The era of sequels and remakes

I’m beginning to think that all of Hollywood’s best and worst classic films, which we’ve loved to grin or cringe at, are being slowly replaced by Pods.

For those who haven’t seen 1956’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” or its four remakes and two parodies, Pod People are the human look-a-likes that begin to replace every single person in the world.

So I believe the term “Pod Films” is a pretty accurate term for the recent epidemic of remakes and sequels; they try to resemble the original but in reality they are just emotionless copies.

Over 2009 and 2010, there have been a total of 40 sequels and 27 remakes. In 2002 and 2003, however, there were only 19 sequels and one remake.

Den of Geek is an Arts & Entertainment website, self-proclaimed to be a lively home of geeky movies, TV shows, interviews, comics, and games.

They have counted 55 remakes and 86 sequels currently in development.

These numbers raise the question: where is the originality in the film industry?

Or, an even better question; how many overpaid directors does it take to recycle an overly-done plot and add 3-D effects?

Movies like the 2010 summer-hit “Inception” are practically being inducted into the imaginary film hall of fame – not necessarily because of awesome special effects, but because the ideas are so original.

If I’m paying $10 a ticket, I want to see some hard ingenuity up on the screen. If the industry is getting too cheap for good, original movies, let the ticket prices follow.

To be fair, not all remakes and sequels are garbage.

An excellent summer film, “Toy Story 3,” did exactly as a sequel should.

Not only did the third installment keep the familiar, child-like appeal to it, but it also added a new, mature angle.

Audience members who have grown up with the characters were able to witness a very appropriate end chapter to a series that has been loved for years.

Then you have the “Saw” series. The directors may think they’re continuing to delve out surprises every year, but realistically there is not a shred of originality anymore.

Yet again, another installment of Saw will be released near Halloween – “Saw 3-D.” Yet again, people will flood to movie theaters to see the same twists and death scenes that have been showcased over the last six years.

Point being: Stop beating a dead horse and let some series just die out.

Remakes are a touchier subject.

Films can be powerful, and anything powerful can develop a very strong fan base. If you don’t believe that, run past a “Twi-Hard” who has camped out for 96 hours to see “Eclipse” and yell, “I hate Twilight.”

Once a director publishes a film, it is no longer his/hers alone to sell off. When movies are redone carelessly, it is extremely insulting to the original’s fan base.

A perfect example is the 2010 “Clash of the Titans” revamp.

Compared to our technology, the 1981 original appears to be a poorly made film with bad effects; but it has and will forever be a loved classic.

Though the adaptation attempted to put an appropriate, modern spin on the old favorite, I think they let most viewers down. The film was inaccurate with Greek mythology at times, the plot was dry, and the acting was pretty terrible.

Even better, “Clash of the Titans 2” is already in development and will be released in March 2012.

On the other side of the spectrum, the 2010 remake of the 1978 film “Piranha” was generally liked by many critics.

Two things “Piranha” director Alexandre Aja did in his favor were choosing a film without a strong fan base, and adding a new element to give the adaptation a persona of its own.

The added B-movie style of the film left the original to be, whereas “Titans” chewed up the original, spit out its mangled remains, and sprinkled some action on top.

Point being: Think of the fans and stop violating classic films for cheap entertainment.

One controversial remake currently in development is Lionsgate Studio’s attempt at “Dirty Dancing.”

This film influenced an entire time period; it was, for the sake of comparison, the 1980’s equivalent to “Twilight.”

Now the beloved original is swirling down the toilet, as “Uptown Girls” screenwriter, Julia Dahle, takes a few good whacks at the plot.

It is surely to be another echo of the numerous, modern, dirty-dance films such as “Step-Up” and “Save the Last Dance.”

Other films in development that may spark interest include “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” a prequel to the movie “Alien,” taken on by Ridley Scott, and a sequel to “Avatar” to be released in 2014.