Monday, March 19, 2012

The Foolishness Of Remakes

So I gotta go to work in a bit but I felt the need to write this blog now because it was on my mind and apparently I'm at my most analytical and eloquent in the wee hours of the morning. What's on the docket today? Why it's our old pal Reboots...but this time in the form of Remakes. Haven't I already hammered this topic to the ground? Well obviously not well enough if I feel like I have to address it again. So let's get to why I'm talking about this topic once again.

So as we all know, "21 Jump Street" just came out and I think it's receiving positive reviews (I haven't bothered to check the stats). Now, being a 90's kid I vaguely remember the original "21 Jump Street" TV show, so when I heard that Hollywood was bringing this idea to the big screen, I was interested. After all it's quite a novel concept, youthful undercover police officers bringing down young criminals.

Kinda like a combination of these two movies.

When Channing Tatum was announced as being apart of the cast, I was apprehensive BUT dude was in enough fighting movies and he was in G.I. Joe, so having Channing Tatum playing an undercover cop was something that'd be right up his alley. But when Jonah Hill was announced I raised an eyebrow, I was thinking to myself "Holy crap, Jonah Hill doing some serious acting?! This could be awesome.". And when I heard Jonah was slimming down for the role, I was 100% sure this was going to be Jonah Hill transition into being a dramatic actor. After all, I'm a firm believer that comedians make some of the best dramatic actors (but that's neither here or there). The point is I was expecting this movie to be a very serious drama...and why wouldn't I? BECAUSE THE ACTUAL SERIES WAS A DRAMA! So when I saw the trailer I faceplam'd HARD!

Overused BUT for good reason...

Now, let me preamble this by saying that I am NOT saying the movie sucks, I have not (nor do I have any interest in seeing) seen the movie and therefore cannot judge it as a movie. But I'm not judging it as a movie, I'm judging it by the work it shares it's name with and compared to that it fails miserably! Oh but Ugo, aren't you being too harsh ? After all it should be able to stand on it's own merits. If that were the case then why not just make this an original movie instead of attaching it to a series it has nothing to do with other than sharing it's name.

Let me spell it for you guys, basically what I'm saying is, why call this "21 Jump Street" if it doesn't match the tone of the work it's based on? "21 Jump Street" was NOT a comedy (sure it had it's comedic moments, most series do) but it was a drama...however "21 Jump Street" the movie is a straight-up comedy through and through. And there's nothing wrong with comedy...but "21 Jump Street" was NEVER a why turn it into one?

I'm waiting for answers...

I mean pardon me for expecting them to at least try and match the source material, it's only IN THE FRIGGIN' TITLE! I don't mind them having new characters and all that jazz, but I DO care about staying true to the source material. "21 Jump Street" the movie could have EASILY been a drama. They could have stuck with the premise of trying to bring down a high school drug dealer and at the same time addressed some REAL teenage issues like: Suicide, Depression, Bullying and many others. I'm not saying it has to be a big screen P.S.A but I mean SOMETHING that'd link it to the seriousness of the series.  My idea is that you have the 2 cops, one of them WAS a bully back in his high school days but has long since grew out of his bullying ways, and when he sees a bully picking on a kid, he takes no time in stepping in and setting things right. A gesture as simple as that goes a long way. Or maybe one of the cop was picked on a lot, and notices a kid who looks as if he's possibly carrying a weapon and discovers that this kid plans to shoot up the school.

Instead we get Beer kegs and "put your tongue back in your mouth"...Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Again, I'm not saying this movie sucks, I'm just saying why call it "21 Jump Street"...why not call it "High school Undercover" or something along those lines. Because aside from having the "21 Jump Street" name attached to's nothing like it. So again...why do this?

In alike manner I must address Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's recent love affair, "Dark Shadows". My brother and I used to watch "Dark Shadows" back in the day. Not religiously, we were very young at the time and I hardly remember an episode BUT I do remember Barnabas Collins and I do remember watching it frequently enough to be familiar with the gist of the show. This used to come on early mornings before "The Addams Family" (it was some kinda monster marathon thing they had goin'). Anyways, I remember "Dark Shadows" being serious in tone. Of course it was a soap opera in the 60's, it was cheesy and over the top at times BUT it nonetheless took it's material seriously enough to maintain it's drama .

I DO remember this though...this was pretty awesome.

"Dark Shadows" was like old school Gothic novella in the vein of Bram Stoker and things of the like. So when Tim Burton was announced to handle such material, I was thinking "Match made in Heaven.", and Johnny Depp playing Barnabas Collins ?! Forget about it! SLAM DUNK!!...and then the trailer came...

Overused...but for a good reason...

I don't understand this idea of taking old ideas and making them if funny is better or something. "Dark Shadows" COULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING if they stuck to the dark and Gothic nature of the source material...instead we get a pale faced Johnny Depp in weird clothing acting goofy...and there was a time and place for was called "Edward Scissorhands". This is NOT rocket science! Why call this "Dark Shadows" if the ONLY thing that connects it to "Dark Shadows" is Barnabas Collins? Why not call this "Out Of Date Vampire" or something that fits the over all comedic nature of the movie. Don't call this "Dark Shadows" and give us a vampire tearing open a TV set and constantly saying out of date things for humorous effect.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be any comedy at all but for F*CK'S SAKE "Dark Shadows" was a DARK, GOTHIC DRAMA and the ONE time I was relying on Tim Burton to do what he's good at he completely screws me over. What happen to the Tim Burton that gave us "Sleepy Hollow" ?

a.k.a The Movie That Insured Christopher Walken would terrorize the nightmares of children everywhere.

All of this is to ask a very important question that I asked in my previous post, "WHO ARE THESE REBOOTS/REMAKES FOR?". Because the very reason WHY these things are being remade is because a fanbase made them popular. So why take something popular and then crap on the very reason WHY you're taking it? It makes no sense, because I doubt hardcore "Dark Shadows" fans are gonna stand for this, and although I'm not a "Dark Shadows" fan, I still hate to see any fandom get raped.

This made me VERY sympathetic to raped fandoms EVERYWHERE...

In conclusion, I'd like to leave you all with an exchange I had with a Youtuber who agreed with my assessment.


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