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Remakes! A Discussion and Comparison (face palm in post #155)

post #1 of 253
Thread Starter 
This thread is simply about remakes, reimaginings, etc. Seeing as how Hollywood is running short on originality and creativity (not to mention excessive budgets in these times), the (il)logical step is to turn to something tried & true. You should really pause here and watch Peter Jackson and James Cameron's panel on filmmaking and the present and future state of Hollywood and films, found here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1166901

On this section of the forums alone there have been many new threads about various upcoming remakes. Here are most:

Harvey - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168723

Inglorious Basterds - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1160730

Barbella - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1169236

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1169233

Clash of the Titans - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168710

Anyway.. I just wanted to make a thread for people to talk about remakes (or reimaginings) and I don't think reboots necessarily count (e.g., J.J. Abram's Star Trek).

Personally I believe that any filmmaker should be allowed to tell their vision of a story, adaptation of a novel, or idea whether it be original or not. Just because a film came out 50 years ago about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, doesn't mean that a new filmmaker should be shunned from presenting his imagining of it. However, when it comes to an actual remake of the film itself, it can really be hit or miss.. whether it's an American remake of a foreign original, modern remake of an outdate film, etc. There are good (The Ring, Ocean's 11) and bad (The Eye, Rollerball) of both ends of the spectrum and every point inbetween.

Here are a couple articles about remakes and their popularity:
http://www.observer.com/2009/movies/...c-film-remakes

http://www.slate.com/id/2133065/

http://screencrave.com/2009-01-21/ho...-the-theaters/

http://www.screenwritersutopia.com/m...wpage&pid=2693

I also would like to see everyone's suggestions and opinions on remakes or reimaginings they enjoyed and those they didnt. Also future ones theyre looking forward to, and those they arent. Here are a few lists I've found to incite:

http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/9167...d_remakes.html

http://www.moviefreak.com/features/remakes.htm

http://www.thebraziltimes.com/blogs/...n/entry/28914/

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ng.html?cat=40

http://www.movieretriever.com/blog/2...d-Remake-in-3D

http://www.mediawhorenetwork.com/200...-with-remakes/

And for good humor:
http://huntergatherernyc.com/2009/07...s-next-remake/
post #2 of 253
It's kind of funny that nobody ever has a problem with a theatrical play being revived with a new cast, new direction, and a completely "reimagined" staging. But heaven forbid anyone remake a movie that somebody once liked. That's sacrilege!

Remakes are just like any other movie. They can be done well or done poorly. I think Hollywood's current trend of remaking any and every moderately successful older movie is lazy and annoying, but there have certainly been remakes over the years that I've enjoyed, sometimes more than the originals.

The Ocean's 11 remake is a night-and-day improvement over the rather dreadful original. The Fly, Cape Fear, and The Thomas Crown Affair were all similarly made better through remakes.

I think a Clash of the Titans remake has a lot of potential. The original had a great concept but the execution was sorely lacking.

And that's exactly the type of movie that should be remade, something with a great idea behind it that didn't live up to its potential originally. There's little need to remake an actually good movie.
post #3 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by josh z View Post

i think a clash of the titans remake has a lot of potential. The original had a great concept but the execution was sorely lacking.

And that's exactly the type of movie that should be remade, something with a great idea behind it that didn't live up to its potential originally. There's little need to remake an actually good movie.

+1
post #4 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

It's kind of funny that nobody ever has a problem with a theatrical play being revived with a new cast, new direction, and a completely "reimagined" staging. But heaven forbid anyone remake a movie that somebody once liked. That's sacrilege!

Remakes are just like any other movie. They can be done well or done poorly. I think Hollywood's current trend of remaking any and every moderately successful older movie is lazy and annoying, but there have certainly been remakes over the years that I've enjoyed, sometimes more than the originals.

The Ocean's 11 remake is a night-and-day improvement over the rather dreadful original. The Fly, Cape Fear, and The Thomas Crown Affair were all similarly made better through remakes.

I think a Clash of the Titans remake has a lot of potential. The original had a great concept but the execution was sorely lacking.

And that's exactly the type of movie that should be remade, something with a great idea behind it that didn't live up to its potential originally. There's little need to remake an actually good movie.

Nail on the head. Don't remake an excellent film....but if a less than stellar flick can be improved upon, sure, why not?
post #5 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Cape Fear

Err...well, we won't argue about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_gust...st_disputandum

I've been inclined to scoff at remakes, but you make good points. I do think remakes tend to be poor, but you sometimes get a new version amazingly better than the original, as in BSG.

-Bill
post #6 of 253
Few remakes turnout to be better than the originals upon which they were based but a lot of excellent remakes have been savaged by critics for no reason I could discern other than that they were remakes. The Coen brothers' The Ladykillers, starring Tom Hanks, comes to mind. It was a 2004 remake of the 1955 English classic of the same name, starring Alec Guinness. Ultimately, the Coen brothers' film is solid and funny, with Tom Hanks returning to his comedy roots but one I think that did not receive its due because, unsurprisingly, it was not as good as the original.

What all of this means to me is that remakes, like other films, should be judged on their own merits and not downgraded simply because they turn out to be not as good as earlier films, some of which were classics. There is nothing wrong with making modern versions of great, or sometimes not so great, old films, it seems to me.
post #7 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

It's kind of funny that nobody ever has a problem with a theatrical play being revived with a new cast, new direction, and a completely "reimagined" staging. But heaven forbid anyone remake a movie that somebody once liked. That's sacrilege!

IMHO a very poor comparison. Theatrical plays have to be revived with a new cast; at some point the original cast members become too old for the parts they played or just too old to perform at all.

Additionally, most plays when revived are revived exactly like the original (same script, same songs, etc). It isn't mutilated like Hollywood does remakes ("The Day the Earth Stood Still" is a perfect example and there are many more).

Not to mention the fact that you cannot view the original once it's run ends as you can with movies (unless of course it was filmed). You have to revive a play if you want it to be seen again.
post #8 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airboss View Post

IMHO a very poor comparison. Theatrical plays have to be revived with a new cast; at some point the original cast members become too old for the parts they played or just too old to perform at all.

Additionally, most plays when revived are revived exactly like the original (same script, same songs, etc). It isn't mutilated like Hollywood does remakes ("The Day the Earth Stood Still" is a perfect example and there are many more).

Not to mention the fact that you cannot view the original once it's run ends as you can with movies (unless of course it was filmed). You have to revive a play if you want it to be seen again.

Although it is true that many, perhaps most, revivals of stage works are re-staged in ways that are similar to the original productions, others are significantly changed. The Broadway director John Doyle's productions come to mind. He revived both Sweeney Todd and Company but had his actors not only sing and act but play instruments as well. I have not seen Doyle's version of Sweeney but his revival of Company won the 2007 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical and is out on BD, which I own. Highly recommended, by the way.

We agree, though, that only the words of the play survive the end of the run of a stage work, whereas every aspect of a film is preserved for as long as the film or its digital equivalent lasts.
post #9 of 253
Quote:


IMHO a very poor comparison. Theatrical plays have to be revived with a new cast; at some point the original cast members become too old for the parts they played or just too old to perform at all.

Additionally, most plays when revived are revived exactly like the original (same script, same songs, etc). It isn't mutilated like Hollywood does remakes ("The Day the Earth Stood Still" is a perfect example and there are many more).

Not to mention the fact that you cannot view the original once it's run ends as you can with movies (unless of course it was filmed). You have to revive a play if you want it to be seen again.


^....along the lines of what I was thinking, but you said it better. Although a different medium, one conductor's interpretation of a Beethoven symphony can be very different than another's---despite the fact they are using the same score with the same notes.

In discussions of remakes, I'm missing an "X" factor---and I can't pinpoint what it is. For example, I wouldn't argue that just because many years age Lon Chaney did an amazing job in Phantom of the Opera that should stop someone from doing another version of it---up to an including a Broadway version.

Flight of the Phoenix, both the original and the remake were fine for different reasons (not a universally shared opinion, I know).

Yet when certain films are suggested as needing a remake, I get that "X" factor reaction. Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz, Casablanca are three such examples. I seriously don't know why, but redoing those and some others just seems "wrong"---and yet I've freely admitted that two versions of a story can co-exist in the same universe.
post #10 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Few remakes turnout to be better than the originals upon which they were based but a lot of excellent remakes have been savaged by critics for no reason I could discern other than that they were remakes. The Coen brothers' The Ladykillers, starring Tom Hanks, comes to mind. It was a 2004 remake of the 1955 English classic of the same name, starring Alec Guinness. Ultimately, the Coen brothers' film is solid and funny, with Tom Hanks returning to his comedy roots but one I think that did not receive its due because, unsurprisingly, it was not as good as the original.

I've never seen the original Ladykillers, but the Coens' version was atrocious, their worst film by miles.
post #11 of 253
Most remakes suck. I didn't say all, but most do. The Fog? Good gawd! The Amityville Horror? A horror. But, perhaps, it's horror remakes that suffer the most. I just don't bother with them until they hit Blu Ray. I did see Star Trek, but the hype got me into the theater more than anything else, and it did deliver. But that was a "reboot," not a remake, wasn't it?
post #12 of 253
Thread Starter 
One thing (from a younger generation here) is that a lot of times when a 'remake' comes out, we have no clue it's a remake until we hear some rant about he how the original was a 'classic' and this is a crime against humanity -- much like you dont know a movie is based on a book until the book-fan starts curling up in the fetal position and crying because their precious literature is being touched.

All joking aside, this has happened to me on more than one occasion. It usually goes something like this: I go see a movie, enjoy it, find out it's a remake and feel a little cheated, go watch the original and am bored out of my mind. Not always of course, but usually. Why? Because I'd never seen the original and had no preconceived notions about the remake. I go watch the remake and am presented with the story in an ultimately more entertaining and enjoyable fashion that when I watch the original.. it seems "dated" and dull in comparison. Of course if I had watched the original when it came out, I'd probably feel just as violated as some have about their beloved originals.

For example.. if in 20 years some remade The Matrix, or the Bourne trilogy, I would be literally infuriated and appalled, lol. So I'm kind of a hypocrite, and I accept that, but I do enjoy when older "dated" films get a modern re-telling and a seemlingly needed facelift. I also enjoy seeing reinterpretations or reimaginings of stories, characters, and ideas. I do NOT believe in shot-by-shot remakes of films and think that is a silly and worthless endeavor, not to mention somewhat insulting to the audience and the original cast & crew.

Speaking of facelifts.. what do you think about remakes that seem to be done to update the visuals? I can think of a few 'classics' that had cheesy old CGI that takes you completely out of the film when watched now. And not just CGI, but also animatronics, miniatures, set design, etc. Do you think that reason alone is enough to warrant a remake?
post #13 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 View Post

I do NOT believe in shot-by-shot remakes of films and think that is a silly and worthless endeavor, not to mention somewhat insulting to the audience and the original cast & crew.

You should watch the original 1997 "Funny Games" and then view the US 2007 "Funny Games" remake, you might change your mind. It's a shot-by-shot remake but in English vice German. Both are outstanding films and standup well to repeated viewings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 View Post

One thing (from a younger generation here) is that a lot of times when a 'remake' comes out, we have no clue it's a remake ......

That's because you are young. The same holds true in music. Many groups do covers of older songs but the generation listening does not realize it's a cover because they were never exposed to the original (unless you seek out all forms of music and movies - old and new/mainstream and indie/domestic and foreign - to expand your knowledge base and enjoyment).
post #14 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airboss View Post

You should watch the original 1997 "Funny Games" and then view the US 2007 "Funny Games" remake, you might change your mind. It's a shot-by-shot remake but in English vice German. Both are outstanding films and standup well to repeated viewings.

The 2007 one is in my queue. The trailer was all sorts of awesome.


Quote:


That's because you are young. The same holds true in music. Many groups do covers of older songs but the generation listening does not realize it's a cover because they were never exposed to the original (unless you seek out all forms of music and movies - old and new/mainstream and indie/domestic and foreign - to expand your knowledge base and enjoyment).

I was speaking more in general for the generation, but I understand what you're saying. I earnestly try to do what you suggest, but I know certainly I'm in the minority of my generation. When it comes to music, I know a lot of my 'culturalization' has come from finding out a song was a cover, or that a lyric was a throwback, or that a band was this one bands' main inspiration.. and I would go seek out said group, track, era, etc. This has held true for movies as well.
post #15 of 253
Thread Starter 
According to iMDB.. over 2,600 films are tagged as remakes. That does not include TV shows or video games obviously.

http://www.imdb.com/keyword/remake/?title_type=feature
post #16 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 View Post

The 2007 one is in my queue. The trailer was all sorts of awesome.

You should really watch the original first or at least watch it after you watch the US version (it's a little creepier than the US version due mainly to the two male lead actors, 'Arno Frisch' as Paul and 'Frank Giering' as Peter.

I would also suggest checking out more of Michael Haneke's work.
post #17 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

I've never seen the original Ladykillers, but the Coens' version was atrocious, their worst film by miles.

Well, that's your opinion, although mine is quite different. The Coens' stuff resonates with me, even their less substantial works. I doubt that anybody would claim that The Ladykillers is much more than a lightweight but amusing diversion. I certainly wouldn't. Still I liked it and thoroughly enjoyed watching Tom Hanks reengage with his comedy roots. It's easy to forget how funny Hanks can be: "Madam, we must have waffles! We must all have waffles forthwith! We must all think, and we must all have waffles, and think each and every one of us to the very best of his ability..."
post #18 of 253
Quote:


That's because you are young. The same holds true in music. Many groups do covers of older songs but the generation listening does not realize it's a cover because they were never exposed to the original (unless you seek out all forms of music and movies - old and new/mainstream and indie/domestic and foreign - to expand your knowledge base and enjoyment).

If they see a movie and its remake back to back that they have never heard of, that makes them an impartial judge. Still, the older gen tends to poo-poo the taste of the young, passing them off as naive or "just know know any better," if they prefer the new. I'm 33 so I'll throw myself in the young crowd. I prefer the Pet Shop Boys "Always on my Mind" more than Elvis' or Nelson's version. I heard Fiona Apple's "Across the Universe" before I knew it was a Beatles song. I then heard the original and liked Apple's.

Tomorrow I'm gonna be an old fart lamenting why they are remaking Aliens or Top Gun in 3-D claiming that they'll never capture the feel of the originals, no matter how dimensions they use.
post #19 of 253
FYI: Quentin Tarintino, while having seen the original "Inglorious Bastards" (sorry, my Italian is a bit rusty) says his new movie while being influenced by it, is not the same.

If you're going to "remake" a movie, I guess that's way you should do it.
post #20 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 View Post

Speaking of facelifts.. what do you think about remakes that seem to be done to update the graphics? I can think of a few 'classics' that had cheesy old CGI that takes you completely out of the film when watched now. Do you think that reason alone is enough to warrant a remake?

"Graphics" refer to video games, not movies, and most older special effects had no CGI.
post #21 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

"Graphics" refer to video games, not movies, and most older special effects had no CGI.

Haha how very true. I didn't even notice that until you pointed it out. Fixed.

Replace it with "visuals", lol. I don't just mean CGI though, I also mean animatronics, miniatures, set design, etc.
post #22 of 253
I think the issue of remakes is most of us older folks see them not as heresy but as an opportunity. I always have high hopes that the remake will be better across the board but so often the effects are better and that's about it.

Art
post #23 of 253
I liked both versions of The Time Machine. For me, the Rod Taylor version's Morlocks were actually scarier than the newer ones. Maybe it was even creepier with regard to the Morlocks eating the Eloi, leaving more to the imagination in the 60's version than actually showing the pool of bones in the 2002 remake (although I don't remember the 60's version too well).
post #24 of 253
I'm completely in the 'show me' catagory when it comes to remakes. I've seen some that I thought were really good, and I've seen some where I thought, "What were they thinking!"

For example, I've loved all 3 movie versions of Mutiny on the Bounty. And I liked both versions of The Italian Job. I thought the remakes of The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Omen, and Planet of the Apes were horrible films, and unecessary. However, I thought the remakes of Thomas Crown Affair, and Sabrina were far superior to the originals. So it really varies from film to film and how well they do the remake, as to whether or not I like it.
post #25 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

and Sabrina were far superior to the originals

Say WHAT?!
post #26 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_B View Post

Say WHAT?!

Well, I agree. There wasn't a lot of chemistry between Bogart and Hepburn. Whereas the remake had...I forget what.

-Bill
post #27 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_B View Post

Say WHAT?!

I love Bogey and Hepburn. But as wmcclain said, there wasn't any chemistry between the two. Plus the production was basically a filmed stage play and the whole thing felt contrived and forced. And as wooden as Harrison Ford's performance was, it was far more believable than Bogey's. Sorry.
post #28 of 253
My love for Audrey always blinds me to an extent, but that Sabrina remake was a mess. Harrison Ford looked no better than Bogey and Greg Kinnear ain't no William Holden. But onto even more remake news: now they're remaking The Legend of Boggy Creek. WTF?!
post #29 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

I'm completely in the 'show me' catagory when it comes to remakes. I've seen some that I thought were really good, and I've seen some where I thought, "What were they thinking!"

For example, I've loved all 3 movie versions of Mutiny on the Bounty. And I liked both versions of The Italian Job. I thought the remakes of The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Omen, and Planet of the Apes were horrible films, and unecessary. However, I thought the remakes of Thomas Crown Affair, and Sabrina were far superior to the originals. So it really varies from film to film and how well they do the remake, as to whether or not I like it.

I agree that remakes are sometimes quite good, even better than the original. I also agree that the second Mutiny on the Bounty and The Italian Job were very entertaining films on their own merits, although the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh and Clark Gable as Mister Christian, is a classic, one of the best sea stories of all time. In stark contrast, I wasn't crazy about either version of Sabrina.
post #30 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

I think the issue of remakes is most of us older folks see them not as heresy but as an opportunity. I always have high hopes that the remake will be better across the board but so often the effects are better and that's about it.

Art

This is pretty much how I feel about remakes, as well. Although many times remakes are forgetful, bad, or even offensively horrible, sometimes a gem is produced. Remakes are usually born from a movie that previously had a good story, so there's always a chance a great movie will come out of another directors vision of it, regardless of how good or bad the original was.
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