Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where have all the original projects gone?

I have refrained from turning anything on this blog into a frothing at the mouth, hate spewing rant. I don't like reading websites or hearing podcasts which are little to nothing but people being so cool they don't have enthusiasm for anything except taking shots at people who are actually doing things and making movies. I love movies. I started this blog as a way to try and celebrate that, because other people celebrating their love for things like film and music, literature and so on, have added something really essential to my life. I have tried to take their example and write a whole lot more about what I like and what I'm excited about than what I don't and what think sucks.

I've even tried to be open minded on the deluge of remakes which have come out in the last few years. I've tried to look at them as much as their own, separate films, in todays cultural setting, as I possibly can. I've even enjoyed some of them, and been willing to say that out loud, which isn't always a popular position in todays film world. I've been hounded from DVD to BluRay in some movie forums for expressing those opinions, as is want to happen in forums anywhere on the internet. Even considering some of the films which have been remade (and poorly so) are part of the canon of truly formative film experiences in my life. Some of these films are responsible for the love affair I have with movies.

If you were to go back and look at the reviews I've posted, and the news I pass on, I think it would be pretty clear that I also try not to have a bias in toward whether a film is a major studio film or an independent film. A good movie is a good movie, a bad movie is a bad movie, you can make either with very little money or a mountain of money.

I don't like wasting my time with bad movies. Going to the movies and plunking down my hard earned cash only to be faced with something crappy, uninspired and which isn't entertaining, just sucks. I don't generally get angry about it. As a film geek, I know I'm going to have to see some really bad movies some times in order to be able to find some really good movies sometimes. Most of the time I'm going to sit through movies that are somewhat good and somewhat bad. A friend of mine explained it perfectly by saying, "You go looking for flecks of color, and sometimes you end up finding a nugget of gold.

What I'm trying to say is that I do my absolute best to be reasonable and fair with the films I see and read about. Someone put time and effort into them. Someone worked hard at getting them written, and then financed, and then from script to screen. It's more work than most people really consider, and most of the time, even in the worst film, somebody did some good work they should be proud of and feel good about. Even if it's set design, conceptual design, the chances someone did some good work they should be proud of are better than the chances that absolutely no one did anything at all decent.

I say all of this because I'm going to do something I wouldn't have possibly considered when the idea of starting to try and be more regular and disciplined with this blog occurred to me. I'm going to beg you, all of you, any of you who are reading this, whether you know me or not, do not, under any circumstances ever in your life pay to see the proposed remake of The Monster Squad.

If you have seen The Monster Squad, especially if you saw it as a kid, I'm going to bet you understand what I'm talking about. If you haven't seen it or you were a full grown adult when you saw it, you might not understand what I'm talking about.

The Monster Squad is one of those kids adventure films that gives kids a film that is really, actually, specifically for them. Yeah, there are a few jokes in there that are going to be over a kids head, but on the whole, it's a kids film, and even more rare, it's a good one. This isn't a movie made to cash in on "the family demographic", it's a kids movie. Fred Dekker somehow figured out how to make a movie so unabashedly for kids that when you're a kid watching it, you know it's for you. You know it's not for the adults, and it's a good movie, not just some crap thrown together, but a very good movie. It's an adventure that the kids have, together, without the adults and as a kid it was thrilling, heart warming, kind of scary, and all awesome.

It's also not a movie that's going to suffer from being dated. A ten year old kid watching this movie now would find it just as thrilling and fun as ten year old kids did when it was released, because kids, have awesome imaginations that aren't crowded up with all the crap adults minds get crowded with. A kid today would enjoy this film just as much. A generation of movie fans cut their teeth on the famous movie monsters, cultural icons like Dracula, Frankensteins monster, The Wolfman, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, and The Mummy. That generation of movie fans are all grown up now, and many of us have continued our love of movies and gone back to see the films that inspired the characters in The Monster Squad.

At this point, some of the films I most enjoyed growing up John Carpenter's Halloween, Friday The 13th, A Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, Last House On The Left, When A Stranger Calls, have all been remade. I enjoyed the Chainsaw Massacre remake, and I think there's some chance something good could come of the upcoming Elm Street remake. With Jackie Earle Haley starring as Freddy, there's a chance to see something new done with the character, but still in keeping with the spirit of the original. As much as I am worried about ending up with another Friday the 13th or When A Stranger Calls, I'm still willing to acknowledge it this could end up working out and being decent or even good and enjoyable.

But, The Monster Squad, is something else altogether, and considering a remake of this film is nothing more than the most blatant and obvious grab for money because it's a "property" whose name people will recognize. Making The Monster Squad more slick or with CGI effects isn't going to make it any better or even any more accepted by it's target audience. It's target audience are kids who have been watching both the incredibly beautiful and ground breaking work of Pixar, and horrible Japanese animation like Dragonball Z.They react to the characters and the story and whether or not it's exciting for them. Lucky ones have gotten to see Miyazaki as well. And that's what Monster Squad was for a lot of kids, an adventure with a heart, for kids, one hundred percent for kids. A remake isn't going to do that, and you can guarantee it, especially one from the Micheal Bay's Platinum Dunes company. Even if they tried, they couldn't possibly pull something like this off. This is a company which has made it's fortune remaking the horror films The Monster Squad generation made successful the first time and turning them into slick, bloody, generalized schlock. 

So I entreat you, I beg you, do not, under any circumstances pay your money to see it if that remake does actually make it to theaters. I'm honestly thinking of starting an online petition against it to let Platinum Dunes know they're going too far. If you actually would sign something like that, leave me a comment here or at my Facebook page. If it seems like there would be some support, I'll do it and post a link here on the blog and on my Facebook page.

Don't worry, this isn't something you should expect to see from this blog or from me at all. I just couldn't let this one pass.

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Comments should be respectful. Taking a playful poke at me is one thing (I have after all chosen to put my opinion out there), but trolling and attacking others who are commenting won't be accepted.