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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MOVIE REMAKES: AN IMPROVEMENT OR SHAMELESS RIP-OFF?

By Jim McAllister

I am going to be up front with my feelings about movie re-makes. In most cases I think they are a rip-off trying to cash in on a story that somebody else took a career and financial risk on in the past and had it pay off. Usually the re-makes are miscast with the current "flavor of the month" star banking on a proven story line to make a buck. Please notice that I said this happens "in most cases" but not always; some re-makes are actually pretty good. Many think that re-makes are a current phenomenon since Hollywood movie attendance is slipping every year and they are trying to get something into the theaters that works and the easiest way is to copy a winner. This is not so as re-makes have been around since sound movies were introduced in 1927. It is simply a case of the same philosophy being used over and over again. After all, isn’t the object to turn a profit? Let’s make THE MALTESE FALCON three times (1931, 1936, 1941) since Dashiell Hammett is hot and see what happens! (The third version was by far the best, a very successful re-make)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jim,
It's amazing that remakes are still being made. There are oodles of story lines out there. The desire to make an easy buck rules.
NEM

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Allen J. Duffis said...

Hi Jim,

I know what you mean by remakes. Why?

Has any one of 3 remakes ever topped Barbara Stanwycks 1948 outing in "Sorry Wrong Number?" Or for that matter, her petrformance in 1944's "Double Indemnity?" Hell no!

Also, how about 1950's "Winchester 73?" as compared to a lame TV remake in 1967.

I might also add that this newest remake of "King Kong" was strictly for the young "Let's see something explode or crash and explode..." crowd.

In the original, I actually felt someting very deep for that creature. I actually cried when he perished. Not this time!

In fact, the only remake I have seen of recent years that was a credible equal to the original was the remake of Edmond O'Brian's 1950 "DOA, remade in 1988 with Dennis Quaid.

Allen

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!

I saw the remake of "King Kong". I would have enjoyed it if the jungle scenes hadn't ran sooooooooo long! I felt as if I was watching a football game between humans and creatures without any break for commercials. It actually made me appreciate commercials and long for one during this movie!

I prefer the original version because I loved the King Kong's eyes. The director managed to capture expression in King Kong's eyes back then, too! By looking into those eyes we could feel the fear and rage.

I think it is important to note here that as a mom of teenagers I can share with you about my concerns regarding the "non fear factor" teens seem to embrace nowadays! They find themselves laughing at times during horror movies at things we found ourselves (at their age) with eyes wide open shoving in the popcorn because of the building suspense!

There was a M.A.S.H. episode when Col. Potter asked a young guard, "Are you afraid, son"! The boy answered, "No, sir"! Col. Potter replied, "If you were smart, you would be afraid"! It's unsettling to think about what actually scares our kids now!

Best wishes,

Cindy