Thoughts on remakes

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Are remakes an essential part of Hollywood's dominance? Are they becoming too much? Are they in fact plagiarism. Do you choose to see them? If you've never seen or heard of the original, are you likely/less likely to see the remake?

Just some thoughts to chat about.
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Standing in the Sunlight, Laughing
I don't understand the outrage some people go into over remakes, myself.
I come from a theater background though, and plays get redone all the time.

I'm no more or less likely to see something knowing it's a remake if I haven't seen the original. If I saw the original and loved or hated it, I'd say I'm more likely to see the remake than if the original simply left me cold. I don't need to pay for warmed-over "meh".

They're not plagiarism as long as the original source is credited. Nor is it a lot easier to remake a story than to tell an original one, unless you're the writer.
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ObiWanShinobi's Avatar
District B13
Originally Posted by SamsoniteDelilah
They're not plagiarism as long as the original source is credited. Nor is it a lot easier to remake a story than to tell an original one, unless you're the writer.
Disagree. I belive the writer has the hardest job. If one is remaking a movie it is oftentimes under the auspices of remaking a good and classic movie. That writer has a job in determining the best way to approach the film. Will it stay close or wander off and maintain the point? He has everyone looking at him for a good script that represents the movie.

Almost like making a sequel to a movie you first didn't write. There are plenty of expectations on that writer, and therefore she has the hardest job.

Because writers need no help in ideas, they need help in the execution. And the execution is put upon so many expectations.
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I personally find remakes to be an unorignal cash in on classic films. while yes some remakes are actually pretty good ( Dawn of the Dead, Cape Fear ect.) i still don't think we need them. in the next 2 years we are looking at remakes of Day of the dead, Warriors and maybe Halloween(its under discussion) i love those 3 movies and whould hate to see remakes
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ObiWanShinobi's Avatar
District B13
I'm especially dreading, "The Warriors" remake by current Hollywood dumbass Tony Scott.

I think he'll kill Walter Hill and ressurect Sol Yurick.



They absolutely murdered Stepford Wives. And that irritates me because I was looking forward to it.

Now I'm looking forward to Jackson's King Kong. And he better not screw it up because I loved the original. I have high hopes.

The 1976 Kong wasn't that horrible. Jeff Bridges was a good choice. Jessica Lange couldn't act at that point but she swell to look at. I've never liked Charles Grodin. And we'll always have the sad image of the twin towers in the final scenes.

I caught the 76 Kong on tv the other day and they removed all long shots of the towers. You couldn't tell what Kong was standing on.
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ObiWanShinobi's Avatar
District B13
Originally Posted by Twain
I caught the 76 Kong on tv the other day and they removed all long shots of the towers. You couldn't tell what Kong was standing on.
Sad.



I think remakes (of foreign films) are a shameful aspect of Hollywoods cultural dominance, although they do have target audiences of people who don't know the original. So in that respect, there's no harm really, as it's only people who've seen the originals that get bothered and we've enjoyed them already plus a whole new audience gets introduced to them. The remakes also open the market up for the originals, shed more light on them and help with their distribution. So in that light, it's win win.



In the Beginning...
I see no problem with remakes, so long as they are made for the right reasons. We've been hit by a number of recent remakes simply because of the new material shortage in Hollywood, and because studios know that remakes of established films will generally always have the potential to sell. Sadly, most remakes are just rehashed (not reinvented), and simply updated for the times. Remakes should be about fresh, new interpretation - not modernization.

Originally Posted by Pyro Tramp
Are they becoming too much? Are they in fact plagiarism?
I don't think remakes qualify as plagiarism because the studio owns the copyrights (titles, screenplays, characters) to prior films. If a remake is to be made, it is either released by the same studio, or it isn't released at all. Not to mention, films aren't made by just one person; so where would the "ownership of creator" argument come in?

I would call remakes adaptations of previous works. Even though they aren't crossing mediums, remakes still "adapt" prior material into something new (or at least, they should).

Originally Posted by Pyro Tramp
Do you choose to see them? If you've never seen or heard of the original, are you likely/less likely to see the remake?
I'm more likely to see remakes than sequels. Even if I didn't like the original, I'll still be open to see the remake out of curiosity. I always like to see what filmmakers do with what they've got.



I See You When You're Sleeping
Yesterday I heard that there's remake for When A Stranger Calls. I can't think why though, the first was great.



A system of cells interlinked
Originally Posted by ObiWanShinobi
I'm especially dreading, "The Warriors" remake by current Hollywood dumbass Tony Scott.

I think he'll kill Walter Hill and ressurect Sol Yurick.
Yeah...Tony Scott...I am not a fan of his at all. Ridley on the other hand.... Damn what was the Tony Scott film I saw recently, I can;t think of it...it was terrible!! I guess I don't want to remember what it was...I just remember cursing his name afterwards.

Remake Halloween? Ug.

As for remakes in general, I like some, don't like some others. I guess if it's well done, I like them well enough.
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I don't mind Halloween sequels i wouldn't care if they made 100 more but a remake whould piss me off so much. I thought as long as sequels are being made for halloween there would be no remake but i guess i was wrong



the remakes are getting to be too much...some of them sound cute, but i won't go to the theatre to see a lot of them...

right now i'm waiting for the producers to show up...i want to compare it to the show...

i would love to see more originals...

and i wouldn't consider them plagurism...that would be word for word from whatever original they are doing...the characters are nothing...mainly i would consider it like fan fiction...just another original story using the same cast



shadymaggot's Avatar
Movie Forums Stage-Hand
Actually, when done right, remakes can be quite good. As long as they don't completely rip off the original and establish their own style, I don't mind them. I for one love the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. A lot of people didn't, but I thought it was good. I also like Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I do wish Hollywood would come up with some more original films rather than remakes and sequels though.
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Originally Posted by susan
and i wouldn't consider them plagiarism...that would be word for word from whatever original they are doing...
Isn't that what they did with the Psyo remake? I haven't seen it, I think I read that somewhere, and I think they used the same shots.......someone will know for sure
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Just ate your couch
Yeah like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake. I loved the original movie made in the 70's, and thought that Johnny Depp was going to screw it up(even if I am a huge Johnny Depp fan) but surprised at how good he did it and much they made the movie based around the book more.

Then I heard they are supposed to be remaking Predator. That is an awesome movie, but a remake is something I think that they shouldn't make.
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The idea of remaking a film isn't inherently wrong. Unfortunately more often than not they aren't made by people who have any love for and understanding of the original material, and/or no clear idea how to make it their own.

Steven Soderbergh has a knack for remakes: Solaris (2002), Ocean's 11 (2001), The Underneath (1995) and Traffic (2000). The Underneath, starring Peter Gallagher, Alison Elliott, William Fichtner and Joe Don Baker is a very good remake of a Noir classic, Robert Soidmak's Criss Cross (1949), which starred Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea and Stephen McNally. A couple of the scenes are almost shot for shot, but overall Soderbergh takes the same premise and character types, amps it up with his own style, and plays out basically the same plot but with his own twists and turns along the way. Soderbergh's Oscar-winning Traffic is a condensed remake of the 5-hour 1989 BBC television mini-series "Traffik". That one was set in the London, Hamburg and Pakistan. Soderbergh changed those settings to Washington D.C./Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Tijuana, the main character types are kept the same, and although it is condensed the structure is essentially the same. Once again Soderbergh's visual and editing style is very evident, but in the larger respects it is a faithful remake that also makes specific points of its own.



Soderbergh has a really good eye for material that he admires and respects, but that he can do his own thing to without completely trashing what the original succeeded at. He still finds a way to make it very much his. Everything he seems to do right, so many remakes do wrong. They have no reverence for the material, don't seem to even understand what made the original worthwhile, and the end result is a hacky piece of garbage that is a remake in name only because the message or energy of the first movie is completely absent in the new version.

In the theatre, a playwright understands implicitly that if successful their work will be reproduced and even retranslated by different actors and directors down the line. Because the theatre is a live beast that requires it be performed over and over and over again, this is understood. But since film theoretically lasts forever and the director and actors hone their one and only performance until it remains one way forever, it's less a given that the project will be produced again and again in subsequent generations. BUT, when somebody like Soderbergh tackles somebody else's film he seems to approach it like a play. This was Tarkovsky's take on the material, this is how they staged it, shot it, cast it: let's see what we can do to remain true to the same ideas in the Lem novel, but also bring our own into the whole.
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A system of cells interlinked
I love most of Soderbergh's remakes that I have seen, and I think he did a wonderful job of condensing Solaris down to get the same points across in a tighter narrative. I do prefer the Tarkovsky piece, and feel it is the definitive version, but I rate Soderbergh's remake just slightly lower than the original, and I own both. The original just gives the viewer that much more to think about afterwards, and I prefer the end of the original a bit more...



ObiWanShinobi's Avatar
District B13
It is interesting that Traffic was a remake, it seems that Soderbergh is the best remaking film director of all time given the work he has done.

However, I believe Van Sant's Psycho Remake is one of the better remakes in movies. Mainly because he never compromised what made the original so great. His goal was to modernize Psycho for an audience, several things such as the Masturbation scene I believe enhanced the story.

The people who consider it plagiarism must be nuts, it clearly is a homage to a movie that was so great, it was left virtually untouched.

And plagiarism? The goal of plagiarism is to steal work and call it your own. Everyone on the planet knows who made Psycho, Van Sant isn't pulling the veil over anyone's eyes.