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 My childhood on the big screen 
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Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2002 7:00 pm
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Post My childhood on the big screen
Apparently Hollywood has finally gotten around to exploiting my generations' childhood... I see that The Smurfs, Voltron, He-Man, Thundercats, and many other properties are being made into feature films. Others, like Transformers and Tron, have already been done with great box office success.

Some of these films interest me, but I'm very skeptical of them in general because I know they are more interested in making money off the name recognition than they are in creating something unique or memorable or artistic. I'm curious how you feel about these reboots.

I was excited when Transformers was redone, but the movie was essentially a giant advertisement for cars and Mountain Dew. I see the new Smurfs movie is set in New York City instead of in the woods- no doubt because they can create product tie-ins more easily. Does this mean that the Thundercats will be dining on Fancy Feast and picking up supplies for Snarf at Petsmart? Can I expect that He-Man will have gotten his physique not from the power of grayskull, but from a 5-hour Energy drink?

Hollywood has been accused of running out of ideas for some time, but do you think there is more to it than that? Are they simply repackaging our childhood memories in order to sell us products or is there actual validity to these story treatments? Do you feel used when you watch these things, or do you dismiss the product placement as the way that they fund these expensive films?

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Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:28 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
Ether wrote:
I was excited when Transformers was redone, but the movie was essentially a giant advertisement for cars and Mountain Dew.
~€~


we must have watched a different transformers growing up, since all the properties you mention were just 30 minute ads for toys...

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Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:44 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
As thirty-somethings we've had time to get our degrees, find good jobs, and get promoted at those jobs. In essence, we are a demographic that, as a whole, has more money than we've ever had before. And we're going to spend it somewhere. I can't speak for other generations but I know ours is particularly nostalgic about the cartoons, music, and movies we grew up with. So of course we're eager to recapture some of our childhood by reliving it through these movies. A lot of us have kids that we want to take to see the characters that we enjoyed so much when we were their age, which of course leads to toy sales as well. Prominently displaying products that appeal to our demographic is just a marketing no brainer. No surprise that most of these movies spawn video games too as that's something else our generation is know for.

So yeah, of course it all comes down to money. I think there's an honest effort put into coming up with the stories but it takes a back seat to profits. And honestly, who can blame them? These movies aren't made for art, they're made to make billions of dollars. In the end, that's the compromise you have to make. If you want to see the stars of 80's afternoon cartoon television with eye-popping special effects on the big screen then you're going to see them in sub par story lines and co-starring with Coke and McDonalds. Is it right? Maybe not but that's how it is.

Better to just watch the originals on DVD.

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Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:02 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
Not many have been true to the original concept. That's how I measure whether they are any good or not. They can pretty much just stop doing what they do as far as I'm concerned.

But occasionally I'll get sucked into the hype and check out one of them, and I prepare myself beforehand to be bombarded with product placements. I don't fault them too much. It's what pays the bills.

I just wish they'd at least try harder to be closer to the original project's spirit in many of these.


Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:14 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
I'm just waiting for a remake of Airwolf, the only vehicle worthy of the acting genius that is Jan Michael Vincent.

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Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:37 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
JPaganel wrote:
I'm just waiting for a remake of Airwolf
I'd be onboard for that. Or "Street Hawk". Or "M.A.S.K." (cartoon). Those shows all had awesome theme songs too!


P.S. He-Man's been done already ("Masters of the Universe" w/Dolph Lundgren). Are they planning ANOTHER one?!? Ugh.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:33 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
kind of off subject, but why in the hell are they remaking "Arthur"?
next they'll be remaking Citizen Kane and "rosebud" will be his 1st generation red iPhone...sheesh.


Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:21 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
This pretty much explains it:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19012_5- ... -suck.html


Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:46 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
yeah, ain't that the truth...and idiocracy should have stayed buried.


Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:20 am
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
I've learned that, aside from your own party favors, it's best to enter any theater with a lot of cynicism. Movies are all about making money. I suppose, if I was producing movies, I'd take into account that fact that 30-somethings will probably go to see Transformers and stuff like it out of nostalgia, but that our kids will be the ones buying any new merchandise and, therefore, it's best to keep the plots pretty, well, childish.

Both movies would have been more impressive if they'd managed to make Megan Fox transform from a blow-up doll into an actress, but not even CGI could do that.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:52 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
el_lechero wrote:
movies would have been more impressive if they'd managed to make Megan Fox transform from a blow-up doll into an actress, but not even CGI could do that.


that would be true for many of the actors/actresses in the movies out there...


Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:11 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
thosquanta wrote:
we must have watched a different transformers growing up, since all the properties you mention were just 30 minute ads for toys...



No, you are just mis-remembering the old cartoon- that's all. There was no mention of Mountain Dew in the old cartoon, much less a Mountain Dew machine that transformed into a robot and shot soda cans.

;)

~€~

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Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:23 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
claymation wrote:
Not many have been true to the original concept. That's how I measure whether they are any good or not. They can pretty much just stop doing what they do as far as I'm concerned.

But occasionally I'll get sucked into the hype and check out one of them, and I prepare myself beforehand to be bombarded with product placements. I don't fault them too much. It's what pays the bills.

I just wish they'd at least try harder to be closer to the original project's spirit in many of these.



I agree with your last sentence there- that hits the nail on the head! It's good to see not everyone in here is missing the point of the thread...

I don't need to have it explained to me why people are eager to see these movies. I get it. I also understand that movies like these sell toys, and I'm fine with that- toys are cool. I understand that they only want to make movies like Smurfs, He-Man, and Transformers because those things make dollar signs appear in their eyes. I get it that my childhood is being used to manipulate me so they can make tons of cash off of me and people like me. I'm ok with all of these things.... as long as the movie is good.

I guess the big problem I have with most of this stuff is that they are so rarely done well. It seems like in the rush to make all this cash they forget that the Transformers were a RIDICULOUSLY COOL CONCEPT and you could make one of the most awesome science fiction movies of all time if you played your cards right. Alvin an the Chipmunks completely lacked the charm of past incarnations, but that's hardly a surprise as those cartoon characters have been exploited cash cows for decards. Speed Racer was one of the worst live action cartoon reimaginings I've ever seen and it still gives me seizures to think of it (Popeye starring Robin Williams holds the title as worst I've ever seen, FYI- a shame because the casting was perfect!). I didn't even see that Scooby Doo movie, Underdog or Bullwinkle and Rocky but only because I heard those were so abysmally bad that I should avoid them at all costs. "They'll ruin the original for you" people said... so I decided not to see them at all.

You can say that the original version of many of these cartoon WAS to make money, and I can't argue that. But they sparked imagination in the process and were really cool concepts. Is it too much to ask that they show a tiny bit of reverence to these classics before they set out to recreate or reimagine them? I think I know the answer but I'd love to hear opinions from y'all

~€~

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Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:42 pm
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Post Re: My childhood on the big screen
i assume they recreate/reinvent them because they are not only trying to lure people in on nostalgia, but also the younger generation who is less familiar with the original and more in tune with modern day films.
this is not to say that hommage still cannot be paid to the spirit of the original, but reverence seems to be the first thing to go as hollywood layers on the "eye-candy" to excess.
the newest Star Trek movie did a rather decent job of keeping the original spirit intact while still making it an overall enjoyable movie, so it is possible. but, as you can plainly notice, the "eye-candy" factor is dialed back quite a bit for a far more substantive film that allows the spirit to shine through.


Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:39 am
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