Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nothing Is Sacred

You see that title, up there? It's not a question. I'm not asking "Is nothing sacred?" It's a declarative statement. I'm telling you "Nothing is sacred." And, nothing should be.

There is a lot of talk about a Big Trouble In Little China remake, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and people are going crazy. Not in a good way. I'm hearing a lot of "It's a classic!" and "It's perfect the way it is!" and "Too many remakes!" Of course, these seem to be the same people who have been screaming for the further adventures of Jack Burton, ever since BTILC first hit theaters, in 1986.

I understand. People cleave to that which they hold most dear. And, with a cult classic, you are part of a special group. I get it. I love Big Trouble In Little China. It's a wonderful blend of action and comedy. Kurt Russell is nearly perfect, as Jack Burton. It's a great movie.

But, it's just a movie.

Remakes and sequels have been around almost as long as there have been movies. Let's be clear, "remake" is not a synonym for "bad." Sure, there are some horrible remakes (The Fog. Prom Night.), but there are some pretty decent remakes, as well (Dawn of the Dead.). Sometimes, you get a shitty remake, only to get a good remake, decades later (King Kong). Hell, sometimes a remake gives you a whole new spin on a movie (See all of the westerns based on Kurosawa's samurai films.).

And, for those of you who complain about the lack of original films coming out, I'm willing to bet that the number of sequels and remakes is only a small fraction of the movies released each year.

Here is the thing that you have to remember: A remake in no way affects the original. The Fog remake is a complete piece of crap, but that has nothing to do with the 1980 version. You know what I do? Hold on to your scalps, this is crazy. I don't watch the remake! Such an elegantly simple solution. I love both iterations of Dawn of the Dead. I've watched both multiple times. Which one I choose to watch depends on my mood. If I didn't like one of them, I WOULDN'T WATCH IT!

Are you sitting down? Some remakes are *gasp* better than the original! I know. I know. That's crazy! But, who would argue that the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon isn't better than the 1931 version? (How many people even knew that there was a 1931 version?) (And let's not get into the whole remake vs adaptation argument, please.) (Also, please note that there are only 10 YEARS between the two.)

My point? As I said earlier, it's just a movie. It's not a sacred text that was dug up in some desert. And, even those "sacred" texts aren't sacred. It's all grist for the mill. Get over it. Give it a chance. You might like it. 

And, if you don't, there's always the original.