Is boredom with things in entertainment today a sign you’re getting older? Or is it a commentary on the state of Entertainment today?
As I was making dinner today, a trailer for the new movie Arthur came on. Except this “new” movie isn’t “new” at all. It’s just a remake of the classic film with Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli from 1981. I remember that movie from when I was a kid, not because I saw it at the time (I was way too young) but because it was the movie with that song that had the line “If you get caught between the moon and New York City” in it. (Otherwise known as “Best That You Can Do” or “Arthur’s Theme.”)
Anyway, my mom was with me when the trailer came on and she couldn’t believe they had remade the movie, because she didn’t think the original was all that, even if it is a classic. But what I couldn’t help but think is – how many people my age or younger even remember or know of the original movie? I’m talking causal movie people, not film fans and buffs. Because I’m pretty sure Hollywood didn’t decide to remake this movie because the original was considered terrible and they wanted to try and do a better version or something. (See the original Ocean’s Eleven with Frank Sinatra for an example of a bad movie remade better). I’m pretty sure they remade if for one of two reasons:
1. It has a recognizable title of some type for some people (as I said, I know about the original and I was 3 or 4 years old when it came out) so there may already be a built-in audience for it and,
2. Doing a remake of this is less time consuming than coming up with some original story or screenplay and filming that instead.
I used to be a huge movie buff. Huge. Heck, I like to think I still am. There was rarely a weekend that I wasn’t going to the theater to see something. Now however? It’s not just the economy that has me deciding to save my money. It’s that there is hardly anything that’s come out in the past two or three years that I have been interested in seeing – to the point that I would actually fork over $10 for it.
I remember sitting dumbfounded the first time I watched the trailer for The Smurfs movie on YouTube. This was beyond my eye-rolling at the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie(s) and The Yogi Bear movie trailer. My brain actually could not process the fact that they took the Smurfs and made a live action CGI (and 3D! Don’t forget that!) movie out of it. And it looking like it lack every ounce of charm the original animated cartoon had.
I’m not a movie snob. I enjoy a good summer blockbuster just as much as I enjoy serious Oscar-bait movies. But even the Oscar-bait films have been rather boring me – those films have their own kind of formula, and I’ve seen enough of them that I can usually predict what’s going to happen. But there hasn’t been a film recently, since Star Trek in 2009, where I have felt a sense of “OMG, I have to see that.” Maybe Toy Story 3, but that’s all, and even that I didn’t see on opening day. Even with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it felt more like “Well, time to wrap this all up.” I didn’t even go see it the week it opened. I waited until the following weekend because – get this – I didn’t feel like going out to see it while it was raining.
I have recored each Oscar ceremony, in full, starting from the 1991 show until the 2010 one. That’s almost 20 years. I would religiously follow Oscar buzz, critics awards, all of it, faithfully. (And hey, living in the LA area it’s really easy to follow that stuff.) This year? I didn’t DVR it at all. I didn’t follow it much at all. Because I honestly didn’t care enough about any of the films to do so, even though I liked both The Social Network and Inception . . . both of which I didn’t see in the theater, but on DVD. And when The King’s Speech comes on DVD that’s when I’ll see it too. I didn’t rush to see any of them in the theater. Because I just feel so bored with it all. But about three years ago? Yeah, I would have.
Apparently about 96% of all films released in the last two years have been either remakes, reboots or re-imaginings. And I think it’s hard to get excited about many things when the majority of them are just remakes or reboots of things you’ve already seen.
If anyone is still curious, I’m still working on finishing my write-up of how I would have done SV differently. I’m going to try and post it sometime net week, before the show comes back and starts airing it’s final episodes.