Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future” hit theaters worldwide in 1985 and now, in 2010, a good way to describe Hollywood’s latest trend in movies would be “Back to the ‘80s.”
This year, Hollywood is releasing an assortment of remakes of classic ‘80s movies, including “The A-Team,” “The Karate Kid,” “Red Dawn,” “Clash of the Titans” and a sequel to “Wall Street” called “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
This may leave viewers wondering why, after 30 years, Hollywood is revisiting the 1980s.
With so many remakes, directors seem to be shying away from turning out original and inventive films.
“We’re living in what I call the retread culture,” Christopher Sharrett, a professor of communication, said about this sudden influx of ‘80s remakes. “If something worked in the past, why not do it again with souped-up special effects? It all suggests an impoverished collective imagination and an intellectually bankrupt film culture.”
One thing to consider is the majority of directors of these remakes were young during the ‘80s. These were the movies they grew up with and now that they are the ones fueling Hollywood’s demand for new movies, they’re beginning to revisit the movies of their youth and make them their own.
However, these directors aren’t aiming to make carbon copies of the original films. “Clash of the Titans” director Louis Leterrier said in a recent interview that he detached himself from the original ‘80s film.
Ashley Scotto, freshman E-board member of the Seton Hall Film Society, is not impressed by Hollywood releasing so many remakes.
“As a young person, I do not believe in re-making classic films. I am bothered by Hollywood’s lack of originality. Why mess with a good thing?” she said. “Some of those movies cannot be remade. If some people of our generation think that remakes are a good thing then I have to ask the question, ‘Did you see the original?’ Would people tolerate films popular now being remade in the future? I don’t think so. The classic mantra ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is applicable to those original films.”
If “Hot Tub Time Machine” is an indicator of the types of films this trend will produce, movie lovers might be in for a mediocre year. In what can be seen as a rip off of “Back to the Future,” a group of friends relaxing in a hot tub end up back in time to the 1980s. While the film is occasionally amusing, it’s largely garish and lazy, lacking true comedic taste and audiences seemed as unimpressed with “Hot Tub Time Machine” as the critics.
“Clash of the Titans,” however, yielded more favorable audience feedback and revenue than “Hot Tub Time Machine,” but if the ‘80s is a developing trend in Hollywood, it’s also quite obvious that 3-D is what sells now in 2010.
Emily Lake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.