An Alternative Opinion: Remakes; Good or Bad?

An Alternative Opinion is a weekly feature where Alt:Mag writers are given a question or topic, and submit their thoughts and opinions. Today's topic of discussion is remakes: are they something to be excited about, or just irritating cash-ins that are flooding the industry?

Aaron: Love or hate Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, you can't deny that they truly changed the world of cinema. Thanks to the Caped Crusader's gritty and (to a degree) realistic representation in the films, remakes and reboots have been tumbling out of every imaginable direction, almost always followed with the words "re-imagining", or the constantly thrown about "darker". So many franchises and series have chosen to take the "darker" route that I personally find myself hugely cynical towards any reboot that dares to bandy around that word. It seems to be happening all the time now, in games and in films: we've had the darker Lara Croft comeback, the darker tone of Iron Man 3, the darker upcoming Superman reboot, everything is darker, darker, darker. I'm beginning to think producers and executives consider "darker" to be the new equivalent of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (and that spelling is correct, I'll have you know) in that it's just a buzz word with no real meaning but if you say it enough times it makes a guaranteed hit.
We're even getting a darker Star Wars game, for goodness' sake. It's not that I inherently dislike remakes (in fact, the Duck Tales HD reboot out this summer is something I can't wait to play), but I'm sick of the idea executives getting all hot and bothered as they imagine the lucrative darker reboot of Scooby Doo, in which Fred is an egotistical misogynist and Shaggy struggles with a crippling drug addiction. Now I've said that, it'll probably happen. Do a reboot if it needs one, if it makes sense. Don't just take something and make it darker for the hell of it.

Peter: Remakes. That old Hollywood fiend. There are loads of remakes all the time, this year is no exception; Carrie is being remade for the third time, the remake of Red Dawn was finally released this year, South Korean modern classic Oldboy (check it out if you haven’t already) is being remade; The Evil Dead remake just came out and there are loads more announced or soon to be released on the horizon. The biggest of all being Point Break.
That’s right, they’re remaking Point Break. If you know your films then you know Point Break is a classic action film. Everything about it just works. And I very highly doubt the remake will come anywhere near to it. Which brings me to the point of why? What is the point? I can kind of understand when an old film not many people will know of or have seen is remade, like King Kong (the remake being so so) or The Taking of Pelham 123, or the brilliant Scarface. Yes Scarface is a remake. Now I’ve seen the (1932) original and it is good, but obviously doesn’t really stand against the De Palma remake.
So some remakes are good, and whilst arguably not necessary, they are not always bad. A lot are though, and a lot are unnecessary, they don’t add anything to the existing film, or if they do it’s not something that is any good. And it shows that Hollywood are running out of ideas basically. Are remakes bad? Not always. Are they necessary? Usually not, but they may bring awareness to an original classic, which is never bad.

Do you think remakes are worth the time, or are they just annoying and unnecessary? Let us know in the comments section below or by our Facebook or Twitter page.

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