Are remakes like King Kong necessary?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Sean Richardson, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Stunt Coordinator

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    Am I the only one who thinks it's funny reading people say "Peter Jackson had nothing to do with the original 'King Kong' -- let's hear Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen talk about it instead!!"?

    I mean, I would love to hear Harryhausen talk about it, and I'm sure he will, but he's going to be talking as an informed fan just like Jackson will be. Both Rays were about 13 when the original 'Kong' came out.
     
  2. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    How old was Jackson when KONG came out...?
     
  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Joe Karlosi-

    The point is, Harryhausen loved "King Kong," but did NOT actually have anything to do the production of that film.

    Peter Jackson is the biggest King Kong fan that there is, and his ability to dispense factoids about the making of this film are most likely incomparable.

    I was watching the webdocs over at the new King Kong film site, and Jackson takes the time to show us some of the original sculptures for the 1933 film and his love for them is obvious.

    Someone earlier mentioned the comparison to Scorsese, and I would say that is an apt comparison with regards to commentaries by people who admire other filmmakers' works. For the Powell & Pressberger films, Scorsese 's comments are more valuable to me because he talks about all kinds of things that I doubt Powell on his own would've thought to discuss.

    Personally, I also like the Roger Ebert commentaries on Casablanca, Citizen Kane and, particularly, Dark City.

    Also, one of my all time favorite commentaries is on the DVD for Creature From the Black Lagoon, which is another "die-hard" fan talking widely and enthusiastically about the film.

    Based on evidence I see, I cannot imagine of a bigger fan, with more information and data than Jackson when it comes to the 1933 King Kong.

    If you want to start a "Peter Jackson is over-rated" thread over in the "after hours" or "movie" areas, go for it.
     
  4. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    If Peter Jackson is the biggest fan of the 1933 KING KONG, you'd think he wouldn't do a second needless remake. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Stunt Coordinator

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    So, if Jackson's re-make had never happened, but this disc was announced exactly as is when it was, you wouldn't have a problem with Jackson talking about the original 'King Kong'?
     
  6. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Joe,

    What if that remake draws attention to the original for a new generation of people?

    I know that seeing the other remake of King Kong (As bad as it is, as a child, I loved it.) made me want to see the original.
     
  7. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I was only 14 when it came out, but even then I knew it stank and I was shrinking down in my seat with embarrassment!
     
  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Not just the young. I'm sure there are many folks from the age 30-60 that grew up watching BEN HUR yet they won't bother watching the original since (at the time) it was "high tech".

    It would be a lot easier getting a 10 year old to watch the silent BEN HUR than an adult. I think the same would be true with the original KONG.
     
  9. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    No, the 1959 BEN HUR is already considered the multi-award winning "best picture" and definitive version. Not imperative to see the warmup act in this case for me, personally. Much like the 1933 KONG is already definitive and really needs no other.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Though I consider the 1959 Ben Hur to be an all-time classic, I can't wait to screen the silent original film. The clips on the documentary on the current Ben Hur DVD look fascinating...and quite evolved for a film of its day.
     
  11. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    The thing is, Michael thinks I won't watch silent films at all, which is totally untrue. However, there are young kids ("kids"? hell, some are in their 20's) who won't watch black and white at all, let alone silent.
     
  12. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I find it interesting that Joe Karlosi finds no value in the upcoming remake of King Kong and even considers it a "needless remake" and yet then goes on to say that William Wyler's remake of Ben-Hur is the "definitive version".

    It is interesting because Niblo's original Ben-Hur was and continues to be considered one of the greatest films ever made - certainly of its generation and considering the technical limitations of that era.

    Just as I appreciate Wyler's remake of Ben-Hur I will also look forward to Jackson's remake of King Kong, and perhaps Joe may want to withhold his judgment of it until it comes out.

    Now how about we get back on to the topic of the DVDs, and not on a film that hasn’t even come out yet let alone available on DVD. [​IMG]
     
  13. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I have no idea Nils, whether or not Peter Jackson's KONG re-re-make is going to be good or bad; it may very well turn out to be excellent -- but that's not my point anyway. We've had two versions and a third is unnecessary. The only thing I'm "judging" is the necessity of this new remake, not the "quality".

    As for BEN HUR -- Hollywood was still able to make great remakes back in 1959, and IMO the silent films always lacked something a little and so I could more easily understand those being revamped for sound. But how many remakes of the past 20 years topped their originals? Hey, maybe the 2005 KONG will; we'll have to wait and see how Jackson's film turns out. Good, bad, or indifferent, I don't think we need it.
     
  14. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Thank God that isn't the attitude the makers of the third version of the Maltese Falcon (the one that came out in 1941) took. [​IMG]
     
  15. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Stunt Coordinator

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    Using that logic, why isn't the 1970's version the definitive classic to the younger generation? If all they can judge a movie by is color vs. b&w, wouldn't they even prefer 'King Kong vs. Godzilla' to the original? You need to have a little more faith. There are people who won't watch black and white, sure, but it's not something you should limit to "kids"; like everything else, it's a wide range of people. You seem to hold this against Jackson too, like he should have so much respect for the original that he refuses to re-make it even though there are millions of people who, hating black and white, refuse to watch it and will thus never have an experience that he loved having.
     
  16. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    I haven't yet slogged through all 6 pages of this thread, but page 1 says Ben Hur is being remastered from a 2.55:1 source. What does this mean? The movie is famous for being shot in 2.76:1. Any clarifications?

    Also, calling the 1925 Ben Hur a warmup act doesn't really apply here, since the two films were created by different directors with different visions. The 1932 Scarface sure as hell wasn't a warmup for the 1983 version.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  17. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    While your definition of "topped" is likely rather subjective, without much thought I can come up with about forty remakes made over the last twenty years of which many if not most have received more critical acclaim then the originals, and those that may not have received as much praise as the originals are still very good films that offer a real value to fans and I'm sure they are grateful that they were made:
    • Man on Fire
    • The Merchant of Venice
    • Dawn of the Dead
    • Freaky Friday
    • The Ring
    • Insomnia
    • Red Dragon
    • Zatôichi
    • The Happiness of the Katakuris
    • Ocean's Eleven
    • The Pledge
    • Traffic
    • The End of the Affair
    • An Ideal Husband
    • Meet the Parents
    • Hamlet (Branaugh's amazing masterpiece)
    • Richard III
    • The Lion King
    • Heat
    • Twelve Monkeys
    • The Fugitive
    • Il Postino
    • Shadowlands
    • No Way Out
    • Scent of a Woman
    • Cape Fear
    • Henry V
    • The Fly
    • Cyrano de Bergerac
    • Twelfth Night
    • Enchanted April
    • Monsieur Hire
    • Emma
    • Sense and Sensibility
    • Much Ado About Nothing
    • Pride and Prejudice
    If you look on IMDB's Top 250, or AFI's Top 100 lists you'll see plenty of remakes on those lists. In fact I suppose you could even say the Jackson’s LOTR trilogy is also a remake of Ralph Bakshi’s animated film. [​IMG]

    It is interesting that some people feel so strongly against film remakes, but do not share the same dislike for theatrical remakes. After all, most plays in theater houses around the world are remakes and in fact most of the time they use identical scripts. Theatrical productions are far, far more limited in how a director can re-tell a story, where as in film the canvas is almost unlimited especially as film technologies continue to advance.

    No matter how much I love an original piece of work, I do my best not to keep it from allowing me to enjoy its remake on its own merits, and perhaps you should consider doing the same. After all, if it weren’t for remakes the vast library of masterfully made films would be considerably smaller – and you wouldn’t have been able to enjoy watching Wyler’s Ben-Hur.

    BTW: Joe, you might be interested to know that until just a few months ago, Wyler's remake for which you claim is the "definitive version" was not one of the +350 films selected and preserved by the NFPF (National Film Preservation Foundation), but Niblo's original Ben-Hur was selected about ten years ago. The good news is that the '59 remake finally did get registered just last December. [​IMG]
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Guys,
    If we're going to continue this discussion about remakes versus original films then I'm going to extract some of the posts from this thread and place them in another thread in Movies where such a discussion should take place.






    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    edited
     
  20. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Now when the 2008 version gets registered, we'll talk [​IMG]
     

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