In recent years Hollywood seems to be the place for a remake. Remakes here, remakes there, every where a remake. In some cases it's actually been pretty awesome. One example being Mad Max, which sported a new and in my opinion more mad leading man, huge stunts and an aesthetic that wouldn't be possible without the technology our entertainment ancestors just didn't have.
For the most part I'm all gooey inside to see many of my childhood favorites come back bigger and better than they were when I was a kid. I think it's about getting back to that happy time and those big ideas and deep feelings I get from those movies still. I guess that feeling is pretty much why I write and share my reviews.
From the Incredible Hulk, to Iron man, to TMNT, to Deadpool, I've been at my local theater, in some cases, literally throwing my money through the little window. All the attendants now know me by sight and know to expect me when anything comes out that was big in the late 80's to late 90's, or has been adapted from a comic or YA novel.
I haven't always been happy with the result, for various reasons having to do with authenticity as it applies to the original. Which is why I guess, I now find myself confronted with a new and puzzling aspect of the corporate entertainment machine. A new device, I'm guessing, to make movies more appealing to the female audience and to make them more socially forward. You know what I'm talking about: the Gender Swap.
In case you don't know what that is, it's where they take a cast or character of one gender and just swap them out for the other. Now I'm all for women in movies, I'm all for women kicking butt and taking names. I'm all for women in any role they want to play. I am...I really am...I swear it. But as I hear an outcry for some of my favorites to go the way of Ghostbusters, I've been forced to sit and really examine the why and more importantly the how of these swaps.
Some of the fan proposed swaps include:
Men In Black
The last two installments of which had some pretty strong female characters and I guess you could call them "girl-friendly" themes. But some folks claim there were no good representations of women.
Back To The Future
The story of a boy and his crazy scientist friend driving through time in what I guess at the time was a cool car, making messes of the space time continuum and then fixing them.
Again suffers from the claim of no strong female leads. And while I can see some value to the claims of this franchise being a bit testosterone heavy, I have to wonder. Are Black Widow and Scarlet Witch chopped liver?
Ok I can kind of see this one. James is often quite the misogynist, what with his roguish love 'em and leave 'em attitude. Being not afraid to use those, in many case, charismatic, capable and beautiful women to accomplish his mission.
Which I agree needs a revamp. I'm just not sure adding estrogen is gonna help with that.
Now hear me out guys. Let us go back to Ghostbusters for a sec. I get the impression that the remake will have no ties to the original, just BAM, Swap. Again, I'm not against the female cast, or more the idea of a female cast, but why no ties? Why?
Couldn’t we have modernized the franchise with the daughters of the original guys? Maybe down because of the recession, dusting off the old blasters and traps and doing something innovative in this time we call the new millennium? Maybe a few cameos and all that? No?
One school of thought on the matter is that the original did not have any relatable characters for girls. Really? I personally loved Venkman and Spengler. By the logic of that school, if we can call it that, I should have felt completely alienated by both, right?
In case you aren’t familiar with the original franchise, neither of them were women and if we are gonna look at this from a standpoint encompassing all prejudices, neither of them were black or had any Caribbean ancestry, as far as the story told us. So by rights, being a female child of Afro-Caribbean origins I really, really, should not have been able to relate.
But I did, with the nerd and the smart mouth and the just general having of a brain that is off kilter and the whole nobody getting it. These things are not gender specific, so that definitely could not be it.
In fact, I can honestly say I've found moments to which I could relate in all the before mentioned stories. Do I think there would be a deeper understanding for me if they were stereotypical female? No not really.
Do I make any point that resonates here? Is it that we were never as the ladies of the movie-nation able to connect with these characters because we didn't have the same junk? Is it that we as fans don't care about the originals and want to pay homage to them? Or is it that these folks have run all out of ideas and are just looking for new ways to milk the stuff that they know is tried and true?
If that's is the case mitts of Deadpool, OK?