1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Remaking Classic Films

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Jun 24, 2008.

    Today I gave in to something which I rarely do. I watched the remake of a classic.

    A classic is a classic for reasons that are sometimes difficult to quantify, but one thing I have always held as an axiom is that a classic is not to be messed with. You don’t touch The Wizard of Oz; you don’t even think about re-filming The African Queen (that’s almost blasphemous!)

    In this case the remake was Charlotte’s Web. It was great! I had no wish to enjoy it, but I did.

    How do you feel about the remaking of classic films? :rolleyes:
     
  2. Aurora_Black
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    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

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    I personally don't like it when they remake classics, firstly because they try to spice it up with computer graphics or random violence :mad:.

    A classic is classic for a reason, and thats because it grabbed the hearts and minds of the audience at that time period with purely symbolic actors and ramshackle sets.

    It feels like taking a masterpiece of art like "The Last Supper" and making it 3D with the Apostles holding M16s... its ridiculous.
     
  3. JanesLife
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    JanesLife Member

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    I feel that if a movie was amazing the first time around, there is no point in doing a remake, unless a lot of creative license is taken. I always get so upset at remakes...

    It would be unthinkable to re-write a classic novel (imagine, Pride and Prejudice or The Picture of Dorian Gray re-written ! ), so why should it be any different for a movie?
     
  4. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wrey...WREY!!!! I absolutly LOVE the African Queen...when I was a little girl, my granny and I would watch it every time it came on TV...:D One of many special memories I have of her from my childhood. (I need to call her, it has been a couple of days!)


    As far as your question....I say let the classics remain just that...an old classic...there is nothing like seeing a Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn movie....no new actor could ever do any of their movies justice....the chemistry would be all wrong..;) Did I mention I love her!!!
     
  5. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Honestly, for the most part I'm resistant to re-makes of any kind. The original Goodbye, Mr Chips, Sabrina, The Importance of Being Ernest... they trump all over the remakes because the originals are so firmly entrenched in my mind as, I suppose, definitive. (For lack of a better way of putting it).

    Of course, you always have your exceptions (though none come to mind just yet :)).

    The worst examples though, for me, is when remakes are carbon copy versions of original films that were not in English... A film like Infernal Affairs, for example - Martin Scorcese's The Departed was exactly that, a carbon copy, and as such I feel undeserving of the accolades it gets... :mad:
     
  6. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    I beg to differ on that Wizard of Oz point. It's been remade in about a thousand different ways and angles- and it wasn't even that great to begin with.

    But I do get your point. Still, I think it can be very fun to see something old get redone by the people of another generation. Just imagine Casablanca with a new cast and director- it's already bound to be different because of that. The changes from one rendition to the next could show the changes of the real world since then, and it could overall be a cool thing to watch.
     
  7. Aurora_Black
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    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

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    *Gasp!*, I thought The Departed was a great film, with pretty solid actors and the plot twist at the end was well done. But again they added random sex/violence to get attention o_O

    I like the whole "circular rat-chase" aura it gives off as everyone is trying to find everyone :D
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Of course you love it! :D It is one of the five BEST movies which will ever be made by our species! Notice that my tense in that sentence is future progressive (or is that future perfective?).

    Anyway, I will suffer no arguements to that fact.
     
  9. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Infernal Affairs was superior, but then I do have a bias cos I'd take Leung Chiu Wai over Leonardo Di Caprio any day.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Whenever you set out to do a remake of a classic movie, you are setting the bar very high. The odds are accordingly stacked against you.

    You must have a good reason for attempting the remake. The remake of Psycho in 1998 was nearly a frame by frame reshoot of Hitchcock's original classic, so how could the director hope to succeed? And fail miserably it did.

    The 1933 film King Kong was an amazing piece of cinematography, but the film technology of the time was very limited, and the original is grainy and jerky, and the lighting is not consistent. The 1976 remake addressed the technical improvements needed, but in trying to modernize the story, they lost much of its charm. But the 2005 remake by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson managed to bring modern cinematographic quality while preserving the early twentieth century mood of the original. That version stands out as one of the more successful remakes in movie history.

    Technical improvements draw people to the box office, but excellence in writing is much harder to recapture.
     
  11. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    I personally don't like the ideas of remaking classics. Granted, Peter Jackson's King Kong was really good, there isn't a necessity for remakes. Just telling the same story over again, or completely ignoring the last story and just using the title. Kind of like the remake of Dawn of the Dead. It would have been a great zombie movie, if it wasn't called Dawn of the Dead because the original is an irreplaceable part of zombie film history.
     
  12. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    don't mind remakes. Nobody complains when someone restages a play in the West End. The problem is that movies are seen numerous times and imbed themselves in peoples' psyches.

    However, I'm always interested to see if a filmmaker can improve or equal an old classic with modern techniques. Usually, they can't. But that doesn't mean the original is suddenly snuffed into insignificance. Does anybody hate Get Carter just because it was badly remade by Sylvester Stallone? Of course not.

    The only issue I have is when future generations watch the remakes FIRST and then view the originals as old-fashioned "alternate versions". At the moment we're a generation that can see remakes for what they are... but one day kids are going to watch Tim Burton's Planet Of The Apes and then frustrate their elders when they insists the "first one is silly and the apes looks fake."

    That said, studios should remake more BAD movies. There are some fantastic concepts/premises in old movies that were just badly made. It would be great to see some of these great ideas given the treatment they deserved.
     
  13. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    This is an idea I should have thought of earlier!
    Now I just need to go through my MST3K archives, dig up a movie, and call my high-up contacts in Hollywood...
    I smell profits!

    Although it could be helpful to make some high-up contacts in Hollywood first...
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    MST3K ! ! ! When it was bad, it was aweful; when it was good, I would pee my pants laughing! :D
     
  15. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, wow...I love MST 3K....:D

    I loved Crow T. Robot....too cute. :p
     
  16. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The remake of the Italian Job was a blasphemous travesty of the highest order...
     
  17. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    shouldn't be done.
    How can anyone think that Dr. Doolittle with Rex Harris could possibly be done better by any actor today.

    Yours mine and ours with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball will never be better.

    I keep hearing how the movies and TV shows were lame back then but then some director decides to re do them and suddenly they are hip again.
    If they are lame then come up with a story that is new and fresh not a rerun.
    Kathrine Hepburn cannot be outdone by the lady from Lethal weapon.
    They are both good but should not try to play each others parts.
     
  18. MountainBiker
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    MountainBiker Member

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    Older is better!

    I don't like re-makes. There are a few reasons: For one, I don't consider Hollywood's movie making ability to be very good nowadays. Hollywood used to be (like in the 1950s and '60s) very capable of making genuinely good and sometimes great movies. Nowadays, Hollywood depends far too much on 'Special Effects' rather than the plot, (à la Alfred Hitchcock) to make a winning movie. :( When it comes to westerns, I always prefer the older movies. The characters looked appropriate for the time period. In modern movies, the actors are in much too good of a physical condition, and it's just not realistic. Nothing like a low-definition screen full of 'regular guys' to make me feel like it's the real deal. :)

    Take, for example, the just released re-make of "Get Smart". I know this isn't a re-make of a movie, but I'm going to use what Hollywood does to make my point. I used to watch the TV show with my dad and the show was very very funny. I have read the reviews, and basically, the bottom line is that the sly wit and humor that the TV show was famous for is totally missing in the movie. Again, Special Effects are used to spice up this action movie, and Agent 86 isn't 'dumb', he's actually smart this time. Not good. Steve Carell is a gifted actor, but even he couldn't save this movie. There is such a thing as the 'chemistry' that existed between the original actors and actresses.

    I agree with Raven that Hollywood duds should be re-made, the only thing is that I think that a lot of those 'duds' have been made in the last 20 – 25 years or so. Some of these movies need a serious DO-OVER! To be fair, there have always been lousy movies, but the point is – sometimes doing a re-make works, but more often, it's just an excuse for Hollywood to make another movie because they think they can make a lot of money. Sometimes, Hollywood can improve on a movie, like "King Kong", but other times, they decide that they want to change the message or the tone of the movie, like "Cape Fear". (I liked the original.) I guess it just depends on whether or not the movie is bigger than the actors/actresses in it and can given a 'second life'. I suppose, as in the case of a movie like "Walking Tall", it is done to take one of yesteryear's popular movies and update it with current actors and settings, so people will be able to relate to it, but again, it's just to make money for Hollywood, not really to improve the movie fundamentally.
    I don't think there's always a definitive answer one way or the other. What I mean is – some movies are classics because of the actors/actresses in them, the director, the relevance to the time period, etc. and will never be improved upon. (Like "Rocky") Personally, I hope Hollywood NEVER re-makes "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" or "The Out-of-Towners" (with Jack Lemmon) All they would do is screw these two great movies up. If they must, then let them re-make "Easy Rider"... now there's a real classic!
     
  19. Marloy
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    Marloy Contributing Member

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    I enjoy the remaking of classics sometimes, but there are some that I agree, need to stay untouched.

    I think that a lot of Hollywood today is just running out of ideas. There has been a great lack in recent years of original scripts, and pretty soon, every storyline from the 40's, 50's etc. is going to be remade (that's an exaggeration).

    In cases of some, I love the remakes. They can shed new light on a stale story that may not have reached a peak when it was originally made, or even pay tribute. The new King Kong was phenomenal, and I felt that Peter Jackson did a wonderful job with it, and payed ode to the original, especially because he said the first always played a big part in his inspiration to be a filmmaker. Things like Ben-Hur (one of the classics of all time) was made again from a silent film, and went on to be one of the greatest films ever.

    When I don't like it is when the big Hollywood moguls do it to squeeze more money into their already thick wallet. It's violating the timelessness of a good film and using it for publicity, and to ham the picture up with millions of modern effects, making the audience forget there was a plot. Many of today's films do that, and will lack the ingenuity of the earlier works.

    When made right and with the right motives I'll be alright with it, but some even with the right motives just shouldn't be done, like said, The Wizard of Oz, and Citizen Caine, It's A Wonderful Life, or recent ones like LOTR, etc.
     

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