By Filthy Rich (New York)
Art is a miraculous concept. It’s structure is only displayed through the passion and determination of the individual that gives birth to his/her thoughts through the action of desire and commitment; and if done correctly, a complete representation of the soul of the artist is presented that shares the peaceful brilliance imagined in a moment of clarifying accomplishment: whether it is through, painting or drawing, sculpting or building, or even cooking or writing; there is a scientific formula to everything, and when combined with the unpredictability of an artistic vision, the mind and heart can create a beautiful masterpiece that many can relatedly enjoy; but there is also one undeniable truth: with every admiration, there is a percentage amount of aversion for the same object of affection; both sides of a coin that are each other’s opposite, but co-exist together with no end.
Art is not science and cannot be quantifiably measured in ‘esteem’ or ‘contempt’, but only revisiting the source of its creation through the eyes of the subjects whom it is meant to inspire and please, and although some will reflect an identical appreciation as the artist whom revealed this concept, everyone’s perception is diverse through the actions of life that have influenced them through alternate methods, results and analytical conclusions, which is why it is the objective to enthuse the interest of at least the majority of the demographic, but aspiring toward it in record breaking proportion.
Movies are no different but fall into this category perfectly like a child placing a circular block in the correct hole, and simply just is, but in many attempts to recreate the experience and success of these iconic movies that are loved by the popular percentage, they try to shave down a square block in order to secure it in a round hole, instead of respecting the science itself: putting square in its own space and triangle in ITS own space: following the formula, or by actually seizing upon an original idea to endorse, instead. They dwell on the triumphs of past efforts and do not realize the reasons why one was able to refashion the original principle and the other just explodes in their face, turning them into some mutated monster, bent on devouring cult classics.
There is only one reason to remake a movie that would actually work if done precisely with the same passion, skill and determination as the original writer and/or director; and that’s if the property is or has become unseen to the majority of its chosen demographic: whether it’s through being unaware that there was a version before it’s comparison: such as Scarface, Ocean’s Eleven, True Lies and Scent of a Woman; or if the original has become severely dated with effects and stylistic interpretations: such as 1982’s The Thing or 1986’s The Fly, where the originals were released in the 50s; and also if the movie was unseen because its predecessor was initiated in another country, and its worldwide viewing was limited: such as The Ring, The Grudge, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Infernal Affairs which was renamed The Departed.
These scenario blocks all fit in the science of their designated spaces of being unseen, which gives the impression of artistic inventiveness, which is, if not consciously, then at least subconsciously, important to most of the viewers’ perspective of what should occur when art meets science: originality, but following the laws of science only gets the project so far; the art must also be equal in quality or exceptionally enhanced more than the first, depending on the expectations to the alterations of time and adjustment: what we NOW expect from our movie going experience as individuals and a collective society. What was acceptable and innovative in past decades may possess a dated outlook that approaches a newly viewed corniness: like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Piranha or Fright Night; or it may have a clichéd component that has been recycled multiple times in multiple movies, contributing to the repetitiveness of remakes like: Red Dawn, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or the new Poltergeist movie that was just released.
When I was really young, a movie came out that I absolutely loved to watch over and over again, and thanks to TBS having a shortage of quality movies to play back then, I had the opportunity. It was either reruns of the Beast Master or this; and that was, Clash of the Titans, Directed by Desmond Davis, and staring Harry Hamlin as Perseus, Burgess Meredith as Ammon, Laurence Olivier as Zeus, and Judi Bowker whom played Andromeda and my schoolboy crush growing up. This movie was perfect in the old school style of film, story and visual effects, but although still timeless in my own eyes, the effects are now embarrassingly dated and unacceptably unseen to new generations who grew up with more advanced mastery and would most likely ridicule it, much-less give the film it’s just opportunity to endure through the ages.
It was a movie that was a prime candidate for a remake to ensure its longevity, but the science failed because the art itself was inferior to the expectations of the audience; not respecting the source material, and the potential innovative ideas actually perverted the characters, plot and subplots instead of simply enhancing the likability with a fresh and invigorating revival. It was an incompetent joke that may have destroyed the property forever. This lack of respect to the skillful craft of the beloved original is what bridges the successes and potential successes so close together with the failures and potential failures that it makes it difficult for most to identify the problem, much-less repair it, and so with every success, the probability coin flips to the opposite side, and history constantly repeats itself with no end.
The reason why most attempts to remake movies fail, beyond not respecting the quality of the art, is because they also don’t respect the science. If a circular block is nice and secure in its designated placement, and the majority of the demographic developed a consensus in agreement to this, then it’s asinine to take the same block out of that comfortable setting and try to put it someplace else. You will force the self-proclaimed protectors of that block to defend it fanatically as if it was their own creation.
If the art has already accomplished seizing lightning in a bottle, then the fans whom have fond and nostalgic memories of it have already arranged it in a special place in their minds or hearts that nobody can touch; if you open that bottle, you will only accomplish in letting the lightning out that shocks everyone to oppose it with judgmental comparisons or denial of its existence, which either way, is not a formula for success, and will all end up like The Karate Kid, Robocop, Total Recall, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, the 2011 remake of the Thing, the 1998 remake of Psycho, and many more, including, the soon to be released ‘Pointless Break’ and the soon to be remade, Scarface.
These and many more are all movies that the majority of fans have grown to love and respect through the passionate and skillful expression of the artist because the subject or the devotional idea itself resonates with us, and miraculously connects us to the property with a sentimental invite, and it will be defended identically as anything or anybody else we love with indistinguishable vigor. Right or wrong, that is just the nature of the situation, and cannot be forced otherwise without causing a paradox that destroys everything we have come to know as reality.
The universe has rules, and those rules are displayed through scientific logic; and if that logic is not in abidance with our actions, then we will continue to receive disruptive and story altering remakes that condemn our certainties to contempt. Instead, what needs to be done is, taking the preexisting story and rebooting the characters and plot that people have come to love with a certain anticipation and pattern; A continuation that revives a dormant property that not only people have stored away, but have always desired to proceed further in a deeper, more specific adventure by utilizing it again in a method that tweaks the same motivation and excitement that made it so universally esteemed in the first place… but that’s a different discussion.
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