Saturday, July 26, 2008

Remakes, Repeats, Redos and Sequels, Spasms of an Uncreative Mind

It at once amazes and yet also stupefies me that the champion of our entertainment industry is at once capable of fielding titanic movies of intelligence and fun like The Dark Knight yet still be bulging with complete and utter wastes of time, energy, money and the occasional spark of talent that seems to comprise the bulk of Hollywood. Don't get me wrong, I am nothing short of ecstatic about movies like Watchmen and Terminator: Salvation, but then I hear about such mindbogglingly horrific decisions as remakes of Robocop, Hellraiser and even such blasphemous sacrilege as The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Of course, the most traumatic of all experiences for me is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Suffice it to say that the original movie was an assault on my brain like nothing I have experienced before or since and the idea of anyone even considering that remaking such a movie would be a good idea in even the deepest, darkest corner of their mind seems like a complete loss of all cognitive faculties. Instead of an industry that by all rights should attract the most talented, imaginative and creative, Hollywood instead seems to be populated with the asinine, the stupid, the money grubbing and the downright insane. Rocky Horror is universally considered one of the worst movies of all time, it has no class, it has no thought, it is built up on bad songs, worse acting, nonexistent plot and heinously inappropriate sexuality that assaults even the most base individuals to their very soul. The one and only reason the movie has enjoyed any amount of popularity in any way whatsoever is that people like to make fun of it, to laugh at it, not with it because the movie goes so far outside the realm of intelligence, sanity or common sense that for a moment people can forgo humanity and become instead ethereal shadows that exist outside of thought, stability or sense.

As a true fan of the big screen, hearing of remakes and sequels being made time and again wounds me to my deepest self. There at times seems to be no imagination or intelligence left in Hollywood. Where once stood creativity and class is now an industry that exists only to make money by doing the least amount of work and brainstorming possible, instead preferring to throw bad movies that have already been made two or three dozen times at audiences and pray we'll be pacified by all the pretty, pretty lights and whirring sound.

I am not pacified, I cannot abide the thought of a remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. I would sincerely hope that anyone with any amount of dignity, class or respect for what is one of the most celebrated science fiction movies ever made would stay as far away from such a remake as humanly possible, and that is of course before I heard who exactly would be playing the part of the protagonist, the enigmatic alien Klaatu. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing personally against Keanu Reeves, he is a fine action star who works well in films like Speed, The Matrix or even Street Kings. My problem begins and ends when good action stars but mediocre actors try to walk in the shadow of a giant, pretending to be an actor when they most certainly are not. Even were Hollywood to completely forgo its respect for the great minds that have populated it in the past, still I would hope they would have the faculty to realize that any attempt at defacing the memory of The Day the Earth Stood Still should be made with a legitimate and very talented actor, not a running and jumping fiend who can't help but fidget when forced to sit still.

Today, in the face of a couple really good movies and a score of really bad ones that will do nothing save make a little bit of money and a lot of asses out of the semi-creative minds constituting Hollywood's braintrust, I must say thee nay, Hollywood has put in a rather large nail in its coffin, one constructed out of rehashed thoughts and single minded greed.


Anonymous said...

Your interpretation of RCPS is not the common one, thank god.

I now refer you to:

Bryan Koenig said...

That movie is far too heinous and painful to be considered camp. Camp is stupidly funny, Rocky Horror isn't so much stupid as insane and assualting on the senses.

Thanks for reading.

bigbaddaddyvader said...

"Rocky Horror is universally considered one of the worst movies of all time, it has no class, it has no thought, it is built up on bad songs, worse acting, nonexistent plot and heinously inappropriate sexuality that assaults even the most base individuals to their very soul."

I think you have singularly failed to see the point of the film as it is a homage to the musical and B-Movie sci-fi culture of the 1930s to 1950s which you so laud in "The Day The Earth Stood Still".That film is certainly a classic,and I completely agree that a remake of it is unconscionable,however your views on Rocky Horror are most certainly not universal.It has been one of the most enduring and popular musicals of the past thirty years with countless stage interpretations and album releases and launched the career of an oscar-winner in Susan Sarandon.Rocky Horror is at once homage and pastiche with a sly sense of humour that is underappreciated for it's sophistication-or at least underappreciated by those who would slight it.I am anything but a "base individual" and the sexuality in the film is handled in a ludicrously over-the-top and hammy fashion in order to create the humour.How can anyone possibly take a man singing a line such as "I'm a sweet transvestite from transexual transylvania" whilst in high heels and fishnets seriously?This is not an assault on one's sensibilities-it is comedy.I believe if someone is actually offended by this it speaks more to their narrow-mindedness than it does to that of the writer.
In an otherwise well-thought and well argued article on the current state of Hollywood and it's lack of creative vision you have compromised your completely valid points with what appears to be an unreasonable and ill conceived diatribe against a perfectly harmless piece of fun.
As I say otherwise a very interesting and valid commentary on the modern Hollywood.

Bryan Koenig said...

Thank you for your comments, I can see why people would like Rocky Horror for the camp, but for me the camp is taken to such an extreme that it forgoes any amount of sanity or intelligence in favor of an anarchy of thought and artistry. I draw a distinction between funnily stupid lampooning and the just plain irrevocably stupid. Sexual farce is not something that causes me to bat an eye except for when it is employed purely as a means for the creative minds involved to simply fill up space and see exactly how much they could get away with.