Films everyone loves... except you!

Chat here about anything horror related. Be it movies, news, remakes or events.
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by kimblebee » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:22 am

I'd agree (for the most part) that remakes tend not to be as good as the original, but there are many exceptions to this - For me Dawn of the Dead and The Crazies to name just two - but at the other end of the scale remakes that I feel really were a waste of time (and money) are Friday the 13th, Rob Zombie's Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Unfortunately the bad remakes seem to stick in the mind more than the good ones...

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by rawshark » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:22 am

Just avoid anything with the name Micheal Bay anywhere on the credits.
I agree..

No remakes = No Carpenter's The Thing, No Cronenberg's The Fly, and add that to Dawn of the Dead and The Crazies in the last century, then occasionally remakes can be good things..

I would also like to add here that I much prefer The Burning to Friday the 13th. Never really got into the Friday the 13th films to be honest - the first is ok, and although I've only ever seen snippets of the sequels, I've never really enjoyed them...
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by kimblebee » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:38 pm

...except Jason X, which is awesome(ly bad) :)

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by Mr Bill » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:34 pm

PeterPan wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:AAaargh, fucking remakes!

now they can make me very cross indeed, especially when mindless popcorn chompers (or even reviewers who should know better) say "better than the original" as they did with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead (!?!).

No remake can ever be more than shit on the shoes of the original.
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Alright, i may have overstated it just a touch, but I honestly find something offensive about a film being described as "better than the original" as a unmoderated and finite statement, it almost implies that "originality" has no currency for it's own sake, and in a world of shock horror, iconic titles and high concepts that just doesn't seem right.

And the "bean counters" really do have a lot to answer for, a lot of the time all they want is the iconic title or one line concept and have no respect or understanding for what actually made the original worth remakeing in the first place. (at the time of my last post on this thread a young girl had just reserved St Trinnians 2, and her ignorance that it even was a remake angered me)

I love a good music cover (Collapsed Lung's version of Connection is a triumph and an improvement on a "less than original" original!) and, the Boyzone variety aside, in many cases they are more of "a tribute to" than "a replacement for" the original song. To recognise the frequent satire or post modernism behind a decent music cover, or certainly to play one, requires a certain familiarity with the original music. With so many films it often feels like most of the audience and much of the cast and crew are even unaware of the original. Stallone can star in Get Carter without studying, likeing or even being aware of Michael Caine, but Cake can't perform I will Survive without knowing the chords.

Homage is also a great and laudable thing. The Nest is far superior to the Precinct 13 remake, and far more valid, as it wasn't greedily exploiting an iconic but unearned title pillaged from an era and genre that it makes no attempt to understand, honour or emulate. (the same could be said for House of 1000 Corpses over the Texas Chainsaw remakes, and i fear that may upset some on here)

I watched both versions of Inglourious Basterds last year (in chronological order, of course!) and it was only Tarrantino's version that made my top 10 of 2009, so maybe I've neutered my own argument right there, but Tarrantino has always been extremely honest about what he's homaged, remade or straight stolen (watch City on Fire if you never have), and does so out of a love and respect for the original films and their iconic, mould-breaking originality.
The aforementioned "bean counters" and indeed Michael Bay, show no such sympathy or diffidence.

I'm just angered by the greed, revisionism and exploitation of "stolen" ideas that seems to be the motivation behind so many sub-mediochre and almost disrespectful remakes of late.
It also angers me that so many remakes are made, not for fans of the original, but for a new audience of mainstream philistines with A.D.D., who won't watch the original because its in black and white or Japanese.

I'm remembering more and more remakes that I do like, The Coen brothers' version of The Ladykillers along with Tarrantino's Inglourious Basterds (like Cronenberg's Fly and Scorsese's Cape Fear) build on the originals, adding something new without eclipseing the original.
John Carpenter's The Thing is top of this list and makes my earlier bluster and blanket distain for all remakes seem rather foolish.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new version of The Crazies, although I still don't expect I'll ever say it's better than the original, more likely it will sit alongside decent remakes like Dawn of the Dead and The Hills have Eyes, that are worth makeing, watching, and even getting excited about, but I'll not forget what they owe to the original, or let their higher production values and modern polish seduce me and supercede my love for a more truly "original" product.

I retract my (original) "shit on the shoes" comment, it was both bilious and flippant, but when these films go down in the history books, what came first should always come first.

The Original is The Original- end of.
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by kimblebee » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:45 am

I understood that Tarrantino's Inglorious Basterds isn't actually a remake of the 1977 Bo Svenson but merely shares the same name (with alternative spelling)...

can anyone else confirm this?

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by sherbetbizarre » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:07 am

That's pretty much the case, yes...

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by kimblebee » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:19 am

Ah good, I'm usually completely wrong about stuff like that, so thought I'd best check :)

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by Laymonite » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:12 pm

[quote="rawsharkNo remakes = No Carpenter's The Thing, No Cronenberg's The Fly, and add that to Dawn of the Dead and The Crazies in the last century, then occasionally remakes can be good things..[/quote]


You're right with that. But what I think makes The Thing and The Fly so well received as remakes is that they were done for a specific reason. They were stories chosen because they fitted in very well with those particular directors styles (Carpenter with his paranoid thriller/siege type style, Cronenberg with his body horror style).

Since The Texas Chainsaw remake in 03 it's almost like it's become a new genre in itself and it's more like "what can we remake now?" rather than "I think a remake of this would be good if done right". And you end up with random music video directors churning them out rather than a film being made to fit in with an artist's vision (yuk, how pretentious does that sound?).

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by MaxRenn » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:13 pm

Mr Bill wrote: The Original is The Original- end of.
While I agree with most of your points (except any to do with Inglourious Basterds, which is not a remake) I don't accept that the original version of anything has some automatic right to be held in a loftier position than a superior remake.

Cronenberg's The Fly is to my my mind a demonstrable improvement on a piece of camp fluff. Carpernter's version of The Thing stands apart from the Christian Nyby original and is simply one of the best pieces of paranoid horror ever made.

Furthermore what's the original? The film, the book, the play, the video game, the T shirt?

Peter Benchley's novel Jaws is the original, but does it deserve greater respect than Speilberg's infinitely superior film. Does DePalma's The Untouchables have a subserviant position to the TV series that preceeded it?
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by kimblebee » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:37 pm

Some very good points raised, Maxrenn - a lot of the time people (including myself) are misinformed as to what the original is, like you say it could be a novel, a piece of art, a poem, etc... and it is often not what they think e.g. Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, which is an original movie, in that it is not a directly acknowledged remake of another film, however, are we to include film titles, themes, setting, etc as contributing factors to whether a film can be considered a remake of another film or a stand alone effort?

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by Marlin » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:03 pm

I liked the F13 remake even less than the original Kimblebee, don't worry. :) I think my issue with that series is that they had such an iconic character to play with, and never managed to put him in a genuinely good film. Part 6 and Part 4 were entertaining stuff, but there was never an equivalent to either parts 1 or 3 of the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

Regarding remakes, there are only a finite number of permutations that a genre film can go through, until a genuine creative force comes up with a new twist. This was the case with the likes of the original TCM, NOES and various others through to, perhaps, the first Saw film. The original release of each of these seminal films led to a spate of copycat releases, and, unfortunately, the most recent twist has proven to be taking horror out of its genre niche and selling it to the (generally) younger masses. Hence all the "new" remakes are generally aimed at a very different market to that which the originals were focussed. Some will be better than the original, most will be awful and just jumping on the bandwagon, just as F13 was followed by The Burning (which was written before, but never mind) which was excellent, and innumerable others like April Fool's Day, which weren't.

The very second the TCM and DOTD remakes made money, we were bound to end up with a spate of them, some pretty good, some bloody awful. Hollywood has been doing this since the early days - hell, Hitchcock even remade his OWN films!

:)

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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by Mr Bill » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:10 pm

Okay, we could easily get bogged down in semantics, but Inglourious Basterds is not a remake??
There is such a grey area surrounding the difference between a remake, a tribute or homage, and what some more pretentious people may call "a reimagineing".
I remember Tim Burton litterally shouting at journalists "It's not a remake!" when asked about Planet of the Apes, I'm not sure i agree- it felt like a remake to me. Am I right in understanding Jackie brown is a remake of Rum Punch- but with a different name, so does this make it an "Homage"?

I suppose Basterds is a "reimagening", taking a single line concept along with the title and building a new film from it; The course of World War II depends on one vital mission behind enemy lines, for which highly trained, hand picked, specialists have been sent out, but in a typically abrupt and violent SNAFU, all the specialists are killed and and an unprepared band of misfits, The Basterds, have to step into their shoes at the last minute and get the job done.
I'm calling this a remake as many of the "remakes" we've discussed (the Fly, Texas Chainsaw, Dawn of the Dead etc.) are similarly not a straight retelling but retain just the title and fundamental concept.

The water then gets even murkier; Is Heat a remake of L.A. Takedown or just a "second try"? And Evil Dead 2 is more remake than sequel, or again does the "2" in this instance act as a revision number, like Windows 7? If we want to be pedants about the semantics of the subject we'll be at it for weeks!
I'm just going to call them all remakes, as an umberella term as much as anything.

If the original was a book, computer game, tv series etc; then its not a remake its an Adaptation. Adaptations are a brand new minefield for us to have fun losing limbs in. I loathe the early Alan Moore adaptations, not because they are bad films but because they are such bad adaptations. I probably won't meet much resistance saying that Hitman and Max Payne were awful on every level and fall well onto my shitlist for missing or willfully ignoreing everything that made the games iconic.

The contrast between how well and badly Sin City and The Spirit were adapted respectively, may go towards reflecting my feelings and concerns on this subject.
I'm not saying that the version that came first is automatically the superior, but it is automatically the version that came first, and i feel that is important to recognise when remakeing, homageing or adapting.
"Artistic Property" (along with it's tedious legal cousin Copyright) is an important thing to recognise and respect when we flex our critical skills on these boards. Horror films particularly are all about ideas, and i don't ever want to take a cavalier attitude to Who had the idea in the first place in favour of Who realised it best, which i concede is also important.

Let's make things even more complicated by remembering that all films are adapted from a screenplay and the writer/director is still a young concept in a minority within the industry. I recall Tarrantino was so unhappy with how Oliver Stone adapted his screenplay for Natural Born Killers (a story intended to be told through the eyes of Wayne Gail about the Mickey and Mallory media circus- not a mere love story with lots of killing) that he had his credit changed.
And studios and beancounters like to stick their nose in, along with test audiences, market research, and the Mary Whitehouse mentality, to further wrangle the final product away from The Creators.

My point stems from the very old argument that Film makeing is an art form above being an industry, and where "money men" may wan't to maximise the appeal and profit margins of a film and can easily forget that somewhere along the line an artist had an idea and was trying to tell a story or make a point. We need to achieve a balance, and be aware of our power as consumers, critics and fans reponsibly to achieve that balance, before all films end up like Transformers 2...

I'm losing track of where i set off from with this and will leave it at this:
Originality is a virtue, ideas are precious and fragile, and films are art above product.
the above is only an oppinion and many will disagree.

Laymonite makes a couple of good points about the success of the Fly and the Thing, these are good remakes because they have been meaningfully adapted to suit their directors and also the time they are being remade, many feel the visceral body horror of the Fly is reflective of the rise of HIV and Aids at the time, where the original is a far more generic swipe at "science gone mad".
And your concerns about an artless "remake machine" being at work are not at all pretentious and entirely justified in my book.
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by scrobble » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:50 am

streetrw wrote:The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari. I guess it has some historical importance but it's a pain in the nethers to plough through.
See, that's in my top 10 of horror films, I've seen it a ton of times (studied it for German degree) and I never felt like I was 'ploughing through' it - it's only an hour long. Metropolis, though, which everyone seems to rave about, is one film I never *got*.

Citizen Kane. Like Caligari, to a certain extent like American Werewolf, it's important because it was groundbreaking, it broke some rules, it made some new rules. But as a film, to sit down and enjoy? I just can't. Even the presence of a Bernard Herrmann score doesn't do it for me.[/quote]

I quite enjoyed it, but really didn't get the 'best film ever made' plaudits it's received for years. IMO it's not even Welles' best film - Touch of Evil is far, far better and grips you from start to finish.

Obviously there are loads more I disagree with, but that's the point of this thread and these jumped out at me as something I wanted to respond to!

Hmmm...films that seemed to be rated well by friends and/or critics but I hated (scratches head):

Pirates of the Caribbean (it was OK the first time apart from every scene with Orlando Blooming Awful [to steal someone else's phrase], Keira Knightley and Jack Davenport [so most of the film, then]. I tried to watch it a second time a few Christmasses ago with friends and family, and ended up going upstairs to read a book rather than sit through it all again)
The Road To Perdition (looked beautiful, but the story bored me)
The Remains Of The Day (duller than a dull day in Dullsville)
Four Weddings... (nothing to add here, just hated, hated, hated it)
Both Matrix sequels (wtf?)
Finding Nemo (just because)

I'm sure there are loads more, and that I love but no-one else does, but these are the first ones which sprung to mind.
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by Mr Bill » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:32 pm

I quite enjoyed the first Pirates of the Carribean film, in a kind of "feeling twelve years old on a lazy bank holiday" kind of a way. But the second and third installments deteriorated to overlong nonsense.
The same is true of the Matrix trilogy, the rot sets in after the end credits of the first film.
And the third Spider Man really fell flat- what did it cost again? $250 million? Bargain- what on earth did they spend it all on? Bruce Campbell's cameo was just about the only bonus.
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Re: Films everyone loves... except you!

Post by rawshark » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 pm

Don't look now, but, I er.. really can't see what the big fuss about Don't Look Now is all about..

True, I only saw it fairly recently, and had perhaps succumbed to some the hype it has laid on it, but although ok, I really felt it was dragging, overlong, and, dare I say it, a bit boring..
It's horrible... I love it... What is it?

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