Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982)
From our favourite Disney stories to the horror flicks that sent shivers down our spines, movies are constantly being remade and fans everywhere have something to say about it.
Maybe for you its just a money grab, or maybe you’re excited to see the latest one in theatres. Either way you slice it, there’s just no denying that remaking classic films has become a pillar of modern film.
There exists no industry in which the wonders of technology are so apparent and numerous as in the world of film, where every day, reality walks a fine line between science and sheer magic.
The films we love carry us off to a fantasy world, so a lacklustre production can taint that experience for audiences when it doesn’t deliver the adventure. We love to see our favourite actors on screen and it’s tough accepting someone new in their roles. We see re-makes that miss the point of the original story, or changed it so much it became it unrecognizable.
Some re-makes definitely fall far short of expectations.
If you saw “Clash of the Titans”, you know what great visual effects can do for a feature film without a strong plot line.
The remake of the original Clash of the Titans in 2010 was not well received. It scored 28% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” really made sure to drive this point home as well.
Nobody talks like that.
Not in the history of talking, OR real life.
And Karate Kid?
I didn’t think Jackie Chan could fumble a martial arts movie, but there it is.
Jackie Chan was involved in the 2010 remake of the Karate Kid
Wax OFF, Mr. Chan.
Relief only came from knowing I wouldn’t have to suffer through co-star Jaden Smith attempting a British accent until his later work.
While entertainment changes with the times, classic films often reveal social issues we once faced. They let us travel back in time and get insight into what our society was, is now, and where it’s headed next. These stories are full of wisdom, but fall by the wayside in favour of more visually stimulating productions.
This is to be expected with so much technology, but many films out there today are actually being praised for bringing classics back to life.
True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges as “Rooster Cogburn”, is considered better than the original by many and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards.
Jeff Bridges in True Grit (2010) was well-received scoring 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ocean’s 11 is another top notch remake. The stylish cinematography, ostentatious wardrobe, vibrant soundtrack and charming cast wowed audiences. Witty dialogue and a well constructed plot put the icing on the cake.
True Lies, with Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-vamped from an obscure french film, “La Totale”. It is the quintessential 90’s action film, wherein Arnie delivers sarcastic one-liners, flies a fighter jet AND dances the tango.
Arnold Schwarzenegger dances the tango with Tia Carrere. Watch it if you haven’t already.
Advances in technology allow for greater excitement and the creation of storytelling techniques which were previously not possible. Now we can take the elements of great storytelling and weave technology into the fabric of our work— exciting the senses and the imagination at the same time with stunning visuals, plus great stories that hold powerful messages to captivate and inspire audiences. By combining these two key elements we build on the great legacy of film over the last century.
So do we really need all these re-makes?
I think so.
We need today’s actors in great roles, growing into tomorrow’s Academy Award winners. We need modern writers to understand the classics, applying their own creativity— making stories interesting and accessible for younger generations. We need audiences to treasure and celebrate the achievements that lead the film industry to this point.
We all need to remember where film came from and not leave important truths behind. Remade films are a pool of wisdom where we reflect on what we learned from the past.
What opportunities lay still untapped for us tomorrow?