following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
few days ago I posted an article that pretty much was about movie
franchises and box office details -- “Blockbusters…
really?” -- and it got me thinking… again…
about one of my favorite irritants…
some ways, I get it. (Ok… ok… in a lot of ways, I get
the nature of the beast. And… honestly… it’s nothing new.
Rathbone made over a dozen films in the role of Holmes… with Nigel
Bruce along on them as Dr. Watson.
and Nigel are certainly not alone. Today we have Sherlock
Holmes movies, Sherlock the brilliant British television
series and cultural phenomenon, and Elementary on American
thing is… I don’t actually hate any of these attempts. (For Mr.
Holmes or in several other cases.)
problem I have is when a startling lack of creativity seems to
just for the sake of a money grab… even that I can appreciate.
When a movie is made for $10 million… $20 million… $30 million
and brings back something around $80 million, I think you at least
owe a nod of appreciation to the fact that jobs were created and
an attempt was made in an industry that is catering to big investments
made on the hopes of bigger returns.
I’m talking about when it seems like the idea is centered on the
concept that the mere mentioning of a name is supposed to make
us… the audience… react positively to the news.
look… all ideas and jokes you might be tempted to make (or could
expect to be made) about Russell Brand aside… where was this project
headed? Who thought it would be a good idea? How could anyone
think that the results delivered by Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli
and John Gielgud could be improved? What is the motivation to
even try? How could anyone think this would end well?
about this one? The Bad News Bears.
mean… what the hell?
Walter Matthau – Tatum O’Neal film is a classic. No arguments
or debate about it. But… much like films such as Blazing Saddles…
many of the details involved in the original could never be replicated
by a studio today.
why… why… WHY even attempt a remake?
part of it is to blame and movies like The Italian Job…
where a movie was made, using the same story and the same name,
made pretty well, and performed well at the box office.
no mistake… it is dollar signs.
the trouble is… when I begin really thinking about the subject,
movies like The Italian Job come back to haunt me. And
the reason is simple… because every so often a great remake is
made and released. (Well… at least a really good one.) And, when
it uses source material that’s old enough, many times the audience
doesn’t even know about the original.
there are times when even Hollywood seems hesitant.
a movie like The Wizard of Oz. (Yes… yes… we all know
that one. Got it.)
it’s a classic. But I feel fairly confident saying that many of
the decisions involved in making that film were made due to restrictions
of the day… dollars and technology and so on… and not specifically
for reasons of genius. And yet, so many of them are today recognized
as awesome decisions and accomplishments.
it should be no wonder when The Wiz and Tin Man
get produced… no wonder when The Muppets and Andrew Lloyd Webber
get involved in attempts to tell the story… no wonder when extensions
like Wicked and Oz the Great and Powerful are
a great story. The classic film is wonderful.
yet I can’t help but feel that it is a film worthy of a remake.
don’t know… maybe the rights to the film are tied up in ways I
have no understanding of… perhaps the iconic images such as the
ruby slippers are so trademarked and perfect that a retelling
of the story itself couldn’t work. There are a lot of ways obstacles
can stand in the way of making a film.
it becomes simply amazing what Hollywood will do. I recall reading
someplace where the reboot/remake/reattempt for the Twilight
movies was already being planned before the last of the original
batch had even been released.
they kidding us?
I would hope is that they could at least figure out a way to not
insult us with the effort. But that might be asking too much.