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Being a fan of scifi and fantasy, I realize retelling of stories is part of our heritage.  We often hear and see the same story told and retold.  Each re-telling adds a bit to the interest of the tale, the story-teller putting his or her own flare into the rendering.

That acknowledged, one has to wonder why anyone thought it necessary to re-do The Fantastic Four movie.  Or the origin of Spiderman for that matter. 

Gene Kelly often stated that he doesn't reprise "Singing in the Rain" because the original stands on its own.   To try to "re-do" it would be to somehow invalidate the original.  Everyone would always compare any current performance with the original, which many consider to be as near perfection as it could get within this human frame.  Either the original or the remake would likely suffer in comparison.  He simply didn't find it necessary to do it again.  I'm not sure I totally agree with him in that, but he has a point.

I did enjoy watching the remake of Fantastic Four; there was an element of entertainment to it.  It was decently done for what it is and the special effects were fine.  It did however feel hugely... disjointed.  The air of "believability" simply wasn't present.  Everything was too straight-forward, too artificial, too "canned movie" to ever really earn its own mark in the entertainment field.  I think the actors did fine in their parts; they were the saving grace.  Their performances were good-- considering the two-dimensional characters they had to work with.  But the movie had all the personality and reality of a 3D computer game.   Like a game there is an element of fun, but the characters and situations just don't seem real, as if everything was forced into a specific mold.

For one thing, there are the changes.  To mention the obvious (it's funny what strikes one as totally out of place) I think Ben Grimm's future girlfriend will be a bit disappointed to learn he has no um... well, let's just say she'll be a bit disappointed (as we know, since the director found no reason to put Grimm in pants).  While we're on Grimm, who demoted him from Richard's co-scientist to "guy from a junkyard" who just happened to be Reed's friend and "Igor" and was left behind when Reed moved on without him?  How is it Sue Storm wasn't part of the exploratory group and just gained her powers pretty much as a side-accident?   How was Johnny Storm simply a street punk member-by-father's-status rather than an experienced test pilot?  We have here a set of characters about as interesting and personable, as necessary to the story as say... wallpaper on the set.  Any one of them could have been replaced with "some other character" and done just as well.  It's surprising the actors managed to put any life into the characters at all.

Then we get to the schtick about them having to wear suits to "control" their powers... without which they're uncontrollable?   One has to wonder if they sleep in them and for that matter... how do they take a shower?  Perish forbid Johnny Storm ever go out on a date, having to constantly wear that suit and all to keep from bursting into flame.  Boy, he's gonna go through some girlfriends I guess.

All in all, one has to wonder, "What was the script-writer, director, producers and everyone involved in the film... thinking?"  Didn't anyone ever stop to say, "Hey, wait a second guys..."

Sleeping Beauty has been remade many times, but hopefully she'll never fall into a 100-year coma because she drank an entire bottle of Jack Daniel's.  Or maybe Rapunzel should have long earlobes instead of hair, and Pinocchio could be updated to be made of carbon fiber instead of wood. 

I'm all for re-telling of stories, but the idea is to make the story interesting, not change the very foundation on which it was created.   I have to wonder why it is movie makers consider all these remakes so necessary-- rather than forging ahead and creating new stories to entrance their audiences.  To be frank, we'd have preferred to see a new F4 movie rather than a remake of the origin story, and a Spiderman 4 rather than a Spiderman 1 do-over.  Surely the human imagination has not run as totally dry as the lack-of-humor or personality in the unnecessary remake of this flick.

--o--

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