Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blogger: John Fontana

Today's special guest blogger is the mysterious John Fontana (or Johnny Fonts as I like to call him). I said mysterious because I've never met or even spoken to the guy, yet we've "known" each other for years now. John is the mastermind behind Raw Charge, the bay area's best blog covering the Tampa Bay Lightning (and a part of the SB Nation Tampa Bay family) and I've met some of his people (I like to imagine him as the kind of guy who "has people" and that he orchestrates their actions from the deep recesses of a shadowy lair) but have never crossed paths with the guy himself. Or have I? I don't know. Maybe I met him when he was in disguise or something and he didn't reveal his true identity. I have no way of knowing. In a way, that's good. I kind of like the idea of somebody taking Batman's approach to fighting crime and adapting it to blogging about hockey.
At any rate, Johnny Fonts is as annoyed by the endless stream of remakes & reboots rolling out of Hollywood as I am. Here is his take on the situation...

Remaking Cinema in the 2000’s

By now, you have noticed Hollywood is out of original ideas – well, unless your name happens to be Christopher Nolan and a selective few others. It’s mostly rehash left and right and in between now at your local Cineplex: Retold stories and continuations of franchises that should have ended by now.

Alas, the reboots are a way of life now in film.

Sunday night, at my older brother’s urging, I watched the 2009 film “The Karate Kid”, which didn’t exactly fit the reboot genre at all because… well, the kid wasn’t learning karate, he was learning kung fu. Details though, right? Who cares! It’s a kid martial artist!

And yet, this was a needless remake of a grand scale. “The Karate Kid” remains a classic to this day. And while Ralph Macchio had his moments of obnoxiousness in the original film, they don’t make you brush off his troubles because he’s an asshole like the current movie.

Sympathy and charaisma, who needs it when you have kun-fu fighting!

The point of this post is that Hollywood filmed a movie, loosely based on an 80’s blockbuster, using the blockbuster’s name in hopes to hit paydirt.

Why do they have to do this with classics? You’d think that an executive would look at some of the duds of the past 50 years and commission a screenwriter to draft a reboot for one of countless steaming piles of crap that Tinseltown has put out in that time.

I mean, seriously, Ishtar is not exactly sacred In it’s current version, it can do with some changes and updating and they may actually make a watchable film. Van Helsing is primed to be remade, because it really wasn’t made in the first place. It was marketed and put onto celluloid in hopes of selling toys and other monster goodies. Not much else.

They can remake the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes but they won’t touch Waterworld, as if it was such a sacred film that it can’t be re-imagined improved upon…

I’m not entirely against reboots, mind you. Tim Burton and Sam Raimi painted themselves into corners when they did their respective superhero films (Batman and Spider-man, respectively) by killing off the villains. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films stand apart and stand above the Burton features, and Sony is in the process of rebooting Spider-man (ok, a little premature, but…).

They’re remaking Red Dawn – the hit from 1984 – but won’t touch Runaway, the Michael Crichton techno-thriller of low-tech special effects sci-fi from the same year… What is more of a threat in the modern world – technology, or the Commies? What piques the imagination more?

Let’s move away from the movies that made any money (and were considered bombs) and move to one that didn’t make any: A little flick released in 1989 called Catch Me If You Can (not the Spielberg directed movie with Leo DiCaprio). Just reading over the concept on IMDB (economic hard times! Street racing! Gambling! Teens!), it looks like it’d be in the Hollywood crosshairs. Add to it the fact the original film was only released for one week in the US and made less than $4000, and you a true candidate of a bomb that could be re-done for much higher returns.

But, no... Because half the marketing is in brand name recognition. The Day The Earth Stood Still, RETOLD! A Nightmare On Elm Street, begun anew!

No wonder people are staying home, watching reality TV, or spending more time with YouTube video clips. If we wanted the same stuff, over and over again, we’d still be watching Gilligan’s Island reruns.


JPFDeuce said...

This post is such a great example of how I don't copy-edit my writing enough. :-(

And my secret lair is so secret that the mystery is how I can stand it...

Thanks, Clark :)

Ruprecht said...

What ... ?!?!

They're remaking 'Gilligan's Island' ... ?!? Can they do it on the same island as 'Lost', please?

Suddenly, I'm hungry ...

ChrisC said...

You have taken the words right out of my mouth,if that's at all possible. Remaking a movie classic is like flavoring coffee or beer.Can some things be left alone?