Dear Crabby, What is the Deal with all the Remakes?

Dear Crabby,

Last week I caught the Dirty Dancing remake on TV. What. A. Mess! Why does Hollywood keep trying to remake our favorite movies? Personally, I think they should just leave well enough alone.

Rhonda Repeat

Dear Rhonda Repeat,

I think I have the answer: because Hollywood is lazy. Haha. Well, that’s part of it. But mostly I think it’s because the studios are looking for a sure thing. They know they already have an audience, so they can tie-in marketing, merchandising, etc. and make even more money. For example, I understand there’s a new Spider-Man movie coming out. According to my grandson, this will be the best Spider-Man yet. So, I asked him exactly how many Spider-Man movies have been made? Three! Well, there are more than three movies, but this is the third reboot/remake, or whatever they want to call it since 2002! Have many times can they tell Mr. Peter Parker’s story? And just how much webbing does Spider-Man have up his spandex sleeves? I get that there is new movie-making technology that wasn’t around even 10 years ago (can you imagine what the original Star Wars trilogy would have looked like with all the bells and whistles we have today?) but still. Aside from making more money, what’s the point of it all? I once got excited about a remake and now I share my story as a cautionary tale. Growing up I loved listening to The Lone Ranger on the radio. That’s right, kiddos. I listened to the show. Later, when it came on TV I watched it faithfully (even probably longer than I should have). So, about four years ago when I heard they were making it into a movie, I decided to go see it. After all, Disney was making it and that Johnny Depp fella was going to be in it; what could go wrong? I’ll tell you what—absolutely everything! It was AWFUL! The credits said Depp was supposed to be playing Tonto, but it certainly wasn’t the Tonto I recognized. And the actor they had playing the Lone Ranger was an embarrassment to everything the character stands for. Two-and-a-half precious hours of my life I will never get back. And at my age, every minute counts! My point is, and as you said, sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone. I will concede there can be exceptions. Case in point: Ocean’s Eleven. Man. When it was announced they were remaking the 1960s classic years ago, there was an uproar. How dare they touch such a masterpiece—featuring The Rat Pack no less! Then all the people making a mountain out of a molehill went back and rewatched the 1960 version and realized… it was pretty ‘meh.’ The script was poorly written, the characters dull, and there were rumors that most of The Rat Pack were, ahem, plastered throughout shooting. It probably also didn’t help that ‘Ol Blue Eyes refused to do more than one take. Clearly in hindsight that was an error in judgement. So, in very small instances, it’s possible to improve on the original.

Unfortunately, even though all these remake/reboots are getting out of hand, I don’t see anything changing anytime soon. Still, studio execs would be smart to take into consideration what the public thinks. Because like my daughter said after watch the Dirty Dancing TV remake: Baby should have stayed in the corner!

Hope this helps and happy viewing!
Dear Crabby

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