Earlier this year, I reported that 2011 was the “Year of the Sequel”, but with the release of the trailer for The 3 Musketeers and rumors of Bradley Cooper starring in a remake of The Crow this week, this cinephile got to thinking about the growing number of remakes being released this year.
The trailer for The 3 Musketeers reads, “For every legend, there is a new beginning”, but many critics and filmgoers think the abundance of remakes in recent years (with many more to come in the next few years) is not indicative of giving legendary films new beginnings, but instead sheds light on the fact that Hollywood is running out of fresh ideas and cashing in on the classics, regurgitated in 3D or with other new special FX.
Should filmmakers follow the old adage “If it aint broke, don’t fix it”? Or if audiences loved it, is it perfectly reasonable to add new effects and cash in again?
Alternatively, would filmmakers be better off fixing movies that originally bombed on the big screen, thus proving themselves capable of truly resurrecting a project from the dead and catapulting it to box office success? Perhaps they should test this strategy out on the highly criticized Waterworld, reinvigorate it with a new cast, new technology, and fill in some of the plot holes. Who knows, it could work! This movie in particular has a great Denver connection, as the sunken city shown was Denver, and the Norwest building at the time (now the Qwest building), can be seen when Costner takes Jeanne Tripplehorn underwater for the first time. See photo in slideshow.
Remakes can be equal to, if not better than their original counterpart. Great examples of well received do-overs include Oceans 11, Cape Fear, and The Italian Job. The key is a competent and likeable cast, a fresh angle or perspective, and new effects (although 3D isn’t always the answer), all while staying true to the integrity of the original story.
In addition to The 3 Musketeers, Conan the Barbarian, Red Dawn, Footloose, Planet of the Apes, Short Circuit, Teen Wolf, and The Thing are remakes scheduled for a 2011 release. Of course in the last few years other notables are the recently released Arthur, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (whose new cast included Denver’s own AnnaSophia Robb), Last House on the Left, and The Mechanic.
Beyond 2011, other rumored remakes of interest are: Daredevil Reboot (2014), Total Recall (2012), Dirty Dozen (2012), Romancing the Stone, The Bodyguard, My Fair Lady (2012), Barbarella, The Birds, Drop Dead Fred (2011), Dune (2014), Ghostbusters III (2012),The Neverending Story, and Robo Cop (2013).
Personally, this cinephile loved The Neverending Story as a child and squirms out of fear that it will be ruined in its reincarnation. Prayers go out that the makers of other faves (and cult classics, I might add) like The Goonies, Stand by Me, and True Romance refuse to ever let their babies be cloned.
What are your thoughts about remakes? What is your favorite remake? What was the worst remake? Which film would you like to see remade? Which film would you fight to never see remade?
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