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  • Your feelings on remakes?

    Do you like them, hate them or like me have mixed feelings about them?

    I appreciate a well done remake that stays very close to the spirit of the original film and doesn't stray to far away from the source material. On the other hand it does lead to unneeded comparsions of which actor or actresses played so and so better. So what are your take on this idea?


    What in the name of Set is going on here?

  • #2
    One of the complaints I have heard sometimes is that the older version of a movie, filmed with less advanced film technology, is somehow betrayed by the remaking. The reason given is that there is going to be a portion of the audience who only saw the remake, creating a false version of the original in the public consciousness when the re-makers make creative choices to surprise the audience, rather than boring those who know the original plot. The portion of the audience who did not watch the original were unlikely to see it before the remake was advertised. They are actually more likely to see the original, due to renewed interest brought about by the remake. Both the original and the remake will continue to exist. Nothing is lost. I treat every movie I see as a new experience. I only care whether it is good or bad.

    There are originals I enjoyed whose remakes I was not interested to see, whether based on reviews or my own whims. There are remakes I've enjoyed, for which I have not seen the original. Sometimes I watch the original, because I saw the remake.


    Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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    • #3
      As I've expressed elsewhere, I consider "remakes" or whatever you want to call them an essential part of human culture. The idea that they are inherently "bad" in someway betrays an extremely contemporary view of culture, considering just how much of the history of the arts is full of remakes, reboots, retellings, remixes, reinterpretations, and so on.

      Remakes are good or bad based on their individual quality. People lamented the 2011 remake/prequel The Thing compared to the 1982 The Thing.. and frequently failed to acknowledge that the 82 film was itself a remake of the 1951 move The Thing from Another World, which was an adaptation of a 1938 novella Who Goes There?

      There's also a tendency to conflate industry trends with flaws somehow inherent in remakes. Major film industries (Hollywood of course, but all of them are guilty of it) tend to push out a ton of copycats of whatever was popular, that cut corners in quality in order to flood with quantity. When the Golden Era of Hollywood decided historical epics were the hot thing and started pumping them out in droves, we got a lot of bad movies. Remake or knock off didn't really matter. There's this strange notion that art-industries were at some point not industries, and had all the problems that come with needing to turn a profit. Artists need to eat to make more art. Even back in the patronage days where a lot of art was privately funded, you had the same dynamic as actors do now: there's work you do to pay the bills, and work you do to express yourself. We forget just how many boring repetitive commissions the great masters of various field of art had to pump out in order to fund what have gone down in history as their masterpieces. Instead of engaging with how the sausage gets made to understand why certain things happen, we want a pat narrative like, "Hollywood is obsessed with bland remakes to get butts in seats because they creatively bankrupt and don't film new movies." As if cinema was ever about anything other than getting butts in seats, and artists having been struggling the whole time trying to get something unique on film while corporate overlord control the money to do anything.

      The whole CGI vs. practical effects debate stems from this. Good CGI is expensive, time consuming, and difficult (enough that even today good CGI and good practical are competitive propositions from a financial perspective). Mediocre CGI is cheap. We see a bunch of remakes that bomb and mediocre CGI is a giant red flag that the remake isn't being given the love and attention (very likely by the money people, not the artists) it deserves, because mediocre CGI is a great indicator of cost cutting being more important than good visual storytelling. The 2011 The Thing is a great example here, as the director actually had practical effects designed to be accentuated with modern CGI planned out, and much of it almost ready for film, but the producers killed that for the cheaper pure CGI approach that the 2011 film is hated for.

      I also think the ascending importance of fandoms (and yes, I openly acknowledge most of this applies to me) is a huge factor in why there's even a debate around remakes at all. There's a reason why the term "fan" is derived from "fanatic." As entertainment has gotten far more personal because it's far more accessible, people invest way more of their identity into art and culture that they like (though nothing new, as "fans" started as a sports term and one does not need to dig that deep to see how old sports rivalries descending into overt violence goes). This means when a remake happens, and it does something a fan doesn't like, it isn't just a bad movie/book/comic/game/whatever they can skip over and move on. It feels like an attack on who they are, and they respond like you'd expect someone that feels attacked to respond. This is an RPG forum, we all know what edition wars look like, and how nasty they get, and what is a new edition other than a remake (which and run from being extremely faithful to the previous edition, or highly diverge from it)?

      A great example of the "fan" effect in all of this is the Halo franchise. There's a huge divide in the Halo fandom between the Bungie lead games vs. the 343i lead games. Now, there's plenty of valid criticisms of the 343i era of the franchise (a lot of which are Microsoft's fault because Microsoft has really messed up rules for its video game subsidiaries that make Microsoft own games actively worse at launch and require massive work to patch up later), but if you took someone that wasn't really familiar with the franchise before and introduced them to the games now, a lot of the old Bungie era fans just sound... whiny about things that make no sense to get hung up about. For example, in the Bungie era, you either can't sprint, or sprinting is a special equipment feature you have to pick from a list of potential options. In the 343i era, sprinting is just something you can do. Bungie era fans lament... the ability to run faster at the cost of not being able to shoot as a default ability as ruining the spirit of Halo. Even though sprinting as an equipment bonus was integrated during Bungie's run, and Bungie repeatedly moved things from special equipment to standard options during their time heading the franchise. Sprinting is also a very standard FPS feature these days, and no sprinting is a big turn off to trying to get fans from the other major FPS franchises to try out the OG of the modern FPS style. I've seen people complain that the art updates from Halo 3 to Halo 4 count as continuity error because the Master Chief didn't have a chance to upgrade is armor (to zero mechanical effect) between games... it's just an art shift. The games game out five years apart... was Halo 4 supposed to look five years out of date graphically to make "purists" happy that the MC's armor (which you only really seen in cut scenes because it's a FPS) looks the same?

      Or to really get into the "remake" side of things, older Halo fans hated that the Halo 2 anniversary edition added a cut scene to the game where the main character from Halo 5 asks the Arbiter about the events of Halo 2. You know so the "remake" of the older game was also an in-universe retelling of the story. But since Halo fans (in general really) hate Locke, adding him in for 15 seconds was enough to get Internet flame wars started that had nothing to do with the actual game's quality itself. You can spend hours listening to rants about how horrible it is to insert Locke into Halo 2 (again, just for a short skippable cut scene at the start of the game), before you'll get to actual complaints like how the new graphics cause issues because the new prettier graphics are laid over the old level geometry and these don't always line up right (so you can walk on air, or run into invisible walls, created by that disparity) to get into actual flaw in the Halo 2 remaster.

      So... yeah... I have a lot more issues with the discourse around remakes than the concept of remakes themselves. Lots of remakes are shit, but so are most movies, remakes just get more attention.

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      • #4
        When it comes to adaptations, I prefer adaptations to be fairly close to the source material. On the other hand, when we're talking about a remake of an adaptation, and the earlier adaptation did a decent job of adapting the source material, then I'd rather have the remake do its own, unique things and its own, unique take on the material. But in such a case, I'd rather that the creator make it clear early on that this is an adaptation or a remake that's merely inspired by the original material rather than an attempt to recreate it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
          When it comes to adaptations, I prefer adaptations to be fairly close to the source material. On the other hand, when we're talking about a remake of an adaptation, and the earlier adaptation did a decent job of adapting the source material, then I'd rather have the remake do its own, unique things and its own, unique take on the material. But in such a case, I'd rather that the creator make it clear early on that this is an adaptation or a remake that's merely inspired by the original material rather than an attempt to recreate it.
          On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm the sort of person who misses gecko endings and wants more projects that have involvement with the original creator to be willing to deviate away from each other iteration of telling. Remakes and adaptations are a chance to improve, fix, and experiment with the way a story is told and where it goes, and I think it's a shame there's not more exploration with each move.

          That will probably work better for some projects than others (Sword Art Online is an immediate thing that comes to mind where the anime adaptation could probably have benefitted more from an older Reiki Kawahara making some adjustments, a lot of the Disney remakes are evidence that soulless revisionism doesn't do a thing by contrast), but as a rule, that's where I sit.
          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 11-06-2022, 09:37 PM.


          Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

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          • #6
            I was considering, and reminded further by Arc...

            I think another factor in why remakes have become so contentious is the state of IP laws (in no small part because of Disney) in the US.

            It takes so long for stories to get to the public domain, and corporations get rights rather than creatives, so lots of stories end up existing in one fixed form for decades before there's any real chance to play around with them; and frequently the original creators aren't around to give input.

            It's increasingly harder to foster creativity: either in doing expertly done reproductions of original stories, or experimental ideas, when it's so hard for people to actually get the chance to put out the work to the public.

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            • #7
              Remakes? I hope the make the remake better than the original. Because, if I like an original, I can always re watch it; hopefully, a remake will wow me and if I don't like it, I can always resort to the original.

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              • #8
                The only problem with the originals is that they get harder to find as the years go by and with how overly sensitive folks have seem to become over how people were protrayed in older works. It seems that they put in considerable effort to make it harder to find and enjoy because over something that was trival and can't wrap there heads around the fact that is how people acted and even believed.


                What in the name of Set is going on here?

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Harder to find" in the digital age is a laughable concept. Like, it takes a minute or two longer to find? You have to click through one or two extra buttons of content warnings?

                  The vast majority of efforts to make older works hard to find is driven by corporate greed, not changing public tastes. The Disney Vault, where they jacked up the value of their completely unoriginal original stories by creating artificial scarcity via only producing so many copies home media during a limited time? That's the sort of shit that makes things hard to find. Disney started doing that in the 1940s.

                  Also, please remember that the "that's just how people were back then" argument is crap. That doesn't make it good, and history is replete with examples of contemporary accounts of people that knew it was bad back then too. Why shouldn't "empathy towards the subject matter of the work?" be considered part of a work's quality or legacy? We're talking about stories. Content is the whole point. If one story gets an A+ for technical execution, but an F for promoting absolute garbage ideas, and another story gets an A- in technical and content? I'd say the second story is the better one anyway.

                  Maybe, just maybe, it's worth not treating the label of "classic" or whatever as some sort of static achievement that makes a story unquestionably good. Maybe those originals belong in museums and art classes for people to study as cultural artifacts, not in wide release for people to enjoy uncaring to the fact that it means other people have to endure a world that cares more about fake people than real people.

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                  • #10
                    I think the last one I actively liked as opposed to 'alright' was over a decade ago so theirs that. The new Hellraiser film came pretty close as kind of good but its debatable if its a remake since the films are closer to individual stories than a film series.
                    Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-13-2022, 05:24 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Ambiguous. Like. Why? I just want to play one particular game, I don't need anything more. I just like the classics. For example right now I'm playing CS GO and I feel great. Plus I also ordered this for me: https://eloboss.net/csgo-coaching So it's twice as much fun to play. Just hope I will not get bored.
                      Last edited by Cybergirl; 11-22-2022, 08:50 AM.

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                      • #12
                        For game at least, there can be a lot of whys.

                        As an example, I still have my original FFVII PC discs. Trying to actually install and run the game on a modern PC is a nightmare of extra work. A basic port-remake (not necessarily the whole big thing they ended up doing with FFVII) is useful for a lot of games on that aspect alone: I want to go back and play this game, but the underlying code needs to get remade for that to be realistic or I need to run all sorts of emulators to make it happen. Hell, a lot of new computers don't even have disc drives any more because you just get everything off the Internet, so I have a USB one just in case.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cybergirl View Post
                          Ambiguous. Like. Why? I just want to play one particular game, I don't need anything more. I just like the classics.
                          Which games do you consider classics? There could still be some person out there who still refuses to play anything made after Pong. I consider Planescape:Torment a classic in the CRPG genre.


                          Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            "Harder to find" in the digital age is a laughable concept. Like, it takes a minute or two longer to find? You have to click through one or two extra buttons of content warnings?
                            Finding older stuff, well, on torrents, is difficult; newer stuff, is easy to find and there are always lots of seeders; and it takes a lot longer than a minute or two because you have to filter through the spam and bogus-sites that claim to have it.

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                            • #15
                              Well, considering the forum rules around this... lets look at legally purchasing/viewing a work, even if an individual's circumstances or personal ethics might not support that action.

                              What original work is hard to find, that isn't purposefully so because of the corporate owners making it that way? What isn't available through sources like libraries? What can't you watch via doing a free trial on some specialty streaming service and then drop it once you've watched what you want (or stay a subscriber if you keep finding things you want to watch)?

                              And just to be clear, compare this do the days of video rental stores where you had to go to a store, and hope they had a copy; esp. of more obscure things. If something was popular or rare you might have to try four or five places and still might come up with nothing. And that was considered an era of revolutionary access to films and TV shows where you weren't stuck catching it when it was first in theaters/aired on TV, or you missed it potentially forever (though fortunately a lot of those older reels were preserved despite that). You're talking about having to spend a few extra minutes of navigating websites as "difficult."

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