The other week we learned the exciting new twist to the Splash! remake. This time the Mer will be a man—a Channing Tatum-man to be precise. I have some thoughts. Don't worry I'm not about to complain that they've "ruined my childhood"—Pee Wee Herman's mugshot took care of that a long time ago—plus that's stupid.
Now, I'll acknowledge that I'm not the first person to notice that Hollywood keeps remaking movies—and not just any movie—no, it's always the one that struck a chord with audiences for whatever reason. But instead of trying to figure out what made audiences love the film, and then try to make other films that were both original yet captured the same spirit, for years, Hollywood has just been like: "But what if we just made it again?"
The logic mostly tracks: Movie = success in 70s or 80s. Ergo: Same movie + cool/hot new celeb = $$$. Except the reality is—nine times out of ten—remakes are trash and everyone hates them because they reek of cash-grab and laziness. The exception being something like Dredd or Scarface (bet you forgot the 1983 movie was a remake).
Look me in the eye and tell me I'm wrong. Exactly.
But since admitting defeat and changing course has never been Hollywood's style, it looks as if they're doubling down on their futile efforts. A cursory Google search reveals that we can expect over 100 remakes and reboots in the coming year. Flight of the Navigator, The Fugitive, Major League, ROAD FUCKING HOUSE to name just a few titles.
Those films were never broken. They're made. It's done. It's not like people walked out of the movie theater saying things like: "Boy howdy, I sure loved Road House, but in 28 years I hope someone reshoots the movie with new actors and relevant technology like iPhones and graphic tees. Now let's go to the mall and drink some Tab."
Imagine if Dan Brown announced that his next book would be George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four. Or Elizabeth Gilbert decided she would take it upon herself to rewrite The Decameron. I mean, you can be sure a bunch of Hollywood execs would salivate at the prospect, but maybe, just maybe, a part of them would think: the fuck?
But here's the thing, I have a really great idea. It's so simple and obvious you'll be like: ahhhdoyyeeeeee. Ready? OK. Instead of remaking movies that were good and popular and beloved by many, why not remake movies that totally bombed but are full of potential. Right? Yeah I know, it's brilliant. In fact, I've gone ahead and selected a few titles.
Tango and Cash (1989)
Original: Overly complicated, awful villain, mostly unwatchable.
Reboot tone: Gritty as fuck: Two showboat narcotics officers (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Tom Hardy) get framed by evil drug lord (Takeshi Kitano) and end up in super max prison surrounded by all the baddies they put away.
Dir. Cary Fukunaga.
The Net (1995)
Original: Hokey and instantly dated. Ironically the only reasons people remember it/meme it.
Reboot tone: Don't trust the government. Mercenary Hacker Angela Bennet (Rooney Mara) meets a handsome stranger while on holiday in Serbia. After a night of passion and a botched robbery, Angela finds herself in a race against time and government agents when she's accused of treason for hacking into the NSA for the Russian spy agency.
Dir. David Fincher
Kate and Leopold (2001)
Original: Super dumb. Like, I think a phone directed this movie.
Reboot tone: Wet Hot American Romance: Kate (Elizabeth Banks) a stressed out single lady with a fancy job falls for Leopold (Paul Rudd) a dashing time traveling duke from 1867.
Dir. David Wain
See, already you're probably thinking: Dang, why didn't I think of this?
Very Bad Things (1998)
Original: This movie is like a pseudo-sentient version of the Blue Pill reddit + Slater and Piven. No.
Reboot tone: Complete overhaul: A group of pals (Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kumail Nanjiani, Ron Funches) take mushrooms during a bachelor party in Reno and wake up the next day convinced they killed a gigolo (Zach Efron) but they didn't kill him. He's fine. No one dies at the bachelor party, OK?
Dir. Zach Efron (in his directorial debut)
Laws of Attraction (2004)
Original: I watched this on the plane and felt nothing which is nuts cause friggin' Julianne Moore is in it.
Reboot tone: Musical!: Two mean lawyers (Rachel Bloom and Neil Patrick Harris) must pretend to be in love after drunkenly eloping or they'll lose the case for some reason.
Dir. Rachel Bloom
Original: Remember Timeline? Exactly.
Reboot tone: Grim realism + LSD: A group of archeologists (Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Michael Smiley, Julian Barrett) travel back in time to the 15th century to save one of their own.
Dir. Ben Wheatley
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Original: Beloved by many (right?). Total bomb.
Reboot tone: Dystopian Drive. Mnemonic courier, Johnny (Ryan Gosling) has 48 hours to deliver sensitive information to some dudes in Beijing while being chased by Yakuza thugs. Luckily he's got a cyborg bodyguard Jane (Ronda Roussey) to TCB. Dir. Nicolas Refn.
So there you have it, I just potentially made Hollywood bunch of money. Give me some?
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