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June 1, 2015

Remake Everything

by Kevin Moyers

With the rumor that Dwayne Johnson will star in a Big Trouble in Little China remake swirling around, I've had the wonderful opportunity to read grown adults whining like spoiled children that this is wrong. This is an atrocity. This should be illegal. John Carpenter (the director of the original) shouldn't let this happen. Whoever thought of this should die. They're ruining the original. Blah, blah, blah, whine, cry, bitch, whine.

Stop it. Stop it now.

Don't get me wrong. I've been guilty of this same idiotic behavior in the past. I've dumped all over Tim Burton for re-imagining everything. Honestly, I only think I did it because I hated the word re-imagining. The point is, I was wrong, and it was a complete waste of time for me to complain about something that really didn't matter. I like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I'm sure I've seen it ten or more times since I was a kid. I've seen three minutes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Why? Because I didn't want to watch it. I like the original, and the remake didn't appeal to me. Nobody forced me to watch it, so I didn't. Better yet, nobody took the version I enjoy away.

Do you get that part? The one you love IS STILL THERE.

That's something I didn't realize until Michael Bay made his version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. People were constantly using the phrase, "raping my childhood." Honestly. Do you really want to compare a filmmaker giving his take on a story to such a horrible crime? Michael Bay did not sexually assault you. He does not deserve your loathing. Roman Polanski gets to continue making movies. Bill Cosby still performs comedy shows. Feel free to save your vitriol for those genuine rapists, have some respect for actual survivors and stop being melodramatic cunts.

Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith's podcasting and producing partner, wast justifiably angry about that same comment and made the point that I shared a couple paragraphs back. The version you love is still there. Nobody is taking that away from you. Your childhood, which you are so worried about losing, is now available on DVD and Netflix. Your childhood, which you should probably grow out of, is over. It's someone else's time to enjoy these things their own way. It's not yours. It was never yours. You didn't, don't and never will own it. You did not create it, and those that did have every right to do whatever they want with it. That includes selling the rights to remake it.

Sadly, most of you are around my age. I'm less than a year from forty. Forty. Don Draper was running the show before then. He didn't give a shit if they were going to remake Hogan's Heroes, or whatever the hell was on TV in those days. Do you know why? Because he was a grownup. He had a job, a family and a life. I'm not one of the "it was better back in the good old days" morons. In fact, I would like to see us move forward. I'm sick and tired of my generation clinging to childhood with both hands, fingernails dug in deep as though letting go will plunge them into the Sarlacc pit.

See, it's okay to remember and reference things from our youth. There is nothing wrong with nostalgia. You just don't have to live there. When you do, you look and sound stupid, and you do our children no favors. In case you were wondering, creativity comes from inspiration, and quite often from imitation. We would not have George Carlin without Lenny Bruce. There is no Guns 'N' Roses without Queen. James Gunn would not exist without Lloyd Kaufman. You learn from others before you form your own ideas.

Speaking of my generation, many of you enjoyed a show called Batman: The Animated Series. It was great, wasn't it? Not if you like remakes, I assume. See, if you look at it the right way, it's really just a remake of the Tim Burton movies, which is just a remake of the Adam West series, which is just a remake of the old serials, which is just a remake of the comic book. Do you get where I'm coming from here? If you don't, I don't care.

No matter what you think, art is never wrong. You don't have to like it, and I'm not saying it's always good. It's just never wrong. It's up to the person taking it in to decide. If it was up to me, everything would eventually be remade, because it annoys the crap out of so many people, yes, and because some great remakes and reboots have been made. Ocean's Eleven, The Italian Job, Batman Begins and the new Daredevil series all come to mind. Everyone is gushing over Mad Max: Fury Road. There is a possibility for a remake to be good if you give it a chance.

Big Trouble in Little China is a special movie for me. It was one of my grandmother's favorites. I watched it on the anniversary of her death last year. You know what? It wasn't the spectacular movie I remembered. It was still fun, and still made me remember how much fun it was when we watched it together decades ago. I still like it. It's nostalgia. It's a nice memory. That's all. Let Dwayne Johnson have a crack at it. He's funny. He's a good action star. When it's released, you don't have to watch it. You don't have to like it. I promise, you can keep you're special 30th anniversary blu-ray. Just find something better to obsess over, grow up and stop making our generation look like assholes.

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