The big, bold minds in Hollywood are at again, announcing their intent to remake a beloved ’80’s movie because they are out of ideas and want the cash.
Universal Pictures and Silver Pictures will remake Weird Science, the 1985 ultimate nerd wish fulfillment comedy that was written and directed by John Hughes. The film will be produced by Joel Silver, who made the original with Hughes at Universal.Michael Bacall will write the script. He scripted the sleeper Project X for Silver Pictures and wrote the script for 21 Jump Street, another 80’s-centric property that became a hit for Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
And let’s not forget the imminent release of the Carrie remake, after having its release pushed back, again:
Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Carrie, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as the bloody and bullied telekinetic teen, has been moved out of the (thematically relevant) prom season and into the (also thematically relevant) Halloween season. Wrapped last September, the film was originally slated for release on March 15, but the MGM/Screen Gems production has been pushed back seven months to Oct. 18 to better capitalize on the pre-holiday horror season. That gives it a week’s head-start on the other major horror release, the now-annual shaky-cam spookery of Paranormal Activity 5.
Sometimes an older film calls out for a remake. It contains a timeless core story that if updated and done well, produces a great movie experience. I’m thinking in this case of “3:10 to Yuma” (a remake of 1957 original), “The Departed” (a redo of the international 2002 hit “Internal Affairs”), and “The Fly”, David Cronenberg’s update to the 1958 version.
Recently, however, there has been a run on remaking movies from the 1980’s. There was the abomination that was the “Footloose” (the Kevin Bacon version is what corny looks like done well), “Hairspray” (the 2007 version makes John Water’s fans cry), “The Karate Kid” (a horrible waste of time designed to promote Will Smith’s son), “Red Dawn” (the original was bad but had a heart and some emerging stars), and “Total Recall” (Arnold’s version came out in 1990 but come on, it was an 80’s movie). Oh, and I almost forgot, they are remaking “Robocop” for crying out loud.
Each of the remakes was a total flop with audiences and critics (or will be in the case of Robocop). Why?
Because the original movies, for the most part, captured the mood of the country. Yes, the stories are the same ones as have been told for a very long time, but they were bundled in a particular way and unfolded in a fashion that was the 1980’s. Paul Verhoven’s critique of American culture just drips off Robocop, for example.
There have been a ton of good films made in the last few years, it is a shame that some of these hacks are ruining it. On behalf of humanity and someone who loves 80’s movies, please put down the VHS tapes of Sixteen Candles, Streets of Fire, Project X, and walk away from the film room before anyone else gets hurt.