Image Credit: Everett CollectionIf you put your ear to the ground and listen closely, you can, on occasion, hear the grumbly murmur of moviegoers chewing over the fact that Hollywood film culture, more than ever, has become a déjà vu landscape of sequels, remakes, reboots, and rehashes. Pastiches of the past. The complaining never gets all that loud, though, since that would sort of be like griping about the air we breathe. Everyone knows — and more or less accepts — that we now live in Rerun Nation. It is, on some level, the movie culture that we assent to and ask for, week after week, with our ticket purchases. Just look at this weekend, in which The Karate Kid has already set the box office ablaze. A lot of people wanted to see that movie. I’m a fan myself (here’s my review), but the fact that it’s such a known quantity is clearly the essence of its appeal. The same goes for The A-Team, with its more modest but still successful opening. I often wish that we didn’t live in Rerun Nation, but what’s clear is that we choose to live there because it’s a cozy and comfortable place to be.
What strikes me this week is how long we’ve been living there. Our sequel-and-remake culture first kicked into high gear in the 1980s, the era of high concept, when the blockbuster mentality began to colonize the minds of everyone in Hollywood. That’s when the DNA of the audience started to get reprogrammed, too. If you think about the two current 1980s remakes, you’ll realize that they’re both really recyclings of recyclings. Even the originals, in essence, were second-hand goods. That was a major part of their appeal, way back when. READ FULL STORY »