Reboots, remakes, and sequels are a common trend in Hollywood right now, which has many people angry. People are mad for two main reasons: one being that their favorite franchises are being rebooted and the other for the lack of creativity. The latter reason is quite understandable. Why would Hollywood remake something that has already been done? Why not make something new? The simple answer is because of money. Remaking a film especially one with name-recognition, like The Murder on the Orient Express, is a sure-fire way of bringing in money. While a film like The Murder on the Orient Express brought in millions, not every remake is a guaranteed success. When Paramount and MGM remade Ben-Hur in 2016, it only made 94 million dollars on a budget of 100 million dollars. While people may not like remakes, reboots, and sequels, I do not mind them. In fact, I am usually optimistic about their success. I believe that many reboots, remakes, and sequels improved on their original material and, in many cases, were far superior to their predecessor.
When I was studying to become an English major, I was taught many theories on how to analyze texts and films. One of these theories was “close reading” which required the reader to look at the text and nothing more. Close reading prohibited any outside information like events that happened when the book was published or even the life of the author. I primarily hated close reading due to its exclusion of outside knowledge. I believe outside information can help improve one’s experience reading a book or watching a film. When I read The Bell Jar, my knowledge of Sylvia Plath granted me a unique perspective of the book. However, I was never afforded the opportunity to read The Bell Jar isolated. Maybe, if I read the book without knowing about Plath, I could have enjoyed it even more. My experience with The Bell Jar was similar to my experience watching classic films for the first time. I recently watched Casablanca, and, like The Bell Jar, I was never afforded the opportunity to experience it without any outside information. I knew that Casablanca was considered to be one of the greatest films of all time when I started to watch it. But did it live up to my expectation? Somewhat.
Saying that I love film is quite an understatement. After all, I created this blog just to talk about films. I also love the fact that other people are able to create their own film blog and share their thoughts about films too. Because of the online film community, I have been introduced to so many great films. However, while there are great film critics and communities out there, I do have a few problems with some modern-day film criticism. While I am not trying to paint a picture that all film reviewers and communities are bad, but I have noticed a rising trend in film criticism that I would like to address.
There have been a lot of discussions recently about the future of movie theaters. Questions surrounding the longevity of theaters have been asked mainly due to the rise of streaming services. Now, with AMC announcement of a net loss between $2.12 and $2.42 billion for this past quarter, the future seems quite bleak for theaters. While I am no expert on business, I do believe that theaters will survive.
First of all, Hollywood, especially directors, won’t let theaters go under. When Kodak went under, directors like JJ. Abrams and Christopher Nolan convinced Hollywood studios to help bail out Kodak. Furthermore, many directors like Nolan and Steven Spielberg believe in classic Hollywood techniques and traditions. This means shooting movies on celluloid and making films specifically for the big screen. These directors would never think about making a film that would skip the theater and go straight to streaming. Spielberg even said that “I want to see the survival of movie theaters. I want the theatrical experience to remain relevant in our culture.” Lastly, with the overturning of the paramount decree which prevented studios from owning theaters, many theaters can now be bought by studios.
Nowadays, it seems like streaming services are appearing everywhere. Disney released its service late last year and NBC is planning to release its service, called Peacock, this July. All these services range in quality, content, and especially price. Peacock is offering two versions of their service; a premium version and a free ad-based version. However, free members are not allowed access to the full NBC catalog. Disney’s service, which is called Disney Plus, offers Disney’s complete catalog including all the Marvel and Pixar films. Furthermore, their acquisition of Fox means Fox’s properties are on Disney Plus as well. The question now is whether HBO Max poses a threat to these streaming services.