Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Even M Night Shaymalan Wouldn't see it Coming

I just had a really great idea while in the shower!

So... I blog about movies sometimes, often within the theme of Hollywood being a bunch of unoriginal hacks who keep redoing old films instead of putting money towards new and exciting scripts. Just think what these directors would be able to do with Hollywood money?

Anyway, I was thinking about how much the Star Wars franchise went from awesome (A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back) to kind of disappointing (Revenge Return of the Jedi), to downright atrocious (all the prequels make me angry). But then I remembered a comic I have from a while back called Star Wars Infinities, which poses the question "what if Luke failed to blow up the original Death Star? Basically, Leia becomes the new Sith apprentice, but is saved by Luke and Darth Vader in the end, and Yoda drops the Death Star onto Coruscant and ends the Empire. Way better than any battle with Ewoks.

Which brings me to my point... reboots are stupid. Let me explain using a well known classic picture.

Psycho by Robert Bloch, Joseph Stefano, and Alfred Hitchcock --

Starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the psycho of the title, and Janet Leigh, the actress that made everyone afraid of the shower. This film broke boundaries and started a whole genre previously unexplored in film. A masterpiece, a classic worthy to be shown in every film studies class until the end of time.

Universal Pictures remade it in 1998, directed by Gus Van Sant. It is in color, and filmed and edited shot for shot, scene for scene just like the original. What a waste of money and film. Universal should have just done what Disney always does, and release the original in theaters. Might as well. Aside from being in black and white, it is also filmed scene for scene, shot for shot like the original... This is quite possibly the greatest example of how much Hollywood is barren of good ideas.

The best part about Psycho was the shock of watching a woman get murdered in the shower (we used to all feel safe there), thinking the mother did it out of jealousy (she must be the pyscho from the title), and then discovering that the mother is already long dead, and Norman Bates has become two people! Holy Moly!

So... a remake of the same film, shot the same way, with the same plot would never have the same shock value as the original. Everyone knows how it ends, just like if you  watch the Star Wars films (all of them) in order, Empire Strikes Back is no longer shocking. Episode 3 gives away the surprise. By Episode 5 everyone except Luke and Leia know that Vader is their father.

This brings me to my really great idea. What if the Psycho remake was expected to be a shot for shot remake of the original, but wasn't?  Picture this: Psycho begins as expected, Janet Leigh's character Marion gets to the Bates Motel, she and Norman have their conversation about his mother, the shower scene is about to happen. The audience sees Marion, they see the shower, and the water, and the drain, and blood washing down the drain... but there is no scream. Cut to Marion washing blood off her hands, and then jump cuts of a murdered Norman Bates? To make this work, the murder would have to happen off screen, but I'm sure Hollywood's love for flashbacks will help fill in the lost time, etc, etc.

Marion is the pyscho? Totally unexpected. Turns out, Marion travels around murdering people and assuming their identities. The rest of the film is all about Tommy Lee Jones following leads trying to track down a serial killer. Best idea ever?  I think so. Also, if this happened the internet would probably explode.

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