive.
After seeing this and noticing a filmmaking trend, I decided to do some research, and see if there were more remakes in store and what other classics Hollywood wanted to butcher. I went to my handy dandy Google and low and behold, a few movie titles popped up. Scarface was one of them. Before anyone comes from my head, yes I know that the 1983 Oliver Stone’s Scarface with Al Pacino was actually a remake of the 1932 film of the same name starring, Paul Muni (yes, I know my films). But why another? Whether it is Tony Montana or Tony Camonte, why is there a need for another? Let’s place that in a vault next to Capone’s so Geraldo Rivera can regain some of his dignity back.
Continuing with scrolling through some more websites, the ceiling finally fell. I stumbled upon a certain article titled, “‘Avengers’ Director Announces ‘Godfather” Remake”. SAY IT ISN’T F***ING SO? The article was from the Stanford Daily website. Since I never heard of such a website, I prayed that it was merely satire. You know, like “Faux” News or The Onion, who actually wrote an article about an ice cube that fell in the sink and flew up like a skateboarder shredding a half pipe. Seriously? What in the hell, society? It was really a mockery of journalism if you asked me, and I was ashamed that I spent moments of my life actually reading about this shredding ice cube (don’t judge me).
Apparently, director Joss Whedon told the CEO of Paramount Pictures, Brad Grey that he wanted to make him “an offer he couldn’t refuse”. Ugh. Can someone give him some butter for that corny line? In the article, it goes on to state how Whedon was good at his job, responsible for such masterpieces as Alien Resurrection and four episodes of Roseanne (Wow). Whedon continued on with saying how he wanted to make this version grittier and darker. In my Kanye West voice, “How, Sway?”. The more and more I read, the angrier I became. Don Corleone was to be changed to Donna? It was at that point, I had to stop myself from throwing my laptop across my damn room. I also quickly realized how it was all a bunch of crap. How right I was. Evidently, the article was part of the April Fool’s Edition meaning that it was completely fictitious. WHEW! WHAT A FREAKING RELIEF?! It wasn’t the only one either. Another article claiming that Johnny Depp was to play Vito Corleone turned out to be a complete hoax. Even with all the fabrication spewing about, I could not help but wonder how long would it be before the big movies studios decide to place their grimy little hands on an endless classic like the “The Godfather” or “Gone with the Wind”. How long will it be before they ruin a really good thing? What is the need for fixing things that aren’t broken? Oh yea, MONEY!
Waiter, can I have a plate of originality, please? I’m just saying, never will I accept anyone as Vito Corleone other than the talented (and very handsome in his hay day), Marlon Brando (R.I.P). I just don’t understand Hollywood’s fascination with beating a dead horse. He’s dead already! Stop! Make the glue! Maybe that was a little too harsh (my apologies PETA). Maybe I’m just really passionate about filmmaking. No, I’m not a Film major, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what is a good movie and what is not. Lately (maybe I’m a little late with this) but it seems as though mainstream movie making has become more about the money than the actual art. What other excuse could there be for the recent Adam Sandler movies?
Movies and film are like an escape from reality to another; where one can envision themselves being in. Now, producers and directors rely on the short attention spans of millennials that are merely entertained by loud explosions and a naked lady on screen. Where is the talent? Where is the actual blood and sweat it takes to write a good script and to make a good movie? How many times much we hear the same story? There is no reason to be lazy and not use that noggin for an imaginative idea. Italo Calvino was quoted saying, “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” So to the big wigs in Movie Land, how about you allow these classics to finish the point in which they were intended to convey and come up with some better s***. ENOUGH WITH THE DAMN REMAKES, ALREADY!