by Sax Carr and Tim Powers AKA Fandom Planet
There’s a LOT of talk of late about why anyone should, or should not, go see the recent 3D re-releases of the Star Wars films. The argument goes something like this:
“I’m not going! George Lucas RAPED my childhood!”
“…but… its Star Wars!”
While we agree that the artistic merit of the prequels is questionable at best, that is NOT why we won’t be going to see the films in theaters over the next few months or years. We’re not going because the medium of the 3D movie is horrible, and 3D re-released films cheapen the movie industry. It sets a dangerous precedent of attaching a gimmick to a crappy film and re-packaging it to gullible consumers. We’re not going, and you shouldn’t either. We’ll explain:
There have been more then enough complaints online about the recent Hollywood trend of almost exclusively remaking films. “Where is the creativity!??!” cries the Internet. Well, the reason this keeps happening is because people continue to SEE these remade films. In fact, a remake is an sure-fire favorite to make MORE money than a new property because name recognition means so much in this wildly over-saturated era. (The concept is that the more familiar the public is with a film’s premise or hero, the more likely people will see it and the less selling the studios will have to do to convince you to go.) Hollywood is not invested in making new, artistically viable, movies as much as its into making MONEY. Remakes make money, and thus there are MORE of them. Simple.
Crappy, but simple. This is why there have been THREE “Alvin & The Chipmunks” movies.
There is a pretty effective explanation in this amazing review of the ‘09 Star Trek by Red Letter Media:
So, a couple years back when the 3D craze was really taking off (again), which we blame mostly on the lack of magic shows in small towns, which means Americans were dying to see stupid film parlor tricks. “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my ass and then toss it slowly at the camera.”
Ta… fucking… DAH!
Somehow the 3D film moved from being a gimmick reserved almost exclusively for the 3rd movie in a series (Jaws 3?) into a MUST have for any movie that comes out. (Green Hornet) Really? 3D is a must have? What’s next Smell-O-Rama? Cinemascope? Personally, We credit this all to the Back To The Future supporting villain “3D Glasses Guy”. Billy Zane, the actor who played the 3D Glasses Guy (editor’s note: the below photo obviously shows Billy Zane standing next to 3D Glasses Guy, not playin him… no one has heard of Puke Yellow Sweater Guy in front of him since though) was also “The Phantom” in that 90’s Blockbuster Dud.
In the back you’ll see the greatest villain in cinema…
We think 3D films do NOTHING for audiences. They add nothing to the film experience. They don’t impress us. Plus, a fair amount of the population either can’t see modern 3D (because of eye issues, Tim Powers included), find them nauseating, or can’t afford the extra five or ten bucks attached to the ticket price. Very few films are truly benefited by 3D, including Avatar and a few others that we can think of. Sadly Avatar also sucks.
It requires pointing out that the gimmick of 3D films was a fad in the 1950’s and used to sell such stinkburgers as Gorilla at Large, Robot Monster, Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth and this winner:
(In full disclosure, Tim loves “Robot Monster” but does not consider it great cinema.)
Sigh. Back to the point.
In the middle of making EVERY film 3D, the folks at Disney hit on the idea of re-releasing some of their popular films again in 3D. Predictably this led to a huge amazing WIN. (read: “money”) Gen X folks, eager to connect with their children (for once) brought them out to see these films again, and suddenly it was a huge success. Now every studio is trying desperately to find their old films to push back out on us with a quick 3D retooling. THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN!
In the days before home video, Disney would re-release one of their “classic” animated films to theaters every few years so new generations could see Robin Hood or Sleeping Beauty but that practice is no longer necessary. Although we would rather see the amazing animation in Dumbo than the cookie-cutter Tangled.
Our objection has less to do with George Lucas and how much money he needs to bleed out of his eager and devoted fans. This is is not about the movies sucking, nor not living up to the original trilogy. That is an argument settled years ago. This is about not allowing the most profitable thing in cinemas to be yesterday’s cinematic leftovers. Why, you ask?
BECAUSE THEY WILL DO IT!
If Hollywood can just rehash old movies, especially before cast and such signed contracts that gave them a piece of the action, and put them back in theaters, why would they take a risk on new movies? Why risk anything when say Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Labyrinth, Howard The Duck, or Porky’s II can be put back on the screen in 3D or smell-a-vision or whatever. Hollywood is about managing risk. When we march like zombies into any theater with a picture of a light-saber on the door… we’re giving them ammunition for the gun that kills new creative endeavors.
By the way… this is the same principle as when you click “like” on a video in the “Shit BLANK says to BLANK” format. You are making more of those videos happen. Why create new Internet sketches when that existing format is still marketable.
Shit nerds say to other nerds who are PART OF THE FUCKING PROBLEM!
We digress. And, sadly, We’re also part of the problem, too, sometimes.
We understand these movies had a deep and powerful impact on most of our childhoods, or at least we wanted them to. Many people live their lives to cosplay, explore, and enjoy Star Wars cannon. That doesn’t give you licence to simply walk into these traps for nostalgia sake. We get it: you love Star Wars! But if you just eat up whatever crap they feed you, then you make sure then next thing they create is also going to suck. Worse, and this again is the point of this article, if you just consume perpetual reworks of the other films, when will other movies like it be made again?
Get it? Star Wars for the next generation! HA! HA! HA!
New films, even if they are re-makes (and we’ll discuss that in a second), do a lot for our society. They contribute to our general artistic growth, and they give young actors, writers and directors a chance to break out as well as giving established talent some well needed work. The same goes for people on the other side of the camera. New movies do better for more people than re-released films shoveled down our throat because we can’t let go. George Lucas does not need any more money. We promise.
(Note: We know the 3D engineers that re-master these films need work too, but trust me, there are other, NEW movies, going into 3D.)
Re-Makes work differently in our opinion, but mostly because we enjoy the story telling options available when we revisit the well worn territory of something we all know and love. By and large we support the trend to adapt or re-make intellectual properties because it’s no different, to us, than having two different people tell you a famous fairy tale. The new author leads to new insight It’s a good thing. (Did you know “The Maltese Falcon” with Humphrey Bogart was the THIRD remake of that story?) Of course there is a very broad line between the ‘09 Star Trek reboot and the upcoming movie Battleship. Still, we support remakes on principle.
I’m from a GOOD remake! Also… I look like a date you had once!
A 3D re-release is not the same. Its being served the same film we had before. That does nothing to retell the story. 3D effects are not going to change our perception of the Star Wars universe. We will not be fed our childhood at an premium cost. Fuck that.
We are all way smarter than this. (We hope. We know YOU are, right?)
Plus, and this is a minor point, we thought putting old films back in theaters was the job of the little 3rd run indy theaters we all know and love. This is another attack on the brick and mortar mom and pop shops in favor of giant multiplexes. We love those little theaters. They exist to show you the films that no multiplex would ever bother to show. They make a little money by putting the Princess Bride back up for a weekend. Lets not handicap that. Just say NO.
So in short, we are not going to see this film because cheapens film in general. We won’t see it because every dollar the film makes puts us in danger of a almost creatively devoid film market. Seeing this film contributes to cheating future generations or their own iconic films and instead keep repeating our own fandom forever. Of course we are supporters of Fandom, but everyone deserves their own. We aren’t going to see this movie. Neither should you.
This and all 3D re-releases are off our dance card.
And, as we discussed earlier, the movie sucks Wookie Balls.