The 2012 remake of the 1984 MGM classic “Red Dawn” comes to theaters Wednesday.
“Red Dawn” is one of dozens of remakes announced for the next two years. Perhaps this is further confirmation that Hollywood is running out of original ideas. But if Hollywood is going to reboot its productions, moviegoers want to be sure it’s done right — but what is the right way to do it?
“I think that remakes are generally a bad idea,” Sally Meyer, a local casting director, said in an email interview. “I have yet to see a remake I like better than the original.”
Meyer said one of the reasons she doesn’t like remakes is because she identifies with the original characters more.
“I think the films you see in your childhood are the ones that you rebel against the remakes, because you can’t wrap your adult mind around the new version,” Meyer said. “The old version is embedded in your inner child mind.”
She also said sometimes a remake is an effort to surpass the original, and it can go way over the top with the storyline. Spicing up an original story with the overuse of special effects and CGI are always a danger for remakes.
But to some, remakes do a good job of adding an interesting twist to the story.
“It’s like you get a different perspective of the story,” Bronte Bringhurst, a sophomore from Pleasant Grove, said.
Bringhurst said she likes remakes and she’s OK with the artistic liberties filmmakers take, as long as they stay true to the essence of the story.
Liz Carver, a junior from Tulare, Calif., said sometimes remakes replace story quality for overuse of special effects. Her example was the newest “Star Wars” trilogy, not technically a remake, but a continuation of an older story nonetheless.
“The storyline was better in the originals — it wasn’t overshadowed by a green screen,” Carver said.
She did say, however, that some aspects of modernization can make a remake better than the original movie. She talked about how actors have widened their range, referencing the difference between the original “Ocean’s Eleven” and the remake.
“The old one was funny and lighthearted, more like a treasure hunt, but what I liked about the new one was the character development,” Carver said.
Another aspect Carver said helps bring home a remake is modernizing it to our day. In the original “Red Dawn,” the Wolverines fight off the Soviets, whereas in the remake, they fight off the North Koreans.
Steven Evert, a recent BYU sociology grad and self-proclaimed movie buff, said the new “Red Dawn” looks amazing.
“It showcases the true American spirit, in that we will never give up and never surrender,” Evert said. “Plus you add in today’s hottest young movie actors, and you’ve got something you can’t miss.”