Does Cinema Need Remakes? – Part 1

2012 in film, the year of re-releases, squeals, prequels and re-makes. It begs the question, “has Hollywood lost all originality?” With classic films being re-marketed as 3D despite the technological gap and franchises such as Ice Age reaching its fourth instalment it does make you wonder about the future of film. I can however forgive these examples in the wake of my pet hate, the re-make.

In 2002 Tobey Maguire entertained us with the loveable nerd which is Peter Parker in the original Spider-man trilogy. Yet, just a mere five years after the last part was released, Hollywood have already thrown upon us a re-make “The Amazing Spiderman”. Though the title is certainly different the film itself does not stray too far from the original plot and a lot of the scenes in the two films are remarkably similar. You may point this is due to the fact the new series is a re-make. However with marketing promising us the “untold origins of Spiderman” I was hoping for new information in the plot, though fans of the comic have informed me it does stay true to the real story not enough has changed to warrant me essentially watching the same film twice.

I can’t slate the new film entirely though Andrew Garfield is a brilliant Parker and adds more dimension to the character than his predecessor, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy trumps Mary-Jane with her hard-ass attitude and independence compared to the former leading lady who was indecisive and whiny. Visually the film is stunning with some of the scenes looking like pieces of art adding the comic book essence to every scene of the film, however their are places in which this perfection is too much, reminding the viewer this is fiction. Whereas in the original the humdrum film quality added the sense of this could actually happen.

One factor in the new film I really deplore is the villain Curt Conner, played by the fantastic Rhys Ifans, his soft nature and rounded features gives him good guy connotations that remains for the whole of the film and has no where near the sinister effect of the green goblin in the original.

If Amazing Spiderman had been released another twenty years down the line I could easily see the appeal but the speed of which the remake has preceded the original with no dramatic improvement other than the visuals it leaves me thinking what is the point of remakes?

Hollywood seems obsessed with this genre of film, there are hundreds of them, most common place are Asian or European cinema re-made to appeal to the western culture. The appeal of Hollywood re makes is the big budgets behind them and the most advanced technical processes, however this leads to plots being watered down in an attempt to focus on the visual impacts on the film.

Take for example the 2010 film Let Me In released just two years after the original Swedish film Let The Right One In. In mind of special effects and camera angles the American film is superior with a crisp finished quality, however the actual story seems forced in places and doesn’t flow naturally, allowing for confusion in some places and too much information in others. This is a problem in a lot of American remakes the story is both vague, missing out essential scenes, and far too obvious with certain plot points which ruins the suspense and excitement of the viewer figuring out the mystery themselves. Though the two young leads do a brilliant job in Let Me In, the chemistry between them is non existent and they do not reach the close bond as the Owen & Abby in the original film. The Swedish version gives more screen time to developing the relationships between all characters key to the plot allowing the story progress realisticly. It also has an poetic nature with each scene being eerily beautiful and artistically shot, holding an innocence of the two young leads allowing the viewers to get into their mindsets. What really works with this soft style is the contrast to the sudden violence in the last scene shocking the system of the viewers and creating a film that stays in the mind long after leaving the cinema.

Read Part 2 of Rebecca Fortuin’s article on Thursday 23 August 2012

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About Rebecca Fortuin

Rebecca Fortuin is a freelance writer and illustrator currently based in Leicestershire. She has been writing stories since she was six, fuelled by an avid love of books and a fascination with words. She was one of twenty-five finalists in the Writers Club 2012 Tournament and hopes to place next year. Her writing predominantly consists of first person fictional narratives and non-fictional commentaries of how she perceives the world around her. When she is not writing, or being a hermit, Fortuin is a passionate thespian and takes part in various amateur dramatic productions across the year with the NQSC.
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