The Great Remake Debate

debate The only thing that can ruin your childhood is repressed memories. Michael Bay isn’t gonna do it. Disney isn’t gonna do it. No one is going to ruin your childhood by making a movie, TV show or cartoon based on something you grew up loving. Let me tell you why. Right off the bat let me tell you that nothing can take away those old things you love. You can always go back to them and short of a Lucas-like intervention that stuff will always be there for you. So just keep that in mind when the Ninja Turtles (not teenage or mutant) movie comes out in a couple of years. And while some remakes do indeed turn out god awful I see more people piling on the nerd hate simply because a studio has dared to change a property in the least little bit.

Let’s look at the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Most people would agree those movies are effing great! You know who doesn’t? The Tolkien estate. They hate them and it’s because Peter Jackson, a giant Tolkien fan, dared to make some changes to the story as he put it on the screen. The world exploded with love for this story and once it was complete it walked away with a few Oscars. However the Tolkien clan sits around pouting and refusing to help WB with the movies and declaring them the worst thing ever. I see angry fanboys as the Tolkien clan. Angry at any change from the one and only thing they know and love. But change is good! Change keeps things from getting stagnant and boring! Change keeps things fresh and interesting and gives you a reason to sit through something you already know well because you never know when you’ll get something a tad different and cool as hell. I saw Sin City before reading any of the comics. The thing is that movie was a shot for shot recreation of the comics making the comics instantly boring as sin to me as I’d just seen this exact same thing. Yawn!

Different for the sake of different isn’t a bad thing as long as the new ideas are actually good.

But we still have to deal with too many remakes coming along, right? Well not really. Honestly you can just ignore them if you like. This is not what you should do though. If a studio remakes a property you love I think it’s your duty to see it. If it’s a movie go to a matinee, a TV show watch a few episodes, or a video game buy it used. Try them out with minimal monetary loss but try them out. Experience this remake so you can understand what is different, why they chose to make something new out of something old and, if you hate it, know what it is you are bitching about. If it’s good and BAM you just added a new experience to a beloved property.

Now is the point where you pull your head out of your own ass and look at the big picture. People always like to say, “The original still holds up!” That’s not always true but even so you have to understand that it holds up… for you. There’s a new generation out there old enough to go to the movies on their own. This new digital generation doesn’t know what movies were like before CGI. They expect certain production values or it will just look like crappy old movies to them. So instead of trying to convince kids to like giant puppet rock monsters why not just present the same story with higher production values and new plot elements that speak more to them than they do to us? I put forward that we get remakes not just to the studios to make a buck but so that the next generation can enjoy the same stories we already got without having to learn to like older films first. The worst that could happen is the kids not liking it. But more than likely you’ll have a new generation suddenly interested in a property enough to check out the original. You’ll see merchandising pimping out the new and the old and you’ll probably end up with an awesome Delorian model on your disk while your kids argue over who gets to be Marty as they play Back to the Future with the neighborhood kids that all saw the new movie.

Stop with the hate. Enjoy what you love and smile as you watch a whole new bunch of kids enjoy it as well.

George Lucas did ruin things for us though but at least we don’t have to worry about that anymore.