Remakes – Good Idea Bad Idea

The topic of remakes always gets people wound up pretty tight. Yesterday this issue came up again with the announcement that New Line is about to launch a project to remake the Asian masterpiece “Battle Royale”.

Most people seem to take a really negative stance when it comes to the concept of remakes. The objections I see most often are:

1) They can’t do it as good as the original
2) Isn’t there any creativity left?
3) Why mess with a great film (if it’s a great film we’re talking about)

These are all fair and understandable objections. After all, it’s not hard to come up with a list of remakes off the top of your head that were horrible. Why just in the last couple of years we’ve been subjected to Bewitched, The Dukes of Hazzard, Godzilla, Dark Water, The Bad News Bears… on and on.

But wait a minute… there are some exceptional remakes out there as well. Who on earth is going to say they wished they left “Scarface” alone after the 1932 original? It turned out to be one of the 100 best films of all time!

Who is going to say they wished they left “The Lord of the Rings” alone after the 1978 animated version? (By the way, a little trivia here for you. Did you know that Anthony Daniels, the immortal voice of C3PO in Star Wars is the voice of Legolas in the 1978 version?)

Yes Virginia, remakes can be a good thing.

Personally I don’t mind the idea of remakes for a couple of reasons:

1) It can expose a whole new audience to a great story that they would never otherwise have seen. This is especially true of great Asian films. A sad truth is that most North Americans don’t like watching foreign films, and thus some fantastic films and stories are lost to them. However, remake it into an English version, and they’ll give the story a shot. THIS IS WHY JUST RE-RELEASING AN ASIAN FILM IN NORTH AMERICAN MARKETS DOESN’T WORK AS WELL. Films like Crouching Tiger are the exception that proves the rule.

2) It gives us a chance to see things updated, either in terms of time, or effects. I LOVED the film Scrooged with Bill Murray. Besides the fact that it was hilarious, it let me see the classic Christams story in a more modern context. Or take King Kong for example. Being able to see the King of the Apes fighting T-Rexes and rampaging through a city was amazing!

3) It’s a no lose situation. In the world of sequels, a bad follow up film can also negatively effect how we view and enjoy the first one (ie. the newest Star Wars films). But remakes don’t have that stigma attached to them. No fan of the Dukes of Hazzard TV show had their enjoyment hurt in the least by the crappy film version. No Godzilla fan thinks any less of all those great films just because the remake was monumentally horrible.

4) It’s not a lack of creativity. Many people (understandably so) will often lament when they hear about another remake “Isn’t there any creativity left in Hollywood”??? That’s a fair lamentation. However, even though there are more remakes being made today, you have to keep in mind that since 1996, the amount of films being produced every year has almost tripled! From just over 200 major releases to almost 600 this year!!! That’s a LOT of film. Adaptation of films from other sources (be they books, other movies, TV shows, comics) has always been around and represented a certain percentage of the films being produced in any given year. I’d say that percentage is still probably about the same… there are just much bigger numbers these days.

When asking “Is remaking (insert name of movie here) a good idea?” I think there are a couple of questions to ask:

1) Have most people today seen the original? What’s the point in doing a remake if almost everyone has seen the original? Ask the question again in 10 Years (this is why a Star Wars remake is pointless)

2) Is it a story worth telling. Ok, after establishing if people have seen the original or not, you then have to ask if the story in the original is worth telling.

3) Would people be interested in this? Basically a question every film, remake or not, should ask.

So to me, if a movie has a good story, that most people haven’t seen and would otherwise be interested in it… then I say give a remake a shot. What is there to lose? Nothing.

I’m not “PRO” remakes. I’m neutral. Lots of remakes are bad… but some are great.

Lots of people have very understandable reasons why the idea of remakes make them nervous. That’s totally fair. But as for me, why not?

What are your thoughts?

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39 thoughts on “Remakes – Good Idea Bad Idea

  1. To the people who say there were good remakes back in the day that’s also when there were GOOD filmamkers not these reality tv,MTV2,video game,Pokemon shlockmeisters all trying to out”Matrix” and “Die Hard each other. Hollywood is in one very,very sorry state right now even tv is starting to get better so they are really in trouble there needs to be new blood. Perhaps Fox’s “The Lot” will give us a fresh new future p.s. that new “The Wickerman” was about as scary as a “Barney” episode and the first one gave me chills.

  2. I look forward to remakes beccause they never live up to the original,No matter how good the remake is. Hollywood’s desire to make money is the reason why so many of these remakes are so awfull. I say instead of remaking a classic film take a bad film and make it better.For instance Plan 9 from outer space with a good cast and script and todays CGI it just might be a decent film.

  3. I think a remake of screamers would be kick ass, you guys could do some awsome effects for that movie/ it was made in 1995 and had Roy Dupis, and Jennifer Rubin… where a legion of razor sharp robots take over planet but find out they were upgrading themselves

    watch it / remake it / you will make lots of money send some my way

    Jason Landry

    [email protected]

  4. I did like the remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and thought Johnny Depp gave a very good performance as Willy Wonka. I did wish he was a bit older, had a goutee, and his voice did get on my nerves a bit. I did like Christopher Lee as Willy’s scary dentist father and I thought the boy who played Charlie was very good. I also liked the girl who was Veruca. She played her real bitchy and spoiled which was how I see Veruca. I thought the girl who played Violet should have had crazy red hair, and not blond.
    I still stand by what I said about “The Wickerman.” The only good things: the little girl who played Rowan was adorable and she looked like an angel in that white dress. Sister Summerisle’s house was beautiful and so was her garden and the Wickerman himself was amazing to look at and I was wondering how long it took the producers to make. Bad things or slightly bad: Willow’s lips were quite distracting, Sister Honey looked too much like a homicidal Helen Hunt, and Nic Cage was too histrionic throughout most of it.

  5. I think the remake of “The Wickerman” was a bad idea after I saw it. Seeing Ellen Burstyn in that awful Braveheart makeup and watching the crazy cult members dress like that Duggar family was not entertaining at all. I do wonder what the parents of the little girl who played Rowan were thinking when they allowed her to be in that movie. She had to trick her father and burn him up and all he was doing was looking for her. He saved her life and she helped kill him. This movie was a mess and I hope they don’t think of a sequel.

  6. I don’t think you read my whole post. You can’t “just re-realease” asian films in North America… because saddly, most people here don’t like to watch forign films. Therefore… these GREAT stories aren’t getting appreciated by a wider audience.

    This is my biggest problem. I hate the fact that remakes are even necessary. If audiences would just smarten up a bit and accept something that isn’t the norm (subtitles) they might see a really good movie. I can’t blame the studios so much as I blame the audience.

  7. Antonio: I never said that the recent Omen is as good as, let alone surpasses the first. All I said was…the undisputed fact that the original 1976 Omen was written by David Seltzer, who loves his subject matter (Eighteenth Angel; last year’s TV series ‘Revelation’) and has hired by the producers to update his Omen script. All that was updated was setting it in present day, and general/specific references to current and recent evils and tragedies.

    Take out the contemporary updates, and it is the same script filmed back in 76. In that respect, it is the “same” movie. You also missed my earlier comment which I thought this remake wasn’t needed.

    Oh, before I forget. Burn in hell.

  8. Two of the greatest films in history are remakes. The Maltese Falcon was made twice already before John Huston and Bogie made history, and The Wizard of Oz was also twice made before Victor Felming turned it into the memorable classic.

    The bottom line is the story. In the Joseph Campbell sense, there are only a few stories (archetypes) to pull from. It´s how you utilize these archetypes and change them to a new enviorment that makes it interesting. I would agrue that a shot by shot remake of a film (Van Sant´s Psycho) is not a good idea. But transplanting a story about a wandering samurai to a wandering gun slinger (Yojimbo to Fistful fo Dollars) is a fantatsic idea. Star Wras just took old myths, cowboy movies, and updated them by putting them in space.

    It´s fine to retell a myth, or remake a film, or adapt a book, as long as the new story adds something to the dialogue rather than simply retelling it.

  9. You know, a lot of people have some good choices for which movies they like to see remade (sorry Campea, a Ben-Hur remake can only lure people to the original).

    If I had to pick one movie that needs big attention, it’s one that NO ONE here have mentioned…


    Where’s the respect for one of the greatest Sci-Fi movies? I haven’t heard anyone say anything about this great movie for a long time!

  10. I thought the best idea for a remake in recent times was The Fog and we all know how that turned out. I thought it was a great film to remake because it had a great story and some great moments but missed the mark as a film overall. If someone had put some effort into the remake it would have been well worth it.

    I’m a bit concerned by Battle Royale but atleast Newline usually does a good job with its movies.

    P.S. Jason from Hamilton

  11. Dear Mr Darren Seely, how can you say these movies are the same?! The original film is dated, but it has style as well as substance. Didn’t you realize how the film makers of the remade Omen down played the events in the movie? WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU REMAKE A FILM AND GIVE ME LESS THAN THE ORIGINAL?!! Take the scene at the zoo for instance,the remakes version is in no way as exciting and thrilling as the original. The actors in this so called remake look as if they are bored as hell. They obviously did it for the pay check. Bottom line if you remake a classic film at least try to attempt to give me more in style, acting, effects, story, don’t give me less. May God have mercy on your soul for comparing the original Omen with this remade rubbish.

  12. Yeah me to Lou, the dialouge and cinematography was exactly the same from the orignal Hitchcock film and it was boring and bland

  13. Hey, John. I agree with a lot of your points. The fact that more movies are being made today – yeah – that’s a good one. More movies = more shit movies. I agree with most of the people who’ve already posted that it’s the idea and intentions behind the movie that count. The Fly, The Thing, Scarface, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, all great movies because they do something new with the material. Recently remakes have had next to nothing in the way of new ideas. I’ve liked some of them, I don’t hate them on principle, I hate them because they suck as films. Kong and War Of The Worlds were fantastic just because of the sheer spectacle of trashing shit with CGI and I liked Dawn Of The Dead because it did something new. It had a completely different energy to the original (and not just because they ran). Seems like they used to remake movies when the originals inspired them, when a little lightbulb clicked on while they were watching the old one on tv or something. Now it’s all marketing. That’s all. It’s “Who can we cast?” and “How can we get the teenagers in?” If they approached the material with respect it wouldn’t be a problem. Sadly, they don’t.

    I look at the movie news and see “remake, remake, remake” and just think, Kill Me Now. They’re retelling all the great stories and, for the most part, they’re doing it badly. These movies were gonna get remade eventually, it’s just a shame that it’s happening now when the people in charge clearly don’t give a shit about doing it right. It’s a waste is all.

  14. Antonio’s rant is interesting: The Omen remake is written by David Seltzer, who simply updated his script. With the exception of casting, current tech and bringing in slideshows of the recent evils and tragedies of the world, it is the same movie.

  15. Dear Mr Campea, I have just went through the unfortunate mistake of watching that pile of shit remake called the Omen…This garbage convinces me once and for all that hollywood is in a state of producing the worst remakes of all time…This recycled bacteria they try to pass off as a movie is making me want to vomit pea soup all over my living room. Death to the scum who made this intolerable unwatchable ponderous trash and anyone who likes this remake should be burned at the stake. Dear Mr Richard Donner hollywood is not worthy of your great talent, rejoice that your original film is by far superior to this unholy remade atrocity. 20th century fox should burn in hell!!!

  16. There is also the subculture of the remake that exists where a movie is released with the vague connection to the original.

    Typcially they update the movie to current styles and trends, but essentially just retell the origin. That’s the point of a remake. (ok its really to stuff money in their pockets but you see my point)

    The urban flop “Love dont cost a thing” is a remake of the Patrick Dempsey classic “Cant buy me love”. Same story remade with an all black cast. Remake.

    The most recent example of a remake disguised as a sequel would be Cutting Edge:Going For Gold. Its the sequel/remake of The Cutting Edge. The main character is the daughter of the original couple from Cutting Edge, but when they team her up with a rebellious extreme sports rollerblader she overcomes her shortcomings and wins gold. Same story, but its a “sequel”. Or is it a remake set with current trends?

    I am not a fan nor hater of sequels or remakes, provided they are done right.

    Highlander should stand alone. But I will watch EVERYTHING Star Wars that gets put to film or tv. Its a case by case issue really.

  17. I’d just hate to be the asshole asked to direct the remake of “Gone With the Wind”.

    Remakes are great… but I think originality rocks too. These days Hollywood seems to be pushing remakes not because directors enjoyed the films as a kid or whatever, but simply because they know they are guaranteed cashcows with pre-established audiences.

    Personally, I would love to remake “The Day the Earth Stood Still”… Wise is a favorite director of mine and the movie’s message definitely still speaks to audiences. It’d be so cool…

  18. Remakes – Good Idea Bad Idea

    Depends on why and how they are doing it, taking a great story from decades ago and infusing new ideas and settings can work well. How ever I don’t feel that’s what the remakes over the last few years are doing at all, they are merely cashing in on the “brand Names” of Classic US cinema, Cult film, World cinema, US TV and then churning out watered down homogenous PG-13 (One size fits all) remakes.

  19. The remakes of the 80’s specifically John Carpenter’s “The Thing” and David Cronenberg’s “The Fly” were different because both brought something new and fresh to the material. In recent years, remakes, and movies remade from TV series have been more rampant than ever.

    Do I count “The Lord Of The Rings” films a remake of the Ralph Baski animated film, also based off Tolkien? No, I do not. That’s almost like saying Robert Altman’s “Popeye”(1980) is a remake of the classic cartoons, which were based on a comic strip. To date, it seems films based off action and suspense series do the best at the box office and crtically. You can name the two films, and hopefully, one more will join such ranks in another month or so. Interestingly, Micheal Mann’s “Heat” was a remake- from a smaller budgeted TV movie he co-wrote and produced (LA takedown) and my take is remakes are better off if the masses are not aware it is a remake from a previous work by the filmmakers. Or take a work like Mann did with “Last Of The Mohicans”- an exception to the remake rule in a way: the same way Dicken’s “Christmas Carol” is handled, “Cyrano de Bergerac” or a film based on Shakespeare, – a piece of literature that stands the test of time in adaptations.

    Do I consider “The Punisher” or “Batman Begins” a remake? Not really. How many films in history have we had with Sherlock Holmes? Zorro? Should another Sherlock Holmes film be made down the road, is it a remake? Or is it just a new story that surrounds an iconic character, where continuity with previous films may or may not be existent? I suppose James Bond may be the only slight exception to this (“Never Say Never Again” was a remake of “Thunderball”, the upcoming 007 film is considered to be a remake, although it is more in tune,- although updated- with the Fleming novel)

    Not all remakes are bad, but most are not really needed for a new audience. Hills Have Eyes? What the hell is that? Was that needed? Is the new Omen film a must see? The upcoming Hitcher? When the masses are given these choices, and maybe they DO check out the originals. Then they wonder why it was remade in the first place.

    I think it is a sad commentary that this new generation must be given garbage to consume, and can’t get off thier duffs and seek out the originals. What kind of new moviegoers are we spoon feeding? What kind of new crop filmmakers are we bringing up, when all they know is to ‘remake’ something because ‘they are a fan of that film and “it’ll be so cool!”? When the creative people with new ideas and films (not based off or connected to remakes) get shot the hell down by studios, because the exces want to remake Midnight Cowboy? (Note: it’s only a matter of time)

    When some films are made, it is lightning in a bottle. You can’t have a remake of Key Largo, and expect some actor to copy Bogart’s acting style. Or have desert warfare and drama in Lawrence Of Arabia. You mentioned one of Lean’s other films the other day, ‘Bridge On The River Kwai”- what made that film a classic? You had the RIGHT actors in one film. The right script, right director. Many “remakes” today, dime a dozen they might be now, the studio execs seem to miss this concept. All they see is “NAME PRODUCT” and they sell it like a cup of yogurt. “Starsky & Hutch” what the hell was that? “Dukes Of Hazzard”? Make a mockery of the original, with a ton of uneeded winks at the audiences.

    Filmmakers and writers may be storytellers; movie executive are not. They ignore what makes a film special and as to why it was a hit or a cult film. If there is , oh heaven forbid, social commentary (Planet Of The Apes) – it gets deep sixed. Or a film like “The Warriors”, which was almost a remake a few years back (until the plug was wisely pulled) they would get rid of what really made the film – Homer’s Odyssey – and, if I recall, would have given a martial arts action film with today’s street gangs. (oddly, the same scribes also hoped for a “Clash Of The Titans’ remake-but why not just do a whole new take on the myth of Perseus anyway – they must have liked the Burgess Merideth role…) But generally, John, I suppose since you put this post up, you have no problem with “studios” who remake things for no reason other than slapping a name on a product.

    “Kwai” remade? What would be the first thing to go? The irony of the story? The British Commander in the stockade? Or would someone want to get all PC cuddly friendly and protray the Japanese in the film in a more positive light? Or a darker one? Instead of sending Col. Nicolson to the stockade, Saito just takes a gun and shoots hm between the eyes? What if the new film strays farther from the book?

    I actually thought someone was on the right path awhile ago- Stranger Calls-the movie may have not been great, but why not remake films that didn’t get fair treatment or may have been mangled by studio and/or actor politics? How about remaking “Godzilla” with the script that Jan DeBont was going to do, and not the Roland Emmerich version (and what is WITH that Doritos thing, anyway? Thanks for reminding me, Frito Freaking Lay, of two hours robbed from me. I will now boycott your chips for 24 hrs starting…now!)


  20. The problem with your logic John is that there is no real evidence that remaking an Asian or older film has any real affect on the original’s sales or viewership. The thing of it is, if a person is uncomfortable watching a subtitled or classic film, he or she will watch the remake, and NOT watch the original.
    Now you say that that is OK, as long as the story reaches a new person. I however put forward that that is, by the nature of the remake, NOT a good thing. When one remakes something, it will be lesser than the original, everytime, bar none. It’s the nature of the beast called film, without the passion to create something new, film becomes stale and boring, and that is exactly what a remake is: stale, boring.
    The movies most enjoy that are concidered remakes are not in fact true reamakes, they are re-imaginings. Scarface for example takes the story put forth in the original, and takes it in a new direction (drug trade instead of prohabition). The Magnificent Seven, Fistful of Dollars, Star Wars (sort of), Ran; all of these are re-imaginings, they take the story and re-tell it in a diferent voice, in a different setting and with a different spin. They use the original as a springboard to make something fresh and original.
    This influx of remakes (which ironicly enough actually only seems to be hitting Asian films, as most American properties are all re-imaginings [Dukes, Bewitched, etc.]), does not help the orignal films at all, it is simply an attempt to bleed a little more money out of the many Americans who refuse to read. By allowing and supprting this, you insure that future generations will be just as freaked out by a black and white movie, or a set of subtitles on the bottom of a screen as out current generation will be. We will once again drift into a Jamie Kennedy like wasteland.
    Read subttles folks, watch classic films, don’t give money to crappy movies. Do it for the children…

  21. I generally give remakes a chance, but 10% of them are mediocre at best (I was so excited when Spielberg was remaking War of the Worlds…WHAT HAPPENED! Talk about a kick in the balls) the remining 90% are just garbage.

    Battle Royale is a great movie, a remake would have to be just as “intense” as the original and not PG-13. Without the violent, kill-or-be-killed mentality of the students, the movie would be very generic. The American remakes of foreign films are always hit or miss. Remakes of domestic films are usually cringe-worthy.

    But I would like to see a remake of The D.I.

  22. Hi me again! :)

    I just find it sad that most people in North America don’t give Asian films a chance. To be honest…if it doesn’t make it over there…I don’t think it matters.

    A film should not just be remade to cater to one particular audiences needs. This film in particular (like you said) can be appreciated on more levels and I find it astounding that a film like Battle Royale has to be remade just to get exposure. A wrong reason to be remade.

    Plus I prefer it’s cult status as a film…It may not appeal to a wide audience because of what it is. Add’s to my liking :)

    Sorry, I’m on a rant but this is a great topic!

  23. You know, this had the same effect on Batman. When there were the last two sequels, the whole movie franchise was tainted and dead. Enter Christopher Nolan (Memento). The best idea was to restart the franchise. It is sad for me to hear that there were some people who don’t like it, but I could understand why. The beginning was good, but I needed to find something to get my attention. When the movie kept on going, I was getting into it more. By the Climax, It was awesome. It knew how to get my attention.

    Now, I have a question. Before, I mentioned that Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was great before I watched it. After I got a reply from someone who disagreed, I looked at the (non-spoiler) reviews and knew that since I didn’t play the game (and I wanted to!), I should check my expectations, so I don’t get high or low on how I felt. It was good, but this movie was made for the fans, so I can understand for some that aren’t familier with it that they have some distaste. Still, it was good (and the action was too!).

    My question: I saw on Youtube commercials that had the tagline, “The Biggest Epic That’ll Never Be In a Theater Near You.” I remember that some of my friends wanted to see a live action version (like Transformers). I have to say, I kind of disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I could work. But the last thing I want to see is a guy play a girl.

    Now, since the franchise has a life of its own, I wonder if adapting to the big screen is possible. There is rumors of a remake of the video game. But what about in theaters? Could it work? And more importantly, would everyone want it to happen? Unless they’ll treat the project with care, respect, and do everything they can to make it work (even kill themselves), leave it alone!

  24. Well, I wouldn’t call The Lord of the Rings a remake of the animated film, just like I wouldn’t call the recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a remake of the Gene Wilder one – they’re more like different interpretations of the books, if that makes any sense…

    I don’t mind remakes when they take the basic concept of a movie and take it in a fresh direction, like Scarface or John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (Rio Bravo) or The Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai) or A Fistful of Dollars (Yojimbo) or even the recent Manchurian Candidate remake. I also think that leaps in technology can sometimes mean stories can now be better told then they could have been when the original movie was made, so I was in favour of the King Kong remake and the Poseidon remake too (a Jason and the Argonauts one like you mentioned in the Audio Edition would frickin‚Äô rule!).
    What I really hate is when studios simply turn out carbon copies of old or foreign movies – I’m of the opinion that if audiences can’t take a chance and risk watching a black-and-white or subtitled film now and again then they don’t deserve to see new and fresh ideas. It’s maybe a bit of an extreme view, but as a fan of Asian cinema in particular nothing drives me more crazy then talking to people about movies like Ran or House of Flying Daggers only to hear them immediately dismiss it because it’s not in English…

    To be honest, I can’t really fault your logic though Campea, you do annoyingly put forward a strong case…

  25. Hey there Jason,

    I don’t think you read my whole post. You can’t “just re-realease” asian films in North America… because saddly, most people here don’t like to watch forign films. Therefore… these GREAT stories aren’t getting appreciated by a wider audience.


  26. There are more BAD things than good. And the films listed that are remakes MAINLY could do with a remake because of what they can do NOW rather than churning out the same story.

    Lord of the Rings takes that example most to mind.

    Battle Royale however wasn’t made a long time ago and therefore needs no remake. Just release the film to a wider audience. To be honest…you could do that to tons of films…just bring them back into circulation.

    Remakes can work if they have a different slant to them but I can’t honestly see the purpose of Battle Royale being remade.

  27. It’s all subjective, right? Some folks winge about remaking a “classic.” Lou mentioned the original “Pyscho,” (I’m not picking on you Lou, I promise) yet I know quite a few folks that can’t stand Hitchcock films, particularly that one. And while I usually tell those friends that they should lay off the crack (’cause Hitch was a friggin’ genius!) they’re entitled to their opinion.

    Other people complain about the lack of creativity, and John’s point about the sheer number feature film releases is a very valid point. Let me add my 2 cents (now worth 1.91cents American!) by tossing out the old adage about how there are no new stories, only new interpretations. I recall recently reading an article wherein some literary eggheads have decided that there are only about 50 stories or themes, and everything that we see or read is merely an interpretation of those 50 leads. And not to put too fine a point on it, but if you’re bitching about the lack of original stories then be part of the cure by pulling your thumb out of your ass and getting some new ideas out there!

    Rather than going on for 8 pages let me just be clear on my own opinion that each remake should be judged on its own, although a comparisson to the original is inevitable, we shouldn’t pre-judge a film based on our love for the original. If we do that we may as well give up watching TV and movies altogether!

  28. I’m not one say that all remakes are bad but most of the ones we’ve seen over the last few years have been pretty poor. However, your list of questions regarding remaking a movie are very valid and I seriously think more than a few of the studios need to read those (if they don’t have their own) before green lighting some of these projects.

    What you say about re-makes not taking away from the original is a good point as well, after all, if the remake really sucks, we can go back and see the original in all its glory but what gets me is that if they keep remaking these really great foreign films, people are never going to give foreign cinema a chance ‚Äì they’ll just wait for the remake and this is, quite frankly, sad. Sure, I’ll admit that there is a fraction (probably large one too) of the population that will NEVER give foreign film a chance but I’m sure there’s also a large section in the middle that would enjoy it if: 1)they knew about it or 2)they were given a chance to see it.

    Case in point to argue FOR remakes. I recently say “District B13” a French action movie that’s been kicking around for a few years but has only recently made it to theatres this side of the water. Pretty full theatre on a Tuesday evening. The credits started to roll and I heard a collective grumbling. Then I heard “It’s in French? I’m outta here” and, no lie, in the next few minutes, half of the theatre emptied. I couldn’t believe it. All those people that left missed a great movie and I remember thinking that it would be great if someone remade it so that more people would see it.

    There are good arguments for both side. Personally, I can see where you’re coming from but I’m still hesitant when I hear that a film I really like (“The Ring” and “Dark Water” are the two popping into my mind at the moment) is being re-made for a Hollywood audience. I can’t help but think of the mess that will ensue. Sure, sometimes I’m wrong but other times, I’m more than a little disappointed.

  29. In a general estimation, I’m more put off by remakes, in that I’m always tremendously skeptical. There are a few, a very slim margin, the splinter segment of all remakes, that impress me enough to consider acceptable. Case in point: Cape Fear, Ocean’s Eleven, The Thing, The Fly, and a few others. Now to think about the remainder, this is why I’m so hesitant on acceptance.

    If the original was a phenomenal work that stands on it’s own two feet, chances are the remake is going to seem like a fumbling of a microphone at a karoke bar, no matter how good the remake works on it’s own.

    Another issue I take with it, is there are SO many of them, and of those a good percentage of them remaking films that sucked in the first place. That just seems like Hollywood sponging up any stragling dollars they missed on the first go-round of remakes and/or sequels. As mentioned in the article, film production quantity has gone up 3 fold, but is it worth the waste of money for the film watcher, or is it an agonizing wast of 2 hours and 15 bucks?

  30. Depends on the film they are remaking, and if we have actually seen something cool done with the remake.

    I am a huge fan of the movie Logans Run from the 70’s and am looking forward to see what kind of a spin Bryan Singer will put on the remake. I am sure it will loose the cheese factor, but i hope he keeps it story driven, and doesn’t overload it with CGI

  31. I’m sorry but i am not going to pay to see a film that i have already seen.

    And the Lord Of The Rings does not count because It only did The first two books.

  32. While I think Hollywood often uses remakes nowadays as a lazy way to make money with a known commodity, I have to agree that the remake in and of itself is not an inherently bad idea. There are very few stories in the world that don’t owe at least something to previous stories, be it bits and pieces or wholesale plot ripoffs. For example, Shakespeare took all his plays’ plots from existing sources; brilliant books like Joyce’s Ulysses are based on previous works (in this case the Odyssey). If a great artist is remaking or doing his or her own version of a known story, the results can be wonderful–as well as still creative!

  33. The problem with american remakes is that they americanize them by doing that the movies soul is lost. If they’d just try and remake as in re make the original fine fine, or frickin just cgi dub the thing. Rremakes off foreign films are horrible. What the americans do with their own movies I don’t give a damn

  34. The 1980’s Scarface was a bad movie, IMO.

    As far as remakes in general, I’m okay with them. I’ve just learned to ignore most of them. But I ignore most of mainstream movies anyways.

  35. I am ambivalent. The odds of making a good movie which is a remake is basically the same as that of an original movie.

    Remakes of classics like Psycho annoy me though.

  36. I have to agree with you John. While most “remakes” these days are hackneyed, soulless versions of the original films, when a filmmaker has the passion and drive to remake a movie perhaps he or she really loved when they were younger, like “Lord of the Rings”, the films come out beautifully!

    Remakes are generally never a bad thing, the only bad things are the writers, actors, and directors INVOLVED in those awful remakes. Simply because the majority of those projects were developed for the sole reason of mooching money off a well known older property. In these films, very little care is taken to find out what was the “spark” that made the original so good. Look at the Dukes of Hazzard remake! There was no care taken on ensuring what made it a great television show was translated onto the screen. It was just moderately big names, playing the characters from the show, with a lame ass script, solely for the purpose of cashing in on the franchise!

    I love the fact that these remakes are exposing people to the original property! Look at King Kong! It pains me to say that out of the group of people who went to see it, I was the ONLY one who had seen the original! Of course everyone had HEARD of it, but no one had ever seen it. Now since then, theyve seen the original as well, and appreciate both for what they brought to the craft of filmmaking.

    The IDEA of remakes isnt bad! If someone could pull off a modern Ghostbusters remake with a good cast and script, I’d be right there to see it!

    The problem is simply that most studios don’t actually care about the property they are adapting, and the movie suffers because of this.

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