A lot of people whine and complain about the lack of originality in Hollywood these days. Reviewers and bloggers and Twitterers are all in a twist over the number of sequels and remakes and reboots and any other type of Hollywood-style mulligan you can name that are constantly hitting theaters. For the most part this is a valid concern, and one that definitely warrants reviewing or blogging or tweeting about. But on occasion a remake is actually better than it’s original.
One of the most successful heist movies in moviedom, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven is an entertaining caper featuring some wildly popular actors, a witty script and good times had by all. The original Ocean’s 11 starred Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, and was essentially just a movie about how cool Ol’ Blue Eyes and his buddies were. And while we’re not saying that the Chairman isn’t a swingin’ hepcat, it’s just that the 2001 movie features all those cool gadgets, Soderbergh-style dialogue, and awesome accents.
Unless you are a hard-core John Wayne fan, it’s pretty much a given that the Cohen Brothers’ adaptation of Charle Portis’ novel is superior. Where the original was, like all his other movies, pretty much just a tribute to how awesome the Duke was, the Cohen Bros stuck more closely to the source material, with the focus of the story staying fixed on young Mattie Ross. This remake manages to toe the line between lighthearted banter (some of the most enjoyable in cinema history, if you ask us) and the darkness inherent in a story of a 14 year old girl hunting down her father’s murderer. Plus they replaced the Duke with the Dude, a choice that may have surprised some, but impressed all.
It’s probably even more difficult for young viewers to believe that Batman once sported rubber nipples and Fred Flinstoned down the back of a dinosaur than it is for the rest of us to forget. The caped crusader has been put into film more times than Sherlock Holmes, so many of us simply his movies out when thinking about remakes. But we doubt many people could argue for this over this without a trace of irony. And that’s just the most recent take on the character before Chris Nolan got the rights. We almost hesitate to even bring up how the actual original Batman used to get rid of ticking time bombs.
This is another one we expect people to proclaim as an unfair call, but let’s face it, Peter Jackson’s 2005 take on the classic monster feature is better than original. That doesn’t mean the original isn’t a classic, or isn’t a remarkable piece of history. But, be honest, do you really want a stop motion stuffed animal fight with stop motion plush dinosaurs, or have you just forgotten how jaw-breakingly awesome this scene was? That’s what we thought.
The classic Technicolor fever dream we’re all familiar with is actually just the most recent of a string of many attempts to do the merry old land of Oz justice on film. This was much lighter on the confusing political subplots and much heavier on the singing and the bright color and the talking than the 1925 silent adaptation. Plus the 1925 version had a bunch of weird sexual aspects, which we really can do without.
Matt knows quality! He once demonstrated the superiority of Five Badass Kids’ Shows.–>