Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Remakes, Bah

I recognize the need to generate income by repackaging--publishers do it all the time, but the text is left intact. Here is a short list of some film remakes in which the "text" is altered, besides A Christmas Carol or Scrooge or Old Man and the Ghost, whatever they want to call it:

The Philadelphia Story/High Society: Here is a perfectly good movie with excellent casting, and someone goes and messes it up with bad casting and color. And who decided that adding music makes a film better anyway?

The Shop Around the Corner/You've Got Mail: I think the remake is kind of cute, but the original was so much more than cute. The characters had depth, and the boss wasn't a bad guy. I hate movies that make the boss out to be bad just because he's the boss and has money. It's a small mind that thinks so flatly.

The Parent Trap/The Parent Trap: I'll give them this one. I didn't care for the first one, and I thought its casting was sluggish. But really, what a ridiculous premise. How could an otherwise loving parent choose a baby and let the other one go without a second thought. Again, flat character.

Miracle on 34th Street/Miracle on 34th Street: Lovely black and white Christmas film that didn't need remaking, and the postal solution at the end made sense. The new version was not a bad film, because Maura was so cute you could pinch her face, but the In God We Trust solution was weak. If you can't improve on the original script, then leave it alone.

The Bishop's Wife/The Preacher's Wife: Hint, don't redo something Cary Grant has done so perfectly. Denzel Washington is a delight, but still, the movie was too lovely the first time to think you could make it better a second.

The Lady Killers/The Lady Killers: the second was nothing but an abomination. I was so happy when they killed the foul mouthed guy. Every time he opened his mouth to deliver a line, I cringed.

Others that were not improved by making them twice: Cape Fear, Psycho, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Sabrina, Poseidon.

Have I forgotten anything?


dive said...

Or any British, French, Japanese, Indian, etc. film remade by Hollywood …
Get Carter, The Italian Job, Ring, The Ladykillers (as you so rightly point out), Seven Samurai, Gojira, the list goes on …
Bah indeed, Robyn.

Robyn said...

Yeah, I didn't even get into the foreign films because I'm not well versed there, but there are plenty. Maybe making a foreign film into English isn't as bad. It would be OK to take an English movie and remake it in India for cultural appeal, I suppose. But have two or three or four or seventeen movies all of the same story all in the same language--it's lazy, is what it is.

RICH said...

Robyn - good topic.. I HATE all remakes of anything. I think history is made so leave it alone once and for all. It's all about money greed and more greed you know as well as I do.

Sassy Sundry said...

Wings of Desire/whatever that Angel Stalker film was with Meg Ryan. First film, beautiful and subtle. The second, disgusting, with a bad soundtrack.

Robyn said...

Sassy, wasn't that City of Angels with Nicolas Cage? I'm not sure I saw the original, and I don't remember much about the soundtrack, except Sara McLoughlin comes to mind.

dive said...

… Manhunter, Heat, The Thomas Crown Affair, er …
Oh! An exception to prove the rule:
Disney's Jungle Book was way better than the old live action one.

Robyn said...

Disney's Jungle Book--ahh. I had the coloring book when I was a kid, so it will always be special.

I think I may like the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory better than the first as well. They're both weird, but the first was a little weirder.

RICH said...

you know what's equally as bad. is when they remake old TV shows into movies.. like Adams Family brady bunch and more

dive said...

I do love the Addams Family movies, Rich, but then we never got the TV shows over here, so I've nothing to compare them with.
You know my views on Christina Ricci's Wednesday … Ooooo

Robyn said...

Yes, we know you've got a thing for Wednesday.

The TV shows were just barely palatable, so to make them full-length films just milks them for more than their worth. The Brady Bunch was bad, but at least it mocked the show.

Old Knudsen said...

This is the list I had from my post Movie Magic.

Mr Deeds goes to town 1936
War of the worlds 1954
The Ladykillers 1955
School for scoundrels 1960
The Flight of the Phoenix 1965
The Posideon Aventure 1972
The Longest Yard 1974
The Italian Job 1969
The Four Feathers 1939

it was saying that newer doesn't mean better.

Robyn said...

Old Knusdon, I just got back from your place where I was reading this very list. And here I thought I was being original.

dive said...

Barring the Poseidon Adventure, Mister K's list sounds like a perfect rainy weekend's couch trip.