Friday, August 03, 2007

Unremakeable. That's What You Are

Two days ago I pointed you to Windmill's "31 Days of Spielberg" festivities. Here's another interesting ongoing project to keep an eye on (though I'm not sure how long term this one is): This Distracted Globe is currently (re)cycling through remakes and has already covered Insomnia, The Truth About Charlie, Red Dragon and King Kong among others...

Don’t remake good movies. Remake bad ones
-John Huston
Questions in Need of Comments:
Which sloppy seconds movie do you love most?
If you agree that bad films should be reworked, what terrible movie do you hope to see reborn in a new body?

20 comments:

viennarain said...

I just read your second question and immediately thought of Gigli. Not that I would want to see it remade, but it definitely wasn't done right the first time around.

J.D. said...

I freaking love Jackson's King Kong, but nothing beats the 1933 original, but it fought.

Joe Valdez said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Nathaniel!

Best remake: the John Carpenter version of The Thing. Philip Kaufman's take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a classic, but Carpenter took a movie that was pretty good the first time around and made a masterpiece.

Movie begging to be remade: The Howling.

Marius said...

Catwoman(2004). Halle looked amazing, but the movie sucked.

Anderson said...

I always thought that FINAL DESTINATION had a great idea (death chasing the ones who cheated her) that it was executed in a stupid way. Tell this story Terry Gilliam style!!

Kurtis11 said...

This is an excellent topic. I thought Peter Jackson's "Kong" was wonderful, albeit too long. I love that he remade the film that made him want to be a director in the first place. Some movies can stand beside their remakes with pride. I personally loved Zack Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead," however I haven't seen the original, so I have no basis for comparison. I think many will agree that "Psycho" was the most pointless remake ever. As for a bad movie that should be remade, I'm casting my vote for "Alexander". And not a 17th re-working by Oliver Stone, either. New director, new star and a new approach. There's so much to work with there, and that film was a mess.

c.p. iñor said...

The Butterfly Effect could be good if done properly and with a good cast.

Anonymous said...

Best remake... in recent times I thought The Beat That My Heart Skipped was remarkable, so I'd pick that. I'm also a sucker for the 90s remake of Miracle on 34th Street.

What terrible movie should be reborn? Hmm... Going to have to let that one fester.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Oh, and - doh - The Departed was wonderful!

Rob

Colin said...

I would like an American remake of Battle Royale, placed in the right hands.

Deborah said...

Great remakes? Invasion of the Body Snatchers (remarkable because both movies were equally good), The Departed, the Maltese Falcon, and the Garland version of A Star Is Born.

My favorite candidates for remakes? Day of the Triffids, which has an awesome story but terribly cheesy special effects, and Damn Yankees, which has many fine things going for it, but is horribly stagebound and they cut out my favorite song (I Thought About the Game) because it was too dirty.

Dave said...

Jackson's "Kong" was simply terrible. The very definition of a bloated vanity project, almost completely needless and bringing nothing new or worthwhile to the table. No one stepped in and did anything about it prior to release because he was so hot off the LotR series, but the movie was seriously, inescapably awful. Let's get him to make another along the lines of "Heavenly Creatures", please.

I'd almost like to see a remake of "Midnight Madness", but I feel like it was almost too era-specific and it only plays as good as it does due to a sincerity that most filmmakers couldn't give that kind of material today.

"The Abominable Dr. Phibes" has real potential, as it bears much in common with some current horror trends but could class things up a little. Also, if someone were to do "Lady in a Cage" remade without modernizing it, it could be a great vehicle for any number of older actresses. Jessica Walter, for example.

KingRoper said...

I just watched John Carpenter's The Thing last night (perfect for a dark and stormy night) - that wins my vote for best remake.

The worst I can think of now is Godzilla - who decided to make him over as a giant iguana?

The one I'd like to see remade is A Chorus Line - there are many ways to make it work on film, but they screwed up everything.

Anonymous said...

THey should remake Repulsion, or at least revisit the idea. ALthough the movie is flawless.
Best remake? I like MAtch Point. Wasn't that remade from a Place in The Sun?
I feel bad for Bob Fosse. But Sweet Charity is not a good rendering of Nights of Cabiria.

Damian said...

Thanks for the SECOND shout-out, Nate! For an admitted Spielberg "non-disciple" you're being very helpful in my effort to create more converts. :)

I've also been following the remakes project at This Distracted Globe myself and have found it fascinating.

Anonymous said...

This is an admittedly strange choice, but I thought 'Six Days, Seven Night' could have been(like 'The Afican Queen') a terrific romantic comedy, but the filmmakers undermined the leads' considerable chemistry with silly and unnecessary plot devices. I'd like to see what a skilled director and screenwriter could do with it.

NATHANIEL R said...

vienna -i spared myself that one

to all: king kong gets worse and worse the further i get away from it. i'm siding with Dave Said here. ugh. so bloated and it never answers the whole "why?" question.

rob --agreed that beat that was very strong.

kurtis --yeah, too bad that BAZ's version of Alexander didn't pan out. one can only imagine...

damian --i know. but i'm a sucker for ambitious projects even if they're not ones I'd go for. I mean watching spielberg for an entire month? Ewwwww. so much treacle and manipulation. he's fine in small doses, mind you. ;)

kingroper --EXCELLENT idea. a chorus line. it is and will always be a stage piece but yes, a strong directorial version could make it interesting. the 85 version is such a disappointment. They couldn't even get the basic theme right.

anonymous --glad to hear mention of six days seven nights... messy yes but Heche. goddamn. now there is someone who shoulda had a much bigger career. such great and unique screen presence.

Damian said...

Well, thanks, Nate. I appreciate it. :)

Also, it's not that I am begging or anything like that--I always feel a little awkward asking someone for this--but if at any point in time you'd be interested in adding me to your blogroll then I'd be most flattered.

Understand, of course, that I am just asking you, I am not expecting it. You are certainly under no obligation to do so. In fact, I always feel that I have to earn a place in someone sidebar of links. So, if you happen to feel that I have, I'd be honored to get included.

Anonymous said...

Easy. Dune. Not that I didn't like Lynch's version - it's my Xanadu - but given 20+ years of cinema tech breakthroughs, it could use a retelling.

Anonymous said...

On the spielbergfilms.com website, Damian (31 Days of Spielberg)is being accused of plagiarizing. Here's the link:

http://www.spielbergfilms.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=3