Jeff Hates: Movie Remakes

by Jeff Shedden
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I humbly consider myself a film buff. There’s no genre that I’m not well-versed in. I love a good comedy just as much as an intense drama or gory horror film. There’s millions of great movies available that anyone would appreciate.

So for the love of Christmas, can we knock it off with the remakes already?

Remakes are about as necessary as a condom machine in a monastery bathroom. They reek entirely of creative bankruptcy, yet still manage to sucker people into seats non-stop. If the movie is good enough to consider remaking, then why not save the money and just watch the original?

I can understand a few kinds of remakes. If I had to pick one movie to remake, I’d probably pick “The Devil’s Advocate.” It’s a brilliant film that made the world fall in love with Charlize Theron that was ruined by Keanu Reeves’ performance.

Oddly enough, some crackhead decided to greenlight a remake of “Point Break,” a movie in which Reeves was uniquely suited. He got to run around surfing and hamming it up with the late Patrick Swayze. Remaking “Point Break” would be like remaking “Tango and Cash.” Neither film is great enough to warrant spending the money on and you’re neither going to get the proper performance nor the right butt doubles.

Horror films are probably the least respected genre in film, so it’s no surprise that they also get the least respect in regards to remakes. They also pretty much started the remake craze. The big gimmick now is to remake the iconic horror films of the 1970’s and 80’s. It began with a surprisingly good remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Thanks to its success, we’ve since had to suffer through remakes of movies like “My Bloody Valentine,” which also helped kick off the dreadful 3-D craze.

The worst culprit is easily the recent remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I understand that Wes Craven is awful and not only does he mostly make filmatic diarrhea, but also will cheerfully allow people to remake every piece of crap he’s ever done. “Last House on the Left” was horrible, and so was “The Hills Have Eyes,” but “Nightmare” was a truly frightening film that gave birth to the most recognizable slasher villain ever.

The problem with the remake of “Nightmare” is that it takes a franchise that made it through eight films, a TV show, comics, and tons of rubber masks and tries to make it something it’s not. Freddy Krueger loves dicing up kids. But for some reason the re-makers decided to shoehorn in some goofy B.S. trying to make us possibly feel sympathy for him. No. This wasn’t scary, and it just took away from what the fans truly wanted, which was another “Freddy vs. Jason” film.

If things weren’t bad enough, the fad now is to remake movies that were not only fairly recent, but were also fantastic in their own right. In 1981, “Arthur” made millions and won two Oscars. In 2011, “Arthur” also made millions but merely won my promise to one day kick Russell Brand in his reproductives.

We’ve got upcoming remakes of “Footloose” and “Dirty Dancing.” I’m not a fan of either film, but I know people who are maybe a little too passionate about “Dirty Dancing.” I fear the early screenings are going to end in multiple instances of assault with Prada shoes.

Studios aren’t making as many movies as they used to, and the ones they do make seem to be ones that require as little risk as possible. But there’s a reason certain movies become timeless classics.

We’re never going to see a remake of “Gone With the Wind” or “Citizen Kane,” because there’s no way to do it justice. But I’m sure some half-witted lackey in a suit worth more than my car has at one point suggested it. And I hope he was punished by having to sit in a room with underwear full of fire ants, listening to Robin Williams rant after eating a box of Lucky Charms laced with cocaine.