Everyone complains about Hollywood’s reticence to create something new. The film industry has essential been a broken record for the past five years, with nearly every blockbuster having been based in intellectual properties that have already been established for decades. Superheroes, I’ve heard, originated in these things known as “comic books” that people would read on “paper.”
And before making “The Dark Knight,” director Christopher Nolan’s previous three films were all adaptations of previously established films or books. Just look at Tim Burton to see just how ridiculous the latest round of creative regurgitation has become. Did anyone want another “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Planet of the Apes,” or “Alice in Wonderland?” Adding some cliche Gothic-teenager-pandering art style and Johnny Depp doesn’t exactly warrant the pillaging of established and perfected properties.
Besides, those kids whose rooms were filled with “Nightmare Before Christmas” merchandise are all probably too busy sleeping on top of life-sized pillows of that Edward vampire guy to care all that much.
But at least those films are remakes of things that came out more than a decade prior. The new trend is to remake films that came out oh, say last year. First, the director behind “Cloverfield,” Matt Reeves, signed on to do an American version of the Swedish vampire flick “Let the Right One In.” That’s all well and good…except “Let the Right One In,” came out LAST YEAR. And the idea itself is already based off of a book to begin with!
And now, 2007’s splendid horror movie “The Orphanage” is being remade for U.S. audiences. Sure, the film peaked at 702 theaters in the U.S., but can’t we at least give people a chance to discover the original before we stuff a remake down their throats? It’s interesting to note that both films were foreign flicks, indicating that Hollywood, in all of its creative glory, is outsourcing any sort of original thought, testing the waters to see if it works, and then buying out the rights so that they can water it down and add breasts to the movie’s climax. I mean, c’mon. Even “Avatar,” which I assume will be released alongside Christ’s resurrection, is just “Dances with Wolves in Space.”
Has the national attention span really shriveled to such a small size? This deficit doesn’t just pertain to pop culture, just look at the political landscape, a bizarrely inept and fast-paced zone where Obama is already being written off as a lame duck despite not even having a year under his presidential belt, where the debate on both sides depends on hammering in a single talking point, remaking the same sentence over and over again until it just turns into two idiots blaring a watered-down, pointless message at one another, and then their audiences spit out the same drivel, at which point these placated pundits report their own vomit as news. Weekly polls on every issue determine public opinion, creating our predilections for policies anew each time anything’s approval dips toward 50 percent, ignoring the fact that if you tell everybody that everyone thinks a certain way, as opposed to letting them figure it out for themselves, you’re helping yourself to a predisposed national opinion.
I guess it’s just easier to rely on the thoughts of our forefathers, PR goons and easily-plundered intellectual property than create something new.