The Eminent Domain of Movie Remakes

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Aye, there are several examples of book-to-film adaptations here. The "Movie Remakes" of the title refers to the movies that are remakes, and not only movies that are remade, as convoluted as I'm sure that sounds.



Wow, I literally just found out that they're working on a Starship Troopers remake. Sounds like it's going focus way more on killing bugs than satirizing anything. Progress? Sort of.



Sit Ubu Sit.... Good Dog
I am writing a review or rather a bash on the remake of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators: Secret of Skeleton Island, I don't know how many people remember those books and it's certainly nothing as serious as Starship Troopers but It's a series of books I grew up reading and still love and the movie actually made me angry while I was watching it.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Very unconvincing the examples you gave, except for The Time Machine and the Dick movie I can't comment on because I never saw either version. The changes for the rest are very superficial and don't change the message or intent of the original. I don't even understand why Starship Trooper was mentioned because there is no existing remake. There are many movies adapting novels that are substantially different from the source material. Most remakes of non public domain sources are usually direct remakes of the first movie and don't go back to the source. A better example would have been The Planet of the Apes remake as it used the original novel's ending. Also the recent TV mini series of Mildred Pierce was a more direct adaptation of the novel than the Joan Crawford movie, but the Crawford is still better because the novel is not very good. Occasionally, Hollywood does improve on a novel. Also, the three Invasion of the Body Snatchers have major differences. But mostly Hollywood just updates a little and badly.

The relevant point is does a remake exist to tell the same story in a way that justifies a remake or does it exist just because the original was a commercial success? For most remakes and the one you cite the answer is usually the latter.
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Thanks for your comments.

My concern wasn't the mere fact of the changes, or even whether or not each remake was a better piece of art than its source, but simply those that make changes of a nature that specifically contradict or subvert the original's message.

When you say the other examples aren't that different, I can only assume you're thinking only of plot machinations, which isn't quite the same thing. The Manchurian Candidate, as noted, is similar in method (brainwashing), but is a complete inversion in message: a warning about Communists is changed to a warning about businessmen. One generation's fear traded for another, even though those two fears are polar political opposites. This distinction between plot mechanics and message is the entire point of the essay.

Anyway, I agree that most remakes are just there to make money, though I don't think there's any mutual exclusivity between that idea and this one.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
The Manchurian candidate change was made because nobody is scared of Communists anymore, not old style Chinese Communists anyway. The change was made because they wanted to tell the brainwashing story, but wanted it to make sense for contemporary audiences. But the original wasn't about warning about the threat of Communists. It was a satirization of the fifties Red Scare, the commie hater politician was a Communist himself! Would they be making an actual anti commie film in the sixties? No way. That is also why the remake is inferior. Without the satirical element it is just another thriller.



I agree that the original is better, I'm not making any point here about quality. And the fact that they couldn't use Communists is beside the point, because I'm more interested in what they did make it than what they didn't. But the lack of the satiric element in the 2004 remake makes the same point: the new film is afraid of corporate villains...and it's afraid of them without any sense of irony, either! As you say, it's a straight thriller. It's not satirizing the cliche of the business boogieman that is so familiar in scads of movies, it's just trading in it.



Sit Ubu Sit.... Good Dog
The Manchurian candidate change was made because nobody is scared of Communists anymore, not old style Chinese Communists anyway. The change was made because they wanted to tell the brainwashing story, but wanted it to make sense for contemporary audiences. But the original wasn't about warning about the threat of Communists. It was a satirization of the fifties Red Scare, the commie hater politician was a Communist himself! Would they be making an actual anti commie film in the sixties? No way. That is also why the remake is inferior. Without the satirical element it is just another thriller.
It is the same with the Red Dawn remake, instead of the Russians it is the North Koreans.



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Wow, I literally just found out that they're working on a Starship Troopers remake. Sounds like it's going focus way more on killing bugs than satirizing anything. Progress? Sort of.
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will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
The North Koreans are going to invade America. Yeah, right.

Originally, it was going to be China, which dramatically would make a lot more sense, but they don't want to piss off the Chinese.



Sit Ubu Sit.... Good Dog
Doesn't China own America now, or at least a controlling amount of America. Yeah I could see why they would have switched from the Chinese to North Korea.



A system of cells interlinked
Great stuff! Well done.
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A system of cells interlinked
Very unconvincing the examples you gave, except for The Time Machine and the Dick movie I can't comment on because I never saw either version. The changes for the rest are very superficial and don't change the message or intent of the original.
This is completely ridiculous, and it proves you are nothing but a contrarian.



hahahaha it's so predictable! It's like the can't think of something else to show to people! lmao to them



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
This is completely ridiculous, and it proves you are nothing but a contrarian.
Most remakes are the same movie they already made with a few superficial changes. Even one of the best remakes ever made, the John Huston version of the Maltele Falcon is very close to the 1931 version, it is just better cast and directed, (and the original isn't bad for an early talkie), practically all the dialogue and story comes straight out of the Dashiell Hammett novel.

I don't know know how I am a contrarian by pointing this out. This is pretty much the accepted view of most people's views of remakes.

The second version of The Thing is another rare example of a remake that went back to the source material to get the alien's powers closer to the original. But often they are aftraid to stray too far from the first movie because they will lose what made the original a commercial success. The vast majority of remakes have no reason for existing except the money guys would rather recycle a hit movie then take a chance on something new and untried.



Sit Ubu Sit.... Good Dog
Just thought Yoda might be interested.

Starship Troopers reboot in the works

&nbspec 2, 2011



Despite Shinji Aramaki making Starship Troopers: Invasion next year, it looks as though Starship Troopers will be the latest franchise to get the reboot treatment. Vulture has learned that Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) have been hired to script a reboot of Starship Troopers. Nothing is known about the direction of the new film, but hopefully it can bring the franchise back from obscurity. Paul Verhoeven’s original film was science fiction fun at its best, but the sequels were less than thrilling.



I think subverting the originally intended "message" (or creator's POV) is a perfectly valid reason for a remake. Better than the usual reasons, even.
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