What an entirely accurate adage this is, sad to say though no one ever really listens to it, especially the movie companies in Hollywood. Like everyone else I love me a good movie, however in the last decade or so the quality of movies has reduced drastically. This post is not going to be to bitch about movies in general, instead I will touch on three types of movies made that really tend to irritate the hell out of me: Books made into movies, sequels and the worst offender, Movie Remakes.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a very avid reader, hell my mother even owns a used book store in this area. Reading for fun is, I will admit, an acquired taste, however reading provides so many benefits. A brief escape into the story, getting to know and understand the characters and of course keeping your mind working by “drawing” the story put before you and allowing you to think is different directions. When a movie is created from a book I always tend to groan a little bit, even the most perfect adaptation will have its flaws. In fact the best adaptations I have ever seen tend to be short stories made into movies, that being just about the perfect length for making a movie. Trying to make even a simple novel into a movie tends to involve a lot of content being taken out and if you do something like Stephen King’s The Stand you wind up with a whole lot of the backbone of the story left out. Then there are the books that they must just say fuck it and do their own thing. Books like these are The Running Man and The Lawnmower Man. Of course sometimes the story stays mostly the same except they change some major event or character in the story to the point of ruining it. Examples of this include First Blood (Rambo died at the end of the book) and the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series, they have that series of movies so screwed up now any serious fan of the books will not bother watching any future movies. Now, I know that the movie makers will continue to do what they want (as well I know there are time limits on movies) I just wish they would actually try to do justice to a book or not even bother making it into a movie at all.
Before I start talking about movie sequels I am going to talk a bit about what I consider to be a sequel and what is not a sequel in my eyes. Things like Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings are not sequels but continuations of the story. Children of the Corn (which was only one short story by the way) and Nightmare on Elm Street are in fact sequels. Now, not all movie sequels are bad, in fact there are times when the sequel is better than the original, ie. The Road Warrior. I am not fully against sequels, however there is some responsibility that comes from making a sequel. Simply redoing the original story with small differences is always a bad idea and just throwing some piece of shit out there to try and capitalize on the success of the original is always a guarantee for a failure. Also, if you are going to make a sequel it tends to appeal more to people if you can use the same actors as well as using the same characters. Nothing irritates me more about a sequel than sitting down to Something Part 2 and not knowing any of the characters in it at all. Plain and simple there will always come a time when you need to let go of a story line and move on to something else, this can also be referred to as the time after jumping the shark.
With very few exceptions, remaking a movie is always a bad idea. From the start the new movie is going to be based on the standards of the original, provided the watcher has the brains to realize he is watching a remake. Are movie makers that much out of ideas that they need to recreate something that was already a great movie? In looking up movies coming up in the next few years I see titles such as Clash of the Titans (which was fucking epic in the original), Nightmare of Elm Street (this was another great movie in the original and I hate to see it remade), The Karate Kid and let us not forget Red Dawn (Oh come on please, there is no way to make this movie better). All of these are movies that were great when they came out and, honestly, I am quite scared of the job they are going to do on them. In addition we have some tv to movies coming out like The A-Team and 21 Jump Street. It is definitely looking to be an interesting couple of years for movies.
Before I sign off here, I just want to repeat that I love watching movies, they can be quite enjoyable. However, I am the type of person that prefers a good story line over special affects, if you can get both in there together, fine and good, but story should come first every time. Movie makers need to get original again and come up with new ideas instead of more sequels and remaking movies that were just fine the first time around.