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Filmism.net Dispatch May 14, 2013

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Were there any worse films than the personality free zone that was Tomb Raider and its colourless sequel Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life? Star Angelina Jolie never looked so disinterested, the action was pat and dull, and they wasted the biggest chance they had when they depicted Lara Croft wearing her signature shades, shorts and guns in only one scene.

So it's with a weary sigh you'll learn they're planning to remake/reboot/re-drag-out-of-a-car-and-brutally-assault the Tomb Raider franchise, probably because of the success of Lara's recent rebirth in gaming.

It begs the question; why don't they remake good movies? No matter how much you might lament Hollywood's obsession with pre-existing properties (which are cheaper to market), I'll bet you've seen at least a few of them like the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , 3.10 To Yuma or The Ring, if only out of curiosity.

If they did remakes of Back to the Future or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I'd be first in line, even though I'm sure I'd feel like my childhood had been duly raped. The recent Conan remake wasn't great and it certainly wasn't a patch on John Milius' immortal Conan the Barbarian , but it wasn't as dire as you've heard.

When it comes to the current Evil Dead remake and the forthcoming Carrie redux, the reason for the appeal is simply that people loved the originals, so they'll go see remakes. Studios won't remake anything unless they think they can sell them, but to whom are they going to be flogging a new Tomb Raider, the people who loved the original? That's about six tickets sold, then.

(Speaking of Ang, I wrote this tirade before learning of her recent medical bombshell, which was quite horrifying and from which I'm sure you'll join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.)

In other news, YouTube launched its paid service recently. I'm not sure what I think about it, other than the fact that it seems to be following an oft-trod path towards an old-media model. YouTube started out as a free service for amateurs to upload videos of their cats making funny faces, and now it's a legitimate cable provider.

If you think about it, all successful new media businesses tend to go in the same direction as they chase revenue. Ask any veteran eBay user; they've made it progressively harder for small, individual sellers to make a living, because they've realised the real money is in managing the online operations of big, established bricks and mortar stores.

I don't want to say eBay or YouTube have sold their souls like filthy, undiscriminating whores all too ready to bend over, grab their ankles and brace themselves for the sake of the almighty dollar (did I say that out loud?), but in adapting towards the bigger end of online commerce, they're much more like the old media companies in the offline world in their actions and market strategies. Where will that leave the millions of producer-as-consumer users the Web 2.0 revolution was supposed to be about?

As usual it's too hard to think about for long, so here's my take on the best dream sequences from the movies.

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