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What Are the Legimate Reason For A Remake?

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Showing 26-50 of 109 posts in this discussion
Posted on Aug 2, 2012 6:07:48 AM PDT
W.T. Keeton says:
Another that needed to be remade was "Casino Royale", because the original was not a straight adaption of the source material. It was one of those strange cases where the spoof happened before the straight version of the film.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 6:53:26 AM PDT
I think the real difference now, that wasn't the case back when a film like The Maltese Falcon was remade three times (in a very short period of time) was that movies and theaters were similar in their impermanence. You saw a theater production, and when the run was over that was it, you only had your memories, there was no way to see it again. In theater a new production is basically a remake; different cast, maybe different set design, but no one is changing Shakespeare's or Noel Coward's dialogue. You're seeing the same play you saw two years ago, you just couldn't really compare one performance to the next.

Now, with theater nothing has changed, but with movies we have Dvd, and home theaters, so remaking a film has a completely different feel. Unless you can improve on a story, there is very liitle reason in remaking a film. People don't look at movies the way they look at theater. No one gets a thrill seeing another actor play a part they've associated with the first actor to play it. Even before we knew what a bomb Anderson's Three Musketeers was going to be many people were grumbling, "Why do another remake of T3M? There are already umteenth versions already?" This is not the attitude people have when you hear, "Oh they're doing another production of Chicago and George Clooney's headlining!"

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 8:05:22 AM PDT
Severin says:
I thought of a series of successful remakes which were worth doing. Hammer Studios did a whole series of the Universal monsters, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Jeckyl. The first three had several follow-up films of varying quality but the earliest ones were thought to be stylish, high-production, well-acted horror films. As a change from the originals these were in color and wide-screen format. They also had more blood and violence. They're still well thought of.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 9:18:25 AM PDT
I think time is a definite factor when it comes to remaking something. It seems the more successful remakes (at least when we're talking about successful remakes of successful originals generally have a considerable gap between them.

Just off the top of my head:
Universal's Frankenstein 1937's
Hammer's Frankenstein 1957

Universal's Dracula 1931
Hammer's Dracula 1958

The Thing From Another World 1951
John Carpenter's The Thing 1981

I think you need some degree of time, or at least a few generations to actually see a concept in a new light. Most films are products of their times, either overtly, or sub-consciously. Straight adaptations don't work. You really need to put some thought behind the original premise.

With a lot of those films, restrictions in social mores, or technology prevented some films from fully realizing the filmmakers intention. For films made in the last 30 years or so those factors were not an issue, so it makes even less sense to remake some films. With the Hammer remakes they really sexed it up, something the 30's versions couldn't have gotten away with. With Carpenter, technology allowed him to produce a more accurate adaptation of the story.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 10:14:07 AM PDT
To expand on the idea of films representing the time period they were made you can look at the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the subsequent remakes. Of the three remakes only the first in '78 by Phillip Kaufman seems to understand the underlying theme in the original which was the fear of Communism/McCarthism, and replaced that with a 70's theme of becoming part of "the establishment". The other version's seemed to only look upon it as just another horror film. They had nothing new to add to the premise other than SFX.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 11:29:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2012 11:31:28 AM PDT
SMH says:
Advances in film and technology are perfectly legitimate reasons for a remake.

However, films that fall into genres of something like romantic comedies, i.e. films that have no need for technology/special effects, have no reason to be remade.

Unless one believes that the more natural approach to acting today is an enhancement over the more stiff/rigid nature of acting in yester-year. I personally don't believe that this is a legitimate remake reason though.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 11:55:30 AM PDT
Severin says:
I have to agree although I don't watch many modern comedies these days, they're insulting. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was supposedly a remake of the Carole Lombard/Robert Montgomery film of the same name but they're completely different animals. The 1967 "Bedazzled" with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eleanor Bron and Raquel Welch is way better than the 2000 version with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley. Nice touch casting the devil as a woman though.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 1:00:18 PM PDT
If a story involves space ships or magical powers like flying or telekenisis, I can see doing a remake just because all of the CGI available. The mistake studios make is not having an interesting screenplay before any of that begins.

There are also certain dramas that could possibly benefit from today's less restrictive dialogue. I could see "Strangers On a Train" being redone with a more outrageously psychotic stalking violence (think Christian Bale and Jon Favreau.) I could also imagine "Double Indemnity" with a much more torrid love affair and a more sophisticated insurance scam. "White Heat" could be done with a more elaborate and explicit affair, double crossings, prison violence, FBI mole infiltration, and chemical plant heist. No actor could really compete with James Cagney (though I could see Danny McBride with explosions all around him saying "I'm on top of the effin world ma...I'm on top of the mother effin world)

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 1:27:55 PM PDT
The idea of gender/racial switching seems to be a pretty popular conceit to warrant a remake. For example the remakes of:

1 Night of the Living Dead. (the protagonist)
2. Arthur (the valet)
3. Bedazzled (the devil)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 1:57:20 PM PDT
Haha, we're supposed to get riled up at this Casablanca comment, I guess. Nice try.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 1:59:52 PM PDT
It would be worth looking at remakes that are actually well-regarded and made by people who clearly had a high regard for the originals. There are a few, after all - in the sci-fi genre, for instance, we have 'The Thing', 'The Fly', and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. None of them were made to update the in-movie science, they weren't scene-by-scene parroting 'homages', they weren't misty-eyed nostalgia trips, and they weren't snarky rips at 'stupid old stuff'. What they were is harder for me to articulate, but there seems to be big differences in personal interaction from one to the other, reflecting changes in society. Anyone who can word it better, please chip in.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 2:06:06 PM PDT
re: I could see "Strangers On a Train" being redone with a more outrageously psychotic stalking violence (think Christian Bale and Jon Favreau.) I could also imagine "Double Indemnity" with a much more torrid love affair and a more sophisticated insurance scam.

Even though they are old, the originals are still really excellent movies (granted, "Strangers on a Train" isn't quite upper-tier Hitchcock like "Rear Window" or "North By Northwest"). I can't see improving on genuine quality, on Hitch or Billy Wilder ... can't fathom revamping the material. But it's interesting to see what people would want remade.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 4:07:47 PM PDT
Severin says:
Yes my "Casablanca" reply was pure sarcasm, I can't stand Will Farrell. Some classics are fine the way they are, no one should remake that one, "The Maltese Falcon," "Double Indemnity," "White Heat" or "The Wizard of Oz." We don't always need more graphic, better effects, color, swearing, etc. If they ain't broke don't fix 'em.

It's more acceptable with scifi/horror but even there mistakes are frequently made. I couldn't sit through the remake of "House On Haunted Hill" it was awful, a senseless gore-fest with none of the wit or acting of the original. Fox has re-made 2 of the Planet of the Apes movies, they're okay, some of the effects weren't perfect but I prefer the originals I grew up watching.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 6:09:28 PM PDT

The '63 'Haunting' was the only horror film that made me light up the halls and stairs to my bedroom. I even called upstairs to my sister to make sure she was there. When I read about the remake which actually had stuff happened, I simply laughed.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 6:23:03 PM PDT
The only remake I could tolerate would be one of 'Forbidden Planet', because with all the computer graphics, it could be modern. At the same time the writers and director would probably toss out the 'Tempest' plot line in favor of less 'high brow' stuff that might turn away the favored demographic. Another possibility could be Casanova Brown', but considering the butchery of 'Mr Deeds' I would be trepidatious.

Fortunately, no one has suggested a remake of 'The Awful Truth', 'Bringing Up Baby' or 'Philadelphia Story (Hepburn and Grant)'.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 6:44:46 PM PDT
I'm curious as to the idea to remake "The Thin Man". I could sort of see it, since changing the time period doesn't necessarily change the dynamic between Nick and Nora, but you'd really have to work at it to get it to feel right.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 6:50:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2012 6:51:07 PM PDT

Agreed, but the plots were also 'thin. They seemed to draw straws for who would be the killer, there were certainly no clues that led to a particular suspect. We also have no one with the comedic chops Powell and Loy had.

edited for proper grammar.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 8:12:54 PM PDT
Severin says:
You'd also have to cast a couple who have genuine chemistry. Powell and Loy made more than a dozen movies together, they clicked. Hollywood was good at pairings like that back in the studio days. That's so lacking these days. You also need snappy, witty dialog. For the Thin Man movies the plots were secondary.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 9:04:02 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 18, 2012 3:01:27 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 12:09:36 AM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
That was a lot of the thinking behind the Robert Redford vehicle Havana which is set in the Cuban revolution.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 6:50:35 AM PDT
Baron Sardonicus: <we're supposed to get riled up at this Casablanca comment, I guess.>

I was going more for sardonic, oh aptly named one :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 7:02:50 AM PDT
@ C. J. Vasta --
Thanks, Havana had slipped under my radar. I'll have to check it out.
One thing that's unclear from the reviews and descriptions is the extent to which it was a consciously intended "remake" of Casablanca vs. borrowing a few plot points and broad themes. Where is the line between "remake" and "inspired by"?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 7:08:20 AM PDT
Donald J. Nelson: <Yes my "Casablanca" reply was pure sarcasm, I can't stand Will Farrell>

As was my original Casablanca suggestion, or more precisely a parody of typical Hollywood thinking.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 7:20:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2012 7:26:13 AM PDT
That's a good point, "inspired by" is something I have no problem with. Take for instance Robocop. It's well known that the producers couldn't get the rights to Judge Dredd, so they took the concepts and spun it a different way. Funny thing is Robocop is a better Judge Dredd film than the film they eventually made with Stallone later. You can kind of see the similarities, but they're really two separate films that stand on their own. The one thing the Robocop producers understood was that Dredd was a satire, (something the Dredd filmmakers did not). so they changed the theme of facism to corporate greed and commercialism and they took it to the extreme.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 7:58:54 AM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
If you've ever read "I Can Remember It for You Wholesale", there's little there to hang an action movie on, it's more of a shaggy-dog story. "Total Recall" is sort of based on more a summary of some of the plot points. The wife in the original story is a pretty much a stereotype and has no hidden side. It's pretty obvious they're basing it on the movie storyline. The major difference is the casting: Colin Farrell - I don't think he has more range than Schwarzanenegger. He can certainly carry off one of the later twist scenes better. Similarily, Beckinsale seems to be playing a more complex character than Sharon Stone did.

It is kind of Funny. The first time I heard about this movie, someone said it was Colin FIRTH which would have been entirely different. Having Colin Farrel and David Tennant in the key roles also made for a different FRIGHT NIGHT.

I'm surprised noone has attempted to remake PRINCESS BRIDE yet. Billy Crystal and Carol Kane would be able to reprise their roles with less makeup. Firth could sub once more for Sarandon. As for Wesley, Robert Pattison (who unlike some other candidates for the real British accent.)
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  28
Total posts:  109
Initial post:  Jul 31, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 21, 2012

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