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Hollywood Out of Ideas?

Since the first moving picture in 1878, and the advent of the Hollywood studio system in 1927, the forces behind what is now called Hollywood have generally been able to generate copious amounts of unique content. Fast-forward eighty years into the future and it appears as though the Hollywood machine is skipping like a scratched LP. It’s copy / paste craziness.

Hollywood Out of IdeasJust take a quick look at your local movie store shelf and you can see the evidence everywhere. Nothing is safe. Not your favourite book. Not your favourite TV series. Not your favourite comic books. Not video games. Not even kids toys are safe anymore. For the most part the majority of adaptations are terrible. However, every now and then something descent, sometimes even great, comes from the crop CTRL + C / CTRL + V studio mentality.

Take heart, as I’ll save the adaptation editorial for another day. This time I’ll be taking a brief look at Hollywood’s fetish with remakes and reboots.

It’s a bad addiction that Hollywood currently has. Someone, somewhere brought in some bad glue for sniffing, because no film made before 2009 is immune. Even the movies that you grew up watching, you know, the ones that you love more than your parents (alright, maybe not) are being targeted and trampled.

Recently, Hollywood has taken a chance with some major franchises. Three different studios have been able to successfully reboot Batman, James Bond, and most recently, Star Trek. They show that, if done correctly, they can successfully resuscitate a dead set of characters and bring them back to the front of the minds of moviegoers. But, these are diamonds in the rough. Unfortunately, the money making machine keeps spewing out countless pieces of forgettable dribble. Let’s take 2002’s Rollerball for example. Okay, I’m done. That’s how memorable it was. What about 2004’s Alfie? Did anyone even see that? Maybe Assault on Precinct 13? Bedazzled? The Day the Earth Stood Still? Flight of the Phoenix? The Wicker Man? I don’t think I need to continue this diatribe. There are more titles than I care to type out. 

If you think that the big H is done with remakes and reboots think again. It’s like the Sherriff of Nottingham squeezing every last drop out of the people to pad his money purse. Just have a look at this short list of recently announced reboot/remakes and a few that were released within the past year:

Flight of the Navigator, The Neverending Story, Conan, Cliffhanger, Videodrome, The Mechanic, Drop Dead Fred, Arthur, Barbarella, The Karate Kid, Footloose, Friday the 13th, The Hitcher, The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Prom Night, Halloween, The Hills Have Eyes, Dawn of the Dead, The Wicker Man, Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Day of the Dead, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Total Recall, Escape from New York, and Death Race.

The rate at which Hollywood is remaking or rebooting their films is picking up steam. They didn’t give Ang Lee’s Hulk long to rest before attempting to relaunch. The numbers from The Incredible Hulk didn’t quite measure up to the big green monster’s theatrical debut. Give it a few more years and we’ll see remakes for films that were released only months ago. In fact, I’ve heard that Paramount and Hasbro have already hired new writers to begin work on rebooting G.I. Joe for a theatrical release in 2011. Of course, that’s utter trite, but I’m guessing it won’t be long before we see such announcements.

What do you think of Hollywood’s current bad habit? A short lived trend or are we in for a wild ride?

For a list of remakes you can visit this Wikipedia page.

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