Prequels, Sequels, and Remakes, Oh My!

July 29, 2011

My visit to Regal Cinemas last weekend was an eye-opener, and not just for  Regal’s wonderful new  “Go Big Or Go Home” campaign (my 7/25 blog).

To paraphrase Al Pacino’s great Godfather 3 line: “just when I thought the big, loud, dumb, repetitive summer action sequels were about played out, here come the remakes to try to pull me back in!”

Want to know a major reason why filmgoing attendance continues to plummet?

First up, a new version of Spiderman. Not another sequel. A remake with a brand new cast and director. Yes, a remake with the same story line and setup, just filmed differently. The original version was released in 2002, but someone somewhere seems to think that 9 years is way too long in between Spiderman remakes so here comes another one. I’m not making this up, folks. Only The New Hollywood could rationalize this kind of decision. I’m not sure Guinness keeps records on this sort of thing but I would have to think 9 years is some kind of dubious record. Kind of a sister to the record 27 sequels that are being released in 2011.

And then it got even more jaw-dropping.

The next trailer was for a new version of The 3 Musketeers, something for which I know most people have been clamoring because, compared to Spiderman’s 9 year “hiatus” it’s been a seemingly interminable  18 years since the last “original” 3 Musketeers movie. There have been only 37 film versions (that I can find), 7 animated versions, and 7 television series of The 3 Musketeers story so, obviously, we need another new one to fill in all the blanks that those other 51 versions must have somehow missed, right?

At least this year’s pathetic Arthur remake was released 30 years after the original and classic Dudley Moore version had been released.

Last up, and not to be outdone,  was the trailer for Rise of The Planet of the Apes, which seems to be a prequel to the 5 other Planet of The Apes films, not including Tim Burton’s 2001 “reimagining” version of the classic original 1968 film which had, in my opinion, one of the great endings ever! In this version, we get to see how the apes took over the earth in the first place.

At least, this time I hope they start in Hollywood!


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