/ Technology

Have you read any good films recently?

Many good books have been made into bad films, and some have even been made into good films. Yet, it seems like this repackaging of content is happening more than ever, and I’m starting to feel quite short-changed.

We all like to complain about the number of repeats shown during the Christmas TV schedule, but what about the number of repeats being shown at the cinema?

Remake after remake, dotted with the occasional sequel or, if a studio decides to flex its imagination, a prequel. They’re all repeats in essence.

Game to film, app to board game

This has always been frustrating, but recently things seem to have gone a little topsy-turvy. The tolerated procedure used to be that a good book would be turned into a film or, in more recent years, a video game.

Nowadays we see video games being made into films, with Resident Evil being a case in point. There are even plans for Halo, Uncharted and God of War films. To me, this reflects the shift in power from films to games as the most dominant form of entertainment.

What surprised me, however, was when I saw a board game version of the top-grossing app, Angry Birds. It’s clearly an attempt to cash in on a well-established name, but the transition from digital mobile platform to physical cardboard and plastic doesn’t exactly mirror society’s technological advances.

And so we come full circle, as Hollywood director Ridley Scott is talking about shooting a video adaptation of the Monopoly board game. Whatever next? Monty Python being turned into a musical? Oh wait, that’s already happened.

Why not pay half price?

In the age of austerity we’re all looking to save money, and I guess media moguls are too. But how much does a little creative thinking cost? Perhaps it isn’t the money-saving approach that’s being taken, but the guaranteed money-making approach.

I suppose that with the huge risks involved in making a film, releasing one with a name you know will succeed financially is more important than releasing one that you know will be highly-acclaimed.

I can’t help but feel like we’re being somewhat ripped off. My proposition is that, to compensate for this lack of creativity, remakes and spin-offs should be half-price. Likewise, cover versions of songs should be half-price too – but even then I still wouldn’t buy them.


Hmm this recycling of material is an interesting one. I can’t think of any films that I’ve read, or even any games that have been transformed into something else. But I have noticed that lots of films are being re-released in 3d. I’m not a big 3d fan, it always gives me a headache, so I’m definitely not up for paying to see a suped up version of an old classic. The most recent example I can think of is the Lion King. I loved that film first time round (in fact it was the first thing I ever saw at the cinema as a child) but I wouldn’t go to see the recent re-release in 3d. I wish they’d spend the money creating new films – not reusing old ones.

Probably not – but that’s because I don’t like 3d. I have to admit I was a little tempted to see it again in 2d and a half price offer would definitely have helped!

Keep in mind the Lion King is itself a repackaged version of Hamlet! Discount tickets for that? 🙂

They have been “remaking” films or releasing films based on the same story ever since movies were invented !

You mentioned cover versions of songs at the end there, Ben. This strikes me as massive money spinner, the idea of repackaging old songs for a new audience.

It’s fair to say it’s been happening for years. Look at most famous artists, and their early catalogue will contain quite a few cover songs. I believe the first Beatles album is only about half original material.

However, shows like The X Factor do seem to take this to the extreme, and each week repackages a set of old songs, which are available to purchase immediately on iTunes. A nice money spinner indeed.

Shows like Glee are also accountable for this. I can’t imagine many kids considering themselves massive Journey fans pre-Glee, but now ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ is probably on every childs iPod.

Of course, it happens to every generation. I still remember seeing Kurt Cobain singing Leadbelly’s ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ on MTV Unplugged. I thought it was fantastic, and I was one of those who rushed out to by the album on release. However, to my mind, there’s a big difference between an artist paying homage to a hero of theirs, versus TV show producers exploiting an easy market.