Posts Tagged ‘remakes’

5 Remakes That Are (Arguably) Better Than The Original

Posted 03 Dec 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a truly frightening film, the rare remake that lives up to its source material.Remakes of classic films have an even worse track record than sequels when it comes to relative quality. Whether they change everything and ruin the whole idea (Frank Oz’s 2004 Stepford Wives remake) or remain slavishly faithful to the original (Gus Van Sant’s 1998 Psycho remake), most remakes have great difficulty in justifying their own existence, let alone surpassing the original. Here are five that achieve this rare feat.

10 Remakes That Are (Arguably) Better Than The Original1. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) – this is the only one on the list that I wouldn’t argue is definitely better than the original, but it’s pretty damn close. Transposing the McCarthy-era paranoia of Don Siegel’s 1956 classic to the pre-Reagan era, Philip Kaufman’s remake presents an even darker vision, complete with a chilling ending in the spirit of the one Siegel had originally envisioned for his film, before the studio interfered to happy it up a little. Featuring great performances by Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy, and state of the art special effects for the time, this is a truly frightening film, the rare remake that lives up to its source material.  Read More

Super – They Don’t Make Role Models Like They Used To

Posted 23 Jul 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

Super is a frustratingly unfunny comedy from a great writer. By Ezra Stead

Super, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by James Gunn

I don’t want to sound like anybody’s grandma here, but I long ago abandoned the conversational defense that movies and other popular media have no part in encouraging real-life violence. Some movies definitely glorify violence to the point of actively promoting it as a righteous lifestyle choice, and James Gunn’s pseudo-realistic costumed avenger film Super is decidedly one of these. There are many other prime examples of this phenomenon – Troy Duffy’s The Boondock Saints (1999), Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted (2008), Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America (2011) – and while I find all of these films plenty entertaining, my level of comfort about enjoying them seems to be directly proportional to how well I can relate to the worldview of the avenging angel protagonists. In other words, I feel a lot less guilty enjoying God Bless America than The Boondock Saints, despite the fact that the latter is no more mean-spirited or simplistic than the former. Super exists somewhere between these two, a surprisingly conservative and reactionary film made by a well-known counterculture auteur.  Read More

Friday The 13th (2009) – Why Not Just Close The Camp?

Posted 05 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Friday the 13th, USA, 2009

Directed by Marcus Nispel

Friday the 13th 2009 could be a considered an anti-drug PSA.Well, 29 years later, it was bound to happen: an attempt at a reboot of one of the most popular franchises in film history, taking in almost half a billion dollars worldwide. 11 films later, it still doesn’t make sense (even though there are twelve films, I say eleven, because I love the original), but, like most reboots, the director (here, Marcus Nispel of the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre infamy) ignores the existing films and sets off to deliver his own interpretation of the story. Picking up where the original film left off (kinda), Nispel takes us on a CW-star packed, machete-wielding, goalie-masked roller coaster ride. But why? There’s no evidence to support the idea that the series needed a reimagining. It’s not like it’s Batman and Joel Schumacher had been dropping loads on it for a few years. Starting with Part 2 (1981), none of the films were ever very good. I liked a few of the sequels, particularly Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), but it’s not like the story ever got lost in transition. Jason stalks people, he kills people, he dies, he comes back next year to stalk and kill more people. How is that hard to get right? Read More

Casino Royale – Takes The Fun Out Of The Bond Franchise

Posted 27 Aug 2010 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get
When I sit down to watch a Bond movie, my suspension of disbelief is expecting several constants:
1) Over the top stunts in which somehow Bond finds a way through unscathed
2) A cheesy arch-villian who has maniacal plans to take over the world
3) A beautiful woman who Bond is able to bed in record time without missing a beat
These are just expected elements of the Bond franchise. Now if any of you are Bond fans out there, you’ll all pick who your favorite Bond was (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan) so let’s take a moment to see how the newest Bond, Daniel Craig does in inheriting the torch in “007: Casino Royale.”
As quoted by Wikipedia: “The film is a reboot, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede or succeed any previous Bond film. This allowed the film to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. Casting the film involved a widespread search for a new actor to portray James Bond, and significant controversy around Craig when he was selected to succeed Pierce Brosnan in October 2005.”
Personally, if I’m going to take the time to watch a Bond, I tend to prefer the Connery/Moore era to the more current ventures. So I kind of surprised myself when I decided to rent “007: Casino Royale.” Expecting an over-the-top CG nightmare, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the franchise had maintained its standard of real explosions, cars flying and over-the-top real stunts. In the opening scene of the film alone they waste little time kicking ass with an incredible on-foot chase scene through a third-world country construction site. This opening scene sets the tone for the film but does also raise the bar for what’s to be expected.
So what happens for the next 2 and a half hours in the film?
NOTHING!
Okay, maybe I’m being unfair, but to be honest, when I watch an action film I expect the stakes in each action scene to be a little bit more intense and interesting than the previous. So after getting pumped by a great opening scene with the stakes being raised to unbelievable heights, the film sorts of sets itself up to be unable to meet the intensity and thrills of the opening scene. It does try to keep the audience’s attention with Bond preventing a terrorist attack at Miami airport, but then where does the next stage of action take place?
A poker table.
Yes, a poker table. But oh, let me apologize, a very high stakes poker table. Ohh hold me back! In all fairness, the stakes of the game are pretty high with Bond aiming to win so the organizer of the game cannot use the winnings for evil purposes, but it just sort of feels too novel-like instead of the stuff of cinema. Narratively speaking, with the sequel “Quantum Solace” set to follow “Casino Royale,” there is of course a larger arc at play that is being set up in the first of these two films. However, in watching “Royale” as a standalone Bond film, you’d hope for at least some sort of closure at the end.
Perhaps I need to watch “Quantum Solace” next and judge the films as one collective piece, but if you want my two cents on “Casino Royale,” it’s definitely one of the more skippable entries into the Bond archive.
To wrap this up and review, if you’re going to raise the stakes ever higher in an action film, you better not blow your proverbial load in the first 10 minutes if you’ll never be able to go higher later on in the story. Maybe the creators wanted to open with a bang to make the audience like and accept Daniel Craig as the newest Bond, but to me they used up their whole deck and just set the film up to be a boring series of lesser interesting action scenes and a boring denouement.

By Corey Birkhofer

Casino Royale, UK / Czech Republic / USA / Germany / Bahamas, 2006

Directed by Martin Campbell

daniel criag as 007Spoiler Alert

When I sit down to watch a James Bond movie, my suspension of disbelief is expecting several constants:

1) Over the top stunts, each progressively more complicated than the previous, in which Bond somehow finds a way through unscathed;

2) A cheesy arch-villain who has maniacal plans to take over the world and doesn’t stop until the very end;

3) A beautiful woman who Bond is able to bed in record time without missing a beat.

These are just expected elements of the Bond franchise for me. Now, if any of you are Bond fans out there, you’ll all pick who your favorite Bond was (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan), so let’s take a moment to see how the newest Bond, Daniel Craig, does inheriting the torch in Casino Royale.

As quoted in Wikipedia: “The film is a reboot, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede or succeed any previous Bond film. This allowed the film to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. Casting the film involved a widespread search for a new actor to portray James Bond, and significant controversy around Craig when he was selected to succeed Pierce Brosnan in October 2005.” Read More