Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nothing Is New, So Get Over It

Nothing is original anymore. 
-Who the hell knows

Image © Nerdluck/Stock.xchng
Last night, I was laying in bed thinking over a conversation I'd had with someone the previous day at the coffee shop. She was super excited that Clash of the Titans had arrived in her mailbox earlier that day. She couldn't wait to watch it. I had to ask the inevitable question.

"The original or the remake?"

"The original, of course!" 

A discussion ensued that I've had with more than one person. Many who loved the original claymation film of awesomeness are appalled by the CGI remake of a few years ago. It reminds me of the arguments I hear about Hunger Games and numerous other films.

"She just copied Battle Royale [or insert other film of similar content here]." 

I have to laugh, to be honest. People get so upset when someone takes an idea and makes it their own. Personally, I loved the Clash of the Titans remake. No, it wasn't the original, and yes, they changed a lot of things. But it wasn't meant to be an updated version of the 1981 film. It wasn't meant to be claymation with a bit of CGI. It was meant to be its own entertaining movie with lots of action, a (slightly unnecessary) love story, and some really amazing minor characters. Hunger Games isn't Battle Royale. It may have the same premise, but it stands on its own merits. 

My new buddy Norman, just because
I think it's time people stop judging movies, books, and television shows based on what's been done before and start critiquing them as their own entity. Go watch Hunger Games or Clash of the Titans again. Get it out of your head that they're remakes, that they "stole" the idea from somewhere else. Watch them for what they are: a unique work with similar ideas. And judge them accordingly. 

No, nothing is new anymore, but that doesn't mean it's not good in its own right. You can't be an artist if you don't take your inspiration from somewhere. Don't discredit something just because it's not the newest trick in the book. The same goes for books made into movies. Different media requires different styles, and different audiences require different focuses. You can't turn a thousand-page book into a three-hour movie and expect it to be the same. It's just not possible.

How do you feel about remakes? Do you judge new movies and books by themselves or do you compare them to their predecessors? What about books-turned-movies?

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