Monday, August 1, 2011

On Sequels, Remakes and Other Things That Make Me Die Inside...

Children of the 80s (not to mention romantics and die-hard John Cusack fans) know the above image is from Say Anything. The movie, directed by Cameron Crowe, starred Cusack and Ione Skye as recent high school graduates who fall in love despite being two completely different people, and struggle to stay together in the face of obstacles trying to tear them apart.

Apparently during the Television Critics Association press tour this past weekend, Crowe mentioned that he could consider a sequel to Say Anything; in fact, Crowe said that the movie is the only one he has written that he could see giving the sequel treatment.

Hearing that, of course, made me want to scream "NO!" and fly immediately to wherever Crowe is to stop him from the very thought of developing a sequel to this movie. Do I want to know what happened to Lloyd and Diane? Absolutely, but I'd rather use my imagination than see it for myself.

The movie business is all too keen on sequels. While some films, particularly action franchises, may lend themselves to having their stories extended beyond the writers' original intent, there are far too many movies for which sequels have been unnecessarily made.

Was the world really crying out to know what happened with Jack Nicholson's character in Chinatown so much that The Two Jakes was necessary? Once we established what you did last summer, did we really still need to know? Was Ace Ventura really that good of a pet detective in the first place?

And if the sequels aren't bad enough, the remakes are truly killing me. I understand the appeal of remaking an older movie and adapting it to more current times. And I also can somewhat understand the desire to take a foreign movie and adapt it for American audiences, like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Let Me In (the American adaptation of Let the Right One In).

What I don't understand, however, is the need to remake movies that came out within the last 25 years or so, or even less. I certainly didn't think Spider-Man needed to be remade so soon (no matter how much I like Andrew Garfield), nor did it seem the world was clamoring for more Superman movies or even a remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I'm sure you know where I stand on that one) or Red Dawn.

And thankfully, Robert Zemeckis got some sense back before deciding to remake The Wizard of Oz.

But if I were to pick a remake that makes me want to cry every time I see the trailer for it, it would be Footloose. Did the movie that made a star of Kevin Bacon really need to be relaunched? No. And more importantly, are we that old now that Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell have moved from sexy, leading roles to disapproving parental roles?

I find it hard to believe that with all of the people who come to Hollywood every day, that there is no one out there creative enough to come up with unique ideas for movies instead of remakes, sequels and adapting television shows, Broadway shows, comic books and fairy tales.

In case you haven't seen it yet, watch the trailer for the "new" Footloose below and weep. And then break out your original soundtrack, with Kenny Loggins, Deniece Williams, even Shalamar, and relive days gone by...

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