I really wish that Hollywood would heed the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Agreed. Especially when they tamper with films made outside of the Hollywood system like Straw Dogs
and the upcoming Dawn of the Dead
The key to a good remake (which are few and far between) is a talented Director who makes the film his/her own.
Examples of IMO good remakes are: (Already mentioned or just off the top of my head)
Ben-Hur ‘59& The Maltese Falcon ‘41
are both better than the originals.
Capenter's The Thing
- Back when Carpenter had talent
Conenberg's The Fly
Both are as good as the originals
Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Scorsese's Cape Fear
John Sturges Magnificent Seven
Sergio Leone's Fistful of Dollars
All very good films but not as great as the originals
Unfortunately for every good remake I could name dozens of Average/Unnecessary to downright lousy ones such as Haunting, Godzilla, Psycho, Planet of the Apes, Island of Dr Moreau, Get Carter, House on Haunted Hill, Rollerball, Vanishing, Diabolique, Musketeer, Man in the Iron Mask, Time Machine, Jackal, 3 Musketeers ’93, Point of No Return, Mighty Joe Young, City of Angels, Village of the Damned, Body Snatchers ’93, Mummy’99, Hollow Man, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Getaway, Desperate Hours, DOA, Unfaithfully Yours, Night of the Living Dead ’90, Last Man Standing, Always, Dracula ’79, A Perfect Murder, Phantom of the Opera ’89, King Kong ’76, etc, etc.
As for the boatload of upcoming Hollywood remakes on the horizon:
I’m very interested in Solaris
– I’m not as high on Soderberg as others on this board but I do consider him a talented Director.
The Truth About Charlie
bothers me. Demme is a great director but casting the zombie-like Mark Wahlberg in the Cary Grant role was a big mistake IMO.
I don’t know what to think of Welcome to Collinwood
– a remake of the classic Big Deal on Madonna Street
I have reservations about Red Dragon
with Ratner as the Director. It does have a stellar cast though.
Reservations aside I obviously will not pass judgment until I’ve seen the above films for myself
With these along with many more in the works it looks like Hollywood is entering a major remake period. I’m not totally against remakes (Hollywood has always done it) but I wish the powers that be would devote more time & energy into original works.