Hollywood would be hard pressed to deny it is in a creative slump. For every original film that hits your theater, half a dozen clones of past films wait in the wings.
Hollywood has always stolen from itself to keep the masses entertained. Remaking popular films is hardly new. The idea is that if it was a hot property once, it might be so again. In the early days of cinema, films like Ben-Hur were rolled over again and again.
But it seems that lately they've gone overboard. Or maybe it's just that they've finally begun mucking about on my sacred ground.
I didn't protest when they remade The Honeymooners, The Addams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Get Smart, Lost in Space or Bewitched. I had no special attachment to those shows. They were from a different generation. I didn't even care when they remade Charlie's Angels (I did care that the movies were so difficult to sit through) Starsky and Hutch, Dukes of Hazard or The Brady Bunch, though it certainly hit a bit closer to home.
But as the definition of "oldies" on the radio continues to slide from one decade to the next, I've noticed that Hollywood is now seriously plundering my childhood (the 1980s) for their latest projects.
As if the first Transformers weren't bad enough, they've gone and made themselves a sequel. And don't even get me started on that aberration they call the latest trailer for GI Joe.
Those are some of the more obvious one. Did you know that they are also planning remakes/big screen versions of the following:
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Flight of the Navigator
Conan the Barbarian
The Neverending Story
Clash of the Titans
And that's just a few, completely ignoring the torrent of horror films currently being plagiarized, er, I mean, "reimagined."
I feel like pulling a Paddy Chayefsky, screaming from my window to the street below, "Leave my childhood alone!"
Remember when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez sought to remake Casablanca? Others are interested in making contemporary editions of Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Does it matter that we've already had recent versions of Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Planet of the Apes, or The Fugitive? Nope, because those are on the way too. The Crow? Let the Right One In? Ditto and ditto.
But you know the industry is really starved for ideas when they turn to non-filmic inspirations, There's a Bazooka Joe movie on the way. Before you get excited and think it's about a guy named Joe and his trusty rocket launcher, I must inform you they are building an entire movie around bubblegum! And let's not forget the new movies based on the popular board games, Battleship and Monopoly. Yes, Monopoly.
Maybe if the ratio was flipped I wouldn't care so much. But the terrible truth is that for every Battlestar Galactica or The Dark Knight there are a dozen Wild Wild Wests. And looking at what's coming down the sluice, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
I hear you! Have no fear, I'm coming to help!
You'll have to excuse me. I think I hear My Little Pony crying about some strange tanned man in a black suit and fine Italian shoes! Or is that a Care Bear?