Well, here we go again: it’s another Hollywood reboot of a beloved classic and another round of arguments for and against the reboot. This argument lights up the Internet like bacon lights up my smile in the morning. I’m talking about the reboot of Ghostbusters led by an all-star, all-female cast.
And I’m going to be one of those geeks lighting up the Internet.
Yep, I know there are more important things in the world to be worried about, but messing with our happy childhood memories seems to be a never-ending motif of the current powers-that-be in Hollywood. They seem to be on a mission to bury the entertainment world in a glut of remakes, reboots and reimaginings, casting a shadow on the legacies of some classic movies and keeping the doors to the kingdom under tight lock and key for any creative talent that might someday bring us our next original ideas like Star Wars, The Matrix or Avatar.
I know that making movies is always a big risk. I get that the studios and the producers with the money don’t want to take a gamble on something they don’t understand. It’s a business to them. That’s why they keep continually mining their past successes. They look at it as a surefire thing: if these movies keep making money, why not just keep churning out the same thing over and over? They aren’t concerned with being creatively bankrupt as long as they aren’t financially bankrupt, and I can’t entirely fault them. That’s safe business practice in an industry that’s inherently unsafe to sink your wealth into. Besides, as an audience, we keep going back to see these rehashed ideas.
Now, I’m not saying that these reboots don’t always work. But for every creatively exciting reimagining like the first Star Trek by J.J. Abrams, and the new Planet of the Apes movies, we get an onslaught of dreck like the current spineless Robocop itineration and the humorless, soulless Evil Dead remake. And then we get movies that we didn’t even know we wanted, like another fucking Rambo flick or another incarnation of He-Man and The Masters of The Universe—which come to think of, may just be a Rambo movie set on another planet.
While all these reboots are being produced, there are probably numerous original scripts that might just have the goods to be “the next big thing.” There are potential future blockbusters that will never see the light of day because the major studios won’t take the risk, and the independent studios don’t have the budgets to film them.
Back to the Ghostbusters reboot:
I’ve read several articles where detractors of the new Ghostbusters have been accused of being sexist because they don’t support the idea of a female-led reboot. While I can’t speak for every detractor, I can say that I don’t have any issues with the all-female cast. I couldn’t care less if they made the movie with an all-African-American cast and some Caucasian dude playing Winston Zeddemore. I couldn’t care less if they only wanted to cast the movie with cute puppies and kittens with unlicensed nuclear accelerators strapped to their backs. What I care about is that the original Ghostbusters is a near-perfect movie. It was done right the first time. End of story. It’s an American classic like the Coney Island Hot Dog and spray on hair. There is simply no need to retell this story in any capacity. There are some things that you don’t mess with, like Superman’s cape, the Lone Ranger’s mask and, of course, Jim.
Could you imagine, sometime in the future, some exec deciding that after releasing Star Wars Episode 39, the studio should just start from scratch and remake Episode 4? Hell no, you spineless, money-grubbing suits. Hell no. And Hell no to the ideas being floated out there about rebooting Blade Runner, Aliens and the soon-to-be-released Terminator reboot. Go screw yourselves, Hollywood execs. I’m not giving you my money to shit all over my happy childhood movie memories. Those movies deserve the proper respect and the place in film history that they hold. So stop soiling the creative legacy of the hardworking people involved with making these classic flicks.
In recent years, the best flicks coming out of Hollywood, in my opinion, have been those based on novels and comic books. Because, let’s face it, Hollywood finds it easier to borrow or copy someone else’s creative work. That’s at least one bright spot for fans of big production films. Movies like those in The Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games movies, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and franchises based off of beloved Marvel and D.C. comic books have saved the day financially and creatively for the big studios. But how long can that last? Even those movies are getting the constant reboot, like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, The X-Men, The Hulk and probably what will be another pointless Fantastic Four movie (soon to be released).
I understand that ranting about this subject is like tilting at windmills. Hollywood is not in the business of making movies. Hollywood is in the business of making money. So many would say that if you want to see art, if you want to see an original movie, stick to the Indie films. And in many ways, Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy has led to the rise of movie quality television programming from networks like AMC, FX and, of course, Starz, Showtime and HBO. Nowadays I sometimes prefer to watch these TV shows rather than slap down sixteen bucks, plus another thirty on drinks and snacks, just to see another version of a movie I’ve already seen a hundred times before.
I know what you’re thinking: “Mike, if you don’t like them, don’t watch them.” And I agree with you. But I also miss the days when Hollywood took some risks. Those years gave us phenomenal movies like Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Alien, Aliens and so many more. I know there are new, and original movies just begging to get made.
So I pray to the Hollywood gods to hear my plea; stop messing around with my happy movie memories. Stop remaking classics that should be left alone. There are original scripts out there. There are young, talented directors looking to show the world what they can do.
The need for fresh, innovative stories is out there. If you make it, the audience will come.