Remakes consistently disappoint audiences

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Remakes consistently disappoint audiences

Used with permission: Walt Disney Studios

Used with permission: Walt Disney Studios

Used with permission: Walt Disney Studios

Graham Hill, Opinions Editor

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In the past few years, many beloved childhood classics have suffered a trend all too popular among movie studios: remakes.  

This trend has been steadily perpetuated by numerous culprits, especially Disney. The most recent example is their “Beauty and the Beast” remake, which took the cherished animated version of 1991 and, though it included a solid cast, headlined by Emma Watson, it falls far short of the original.  

Disney is continuing its crime against cinema with other films. “Mulan”, “Aladdin” and, perhaps most damning of all, “The Lion King” all are due to be recreated in the next few years. 

Nor are Disney, and other monoliths like them, the only perpetrators of this. And no genre is immune. The timeless “Jumanji” from 1995 found itself with a remake/sequel/reinterpretation that left quite a bit to be desired in 2018.  

Horror, a genre often lambasted for its persistent remakes, had some particularly egregious offenders as of late. “The Ring”, an American film based on Japanese source material and the closest thing to a horror classic in the last 20 years was remade in 2017 under the title “Rings”, a film so scattered in its plot and lazy in its execution that it holds only a feeble 8% on Rotten Tomatoes.  

Transcending all genres and eras is a fundamental problem with remakes: they are nigh on impossible to do correctly. Any attempt to deviate from the source will draw criticism for being unfaithful. Slavish obedience to the original, however, is equally difficult to pull off, for the simple fact that, if the remake has nothing new to offer, the movie has no purpose for existing.  

Additionally, if the remake is inferior to the original (and they often are), a viewer would leave the theater simply wishing that they had remained at home and watched the original instead.  

Remakes bring nothing to the table and offer nothing of substance to film in general. They are, almost always, exactly what they appear to be: creativity-deficient producers and studios grasping at anything with even a shred of nostalgia that can be marketed.  

Film is not in danger, however. As consumers, it is our responsibility to recognize these remakes for what they are (cash grabs) and avoid them. Quality films are not extinct; one only has to look for them. 

 Independent filmmaking, though hopelessly outmatched in terms of budget and production quality by larger entities, is becoming easier than ever and has a much more steadfast commitment to producing quality work. So, upon hearing of the latest remake or reimagining or whatever they will be called next, do not lose faith, but rather, be assured that good cinema is still out there, just waiting to be found.  

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