Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inside Hollywood: How Terrible Remakes Happen

Shame on you America for making
this the #1 movie
Once again we take you behind Hollywood's velvet ropes for an exclusive look at how movies get made. Ever notice how Hollywood annoyingly recycles old movie favorites and shoves them down our collective throats? Obviously, this is a combination of being out of ideas, and being afraid to take chances with the few new ideas they have. It's also because, let's face it, apparently we'll watch anything. If you don't think so, please note that Real Steel is the number 1 movie in America right now. Let that sink in. Real Steel with Hugh Jackman in a movie about boxing robots is the #1 movie in America. I find this more alarming than global warming or unemployment, because it speaks to a collective stupidity in our country. If we can't realize that Real Steel is a movie to be avoided, and we are willing to spend $11.50 to see it, how can we hope to fix anything ever? Real Steel being #1 is a sign to start stocking up on canned goods now.

It's on everyone's bucket list to see
Private Benjamin again.
Did you know that there are currently about 30 Hollywood remakes in the works? In addition to this week's somewhat unfathomable release of another "Footloose," we can also look forward to new renditions of "Ghostbusters," "Poltergeist", "Beverly Hills Cop", "Red Dawn", and "Private Benjamin." Because, if there is one thing we need, it's an update of Private freaking Benjamin. What is that quirky, plucky little blonde soldier up to now? Will she be able to make it through boot camp? What if her eye liner runs? What if she goes to Iraq? Or Somalia? Such possibilities for hilarity!

Let's take a look at how the latest remake got remade, and again, these are actual transcripts, and don't ask me how I have them:

Ren was from the wrong side of
the tracks...the dancin' side 
Screenwriter: So those are all my ideas, do you like any of them?
Producer 1: Hmm...they are all interesting, you have anything with dancing? Like where people are told dancing is forbidden, but goddammit, they gotta dance.
Producer 2: Yeah, dancing is hot right now! (gets up out of seat and does a Michael Jackson leg shimmy and kick) Oww!
Producer 3: I like it when there's a bad boy that just can't be tamed and he silently dances off his anger. (gets up out of chair, mimes punching someone, then does a somersault on conference table). 
Producer 1: And we gotta have a domineering figure that no likey the dancing, like a priest...or better yet, a preacher!
Producer 2: (taking notes) Sir, is it okay if I tell you that you are being brilliant right now?
Screenwriter: Guys, I think what you are describing almost scene for scene is "Footloose". It was on TBS last night. And TNT the night before that, it's on literally all the time.
Producer 2: Never heard of it.
Producer 1: I vaguely remember had that guy from Six Degrees of Separation, the emaciated yet sorta hot girl that might be dead now, and that horsey faced girl next door...
Lori Singer: no longer famous.
Screenwriter: Sarah Jessica Parker. And  I think Lori Singer is still alive. And, Wil Smith wasn't it.
Producer 3: No I don't think so...pretty sure he was, because that town was racist. And it was Joan Cusack, Sarah Jessica is too young to have been in that...
Screenwriter: Okay, regardless, I can work with this. There are ways we can modernize it and change it.
Producer 1: No! Scene for scene, change nothing! This is an homage...and we'll pay you double to just change 1 word per scene from the original script, plus we'll hire the original screenwriter to help out, and boom, we are there.
Screenwriter: Is that allowed?
Producers 1, 2 and 3: (hysterical laughter, followed by awkward group high-five)

There's also another way Hollywood cleverly (read as: underhandedly) remakes movies without technically remaking them, but the plot is exactly the same - take a look:

Is this guy really worth revisiting?
Producer 1: I'd love to do something sci-fi like John Carpenter's "The Thing", but not necessarily "The Thing" since that's been done. And we've done 10 remakes in a row... let's get original fellas!
Producer 2: (thinking hard) what if we base the movie on the origins of The Thing?
Producer 1: (texting someone) oh baby, prequel time, that's totally rockin', I like it...keep going
Producer 3: Yeah, let's focus on what happened at the Norwegian base right before the Americans arrived...
Producer 1: He just said that, you don't talk anymore. Plus, they all died, didn't they? I think that was pretty clearly established.
Producer 2: Did they though? Think about it...
Producer 1: Hmm....yeah did they? I mean I saw dead bodies...but that's not evidence is it?
Producer 2: Hell no. And the beauty of this is, the star of the movie is The Thing, so ...  
Producer 1: We can hire no name actors and save money! God, I'm brilliant, let's call it a day.

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