Why is the movie industry stuck repeating history?

For the past several years I’ve been annoyed at how the movie industry constantly takes the easy way out and copies history rather then coming up with something new. Actually my annoyance probably dates back to when the cheesy CG remake of Godzilla came out; a quick detour to IMDB tells me that it’s been 11 years now, yipes!

Anyway, I just don’t like how there are so many damn movies that fall into two categories:

(1) Remakes of old movies. In most cases that I’ve seen (or heard about second-hand since I refuse to see these things) the remake doesn’t add anything to the movie. Sure there’s fancier special effects and CG animation, in some cases the originals were in black & white so even color is a bonus but usually the script writers manage to mangle the original just enough to make it less entertaining overall than the originals.

(2) Movies based on old TV shows. Come on, have Hollywood writers run completely dry of new material so that they have to pillage old TV shows, especially the bad ones from the 70’s and 80’s? Honestly, I think the world could have done without movies based on The Dukes of Hazzard, The Brady Bunch, Beverly Hillbillies, The Honeymooners etc. Can’t someone come up with some good new ideas? Notice I said good, there are plenty of original works out there that just suck (Dodgeball anyone?) If you want to see a list of shows that have been made into movies check out this Wikipedia page.

(Speaking of The A-Team I discovered at that Wikipedia link above that the movie version of the show is scheduled to be released in 2008.)

One movie in this category that really pissed me off was the original Mission: Impossible movie. I am a huge fan of the original TV series from the 60’s (I have almost 50 episodes on VHS just waiting for transfer to DVD) so I was initially excited to hear that they were making a movie about it. (Aside: TV.com says that “If you like this show you may also like these shows: The A-Team, The Mod Squad, I Spy, Get Smart and MacGyver. How did The A-Team get in there?)

The revived series that ran from 1988 to 1990 was decent (not as good as I had hoped) and at least it had Peter Graves in his original character. When I finally saw the movie I was sorely disappointed. They basically stole the title and slapped it on a crappy action flick that included some disguises and tech tricks as a vehicle for Tom (bleh) Cruise. As if that weren’t bad enough somehow that piece of crap made enough money to induce the studio to make it a franchise and crank out two more of them. After seeing how the first one totally lost the spirit of the original show I decided that I could never, ever under any circumstances see either of the other two movies.

I will grant you that there have been some decent movies in this category. The Fugitive TV show was before my time so my first exposure to the story was the Harrison Ford movie that came out in 1993. I thought that was an okay movie but maybe I would have had a different opinion had I been a fan of the TV show.

(2a)Live-action movies based on cartoons is a subset that I reserve special hate for. Who the hell thought making live-action versions of George of the Jungle, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and so forth were good ideas? And don’t get me started about Fat Albert or I might do something I’ll regret.

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