Saturday, October 13, 2007

Use Your Reimagination

I'm sure by now everyone has noticed this, but the taglines for two miserable-looking comedies out now are almost exactly alike. The curiously ubiquitous Dane Cook's GOOD LUCK CHUCK's tagline is "Sometimes, Love Blows" while "Love Blows" sells us THE HEARTBREAK KID, Ben Stiller's ill-conceived remake of the 1972 Charles Grodin vehicle.

Nobody can curl a lip like Grodin

How unimaginative, right?

Perhaps, when they're remade in the future, someone will "reimagine" the taglines too.

Hollywood has apparently become dissatisfied with the term "remake", because lately I've been reading that films like Rob Zombie's 2007 HALLOWEEN aren't remakes, but "reimaginings" of the source material.

From Wikipedia:

Recently, the term "reimagining" has become popular to describe remakes that do not closely follow the original. The term is used by creators in the marketing of films and television shows to inform audiences that the new product is not the same as the old.

But how close is "closely"? Is there a definitive dividing line that separates the mere remake from the far more grandiose-sounding reimagining?

I've been plagued by/secretly enjoying nightmares "adapted from" John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN my entire adult life

First we have to sort the "reinterpretations" out of the equation. BATMAN BEGINS (2005) is not a remake of nor a sequel to BATMAN (1989), but rather a reinterpertation of the same DC comic book source material that inspired BATMAN the movie and BATMAN the 1960's TV series. So, then, it would seem that BATMAN BEGINS (and its 2008 sequel THE DARK KNIGHT) are technically "readaptations", right?

Who the hell knows. It just seems depressing to me that rather than fostering new ideas, we're doomed to a neverending cycle of cannibalism and reheating of leftovers. The Wikipedia section listing film remakes is so long that it has to be broken up into two sections: A-M and N-Z.

Back to reimagining. All of the film and TV franchises that have been deemed reimaginings are in the horror and sci-fi genre: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974 & 2003), BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978 & 2003), DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978 & 2004), BIONIC WOMAN (1976-2007), etc.

I wonder why that is? Why is Michael Bay, who as producer has already re-somethinged the AMITYVILLE HORROR, THE HITCHER and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE franchises, now turning his attention to FRIDAY THE 13th?

It's hard to believe FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER was 23 years ago...

Because IT'S EASY! Is there anything more American than following the path of least resistance to the pot of gold? These films and franchises have brand equity and name value, so it doesn't really MATTER how wildly they're reimagined or bastardized... basically the same format and structure are gonna unfold whether or not it's a no-name low-budg horror film or it's a big-budg "Rising/Birth of" chapter or a THEORETICALLY daring shift of location or temporal setting (JASON GOES TO HELL and/or MANHATTAN, Aliens fight Predators, etc).

A large group of teens/scientists/mercenaries are gonna be whittled down by the killer, at least one in a sexually compromising position, until a final showdown where the killer is vanquished... or is/are they?

Repeat as necessary.

No comments: