onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
I am on record in several places as giving movie remakes the hairy eyeball. Whenever I hear that some beloved but less than 15-years-old movie is being remade, I reach for my revolver weep for the lack of creative mojo that privileges remakes and sequels over new stories, or at least narratives with the serial numbers filed off and repainted.

The current worst offender in this regard is the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, which is coming out in 2012, a mere 10 years after Spider-Man (yes, I know it's called a "re-boot" rather than a remake and it uses a different villain, but retelling the origin story? Please), for no apparent reason other than to rake in loose cash from people who can't deal with Netflix or the local video store.

That said, there are (1) good reasons to remake a movie and (2) remakes/reboots that don't stink.

  1. "Good" reasons to remake a film include:
    • "Doing it right." The Maltese Falcon we all know and love? Had been made twice before. The classic version sticks pretty close to the book.
    • Telling the story free of censorship issues. Yes, I know that hidden subtext makes a work more interesting, but it's not really necessary anymore.
    • Taking a movie problematic for various social issues and scripting it so that it, um, isn't. (This doesn't actually happen too often.)
    • A couple of generations have passed since the last version. This requires that:
      • The film in question is not ICONIC. There is no acceptable reason to remake certain movies.
      • The source material for the film in question retains enough interest on its own. ("Jaaaaaane...!")
      • The film in question has already been remade and possibly parodied as well, but not recently. Captain Blood might be remade. The Three Musketeers has been in continuous remake since 1903.
      • The earlier version is a silent but has some relevance.
      I don't by this mean either "but funny costumes to the young" or "no recognizable names."
  2. Having mentioned The Three Musketeers: I don't think I've ever seen a bad version (I haven't seen the current one only because it hasn't opened yet).  (Just because the modern sensibility is heavy-handedness does not mean that the occasional light touch doesn't happen.)
    • A Fistful of Dollars.
    • Batman Begins/The Dark Knight.
    • The current Jane Eyre, oddly enough.
    • The 1995 Pride and Prejudice. (There's been one since. If they must film English literature, couldn't someone untangle Wuthering Heights? Depressing though it is?)
    • The Thing. Which seems to be un-ruin-able.
As usual, feel free to add your own items to either list, or dispute mine.  I'm not proud.  
kittenbiscuits: (roaring twenties)
[personal profile] kittenbiscuits
I hate to make two posts in one day, but the post about All the King's Men brought up the topic of remakes.more here... )

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