Written by: Fanboy Comics
Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon tries to reconcile the downward mobility of Hollywood.
Over the past decade, I have become increasingly dismayed with the “films” coming out of Hollywood. Of course, you know that I am talking about the fetishization of pop-culture nostalgia. Let’s face it; they just don’t make movies like they used to. From Transformers to G.I. Joe, from The Karate Kid to Teen Wolf (it is going to be on MTV – and do not even get me started on the topic of “Music Television…”), it is difficult (editor’s note: impossible) to name a recent big-budget film that is not a remake/reboot/reimagining/reinventing/sequel/prequel/sidequel. Some may argue that there are only “seven original stories in existence,” but, let’s be honest here; this is a completely specious argument. At the end of the day, all humans eat, breath, and sleep, but are their lives all the same?
When I think back to my childhood, I remember films like Forrest Gump, E.T.– The Extra-Terrestrial, Tootsie, and Platoon. They were NEW, INTELLIGENT, INSIGHTFUL, and all-the-while ENTERTAINING. (I will admit, though, that some of these films, and other great films throughout history, were/are adapted from short stories, novels, and other artistic media. Stay tuned for a later blog regarding the success/failure of transferring literary work to the big screen.) My family and I went to the movies to see films that we had never seen before. And, if we really LOVED a particular film, we would anxiously wait for it to appear on VHS and HBO. Now, of course, there is DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu, Youtube, Netflix, Pay-per-view, cable, premium channels, On Demand, iTunes, ad nauseum. Ironically, Hollywood wants to sell us new versions of old material that has never been easier for us to access. It is laughable to me to think of Dudley Moore’s Arthur (Moore was nominated for an Oscar. Also, it is available for immediate streaming on Netflix.) being played by the ridiculously sophomoric Russell Brand. Hey, Hollywood, I think a wise man once said, “if it ain’t broke…don’t try to make it better, because it will probably be very bad.” What you come up with will be much less interesting than the original idea, you will try too hard to overcompensate for that fact, and you will lose all of the reasons that the original thing was successful with audiences.
For those movie fans out there that share my displeasure with rehashed film classics, I encourage you to take a stand. Interested in staging a revolt against the studio? Two words: monetary returns. The next time that a movie is being rebooted or reimagined, especially those where the original was made within the past year (I am talking to you, Let the Right One In), do not see it in the theatre. First, watch the original; you might like it and you will have no need to see it again. If you absolutely must see Channing Tatum play Willy Loman, just wait for it to be pirated online. When the weekend box office demonstrates that the theatre-going audience doesn’t want what they already have, the studios may take notice.
Barbra Dillon is the Managing Editor of Fanboy Comics, an independent comic book publishing company based in Los Angeles, Calif. She has produced numerous short films including Something Animal and Batman of Suburbia, and served as Legal Advisor for the film Walken on Sunshine. For more interviews, blogs, and reviews by Barbra and the FBC staff, check out the Fanboy Comics website at FanboyComics.net or sign up for the e-newsletter, The Fanboy Scoop, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.