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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Film: The good, the bad, the remake

Do the movie titles “Spider Man,” “The Jungle Book,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Ghost in the Shell” sound familiar? Well, they are all films released within the last 60 years.  Perhaps you watched some of them as a kid, or even recently. All of the movies listed also came out again within the last five years.

Of the top 10 grossing movies of 2017 so far, six are either remakes or sequels


I’ve noticed Hollywood has been churning out plenty remakes and sequels in recent years. According to thenumbers.com, out of the top 10 grossing movies of 2017 so far, six are either remakes or sequels. When I look at a movie release schedule, I’m mostly seeing the names of movies I have already watched.

While I personally am not a fan of movie remakes, I asked some Western students what their opinions on recent remakes were. I found many of their responses interesting.

“I’ve seen ‘The Jungle Book’ and it was masterful,” sophomore Raymond Mbifngwen said. “It deserved the box office, which was $960 million, which is crazy.”

“The Jungle Book” 2016 remake holds a 95 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and it certainly made over $960 million at the box office. I’d say that with those numbers, the remake certainly exceeded the original when it comes to critical reception. However, Mbifngwen has some conflicting feelings about the recent splurge of remakes.

“Lately there’s been a lot of reboots and I want something different. I love Walt Disney Studios but they basically have already made these children’s books into animated movies like Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. I kind of want it to stop,” Mbifngwen said.

Recently released was the 2017 remake of “Beauty and the Beast” which currently is the top grossing film of 2017. Junior Amanda Bannon enjoyed the new remake.

“The parts that they added, added some interesting depth to the characters that the original could not because of time restraints,”  Bannon said.

The “Beauty and the Beast” may have had enjoyable additions to the story with its new release, but other remakes have had trouble jumping from 2d to live action. One of my most anticipated films of 2017 was one of these.

The 2017 reboot of “Ghost in the Shell” was met with mixed reviews seeing from its 45 percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is half of the original 1996 “Ghost in the Shell”’s score of 96%. I believe that instead of adding to the story of “Ghost in the Shell”, the remake tried to appeal to a totally different audience by removing elements. What was left after the changes was just an empty shell.

Just like any trend in Hollywood, there is a mix of good and bad. While remakes may be popular right now, new movies like “Get Out” and “La La Land” reaching the top 10 of the 2017 charts might show that things in the industry may be changing. I believe this long phase of remakes may end within the next few years, and Bannon thinks so as well.

“I think it’s just a phase in the movie industry and people are going to get tired of it,” Bannon said.


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