Hollywood, the pop-culture juggernaut that has given us the dazzling cultural gems of Police Academy 1-7 seems to be trying to become an Ouroboros. For anyone unfamiliar with that term, it’s an image of a snake eating its tail, if you need further clarification go to Wikipedia, what do I look like a college professor? Well anyway, its seems like the movie industry has run out of ideas, and in this complete creative vacuum has decided to bring any money making franchise out of retirement. The thing is though much like a professional athlete coming out of retirement well beyond his peak; the result is sub-par performance and flabby unruly man-boobs flapping all around. We’ve seen Transformers compacted, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ruined, Spiderman cry-ified, Cajun Robocop (blackened, much like our souls when we saw it) and Superman Returns horribly disfigured in Hollywood’s meat grinder. On the other-hand we’ve seen some decent reboots too, the Nolan Batman trilogy, Planet of the Apes and some might even argue The Man of Steel was OK. So we can still hold on to hope for the recently announced Ghostbusters reboot.
We Came! We Saw! We Kicked Ass!
A little backstory might be necessary for anyone that is unaware of the original mid 80’s version of the movie. It’s a comedy featuring 3 paranormal scientists that after being fired from their academic positions, hire a fourth person and start hunting ghosts. The cast featured a slew of 1980s funny men including, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis and Ernie Hudson, it even featured a pre-Aliens Sigourney Weaver. This might seem irreverent for the non-Ghostbuster fan, but here’s why it’s important in relation to the reboot: If you watch the movie, the chemistry between the cast makes the film the nostalgic golden nugget it is. The Director said that many of the most iconic scenes were ad-libbed or improvised because of this on-screen chemistry. If they can emulate that in the new movie more power to them.
This Reminds Me of the Time that You Tried to Drill a Hole in Your Head
Who wouldn’t like a childhood franchise revisited? Everyone, but we have been burned so many times by the Moloch (a Ammonite demon that parents sacrificed their children to, I think it’s an appropriate parallelism) of Reboots we are afraid our childhood will be crapped on again. If Hollywood was less jaded (I know it’s considered the most jaded place in the world) they would realize that if they did the fans a service and created faithful retellings, or even spiritual continuations of our favorite movies they’d rake in the dough. A proof of this concept was the Ghostbusters video game released in 2009, thirty years after the original movie and had sold over a million copies a few months after its launch. Critics went as far as calling it a love letter to the fans of the franchise, and the fans responded.
So Why Do they Change Everything?
Like the image above, it’s modernized enough to feel relative but not so much that it sodomizes your childhood memories, but nooo, it’s not cool enough. In the recent RoboCop reboot, a ruthless, soulless CEO (played by Micheal Keaton, great casting choice, [sarcasm]) comments on the original RoboCop design. Saying it looks stupid, like a cheesy 80s toy, so not only do they completely disregard the first version of the movie and its fans, they also mock them. This is exactly how I image Hollywood execs approaching all reboots, remakes and sequels. While chomping on a soggy cigar they grunt: “We could film a turd in a tortilla shell and name it [Enter your favorite childhood movie/cartoon title] and those slack-jawed, dim-witted, sheeple would still pay money to watch it” as they zoom off on their diamond encrusted mobility scooter. I’m assuming all Hollywood execs are cynical, sub-human blobs that only care about money and nothing else, and they all smoke cigars.
Maybe ultimately we are part of the problem. We help them ruin our childhood every time we enthusiastically put down money at the box office, to have our excited’ heads bashed in. By being fans, we are actually hurting the thing we love. If we stopped going to crappy reboots, maybe Hollywood would finally get off their diamond encrusted mobility scooters and listen. They kinda did with the Spiderman franchise, didn’t they?
What are your views on the new Ghostbuster movie?