Opinion Battles Round 7
Every year we seem to get remakes, we do get a couple of good ones but we also get some of the worst films in modern times, this upcoming week we have just got a remake of Martyrs which nobody wanted to see but what do we think is the Worst Remake.
If you want to take part in the next Opinion Battles we are picking our Favourite Disney Animated (Non Pixar) film, to enter email firstname.lastname@example.org by 17th April 2016.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Evil Dead to me is the worst remake because to me what the original Evil Dead did was show how much you can make with such a limited budget, we also got to meet one of the most iconic characters in horror history in Ash Williams. With the remake we see a film with a massive budget of $30 Million and just seems to be a film set out trying to give us special effects to show how much people can get done on camera. I love the original Evil Dead trilogy as well as the television show leaves this film in the middle of nowhere.
Summer – Serendipitous Anachronisms
You want to learn how to make a movie? Watch Alfred Hitchcock. You want to make a movie? Never, and I repeat never, make a shot-for-shot remake of a Hitchcock film. Well that’s EXACTLY what Gus Van Sant did in 1999. Yes, a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho.
Why you may ask? Good question. Then to add insult to injury, he casts Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche.
So you would think, this is an opportunity to get creative and riff on the original film, right? Apparently, Van Sant’s definition of “creative riffing” is color film, oh wait, there are two changes, Norman Bates “servicing himself” while staring through the peep hole is no longer implied, and Anne Heche mutters and squints to communicate her character’s thoughts and prove she is a better actor than Janet Leigh. She’s not.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it makes for an uncreative movie. Sadly, replicating shots with lackluster talent does not include replicating tension, mood, or creative genius.
Perhaps this film is merely a “self-servicing” cinematic experiment. But frankly, there is no reason to waste your time watching it when the original film exists. And maybe that is the point, but why would anyone in their right mind sully their reputation and make the worst film of all-time to communicate that?
NO DOUBT, WORST REMAKE EVER! (and that includes Johnny Depp in his creepy dentures and super tiny gloves giving Diabetes to bratty children, because at least Tim Burton brought his unique visual lens to the story, Gus Van Sant brings nothing of cinematic value.)
Damien Riley – Riley Central
Some of us are old enough to remember the song, “The Candy Man” that
came from the musical “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971).
“Who can take tomorrow, dip it in a dream. Separate the sorrow and
collect up all the cream, the Candy Man,” As kids we watched this on
television as it appeared many times as a “Special.” If you are old
enough to remember what a “Special” was, you may agree with me on my
Johnny Depp starred in a remake of this classic film that basically
insults the original. Tim Burton afforded himself the opportunity to
misrepresent the original by stating it was based more closely to the
book by Roald Dahl. He alluded to the fact that the 1971 version was
more about Willy Wonka and less about Charlie (the child).
The 2005 remake (I’ll go ahead and call it that because it is that.)
lacks the innocence of the first. Willy Wonka is portrayed by Depp as
a selfish grownup who never exhibits any fun childlike qualities like
the 1971 Wonka. I watched the remake in 2005 in the theater with my
son, who was familiar with the original as we had played in many times
He did enjoy it but to this day he contends the original is his
favorite. There is one dwarf rather than the many in the original, the
music in the remake is without melody and the messages to children are
not as clear in the remake. Because it was such a beloved movie to me
as a child, and even to this day, I have chosen its remake to be my
pick for worst remake ever. You shouldn’t try to outdo perfection.
Emma – Emma Explains It All
The Wicker Man
Obviously there have been a lot of dumb remakes, but The Wicker Man does take the biscuit. Apart from generally being an insult to the original like any remake of a classic film is, it’s just NOT the type of movie that would ever fair well from an American reboot. The 1973 Wicker Man is iconic. It’s strange, old, unique. It’s about paganism and Britt Ekland dancing around naked. Who thought that idea would work in Hollywood? Especially with Nicolas ‘just give me the pay check and I’ll do anything’ Cage in the starring role. Now I love Cage but you know what I mean…
I’m not against remakes generally, I mean, what does it matter really. If you’re that bothered just don’t watch it. But in the case of The Wicker Man it really was such a pointless remake, undoubtedly doomed from the beginning. Can you imagine what Christopher Lee thought?! The only thing I’ll say for it is it’s absolutely effing hilarious but unfortunately – not supposed to be. Doesn’t Cage punch a woman in the face whilst dressed as a bear though? HA. I guess it gets points for that.
What’s the worst remake? That’s a really tough question as there are SO many!! I have to say that, for the most part, I avoid watching remakes as they piss me off. Occasionally you have a good one, like Dawn Of The Dead, but that’s very rare.
At first, I thought I better pick one that I’ve actually seen so I was going to go with A Nightmare On Elm Street. Atrocious remake of a horror classic! Or possibly Tim Burton’s Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Yuck. But I realized that I don’t necessarily have to have SEEN the remake this time in order to choose it. So I choose the most pointless remake of all time: Psycho.
WHY?! What on earth was the point of this shot-for-shot remake?? I just don’t get it. And neither did most everyone else judging by its reviews. So, I choose the Psycho remake even though I never saw it. I refuse to.
Paul – Return to the 80s
The Karate Kid
This was the remake that nobody was asking for. In Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s continuing quest to ram their kids down our throats, they were two among several producers of this 2010 movie, starring their son, Jaden Smith.
I am not opposed to remakes, in general. But, I think the reasons for a remake is to either modernize and improve the story, or there may be new beneficial technology that was not available when the original was made. This movie had neither reason to be remade.
The original Karate Kid was released in the summer of 1984, and starred Ralph Macchio as Daniel “Daniel-San” LaRusso, Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills, and Pat Morita as the iconic Mr. Miyagi. It is a timeless underdog story, as well as a fish-out-of-water story, as Daniel and his mother move from New Jersey to California. Daniel is bullied by Johnny Lawrence (played by resident ’80s bully, William Zabka) and his karate dojo. Daniel gets the help of the old, wise Mr. Miyagi, and takes on the bullies in a karate tournament. There is a great story here, as well as great acting (Morita was nominated for an Academy Award for his role), and most of all, great music. There are no elements that are out-dated in this movie, which baffles me as to why it needed to be remade.
The 2010 movie has the same basic theme, except the names and places were changed (to protect the superior, I assume). Instead of Daniel, we have Dre (Jaden Smith) and Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). This time, the protagonist and his mother move from Detroit to Beijing. Again, there is bullying by a karate dojo, and is settled in a karate tournament. If anybody was going to be a good choice for this movie, it would have been Jackie Chan. He does have that combination of action star and comedic chops that us ’80s kids are so fond of. But, even he could not pull it off. It is just a watered down version of the original.
I watched this movie once, and all it did was make me want to watch the original again.
Prudence – What About Movies
The 1981 Clash of the Titans was a big part of my childhood and it’s
probably the movie that first introduced me to the sense of epicness and
wonder brought about by large scale special effects. All these
fantastical creatures that I only read in books are brought to life
right in front of my very eyes! The Pegasus taming and the battle with
Medusa stay with me to this very day. Leterrier’s 2010 Clash of the
Titans however failed to bring the magic back. The effects were okay but
the narrative, I feel, could have been improved. The whole Io angle
threw me off the story. Andromeda turned out to be nothing but a pretty
prop. And sure Greek myths have arcane dialogue, but the arcane doesn’t
have to be wooden, it can and should be fun and fluid. And Sam
Worthington’s Perseus seems very robotic. I didn’t quite care whether
this demi-god hero survives his adventure. And that’s the worst thing
you can say about a “hero’s journey” type of tale. The only thing that
made me happy is Liam Neeson yelling: “Release the Kraken!” (and the the
tiny bit of Bubo cameo!) The rest of the movie, I wanted the ground to
open up and thrust me into the depths of Tartarus.
S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason
Alice in Wonderland
I thought I’d have plenty to choose from this round until I realized that I haven’t seen most of the bad remakes out there. They’re bad so I avoid them! But one that really seemed to taint the spirit of the original was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I could have picked his version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I like almost everything about it except Johnny Depp, who is even weirder as the Mad Hatter. I’m sure Burton felt a certain kinship with the wonky imagination of Lewis Carroll, but the director took what was silly and absurd and transformed it into the macabre and grotesque. Suddenly the Dormouse is pronging creatures’ eyes out, the Red Queen’s head is enormous, and Alice is some kind of armor-wearing savior! Why on earth did it have such a big box office turnout? And now Disney’s allowing a sequel too. Tim Burton doesn’t have a very good track record with remakes, and I dread whatever he ends up doing to Dumbo.
Rob – Movie Rob
They took a very interesting and intense bank robbery story localized in California and tried to turn it into a global race against time to stop extreme sports fanatics from committing a series of feats planned out adjacently with crimes.
I lost interest quite quickly because I didn’t care for any of the characters and the plot just wandered along trying to make sense and connect the dots amidst extreme sports activities.
The characters and plot leave no lasting impression on us and the only thing one might remember are the extreme stunts that we get to watch.
Unfortunately, a movie with random stunts like this just can’t hold itself up without any semblance of a plot or intriguing/interesting characters and that is where this movie fails extremely.
There are a few scenes where Luke Barcey tries to channel his inner Keanu Reeves, but they just don’t help here at all. Edgar Ramirez is a great actor, but his character of Bodhi doesn’t come anywhere close to being as complex or interesting as Patrick Swayze did with it 25 years ago.
J – Film & Nuance
Psycho’s remake presents to us an odd situation. Films are all about being original even when you’re remaking a classic, something has to be from your own design. Even if you were to copy the script word for word, something original should compensate the void. The remake of Hitchcock’s unsettling film is shot-by-shot, taking it one notch worse than you can possibly imagine. Some films inspire, others disgust and this one simply doesn’t give any feeling at all. It becomes nothing worthwhile. Even taking a comedic spin on the film would probably still have been better than this totally unoriginal shamble of a movie. ‘Shot-by-shot’ makes you question what’s the point?