Friday, March 12, 2010

3D Remakes Test the Formula

Everyone who has seen the scary successful Alice In Wonderland has also seen the trailer for Tron Legacy, the long, long, long-planned sequel to Tron (1982) And TV is currently saturated with ads for Clash of the Titans, a re-make of the 1981 version set to open in April. Both of these films are in 3D, of course.

Let's see if we can apply the Daniel's Remake Formula to these new films. That formula:

Never redo a classic – always remake a movie that had a great premise but somehow didn’t quite work. That way the premise gets another chance, and only a handful of people are familiar with the original and probably don’t like it anyway. Everybody wins! –Daniel K.

Tron was filled with cutting-edge CG for it's time, so I don't know if it can be faulted for having poor effects. It was never a giant hit, but it was profitable and is still quite beloved, has a cult following, and was spun off like crazy. This is probably why they're not actually remaking it from the ground up. They even have Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges and Box Brucelightner again. (Hey, where's Cindy Morgan?) It has been rumored the budget for Tron Legacy tops $300 million, far more than Avatar. Yikes.

Clash of the Titans hews closer to the Remake Formula. Sure, the original was a Harryhousen flick, full of good stop-motion action, and it featured Lord Laurence Olivier and Harry Hamlin (whose next film would be Arthur Hiller's Making Love). But it is also a silly film, so-called "family fare," with Greek heroes battling a Scandanavian Kraken and a cute R2D2-style robotic owl tossed in for laughs. The limitations of special effects in 1981 informed how the original Clash of the Titans was structured: Long stretches of yakking with short stop-motion sequences. The new film looks a mid-budget CGI-fest, which portends two things: they probably won't waste a lot of time trying to improve the story, and it should make a pile. The remake is budgeted at $70 million: the original had an estimated budget of $15 million, which was quite considerable for it's time, maybe even equivalent to the remake in inflation-adjusted dollars.

If these two films are successful, look out for more strip-mining of early 80s fantasy and sci-fi films. Galaxina, Outland, Scanners, Basket Case, and The Beastmaster, all comin' at ya in 3D. Oh, and just to complete the 3D circle, Comin' at Ya! (1981) too.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to see COMIN AT YA remade as a movie.