Cinema: what’s old is now new


If you have been to the movies recently and you’re over the age of 18, you might have experienced déjà vu. No, it’s not just you. A lot of people have been to see the recent remakes of movies like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Friday the Thirteenth,” “Charley and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and even “The Fast and the Furious” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are remakes of older movies.

It may surprise you that some of these titles are remakes, and others you may remember from your childhood. There have even been talks of remaking “The Karate Kid,” with Jackie Chan playing the mentor and Jaden Smith portraying the part of the outcast kid who is being bullied. That movie has still not been officially named, and there are rumors that it will be called the Kung Fu Kid. Some hope that it does not bear the name of its inspiration the “The Karate Kid.” There have been mixed feelings about this remake on the internet, anywhere from absolute outrage to excitement about seeing the new version.

In contrast to “The Karate Kid” being remade, most people are looking forward to the new Star Trek. Star Trek has had an unusual history. It was a show that aired Sept. 8, 1966, and only lasted three seasons. Most shows that only last three seasons may be remembered but never have the success that Star Trek experienced. There were four off-shots of Star Trek that were all successful. The movies have also experienced high levels of success. This May, Star Trek will be back in the theater with new actors crewing the ship and state of the art special effects.

Josh North, a Missouri Western student expressed his opinion on the recent string of Hollywood remakes.

“I think some of the movies are a good thing to remake, especially if they are really big classics some of them need to be bought back,” North said. “But some times it kind of shows, like with a lot of the movies, that Hollywood is running out of ideas.”

In some case the remakes will be better than the originals, but not because of the lack of acting, its simply because of technology. Special effects have come a long way from smoke and mirrors. Today it seems as though what we see on the big screen actually happened. The space ships seen in the theaters are spaceships created by computer animation, not little models that they tie to strings and film.

The new version of “The Day The Earth Stood Still” is an example of the difference that our technology makes. The original came out in 1951 as a black and white movie. To this generation the graphics would be amusing at best. But a person must think of the movie by 1951 terms as professor David Benz explains.

“Of course that was a fifty’s movie, you have to understand that it first came out the idea of an alien and a space ship was really kind of alien,” Benz said. “At least for me it was really new and it was really kind of frightening, frightening in terms of the earth being invaded. Now of course we are used to these stories. But of course, no comparison to how the movie came out the second time.”

Some people may think that Hollywood has run out of ideas. In fact it could be said that not many people have original ideas, just new versions of old ideas. So Hollywood remaking old classics may not be that Hollywood is running out of ideas, but in fact it may show that they are aware that there are not many original ideas, they are just rehashing old ideas. Why put a new name to an old idea?

When it comes to Hollywood remakes, Missouri Western music major Paula Elsner sums it up well.

“It really depends on the movie, and who makes it,” Elsner said. Sometimes the original is better and sometimes it’s not.”

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