What makes a remake a good remake?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Willie Oleson, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I guess the first question would be: why do you watch remakes?
    What is it that you're looking for?
    Do you like new plots (e.g. background story) or new twists or maybe a more aesthetic style?
    Watching different actors playing the same roles?
    Do you hope it's going to be better (or maybe not!).

    Would it be more interesting to remake bad movies instead of the popular cult and blockbuster movies?

    But what is it about remakes that makes us so curious and excited, eventhough we end up hating most of them?
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    The creative mindset involved with wanting to do a remake usually prevents them from doing it right. A right-minded producer-director would know better than to attempt it.

    There have been, it should be pointed out, exceptions.

    Julia Roberts, when promoting OCEANS 11, made the point I often had that Hollywood always remakes good movies which don't need it, instead of remaking movies with a promising premise but missed the mark the first time (as was the case with the original OCEANS 11 back in 1960).

    But Hollywood wants the name recognition and brand name of an established hit or critical success. After all, why damage the statue of Stallone in Philadelphia when you can smash The Pietà with a hammer instead?
     
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Maybe it's about trying to turn something big into something bigger...and losing the essence in the process.
    Of course, if you understand what made the original version a hit then you know it can't be done a second time.

    I'm not anti-remake, but I think they should consider their options more carefully - what's possible and what's not.
    If, for example, HD and CGI turn out to be the only advantages then it rarely warrants a remake because it's only going to substitute our imagination.
    I guess it depends on the story, if there isn't much story to begin with (fairy tales, for example) then the sky is the limit.
    But suspense is often de-mystified by showing more or more detailed.
    Film makers should figure out what the real win is, it could help them picking the right movies.
     
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  4. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Great subject for a thread! I´m sort of a remake geek (a remake is an illegitimate twin of a movie, and I'm all for twins, as you must know...). We forget most times that all stories were told during the first 20 years of cinema history, therefore everything else is a remake. There even are versions of classic novels from the 20's, no matter how popular or acclaimed the subsequent versions became.

    A different story is the nonsense craze for remakes that exists today. They seem to be petty choices from young Hollywood executives who just don´t want to watch actors who nowadays already have wrinkles. So. Stupid. Like the Disney obsession with cloning their classics with CGI versions, as if the 2D animation originals were something to be avoided at all costs. Is 2D animation a sordid thing that could make children psychos in the future? I just don´t get it.

    Then, as mentioned above, there is the option of remaking unsuccessful movies, which is a safe option. I know a lot of fine remakes from movies that didn´t become classics or blockbusters, or get good reviews even. But there was something in the stories, or in the characters, that actually was begging for a new chance.

    I could mention a lot of movies that were remakes (official or not) that are considered movie history (or one's favorites). Then there are stories that have been remade ad nauseam which I think should be put to rest ("A Star Is Born", "Frankenstein", "Batman", "Little Women", etc.). And there´s also the "sequelitis", another story...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Oh? There were no new original stories after that?
     
  6. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Going on personal experience, the only remakes I've enjoyed are the ones where I never saw the original.

    In a similar way, it's a little like music and cover versions, I don't often like a cover version of a song where I love the original and yet if I learn that a favourite song was a cover version and I hadn't heard the original, I don't often care for the original. If that makes any sense.
     
  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I don't find it strange that you'd prefer the version you're most familiar with. It also represents a part of your history.
    But I think music lends itself to a different kind of creativity, it's possible to do it differently and create music that sounds equally beautiful.
    Cover versions (and remixes) offer you the opportunity to experience the same song in a different way, it's much harder to do with stories.

    It's a strange thinking process, you want it to be the same and you want it to be different. Ironically, that's exactly what many remakes do, and yet it rarely is what you want it to be.
    Why is that? Why is it so difficult to re-capture the strength of the original in a different way?

    Maybe it's possible to focus on different aspects and give the remake a different kind of strength, but like I said with stories it's far more difficult to find these alternative angles.
    They did it with the Maleficent movie and I could appreciate the different twist, but it also took the villainy out of a character that's always been famous for being truly villainous.
    And I don't think the strength of the new twist equals - let alone, outweighs - the strength of the original character.
    If there's going to be too much sacrifice then what's the point of doing it?
     
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  8. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I highly doubt it (speaking generally, or maybe even literally, or about genres? I don´t know, but the line sounds fine, doesn´t it? :cool:). Think that even movies about "star wars" were filmed in those days. What were the Flash Gordon serials...or the Jules Verne-inspired silents? These are the 7 stories in movies...+ (in most of them) boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy eventually finds out that he is gay gets girl back!
    • Overcoming the Monster.
    • Rags to Riches.
    • The Quest.
    • Voyage and Return.
    • Comedy.
    • Tragedy.
    • Rebirth.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plots

    PS: Notice that "Dallas" in TV did ALL OF THEM, including "Rebirth".
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    There has to be the first tragedy movie, of course, but I still don't see how that makes every other tragedy movie a remake. There are so many different scenarios!
    The first tragedy movie was unique because it was the only one that existed at that time. But that's only a fact, not a quality.
     
  10. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    The show WENTWORTH is a great example of a remake that works brilliantly. They've managed to capture the essence of the original characters, but with a new twist (for example they change which character dies and which survives) In some ways, they've given the viewers what they wanted from the original but never got. They gave better closure on some characters and they had other characters go on and do better things.
     
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  11. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    This reminds me of the long-standing soap CORONATION STREET. One example could be used on the rape of a woman. They may have written the story of rape 7 times in the whole series (so far) but each one is a different scenario, a different character, a different point of view. Plots may not always be unique, but the way they tell them can be, for that particular saga.
     
  12. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    All that I said, of course, is merely wiki-geeky-bubble, so it may mean nothing for a lot of people. Personally, I don´t mind recognizing the patterns of the stories. But it does bother me those stories that pretend to be original and turn out to be simply copies of more creative scripts. Just IMHO.:cool1
     
  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    The bible did it first, but they didn't have the technology to film it.
     
  14. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Who knows if the bible wasn´t a copy itself...? There are many versions of the same facts with different names...if you know what I mean.
     
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  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    DYNASTY was the first modern remake of the bible, I guess that makes it somewhat unique.
     
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  16. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Active Member

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    I second that. The Parent Trap (Lindsay Lohan 1997 version) is my absolute favourite childhood film, but when I watched the 1960's version I didn't like it. The same story with Freaky Friday another LiLo remake - What can I say? She's a true icon.:p
     
  17. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Fan

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    Is a movie a remake when the original is based on another medium (book, comic book, play)? I don't think "Man of Steel" is a remake of the Christopher Reeve "Superman" as much as an adaptation of "Superman" comics. There have been countless movie and TV versions of "Pride and Prejudice"; are they remakes or new adaptations of Jane Austen's original? My favorite "Pride and Prejudice" (I've seen most) is the Keira Knightley version. Keira Knightley is my favorite Lizzie and the film has the best cast of the many versions. I also like that the movie isn't too pretty; too many versions (especially the older Hollywood films) dress the Bennett sisters as if they are aristocrats - which they aren't.

    One remake I enjoy as much as the original is the Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford version of "Sabrina"; the writers made changes where they make sense (instead of attending The Sorbonne, Sabrina is an intern at French "Vogue") and knew what to leave alone. It doesn't hurt that the movie looks gorgeous and has a wonderful score by John Williams.
     

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