Please, don’t play it again Sam!
By Rick Baldwin
“I do not like to repeat successes; I like to go on to other things.” – Walt Disney
Greetings, my faithful film hungry cinephiles of Winchester!
This Friday finds us with new cinematic releases that are unfortunately, less than stellar. The big moneymaker will be the chiller, “Annabelle: Creation” (2017). This creepy gal is a follow-up to the successful entry to the 2014 entry.
Horror, good or bad, usually takes the box office opening night so the only way of really gauging this film is by seeing it. As much as I enjoy a horror film, I think I will schedule for a root canal instead and bypass this fright flick.
This week’s column does not bring us together to discuss genres but to address the 2017 onslaught of remakes, sequels, reboots, and prequels. There have been 43 this year alone, if my memory serves me correctly.
Why does Hollyweird keep making the same movies over and over again? Becau$e we keep going and filling their overpriced $eats. They keep making money, even when they report that they lost money on a production, and invest that money back into tired projects or franchises.
I don’t hate remakes per se; I just don’t see the reason to modernize a movie so it can relate to the perspectives of a younger generation. We should make younger viewers adapt their expectations to the art, not the other way around. This hurts our younger viewers’ ability to adapt and step out of their comfortable normal existence.
There is more to this world, and they must learn to adapt to it. The fact this generation can’t count change without a machine, visualize what life was like before cellphones and their dismissal of quality films claiming they are too old or they hate black and white, leaves them looking ignorant.
Our culture has lost the attention span to comprehend, listen, appreciate a slow pace, and the magical quality of suspending disbelief.
These remakes are nothing more than a crutch to enable laziness with stale material between producers and their intended demographic. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent remakes that I enjoyed. For instance “The Birdcage” (1996), “The Thing” (1982), “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), “The Departed” (2006) and “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964).
See, I’m not a miserable old cynic. But in my years of watching tons of films, remakes usually tarnish the original source material, sequels generally fail to deliver the oomph of the first installment, and prequels are too wordy and explain to much. Sometimes, a bad guy is just a bad guy.
We should treat films like we are choosing between dining options at a vast buffet. Some we will eat up, some we will pass on completely due to its lack of visual appeal and some will be left on the plate with a single bite mark in it. Sometimes, it’s not worth going back for seconds.
So, be selective. Be smart in your film selection and honest in your feedback with your review.
If it’s a stinker, call it a stinker. If it smells like a bad film, looks like a bad film, most likely it is a remake or sequel prepping for release this cinematic season.
Have a FILMtastic day!
Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society. Find more from Rick on Facebook at facebook.com/ricksrhetoric/ and online at theintestinalfortitude.com/category/reviews-editorials/ricks-rhetoric. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79 and can be reached by email at email@example.com.