Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Reading around the blogs there seems to be some debate about remakes of certain films.
Is it a good thing or is it bad?
The first thing that occurs to me is about the audience that the remake is aimed at. I guess that with a western it would be for all generations.
The two westerns up for remakes are 'True Grit' and 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. They are films of their time and have a following.
A 'True Grit' filmed from 14 year old Mattie's side would attract a younger audience - but I'm not sure that the Coen Brothers are the right people to do it.
I never liked the Butch Cassidy film as it just felt like a couple of filmstars having a lot of fun which took away some of the excitement. Travolta and Cruise have the ability to bring out the fact that Cassidy and Sundance were outlaws and not heroes. In reality I expect more of the same.
I am in fact dead against remakes for the simple reason that a) it has been done and b) remakes rarely work.
Howard Hawks remade 'Rio Bravo' twice as 'El Dorado' and 'Rio Lobo'. Why? Neither of the remakes were as good as the first one.
I really enjoyed '3.10 To Yuma' with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale - until the final few minutes. I could not believe that Ben Wade would gun down his gang and then surrender. Why would he do that?
Someone lost the plot there.
Recently there was 'Death Race' which was pretty good. It was claimed that this was a remake of 'Death Race 2000'. I don't see the connection as they seem to be two different films.
Now Stephen Norrington who brought 'Blade' and 'The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen' to the screen has bought the rights to James O'Barr's 'The Crow' and plans a remake of that. The original was made in 1994 with the late Brandon Lee.
And this is the point where I understand more about where the older generations are coming from. 'The Crow' is one of my generations' classics and there is no need for a remake.
As has been said before there is a lot of new material out there that could be filmed.
Though on the other hand would there be classics like 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'A Fistful Of Dollars' if they had not been remakes of two Japanese classics?
Like I say most remakes do not work. But some do. And those few have the right team behind them and have a fresh angle to them.

1 comment:

  1. You make a lot of sense, although I think foreign to English remakes are a different animal and no harm done. They're good for me because I don't really like dubbed or subtitled films and I'm too arrogant to speak a foreign language (just joking).