Dear Hollywood Fat Cats,
I am a patient woman. I am understanding. But now you’ve gone and done it. You have crossed the line. It is not without sadness that I note I have become rather accustomed to you churning out garbage for quite some time now, spewing out the same tripe over and over trying to make an easy buck. (I mean, really, did you honestly think no one would notice that Armageddon and Deep Impact were the same movie? Did you really? For the record, I mark that moment, along with the release of Titanic, as the beginning of the end for Hollywood. I just thought you should know.) I have, until now, been willing to overlook your shortcomings since every once in a blue moon you manage to create something that is actually unique, creative, and immersive – something that takes my heart and mind and whisks them away into a well crafted story where my disbelief is suspended and I exist completely in another reality, a voyeur in someone else’s intimate world. Those moments made your disregard for my intellect and pocketbook worth it, made it forgivable, but no more, my lazy little piggies. I shall tolerate it no longer and I know I am not alone.
“But what have we done?”
The slights and insults are so numerous that to list them all would take pages upon pages and I fear the mere mention of them would cause them, like the dead serial killers in slasher films, to miraculously resurrect themselves and THAT we cannot have…but I will highlight a couple of your more impressive displays of supreme laziness and disregard for your customers. Let’s look at how you brutalize beloved books and turn them into barely recognizable shadows of their glorious selves, shall we?
- “I Am Legend.” Wow and double wow. Why even use the book’s title when you changed the story to the point that the lead character is unrecognizable and the purpose of the original tale is completely lost? I am not a violent woman but the end of the film made me want to track down whoever approved the script, cover their hands with paper cuts and pour hot sauce and lemon juice on them. WHY DID YOU BOTHER TO MAKE THE MOVIE IF YOU DIDN’T PLAN ON HONORING THE BOOK? Oh wait! I know why! $$$$$$$$$. You thought movie-goers would hate the original ending and the original character…so you rewrote the entire story with a happy(ish) ending to make movie-goers happy and, subsequently, your wallets happy. How’d that work out for ya?
- “The Golden Compass.” This one broke my heart as I absolutely LOVE Phillip Pullman’s books. I do believe you actually tried this time…at least you did what YOU consider to be trying. While you did follow the original storyline quite well, you tried to fit way too much story into one film. The end product felt cramped, rushed and underdeveloped. It should have been either one extremely long film or it should have been split into two separate films. (after all, people sat through “Dances With Wolves” and “The Postman” despite Kevin Costner’s acting. *sorry if by some chance you read this, Mr. Costner. I’m not trying to be hurtful…I’m really not. I’m sure you’re perfectly nice, but come one…you had an American accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves…seriously.*) Maybe then fans would have been able to see the completion of the series instead of the abandonment of the project. So sad to have wasted such potential.
“Well we did our best.”
Really? So you’re doing your best when you, incapable of an original idea, turn bad TV shows, cartoons, video games and BOARD GAMES into feature length films? Did you honestly think people would want to sit through Starsky and Hutch? I almost choked when I heard the game Battleship had been made into a film. I have to think you were high…that’s the only explanation. I did admittedly, at my husband’s insistence, watch all of the Transformers films. There’s a bit of a problem when CGI space aliens that look like cars are the most endearing and relatable characters in a film. There are even glaring gaps in continuity which should not have gone unnoticed in such a high budget film…how is a woman running for her life finding time to change her shoes so many times? The ONLY reason I made it through these films is because Bumblebee is so damn cute. He really is adorable. I want one of my own. But I digress…your go-to ideas are to remake old TV shows. There’s a reason those shows went off the air. Charlie’s Angels? The Dukes of Hazzard? Scooby-Doo? You catch my drift?
Bad TV shows aren’t the only thing you’re regurgitating.
How many versions of Texas Chainsaw Massacre do we really need? King Kong? The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo? Abre Los Ojos (which turned into the horrendous Vanilla Sky…they even recast Penelope Cruz in the exact same role)? Godzilla? Clash of the Titans? The still-in-the-works Logan’s Run? Planet of the Apes? I could go on and on. The list is truly MASSIVE.
But there is one, ONE remake in the works that has caused me to turn on you, Hollywood. The final straw has been laid. The line in the sand has been crossed. You are committing the unthinkable and the unforgivable. YOU ARE REMAKING THE EVIL DEAD.
I cannot begin to tell you how vehemently I am opposed to this decision. This is a travesty of the greatest magnitude. Fans have begged and pleaded with Sam Raimi for an Evil Dead IV. We have offered our limbs, our organs, our first born, our souls, our grandparents souls and our life savings. I dare say human sacrifice would not have been off the table had it meant a new episode in the Evil Dead franchise…a chance to once again bask in the glory that is Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of Ash. But no. Instead the fans, the people who have thrown their money at the Evil Dead series buying multiple editions of the same film just to have it in packaging that mimics the Necronomicon or has new commentary and a new bonus feature, have been ignored.
I have heard some herald the new version as empowering because the lead, Mia (formerly known as Ash), will now be played by Suburgatory star, Jane Levy. To them I say hogwash. A female was not chosen because they wanted to shake things up and have a strong female lead kick some Deadite ass. A female lead was chosen because no man could compete with Bruce Campbell. Plain and simple. You knew that no man could ever fill those shoes…so you filled them with a pair of cute and petite sized 8 pedicured feet instead.
(Note: I really like Jane Levy. None of this is to slight her, or her skill as an actress. I honestly have no idea what her shoe size is or whether or not she gets pedicures…for all I know she has hobbit feet, although I somehow doubt it…)
There are some films that are simply untouchable
…Harvey, Streetcar Named Desire, Rebel Without A Cause, Harold & Maude, Star Wars (don’t go getting any ideas, Lucas…you pissed off enough people with Jar Jar and those “digitally enhanced” versions), Grease II (yeah, you heard me…don’t try and pretend you don’t know the words to Cool Rider) &the entire Evil Dead series.
It has been Hollywood’s job to help us through hard times, economic or otherwise, by entertaining us…by lifting us out of our reality, distracting us, helping us forget our problems if only for a few hours. Rehashing old films that were done right the first time is a disservice to your customers, your industry and your predecessors. Shame on you .
You complain about piracy but the reality of the situation is 99% of what you churn out isn’t worth paying for. If you want our hard earned (not to mention hard to come by) cash then start respecting your audience and make films that are actually worth watching. Show us a little love, will ya?