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Remakes, sequels, and originality in Hollywood

Many people decry Hollywood for its lack of originality, what with all the sequels, rehashed plots, adaptations, and remakes. I understand this critique. I feel its draw. But, when I think about it, I'm not against those things. Riffing on a theme is the basis for a lot of great art, including some movies. If we couldn't appreciate taking the same pieces through different moves (or different pieces through the same moves), we'd never retell our own stories, never play the same boardgame twice, and hate all music not based on random note choices.

I'd like to say I am simply against bad movies, but this is not entirely true. I can have fun with bad movies. Hell, I've seen They Live and Class of 1999 at least a dozen times each; Blade 2 is one of my favourite films; and while I didn't like Mission Impossible 2, I did like making fun of it.

What's more, even less than enjoyable material can offer us something, when it points to better works. I never would have seen Death Race 2000 (with David Karadine and Sly Stallone) if it hadn't been for the lesser Death Race of 2008, nor would I have watched The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (starring Walther Matthau) had it not been for the recently panned remake. Similarly, there are many (more or less) worthy books and comics which have gained exposure thanks to arguably less inspired films.

I propose a rule I know will not be followed--and not just because no one in Hollywood will read this: Only bad movies with good concepts or premises should be remade; producers and execs shall make it their goal to directly recycle, reuse, and refashion only the bad so it becomes good.

The first of these should be The Big Hit. There's so much there. Whoever works on it, just needs to decide to take it in one direction or another, rather than trying to make it dramatic, absurd, comedic, and tragic without any sense of itself as a whole. Shoot. You could even have Marky Mark reprise his lead role. That alone would sell the film. Come on, you bastards, I know you're not reading this. Remake The Big Hit.

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