It’s finally happened, we’ve decided to address the elephant in the room in the world of films today. Remakes and Reboots! much to the Chagrin of our Guest Christopher McGlothin. plus geekly happenings runs a little long as we two tangents break out and we make impassioned pleas.
About Film Remakes
The term “remake” is generally used in reference to a movie which uses an earlier movie as the main source material, rather than in reference to a second, later movie based on the same source. For example, 2001′s Ocean’s Eleven is a remake of the 1960 film, while 1989′s Batman is a re-interpretation of the comic book source material which also inspired 1966′sBatman.
With some exceptions, remakes make significant character, plot, and theme changes. For example, the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair is centered on a bank robbery, while its 1999 remake involves the theft of a valuable piece of artwork. Similarly, when the 1969 film The Italian Job was remade in 2003, few aspects were carried over. Another notable example is the 1932 film Scarface which was remade in 1983 starring Al Pacino; whereas the setting of 1932 version is the illegal alcohol trade, the characters in the 1983 version are involved in cocaine smuggling. Sometimes a remake is made by the same director. For example, Yasujirō Ozu’s black and white A Story of Floating Weeds was remade into the color Floating Weeds.Alfred Hitchcock remade his 1934 black and white The Man Who Knew Too Much in color in 1956; as did Cecil B. DeMille with his 1956 remake of his silent 1923 film The Ten Commandments. Most recently, in 2008, Michael Haneke made Funny Games U.S., his English-language remake of his original Funny Games (this is also an example of a shot-for-shotremake).
Not all remakes use the same title as the previously released version; the 1966 film Walk, Don’t Run, for example, is a remake of the World War II comedy The More the Merrier. This is particularly true for films that are remade from films produced in another language, such as: Point of No Return (from the French Nikita), Vanilla Sky (from the Spanish Abre los ojos), The Magnificent Seven (from the Japanese Seven Samurai), A Fistful of Dollars (from the Japanese Yojimbo), and The Departed (from Hong Kong’s Infernal Affairs).
Although it does not meet the definition of a remake, a similar (and increasingly common) development is the use of a successful (usually older) television series as the source material for a feature film. Like film remakes, these often fare badly at the box-office and/or are considered a poor reflection on the source material (e.g. The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, My Favorite Martian, Dudley Do-Right); however, some have gone on to become successful film franchises (e.g. The Addams Family, Mission: Impossible).