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So we have a TV series named Star Trek (with the informal subtitle "The Old Series" added after the production of the spinoff series), Star Trek: The Motion Picture, made in 1979, and the movie Star Trek (which obviously is also a motion picture) made in 2009.
The series and the old movie are logically named. So what is this new movie, if we had to deduce it from its name? Is it a remake of the original series in movie form? Is it a remake of the 1979 movie? What?
No, it's a prequel to the original series. How should we know that?
Ok, if we forget about the order in which these were made, it could kind of make sense: There's a movie named Star Trek, which spawns an entire sequel series with the same name (not an uncommon happenstance), and at some point we get a second movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which, ignoring their order of publication, would be quite oddly named).
However, these movies and series were not released in that order, which makes the name Star Trek quite confusing as movie name.
But I have to admit that one is not the worst example. There are much, much worse examples.
So we have a movie named The Fast and the Furious (2001) and another movie named Fast and Furious (2009). So what exactly is their relationship? Is the latter a remake of the former? A prequel? A sequel? What?
It results that it's a sequel to the first movie and the two sequels which came after it. So if it's a fourth movie in a series of movies, why does it have to be named very similarly to the first movie in the series? What is it that they are trying to tell with the naming? Wouldn't the similar name be more appropriate for a remake than a pure sequel?
I have to say that I was really confused when I first saw the name of this movie somewhere. I wonder how many people did not go to see the movie because they were confused too and didn't realize that it's an entire new movie, a sequel to the movie series.
(And to confuse things even further, there's a 1939 film named Fast and Furious, not to talk about the 1955 film The Fast and the Furious. The 2001 and 2009 films with the same names are not remakes nor in any other way connected.)
How about a movie named Rambo, made in 1985, and a movie named Rambo, made in 2008? Is the 2008 film a remake of the older one? No, once again it's a sequel to the older one and the sequel which came after it (overall, the 1985 movie is the second movie in the series and the 2008 movie is the fourth, all pure sequels to each other). Why name it in the same way if it's not a remake?
(While the official title of the 1985 movie is Rambo: First Blood Part II, basically nobody knows or calls it by that full name. The "First Blood Part II" is basically a subtitle which people really don't consider as part of the title. For everybody the movie has always been simply Rambo, period.)
Then we have Rocky and Rocky Balboa. Again, remake, sequel, prequel or what? If it's part of a movie series, which part, exactly? Well, the name would perhaps indicate some kind of remake, prequel or direct sequel, but it results to be a fifth sequel.
Final Destination (2000) and The Final Destination (2009). The latter is a third sequel to the former. (The box art for this makes the naming even more confusing by having the word "the" printed very small, so that it's very inconspicuous compared to the "Final Destination" part.)
So we are starting to see a pattern here: Name a movie very similarly to another movie in the same series, and it will be a late sequel, or maybe a prequel.
Except that the pattern doesn't work. For instance, we have a 1980 film named Friday the 13th and a 2009 film named Friday the 13th. Sequel? No, remake. Or reboot of the film series, or whatever.
We have a 1978 film named Halloween and a 2007 film named Halloween. Sequel? No, remake.
Why does Hollywood deliberately choose to use confusing naming with their movies? Who would it hurt to simply number movies in a movie series with roman numerals? Using subtitles instead of numbers is confusing enough, but not even using subtitles but just slight variations of the original name (if anything) is even more confusing.
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