Yes, I’m a Remake Fan

I’ve been on some crazy tight deadlines lately, but sometimes a gal just needs a break, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. So yesterday, my friend Lara and I went to see the new movie Robocop, which is a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name. We both enjoyed it, and yes it might have a little bit to do with the fact that Joel Kinnaman isn’t hard to look at. 🙂 But it got me to thinking about the age-old debate of whether movies and TV shows should be remade or in some cases totally re-imagined. I actually like seeing new takes on old stories, if they’re done well. I honestly can’t remember much about the original version of Robocop with Peter Weller. I think I’ll rent it to watch it again soon. But I liked the new one and its story of a man inside the machine and how the man (Det. Alex Murphy) refuses to let the machine take over. It’s about our humanity, our ability to tell right from wrong, and the powerful strength of human emotions. And though she doesn’t have a lot of screen time, Abbie Cornish is good in her role as Alex’s wife. She plays a crucial role in jumpstarting the reemergence of Alex’s human emotions. (FYI, she was also great in the recent mini-series Klondike).

One of the best re-imagined shows was Battlestar Galactica. Oh, the uproar when it was announced that Starbuck was going to be a girl. Personally, I loved it. And Katee Sackhoff totally kicked ass in that role. I thought the writing was good, the characters interesting, and the new take (Hey, not all Cylons look like robots!) made BSG one of the best sci-fi shows in recent years.

Man of Steel had a lot of detractors, but I wasn’t one of them. You could say I’m an easy audience, and maybe that’s partially true. But I could see the reasoning behind the different take on Superman. After all, how realistic is it that a man who is all-powerful would be perfect all the time? And if he got into a fight with someone every bit as powerful as him, they’re going to do more than knock over a couple of cars. They would do some major damage. I tend to like characters who aren’t all black or all white. I like good guys who have a dark side and bad guys who just might be able to be redeemed, especially if circumstances were a little different. So I didn’t mind the darker take on Superman just like I really liked the darker take on Batman as played by Christian Bale.

So, I’m curious. Is anyone else a fan of remakes? Do you like the darker re-imaginings? If you like remakes, what are some of your favorites? Or are you a purest who believes that once something has been made, it should stay in that form and creative types should devote their energies to totally new material? I’m looking forward to hearing your answers and maybe discovering some new remakes to check out.

Comments

25 Comments

  • Helen says:

    Is he leaving to cold and coming to the rainy humid side of the world 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Jane says:

    Hello Trish,
    I’m fine with remakes. I love the Dark Knight trilogy, but I didn’t love Man of Steel. I loved the Mummy movies and I know a remake is already in the works and I’m actually quite excited about it.

  • Patty L. says:

    Not a big movie person, i would rather read a book. LOL.

  • Helen says:

    Trish

    As you know I am not a big watcher of TV or movies I used to but these days the TBR pile is way too big 🙂

    I am probably on the side of not liking re makes if I enjoyed it the first time round then that is what I would prefer I do love the original Superman movies but didn’t feel the inclination to see the re make

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • I loved the Christopher Reeve Superman years, too. I guess I like seeing what other creative minds come up with, using the same source material. Approaches change with the passage of years.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Tridh hate to say it but not a big fan of r e-makes here, either. I have to say if I loved the original, I really don’t want to see someone else in role I think of belonging to a certian person. Also I believe there are certian movies/ tv shows which should NEVER be remade, a great exammple would be any of the John Hughs films. PRETTY IN PINK, 16 CANDLES or any of his other films were MADE for the actors and actresses who were in them and I don’t give a hoot how good someone new/younger is, they are not those characters.
    LITTLE WOMEN has been remade how many times now, 3? My favorite version is still the original. And please God, don’t anyone get the bright idea to re-make GONE WITH THE WIND. I think I’d have to protest that sort of scrilage.

    • Okay, regarding the John Hughes films, I’m going to agree with you. Granted, those were my teen years, and I so identify with Molly Ringwald and crew.

      I just thought of another set of remakes that I really enjoy. Sherlock Holmes has been around for years, but I find that I really enjoy all the current incarnations — Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock (fantastic), Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary, and Robert Downey Jr. in the Sherlock Holmes movies. I think that’s a good example of taking the same source material and presenting it in three different ways, all of which are entertaining with good actors.

  • Shannon says:

    Some remakes are fun–think Jane Seymour in the Scarlett Pimpernel. David Niven as the Elusive Pimpernel was fine though too. I’m more fond of the mini-series remakes of Jane Austen’s novels because they’re more sweeping than the movies. But there are some pictures I’d hate to see remade, fortunately, I don’t think any one want to remake Prison of Zenda. Oh wait, that was Moon over Parador.

    The ladies have yet to pick the move–12 Years a Slave, The Invisible Woman, Dallas Buyers Club. Nary a remake there.

    I have to agree that I’d die if Princess Bride or Gone with the Wind were to be remade. They’re just so perfect.

    • I agree about The Princess Bride, too. I really need to re-watch that. I haven’t seen it in a long time.

      I’ve heard fantastic things about 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club.

  • Laurie G says:

    I recently saw Snow White and the Huntsman. It’s a very dark, grownup version of the fairytale. Cherise Theron did an amazing job.

    My daughter recently saw part 1 of The Hobbit, She liked it. I don’t know how they’re going to drag that short story out for three movies.

    • I liked Snow White and the Huntsman, too, and agree that Charlize’s portrayal of the evil queen was fantastic. And I loved her costumes. I’ve really enjoyed both of the first parts of The Hobbit and a looking forward to the third.

  • Mozette says:

    I’m a purist… I love the originals of films, which shouldn’t be remade.

    ‘Rear Window’ should never have been remade… but it was. And seeing that Jimmy Stewart was in the original, I loved it… and still do.

    ‘Superman’… I love the original… I mean Christopher Reeves was a hottie in those red undies! I never want to fantasise about any other man of steel in them… honestly.

    If they ever, ever remake ‘Ferris Bueler’s Day Off’ put me out of my misery… please! Or even ‘The Breakfast Club’… just can’t do that anymore.

    ‘Total Recall’ should never have been touched. The original was perfect just the way it was. It was gritty, hot, fanstatic, brilliantly cast and Arny was just perfect as the guy who was the double agent caught in the middle.

    Why remake something jsut because Hollywood can’t think of anything to make? It’s stupid.

    Also…. ‘Tron’ was a classic… it shouldn’t have had a second film – ever!

    • When the new Tron came out, I rented the original because I hadn’t seen it. I don’t mind that they remade that one because of the incredible cheese factor of the original. But it was a product of its time.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I am a fan of remakes, although I never took time to watch Batman or Superman simply because I didn’t care for them to begin with. I love the new Star Trek movies. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban have such great chemistry together. I was never a big Trekkie fan til they came along. Remakes of early movies can be good depending on what they are, such as Alice in Wonderland. Loved Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter. Too bad The Lone Ranger was such a bomb. There are, however some movies they should leave alone. How could you ever remake a Gone With The Wind or The Ten Commandments. Those I don’t think I could go see.

    • I can’t believe I didn’t mention the Star Trek reboot. I LOVE those movies, and I think they did such a fantastic job with casting actors who I can totally believe are younger versions of the characters I loved as a kid.

  • Teresa Hughes says:

    Hey Trish!

    I like some remakes. I love the new Footloose. I just liked the actors better in the new one. While I loved Kevin Bacon in the original the other actors were okay but not wow for me.

    I didn’t like the Superman remake but it was a good movie.

    I am waiting on a TV remake to happen soon. Boy Meets World which is still a great show to watch in reruns is being remade. The new show is Girl Meets World. Most of the former cast is back. In the remake two of the original kids who are now married with children. If it is as good as the original it will be awesome!

    Have a great day everyone!

  • catslady says:

    Normally if I liked the original I’m not a big fan of remakes. Sometimes they are so different, I think it just ought to be another total movie – thinking of Total Recall. Sometimes I think it’s because they just can’t come up with anything original. But I guess if they are going for the younger generation that never saw it in the first place, it may be worth it. I do like that the extra effects are a lot better today. And darker is okay with me too.

    • I do think better technology is at least a small factor in sci-fi movies especially. I bet George Lucas was like a kid in a candy store while doing the newest trilogy of Star Wars movies, sometimes to their detriment.

  • Minna says:

    Well, it depends on the remake. I certainly liked seeing Robert Downey Jr. in the Sherlock Holmes movies. And speaking of Gone With The Wind… Does anyone remember the book and the miniseries Scarlett which was about what happened to Scarlett and Rhett after Gone With The Wind? I really wish I wouldn’t have made the mistake of watching that one.

    One TV remake I’d like to see, but only if they do it well and pick actors who have the right chemistry between them: Dempsey and Makepeace. I still like the original one, but I think it has suffered a bit in the hands of time. But the chemistry is still there. Apparently, the actors Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber fell in love while making the series and are married to this day.

  • I’ve seen news that Romancing the Stone and Dirty Dancing may be remade. Those are two where my gut reaction to remakes is no, no, no. I think sometimes the thinking is that if they remake these stories in a modern setting, it’ll bring them to a new generation. But I think they have to tread lightly and make sure they do it right if at all, not just throw something together.