Movie Remakes - Best and Worst - Part I
If your anything like me you will have noticed the huge amount of remakes in the last few years and have become annoyed with Hollywood for not thinking of their own ideas. I have thought about this for some time now and I must say it has annoyed me but they keep making them! For me the most annoying things in movies today are remakes, spoofs, and Kristen Stewart acting. There are more, but they don’t so much annoy me as much as they disappoint me.
I’m sure you have all thought this, and wondered if there is a unique thought in any writer or producer’s head in Hollywood anymore. With all the remakes being so close together in the last 10 years there’s no telling if we will ever get a new idea! While, the Japanese and Chinese are the only people that are actually coming up with good original story telling, movie producers are turning to books and adapting them instead. It really is quite sad to see this happen, and seems lazy to be honest. Why not actually hire a bunch of highly acclaimed book writers to write your movies dummies!
This has been my task to research and find out all that I could about remakes and why they were made. But I have found that remakes are not a new thing! Yeah that’s right, people have been stealing ideas as far back as the 1930’s! I know it’s hard to believe and I hope that this list does nothing more than show you that Hollywood is filled with criminals. Thieving and pilfering other people’s hard work. This will be in several parts, and I will discuss 6 films at a time here and show you their remade counterpart. And I always thought Hollywood was a trustworthy place to be as well. Pah!
The Departed (Original name: Infernal Affairs- 2002 Remake was made in 2006 by Martin Scorsese)
Originally directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mark, Infernal Affairs is very close to the remake, where a police officer infiltrates the triads and a police officer secretly working for the same gang. This movie was a huge critical success in China and was followed by a prequel and a sequel. Now that’s epic! A prequel and a sequel? Not many movies get that kind of attention, but this story was quite special. Miramax, a blog of this company coming soon, acquired the rights to the US version and almost quietly released it in a few theatres. It wasn’t until Marty Scorsese came along and remade the movie, executively produced by Brad Pitt, The Departed was born.
Starring an allstar cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone and Alec Baldwin. The movie went on to make $ 289 million and won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Wahlberg). Not bad huh?I wish I could say that the rest of the remakes on this list were as critically accepted as this But it’s all downhill from here I’m afraid. This is possibly the most successful movie remake of all time, due to revenue, reception and critical response. I couldn't find any other remakes that have earned Best Picture or Best Adaptation. But I will let you be the judge of what is good or bad, and I will give my recommendations.
Scarface (Originally made in 1932 by Howard Hawks, and remade in 1983 by Brian DePalma)
Scarface has become legendary by Al Pacino, a review of which you can find at www.mikeandrustys.com
But before we said hello to Al’s little friend, wait, that really didn’t sound right. Ah nevermind. There was an original version very different to that of the over the top 80’s classic. If you see a trailer for both movies you will notice a huge difference. And sadly nowadays I’m not sure how many people can sit through an old movie when we are so used to digital instead of Reel to Reel, HD instead of black and white and CGI instead of live action stunts. The original was made by the great Howard Hawks, a man that will feature a few times on these lists.
Scarface the remake went on to make $65 million at the box office and was no competition to the original. Mostly due to it being a different time in cinema. The remake wasn’t well received at the time of release though. Many people actually walking out of the theatre due to the violence, bad language, sexism, drug use and racial stereotypes it portrayed. Oh how those idiots were wrong, and it seems that people have eaten their own words over the years and changed their minds. Scarface turned out to be the most popular and financially successful movie of Al Pacino’s career. For better or for worse, the role of political prisoner from Cuba Tony Montana, will be what Al is remembered for the rest of his life. That can’t be a bad thing can it?
This movie is in my top 100, very close to top 10. I highly recommend this.
The Fly (Originally made in 1958 and remade in 1986 by David Cronenberg)
When I first saw the fly I was in complete awe of this. But I honestly had no idea it was a remake. It was so well made and gruesome that it didn’t even cross my mind that a movie like this was remade. I suppose when I saw it I was too young to realise that each director puts their own spin on a movie and it can often be better than the original.
The Fly remake went on to make $60 million dollars at the box office. A modest success I think you will find. But it did come out in a time when movies like Top Gun, Platoon, Aliens, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Stand by Me came out so it had some pretty stiff competition . Directed by David Cronenberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, The Fly has become so iconic and is easily the best movie that all involved has produced. Ever! I would highly recommend watching this and is in my top 100 movies of all time. I would say in the top 25 definitely, and after a small while, I hope to be able to compile my top 100 movie super feature very soon.
Flipper (Originally made 1963 and remade in 1996)
Flipper was a 1996 movie mostly seen by kids born in the 80’s, and was a financial flop at the box office. The film actually lost $5 million and starred Paul Hogan and an early performance by Elijah Woods. It shows a strange dichotomy of success seeing as this movie lost money with Paul Hogan, a man that made an unbelievable $328 million for the 1986 hit film Crocodile Dundee and it’s sequel that made over $239 million. He starred in a few movies after that but failed to capture the same success as Dundee. And we have Elijah Woods starring in one of his first movies that tanked, to later go on to star in Lord of the Rings Trilogy and bagging nearly $3 billion in box office gross.
They inevitably made a 3rd Crocodile Dundee in the series in 2001 that I actually didn’t know about until recently! Needless to say it was also a flop, and Paul Hogan has since given up. He has done a couple more since Crocodile Dundee 3, but has anyone heard of the Paul Hogan movie Charlie and Boots? Moving on..
The original Flipper, based on a very intelligent dolphin, is worth a watch at only 88 minutes. It is good Sunday afternoon viewing for all the family.
Cape Fear (Originally made in 1962, remade in 1991)
Martin Scorsese remade this 1962 movie originally starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. The remake was made with Robert DeNiro and was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actor. In this movie, DeNro famously spent over $5,000 getting his teeth grind down for the role as Max Cady, all within his method acting.
This movie also stars Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, two of the vey few that have starred in the remake and original movie. I would recommend the remake more than the original, mostly due to DeNiro’s take on the role, but I would also say watch both to get the full experience if you love movies the same way we do. If not, then you could miss this one as it isn’t a Scorsese/ DeNiro best by any means. It is still good though.
Apparently during the making of this movie, Steven Spielberg was going to make it but chose not to due to the violence and traded it for Schindler's List. Now that's what I call a swap!
The Italian Job (Originally made in 1969 and remade in 2003)
This is a movie that I have to say that the original was far superior to the remake. The original starred the excellent Michael Caine, and the remake was made with the not so excellent Mark Wahlberg. Even though in this same feature he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Departed, he is not a good actor. I was surprised by his performance in that movie, and I haven’t seen anything like that since. It is obviously a testament to great directing by Marty Scorsese.
The original Italian Job was so well made and is utterly iconic, that it was only a matter of time that it was remade. The original had style, class and wit, with a sensational 60’s soundtrack. And the movie was dominated by Caine as a clever thief that knew just what to say, and commanded every scene he was in. It took an ensemble cast of Mark Wahlberg, Seth Green, Charlize theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham and Donald Sutherland to screw it up, they still managed to double their money at the box office but was still very modest.
I would say stay away from this one, and enjoy the original. You can’t remake style like that, and with one of the biggest relaunch commercials for a product I have ever seen, the return of the Mini, this remake was just one giant commercial.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks remakes. Next week, we have more and some may even shock you that they were remakes. Each week I will bring you all 6 movies that have been remade, and some that were remade twice. I will also bring you the most remade movie of all time. Stay tuned.
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