I was recently online listening to the Basil Poledouris Robocop main theme (an excellent piece of work btw), when I noticed that someone was doing a remake of Robocop. I threw out the question, Why. The original Robocop in my opinion has aged quite well. In fact it still holds up as being relevant in it's themes of corporate greed. The answer I received was, and I paraphase, ". . . because it's old and nobody from this generation watches it."
I had to think about that. Is the fact that a film is old sufficient enough reason to warrant a remake? In my mind it's probably one of the silliest reasons I can think of, but I admit I could be missing something.
While I'd always rather see something original, there are older works that I feel weren't handled as well as they could have been either because of restrictions at the time that didn't allow for the potential of the material to be fully realized; terrible adaptation of the source material; or technical innovations that could really benefit the story. These I see as completely legitimate reasons to remake something.
Where I'm not so sure are remakes of foreign films. There are some films that have been remade as American products that I have enjoyed.
While I still think the the Chinese Infernal Affairs is a better film than The Departed, the American version is enjoyable. The American version of Ringu in some ways improves on its Japanese original.
The American remake of Let The Right One In was a complete waste of effort, since instead of going to the novel, they basically copied the Swedish film almost shot for shot. Shall We Dance didn't translate well because the story is very Japanese, and attitudes that made the story work in that culture didn't necessarily make sense here.
A lot of remakes seem to be simply for the purpose of 'just because'. Really, shot for shot remake of Psycho? What was that all about?
So I'm curious what all of you might consider a good reason to do a remake; some good remakes out there; the terrible remakes, and films that shouldn't be remade under any circumstances if in fact there is a reason never to remake a film.
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