Seeing Double

Haven't we met before? With the release of Poseidon we return to one of Hollywood’s worst habits – remaking films that don’t need to be remade. Poseidon is only 34 years old and stars Gene Hackman. You can still watch Hackman in current films and rent the original, why remake it? Hollywood eats their old, I suppose that’s the case with movies as well.

So in honour of Poseidon I’ve put together the worst and the best movie remakes (to be fair, some are good). I actually did this for work so this allows me to be a lazy blogger and repurpose something I’ve already written. Check out Dose if you want to see the full picture version.

Worst Movie Remakes:
1. Director Gus Van Sant recreated Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Psycho shot for shot, but with Anne Heche and in colour. What, exactly, was the point?

2. Take a fantastic French film like La Femme Nikita, lighten the tone and put in a U.S. actor and you get Point of No Return, a pale shadow of the original. Can't people read subtitles?

3. Auteur Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes proves why indie directors shouldn't be given massive budgets -- there is nothing to reign them in, resulting in a bloated letdown.

4. Remember when you said how funny Nicole Kidman was? Oh right, nobody has ever said that. Too bad the producers of The Stepford Wives didn't realize that.

5. Adam Sandler, not satisfied with making horrible, but original, movies decided to mess with The Longest Yard. Hits to the groin ensue. Ha, ha.

Best Movie Remakes:
1. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and crew took a huge risk making themselves out as a modern day Rat Pack in Ocean's 11 but they manage it with wit and style. Too bad about Ocean's 12.

2. Though everyone should make an effort to see Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, the Western version, The Magnificent Seven, is itself a classic. Plus it has Yul Brynner!

3. "Say hello to my little friend!" Al Pacino's bloody Scarface was so succesful at creating a new movie icon, few even realize it based on a 1932 film. What all remakes should aspire to.

4. Director David Cronenberg takes the campy Vincent Price verion of The Fly and adds terror and gore (and Jeff Glodblum), creating a remake that stands above the original.

5. Taking on King Kong for the third time, director Peter Jackson applied modern special effects and proved there was still life in the giant ape. Technology, it's a good thing.


  1. Really, you liked the remake of King Kong?

    Wow, I thought that movie sucked, but maybe it's just because I haven't seen the original.

  2. Well, it could have had an hour sliced out of it, but I thought it looked fantastic.

  3. I agree with every one of your pics.

    They made a "For TV" remake of the Poseidan adventure about 4-5 months ago. Then the movie trailers came out.

    What again????? Blech.

  4. I wonder if movies like Casablanca and Gone With the Wind have managed to survive without being remade beacuse of how well they are known, or is there someone pitching that to a studio right now?

  5. Well, they're remaking The Omen---how could they resist? With the 06 06 06 date and all. blech.

    It just seems like there is not one original idea left in Hollywood.

    It must be close to the end of days.

  6. I liked the Carpenter version of the Thing better than the original, and aside from a few things on your "good" list, I haven't liked the remakes too much.

  7. I think that is the most common response and I believe it's because of the difficulty in replicating an original vision, even if that vision wasn't perfect in the first place.

  8. You forgot the horrid remake of Dial M for Murder starrring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow, A Perfect Murder.

    The original is one of Hitchcock's best movies along with Rear Window which was also made into a bad bad bad TV movie starring Daryl Hannah and Christopher Reeve. Dude, you should not rape the classics!

    Great lists and I agree with you on most accounts, except King Kong. The original was terrible and the remake was also aside from really great visuals.

  9. Not rape the classics? Isn't that the first order of business of any studio? And I must admit there wasn't really any need for Peter Jackson to remake King Kong, other than he was the hottest director at the time and could get anything approved.

  10. I almost agree with both of your lists except that I would also remove King Kong from mine.