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October 29, 2011

Weekend Reviews: Unoriginality in Hollywood leaves much to be desired

Daily Star

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As of late, I have started to notice that Hollywood has begun to reuse old formulas that were once popular. Everything from television shows to movies and even music has become what they call "revamped" and released as something new and exciting.

However, I don't understand why it's becoming so difficult to premiere things that are …new. That concept seems to have become a foreign one in show business today.

Of course, Hollywood classics have been remade for years; this is nothing new. But remakes seem to be taking over, and my question is, "why?"

For instance, this summer, I was astounded and quite honestly, slightly disgusted, when I heard the news of plans to remake "Dirty Dancing." In my eyes, that film is classic and should never be touched or tampered with in any way. The chemistry between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze mixed with the wonderful music and flawless dancing is not something that needs to be redone. It is perfect the way it is.

Also, a "Dirty Dancing" prequel was attempted several years ago, and while it wasn't terrible, it was far from a hit. Do you know which one I'm talking about? You probably don't. And that proves my point that if the prequel, titled "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights," wasn't commercially successful, why should it be attempted again?

This fall, ABC attempted to re-create the classic '70s show "Charlie's Angels." This one didn't really make sense to me, seeing as not only would they be channeling the television show, but there were also two films made a few years back starring Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore.

We get it. They're secret agents who also happen to be attractive and work for an elusive man named Charlie. Now how much longer are they going to drag this out?

I think what upsets me the most about the recycling of previous commercial successes is the fact that I know that there are no lack of competent writers available. Honestly, if Warner Brothers or NBC is really in need of good writers or storylines, they can by all means get in touch with me and my friends. We would be more than willing to sit down and come up with some cinematic gold.

No, that's not it. I personally believe that the reason Hollywood is playing it safe and re-doing things that were already successful is for the sheer profits that result from it. Oh, people of all ages loved the Shrek franchise? Let's go ahead and make a spin-off on one of the characters and call it original!

And as much as I hate to admit it, die-hard Gleek that I am, perhaps one of the reasons that "Glee" is as successful as it is is because it is simply taking already famous and beloved songs and re-singing them. The concept itself is not very innovative.

Just ask "American Idol."

Two recent examples of recycled ideas include the re-released "The Lion King in 3D" and the remake of "Footloose," the '80s dance movie that put Kevin Bacon on the map. Unfortunately, due to the schedule that I have as a senior in high school, I was unable to see "The Lion King" in all its three-dimensional glory. However, if I were to take a guess, I'd be willing to bet that it was the same as the two-dimensional one. And honestly I don't know how OK I'd be with that much of Timon and Pumba in my face, regardless.

I did, anyway, get a chance to see the new "Footloose" movie with Kenny Womald and Julianne Hough, and despite my apprehension and doubt that anyone could dance as angrily as Kevin Bacon in an old warehouse, I was pleasantly surprised.

Sure, the acting left a lot to be desired, but the main attraction of the film was the dancing and music, not the Oscar-worthy performances _ although Dennis Quaid as the Rev. Shaw Moore made me and my mother tear up a bit. I'm not ashamed.

So what does this mean? That I actually approve of Hollywood's recycling of old works? No. But I understand why it's happening.

The whole money and greed thing aside, right now people are feeling nostalgic for older and simpler times. And older, more light-hearted movies and music can bring those feelings back.

I just don't approve of the "Dirty Dancing" thing. Leave well enough alone, please.

Maggie McVey is a senior at Oneonta High School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at