May 15, 2015

[Movies] How Far Should Remakes Go?

So the first trailer for the new Jem and the Holograms movie finally hit the internet and well...reactions have been mixed, to say the least. The primary criticisms of fans of the original 80's animated TV series involve the loss of show elements like Synergy or The Misfits and instead presenting a more generic sort of young success story. Regardless of where you stand in terms of what makes a proper Jem movie for current audiences, there's a lot to be said about such remake efforts.

Time and time again we've seen older properties being revitalized somehow and brought into the present as a remake or update of some sort. But a lot of times we're seeing movies that go to great lengths to introduce new concepts into the franchise to the point of taking out a lot of the elements that fans of the original show or movie held near and dear to their hearts.

And you'd think that remakes are always going to be about that nostalgia factor - as much as you want to introduce new audiences to the franchise, you still want to get those older fans to go and watch or bring their kids or things like that. But instead we get these monstrosities that I just don't understand what purpose they mean to serve.

Sure, some studio executive figured out that working with existing franchises is a safer bet than trying to tell completely original stories all the time. Thus the reason why sequels and remakes continue to come out one after another. But then why disguise a completely new intellectual property as an older franchise? Why tell a story that only shares a name with an older property as a common thread between them?

Just look at this trailer for the Jem movie, which is essentially a repacked Hanna Montana or Justin Bieber story using a different set of girls. I'm sure it's a decent enough story on its own. But why claim that it's a Jem movie if you're going to drop all the other elements of the original show? We need to stop doing this, Hollywood! It's got to stop! Even Michael Bay's remake of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was still better than this since at least it had a mutant mish-mash of elements of older versions of the franchise woven into the narrative. This Jem trailer is just so, so, so alien from what Jem used to be.

Be brave enough to take more risks and tell new stories. Don't go to ridiculous lengths to dig up older franchises only to totally ignore what made the original show what it was and just throw all that out the window. We can do so much better.

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