Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cinema Deja Vu

How does one keep up with blogging? We have website blogs, MySpace blogs, Yahoo 360° blogs, bebo, and so on. Even though I post the same message on all of these, I struggle for something interesting to discuss.

Today being no exception, I've chosen to talk about remakes of movies. We've been watching an updated JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, comparing it to the one 45 or so years ago that starred Pat Boone (among others). The new version has convincing special effects and costumes, but it's just not as much fun as the older film. In its favor are Treat Williams and Bryan Brown, but the plot is darker and edgier. Maybe some films weren't meant for remakes.
Some that come to mind are THE TIME MACHINE (Guy Pierce is great, but the remake was just too serious for me.), THE PARENT TRAP (Again, great casting but just didn't feel as cute and fun as the Haley Mills version, which was a remake of TWICE BLESSED, an old 40s film), and JACKAL (Not bad for an action flick, but DAY OF THE JACKAL was more of an intrigue and a superior story IMO. Having said that, JACKAL has an outstanding performance by Richard Gere).

Others are improved, or at least freshened up. For instance, ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD. Loved the original from the 50s, but also loved the re-make with Danny Glover in the 90s. Both have their charm. PLANET OF THE APES was just as good IMO with Mark Wahlberg (Hey, he's my "friend" on MySpace!) as it was with Roddy McDowell. And Rat Pack fans will disagree, but the remake of OCEAN'S ELEVEN far outshone the original. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt...hell-o! Another remake that far outshined the original (which was a mini-series) is THE BOURNE IDENTITY.

Going back a few years, BODY HEAT, a remake of DOUBLE INDEMNITY (which has since been re-made again!), was an excellent movie. Barbara Stanwyck was a strong actress, but Kathleen Turner (in one of her first roles) turned out a stellar performace in the newer version.

I'm sure you can think of other films that should or shouldn't have been remade. Let me hear from you!



Cheryl Norman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl Norman said...

From Dee S Knight, whose Blogger ID isn't cooperating today:

Gosh, I'm a poor person to comment here since I rarely watch re-makes. Sometimes I watch something and don't know it's a re-make, however. :)

This isn't exactly a movie, but years ago, Masterpiece Theatre made a version of Pride and Prejudice which, in my opinion, was FAR superior to the Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier movie from the 1940s (I think), and also far better to the 1990s A&E version. Sure, A&E brought Colin Firth's name to the lips of Americans, but David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie will forever be Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to me.

The updated version of Miracle on 34th Street that came out a few years ago couldn't touch the movie made in 1947, featuring Natalie Wood's debut.

That's all I can think of right now, but I do have to say, PAT BOONE?? Does that ever take me back, lol.