That’s usually what comes out of my mouth when I’m talking to someone about movie remakes. In this day where Hollywood can’t seem to come up with something creative, it’s the only thing that remains constant. Don’t remake Back to the Future, and I won’t come after you.
I’ve never understood why movies get remade. If they were crappy the first time around, then I might understand. They have an opportunity to make one wrong a right. But when the movie was a classic to begin with (I’m talking to you, Kenny Ortega) there’s no need to remake it. Yet Hollywood continues to do just that, and it seems there’s no slowing down.
The reason for this post is obviously due to the release of Footloose, a movie that was awesome in 1984 and had absolutely no reason to be remade. Especially when they didn’t change any part of the story, and pretty much filmed it shot-for-shot from the original. The only change besides different actors (Julianne Hough? Really?) was turning all the good, original 80s pop songs into crappy country songs.
If you’re a fan of the new movie, that’s totally cool. I won’t hold anything against you (except maybe your taste in movies). If you think it’s better than the original, well, then I suggest you walk on over to your nearest Red Box station, check out Footloose 1984 starring Kevin Bacon, and watch it as soon as you can. I promise you will change your mind. Or I will change it for you.
You know what else gets remade a lot? Horror movies. As if they weren’t scary enough back in the 70s and 80s, filmmakers felt the need to do them all over by adding even more gore – and less suspense. For example, check out John Carpenter’s Halloween from 1978. Totally scary, right? Not that much happens in the movie, but it was scary as hell because we all thought he was dead until he rose up from the damn floor.
But Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake didn’t do much for me. It was scary because it was so bloody and violent, but it didn’t scare me, you know? The same goes with the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The originals are all really good movies – much more than simple horror movies – yet that’s all the remakes are. Simple horror movies.
I could go on and on about movies that were remade that TOTALLY shouldn’t have been – Psycho, Freaky Friday, The Karate Kid, The Parent Trap, but I don’t want to spend this whole time being negative. There actually have been some really good remakes – ones I consider to be better than the original. Of course this is only my personal opinion, and it’s usually due to the fact that I saw the remake first, thus making it mean more to me than the original. But some are actually better, which makes this whole “I hate Hollywood and their stupid remakes” rant a little irrelevant.
Remake: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Better Than: Ocean’s 11 (1960)
Like most people my age, I saw the remake first, and after seeing it I decided that it was a PERFECT MOVIE. Seriously, watch it. It’s perfect. Soon after I rented the original starring The Rat Pack. Now, The Rat Pack are pretty awesome themselves, there’s no denying that. But the movie just didn’t have the PERFECTNESS of the remake. From the casting to the story to the writing and the facial expressions of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Ocean’s 11 2001 is just full of awesomeness.
Remake: Father of the Bride (1991)
Better Than: Father of the Bride (1950)
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole thing of the original. The bits and pieces that I have seen were good. But you know what? It didn’t have Steve Martin and Martin Short in it, and when those two are at their best – like they are in this movie – it’s hard to top. This movie has a balance of the emotionally sweet and the hilariously funny because of those two, and I’d like to see the original even come close to that.
Remake: Cape Fear (1991)
Better Than: Cape Fear (1962)
I love Gregory Peck waaaay more than Nick Nolte, but come on. Robert De Niro is scary as f*%@. That’s a win in my book.
Remake: You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Better Than: The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
While I do enjoy the original movie – it’s cute and it’s got Jimmy Stewart in it – I love the remake starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. I know it’s kind of considered a chick flick – and I’m not one to gravitate towards chick flicks – but this one stands out to me. Meg and Tom are adorable together as always, but it’s Nora Ephron’s writing that does it for me. It keeps the story but adds the wit, making it worthy for today’s generation.
Remake: The Ring (2002)
Better Than: Ringu (1998)
Okay, so I’m going to cheat a little bit here. I’ve never actually seen the original Japanese version. Knowing the how the Japanese are totally INSANE when it comes to their horror movies, though, I can pretty much guess that it’s probably a scary movie. But I’m going to take a gander and say that Gore Verbinski’s remake is WAAAY scarier. It’s probably my favorite horror movie of all time – not because it’s gross and violent and bloody, but because it’s not. It’s just down-right creepy, and oh-so-good. I can’t imagine any original being better than this.
Well, after much deliberation, that’s about all I could come up with. There’s not a whole lot out there in the world of remakes that come close to the original, but I guess it’s refreshing that it is possible. Since that’s all Hollywood is able to do these days, we can only hope that they pick the right movies to remake, and that they get a killer team to make them. Or else they’re going to hear from a lot of angry people.
Just as long as they don’t remake Back to the Future.
Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I remade Back to the Future that he’d melt my brain.