Is the remake ever any good?

Is the remake ever any good?

I am a movie buff, simple and sweet. I have over 1,500 movies in my DVD and BluRay collection, am a member of Flixster (primarily for their Ultraviolet service) and use an Amazon Fire TV because Amazon Prime has a good selection of free movies included with their service.

These days it seems movies are somehow lacking in something. They are missing some special qualities that older versions were filled with. Well, at least it seems that way sometimes. But is that really true?

One thing Hollywood is doing a lot these days is remake old movies. In the case of a series, such as Star Trek, they have coined the term “reboot” to indicate they are some of the basic concepts of the older episodes. In the case of Star Trek, the reboot dramatically changed the past history of hundreds and hundreds of episodes by destroying the planet Vulcan.

Of course studios often choose to remake movies and series because they are a known quality. They can predict, or so they think, that the audience of the older shows will be attracted to the newer shows. This is only true, of course, if the remake or reboot is in the same league as the original.

Here’s what I think of some of the remakes and reboots I’ve seen over the years. This is by no means a comprehensive list. These are just some films and series that come to mind.

  • The Italian Job is a movie where the remake had the special magic that the original was missing. The remake was vibrant and alive. The original was good but did not have the same greatness. I’ve watched the remake over a dozen times, and each time it is still fresh and exciting.
  • The Great Escape is another one of those movies (it’s basically a remake of of Stalag 17) where I think the remake had more chemistry and was simply great. The remake had fantastic casting, a touch of humor and lots of action.
  • On the other hand, the Star Trek reboots are, in my opinion, seriously lacking in any originality, chemistry and plots that make sense. The original series and movies were low budget and corny but it worked and had a chemistry that clicked. The reboot had a huge budget, big names, and horrible plot. Considering the budget and talent available, there was no excuse for how lame they were. (my apologies to whomever liked them).
  • The original movie Gone in 60 Seconds was utterly fantastic. The remake was certainly watchable but had no where near the chemistry of the original.
  • The Mechanic is a movie where the original was almost perfect. There was high standard to meet, and the remake failed to reach those heights. It’s certainly watchable, but I’m glad I did not pay to see it in a theater.
  • The remake of King Kong was a simple waste of film and money. The original, while extremely dated, is one of those classics where it’s hard to even come close.
  • The first Dune movie was almost unwatchable in its theatrical version; on the other hand, the extended version fills in those holes in the plots and defines some of the terms used and actually is enjoyable. It’s still not one of the greats as it does not really capture the essence of the story, but the extended version works. The Scifi channel mini-series was quite simply fantastic. The cast was well done and it really catches the flavor of the book and the world it portrays.
  • The movie Conan the Barbarian surprised me. I expected the remake to be awful, yet it was actually quite good. Both the original and the remake are good in their own ways.
  • I was very surprised to find that I enjoyed the remake of Total Recall far more than the original version. The original is still one of the greats, but the remake, which has a very different backstory, had me clinging to my chair in anticipation from beginning to end.
  • All of the Spiderman and Incredible Hulk movies were barely watchable even with liberal use of fast forward. The two characters, Peter Parker and David Banner, are just such total losers and wimps that it interfered with my enjoyment of the movie (I had the same issues with the comic books). Combine that with an extremely lame plot and poor acting and I wonder why they even bothered.

Two movies that scream for a remake are Logins Run and Andromeda Strain. Both of these were great in their day but time has left the originals far behind. I would love to see a quality remake of these two movies.

Leave your opinions of remakes that worked and those that didn’t in the comments. 🙂

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