When I saw this, my first thought was...."Ugh, a blog hop so soon after A to Z?". Then, I read about it and found it was right up my alley, so I just had to participate :)
Thanks to Alex, Stephen, Livia, and Father Dragon (Al Diaz) for hosting!
If there's one thing I'm saying about Hollywood, on a constant basis, is that there are never enough original ideas coming from them.
In comes the (sometimes) dreaded "remake".
When it comes to the movie "remake", the term always makes me cringe because it's such a double-edged sword....especially if the original was a movie you really liked. A lot of times you're rolling the dice when you plunk down your money for one of these.
Now, when I think "best" and "worst" in terms of movie remakes, here are the first ones that spring to mind...
Superman Returns: I know this wasn't touted as an actual "remake", but anyone who saw both this and the original could attest to it being one. Even Kevin Spacey's great Lex Luthor couldn't counteract just the sheer "fail"-ness of this flick. They make Superman out to be, basically, a stalker.....following Lois Lane around like a lost puppy. Parker Posey's character was just annoying, but not near so much as the almost verbatim use of some of the lines from the original.
I think this one qualifies as a 'worst' because, even though it had so much potential, I was so disappointed in it.
In this case, I would have been happy if Superman hadn't returned.
The Wild, Wild, West: While, technically, not a movie remake, it was a remake of one of my favorite television series of all times times and was so bad that it made me want to punch Wil Smith and Kevin Kline in their respective noses.
O.k, well, maybe it wasn't as bad as all that....but this one was pretty terrible.
First of all, the casting was waaaaay off and it doesn't even have anything to do with skin color. I didn't have a huge problem with James West being a 'buffalo soldier' as much as I did seeing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air pretending to be a Secret Service Agent. I mean, honestly, Wil Smith's acting chops are pretty extensive, but he just phoned this one in. Honestly, I think he was just in it for the paycheck and, unfortunately, it showed.
Kevin Kline, who I think is a great actor, honestly was no better. Even worse than Smith because he wasn't even credible as a 'whacky inventor' much less a Secret Service Agent. I'm sure Ross Martin was spinning in his grave over this one and I know Robert Conrad wasn't any happier. Kevin Branagh was, also, sorely miscast as a parody of the original Miguelito Loveless character portrayed by the great Michael Dunne. He must've been hard up for a paycheck, too.
This film should have stayed out West....far, out West.
(Dis)Honorable mentions for 'worst' also go out to:
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Nutty Professor
Now, on a brighter note, here are....
The Manchurian Candidate: While I've never been a huge Denzel Washington fan, I thought he was great in this remake of the old Sinatra classic. The story flowed nicely and, even though a few things were updated to reflect today's society, it still made sense and was a compelling story.
I've also never been a big Meryl Streep fan, either, but have to admit she nailed the part of Shaw's evil mother, originally portrayed by Angela Lansbury.
I had seen the original film in bits and pieces, but gave it a full watch before going to see this one. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
This remake has my vote.
Ocean's 11: This "Rat Pack" remake hit all the marks for me. Nice pacing, some cool twists, colorful characters and great leads. Clooney and Pitt worked well together. Now, granted, I could have done without Julia Roberts, but even her presence didn't take away from the slickness and tight story of this one.
While the cast didn't have the same savoir fare of the original, they still came off as pretty darn cool.
This remake hit the jackpot.
Honorable mentions for "best" also go to:
Planet of the Apes
So, how about you? What are your favorite...or least favorite....movie remakes?