It’s a question that has been heatedly debated on Internet forums for years. And is fair to say that it has polarized opinion. But why would Warner Bros. choose to remake a series of films that took over ten years to complete, and cost well in excess of a billion dollars to make? If they were to ‘reboot’ the films, how long should they leave before they start production? And what would be the artistic pros and cons? I’m going to attempt to address these questions, and a few more…

Will the Movies be remade? Of course they will.

Warner Brothers are infamous for squeezing the most successful franchise of all time for every single cent that they can. They have already delayed the release of the sixth film (to give themselves a summer blockbuster), split the final entry into two films, and released regular, special, and ultimate editions of every single movie in the series. Not to mention an exhibition, a theme park, an upcoming museum and the highly controversial decision to place all of the films in a “vault” just weeks after the final installment is released.

So why not remake the films in a few years? Sure, they were incredibly expensive to make. But they are also incredibly profitable. Worldwide, the entire series made nearly eight billion dollars – in comparison, it’s budget of about 1.2 billion seems minuscule. In the entertainment industry, a film is considered successful if it makes twice it’s production cost in box office revenue. The series in total made over six times the amount it cost to make. Margins like that are too tempting for Hollywood big-wigs to resist. What’s more, they know that people would flock to the cinemas at the mere mention of the boy wizards name.

They could easily be made on a tighter budget as well. Look at Tintin – a blockbuster made with a few actors, a big blue room and a couple of computers. The advancements in motion capture technology allow the huge locations and fantastic characters that J.K’s stories require without having to splash out on expensive sets, make-up, costumes and props. In short, looking at the situation from a business point of view, it would almost be foolish of them not to.

Should the films be remade?
Now, here comes the part where opinions really are divided. Is a reboot of the film franchise an artistically viable thing to do? Well, it depends on what side of the fence of you sit.

Those who are against a remake say the existing films are simply too big to be made again. After all, the final movie is currently the third most successful film of all time – and all of the others are in the top 35. They argue that the films are too well-known for it to be artistically valid. They cannot imagine any other actors playing the characters, they cannot imagine any of the sets, costumes, or creatures looking different. Basically, they believe that you cannot reboot such a successful franchise – using Star Wars, Back To The Future, and The Lord Of The Rings as examples.

On the other side, those for a remake believe that the new films would have a greater sense of consistency, and narrative solidarity. Considering that the first film to begin production after the books were completed was Half-Blood Prince, supporters say that the Daniel Radcliffe series felt disjointed because important plot strands and characters were entirely cut. This led to confusing attempts later on in the series to try and patch up plot holes. It is the belief of supporters that a reboot would provide a tighter, more fluid series that could do far more justice to the themes and messages of the books than the original films.

Personally, I agree with the supporters, and here is why. While I think that the movies have been great companions to the books for fans, as films they are actually pretty sloppy. Daniel Radcliffe’s wooden and uncharismatic performance throughout the films fail to carry the story, and unfortunately the supporting performances from Emma Watson and Rupert Grint also lack gravitas. The directorial vision is inconsistent, with the four directors using extremely different visual styles, even meddling with the appearance and location of Hogwarts. These changes were usually necessary to fit with the narrative, but nonetheless looked very messy and made each film feel very disjointed. When we were all caught up in the hype of each movie, it was easy to forget about the little things and just enjoy the films for what they were. But, with the benefit of hindsight, it is plain that while the movies were great fun, they do not have the makings of a classic film series. I agree that great films do not to be remade. However, the films were nothing more than average and a second attempt could not only do the books justice, but also have the potential to become classics.

I agree, a few years need to pass before production starts. The image of Daniel, Rupert, Emma, and all of the great adult actors are still too fresh in our minds. But in ten years or so, I genuinely believe that someone could take another crack at the whip. In fact, I think film adaptations of the Harry Potter series would benefit from a slightly different approach. Take the “Tintin effect”, for example. Not only would the use of motion capture make production cheaper, it would also allow for a lot of interesting creative benefits. Actors could be cast for their talents, rather than their looks as they were the first time round. We could have a lead actor that can carry the stories, and has the convictions and believability necessary for the role. People could be chosen for their skill, rather than because they are skinny with black hair, have ginger hair, or bushy hair.

It also solves a lot of other issues that many have with the previous films. It wouldn’t matter if the cast grew too old to look the part, because the characters they play could be individually aged. We wouldn’t have cut characters due to budget restraints, House Elves could be dotted around every scene if necessary, instead of fleeting appearances. Voldemort could have red eyes – heck, even Harry and his mother could have the same colour eyes – they could even actually be GREEN! All of that, and we still haven’t considered the benefits of tighter scripting now the series is finished. The writer and director of earlier films would know where the stories were going, and actors would know more about their characters secrets, allegiances and feelings. They would be able to adapt a complete story in seven installments, instead of going about adapting each story individually and then hurriedly trying to tie up all the loose ends in the final installment. With all of these benefits, I think a new series of films, a few years down the line would have the real potential to become the classics that the original source material deserves.

I know that these opinions will probably prove controversial, and I would love to hear yours. Do you think the movies will be remade? Just as importantly, do you think they SHOULD be? How long do you think should be left? And how would you go about it – another set of live action films, motion capture, animated, or even a television series (in the vein of Merlin, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and True Blood)? We are unlikely to get a definitive answer from Warner Bros. for a while, so the subject is truly open for debate.

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Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

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Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

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Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?