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Remakes That Are Better Than the Original [TALKING IMAGES]

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St. Gloede
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Remakes That Are Better Than the Original [TALKING IMAGES]

#1

Post by St. Gloede »

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What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word "remake"? Is it an industry entirely out of ideas? Is it desperate or greedy execs trying to make a quick buck? Or is it perhaps just a non-verbal sigh?

In this episode, we'll try to get away from all the negativity and look at the remakes that not only delivered but ended up being even better than the original.

We may ruffle some feathers here, so do shout out if you disagree with any of our choices.

You Can Listen Here:

Sounder: https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... -original

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2u0iz7EabigJRsk4Vp248E

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/r ... 0543594353

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What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "remake"?

What about "reboot"?

And finally, what about "re-adaptation"?

What are the key difference between the above, if any, and which excite or annoy you the most?

Why do remakes exist? Do we really need to see the same story brought to life again and again?

What does it take to get you excited for a remake?

Can remakes be just as "original" as most other films?

Is originality over-rated in the first place?

Can you name one - or more - remakes that really stood out as better than the original?

Is there a formula to create a successful remake?

Do remakes and reboots get an unnecessarily bad rap, and if so, should we try to rehabilitate them? Did we manage to do just that in this podcast?
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#2

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "remake"?
Comes with a built-in audience.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What about "reboot"?
The same as above, but extra attention given to new target audiences.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am And finally, what about "re-adaptation"?
The same as above, but used to make cinephiles feel a bit better about it.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What are the key difference between the above, if any, and which excite or annoy you the most?
I don't think I care much either way. They're just films, some are better than the original, some worse, some just very different.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Why do remakes exist? Do we really need to see the same story brought to life again and again?
As a fan of genre cinema, that's a pretty interesting question, as the line between core genre films and remakes is often very slim. But they exist because they make commercial sense (see built-in audience).
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What does it take to get you excited for a remake?
The director attached to it, but that's more a general thing than remake-specific.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Can remakes be just as "original" as most other films?
As someone who doesn't care about plot and characters much, my answer is a resounding "yes". It's all about the execution.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Is originality over-rated in the first place?
I don't think it is, but it means different things to different people.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Can you name one - or more - remakes that really stood out as better than the original?
Psycho is always the first one that pops up.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Is there a formula to create a successful remake?
Nopes.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Do remakes and reboots get an unnecessarily bad rap, and if so, should we try to rehabilitate them? Did we manage to do just that in this podcast?
I do think they are critique too harshly, though it's hard to feel sorry for projects that are primarily milking cows. I checked my own Top 250 though and no obvious remakes in there, so I guess they rarely make it as personal favorites.
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#3

Post by matthewscott8 »

I think that people often love the one they saw the first, they've got some sort of loyalty there, so it can be a distorted discussion if you're chatting about stuff with people who all saw the same films in the same sequence.

There seems to have been some stigma about the word remake, some filmmakers don't like to use it when they merely readapted the same source. I just prefer to call everything from the same place a remake, if the filmmakers had knowledge of the production. Obviously someone could remake Gone With The Wind, and claim they were doing it from the book, but they obviously know the film.

Shot for shot remakes or near as damnit I usually struggle with, Coen's True Grit and Van Sant's Psycho seemed like time wastes. Especially when the originals had far more charismatic actors.

The Thing is one of my favourite movies and I had a lot more thrills from it than Nyby's original. That's the one that springs to mind the most. Not a very original comment unfortunately!

With Solyaris vs Solaris, to me they were doing very different things, and I got a lot from both but in very different ways. The remake with Clooney was much more emotional.

This comment will probably get me killed, but I adore the Evangelion Rebuild so far. I haven't seen the original, but from the clips I've seen, I am not feeling like it's going to bring much to the party. Of course everyone else will have seen it in a different order!
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#4

Post by Onderhond »

matthewscott8 wrote: December 1st, 2021, 11:04 am This comment will probably get me killed, but I adore the Evangelion Rebuild so far. I haven't seen the original, but from the clips I've seen, I am not feeling like it's going to bring much to the party. Of course everyone else will have seen it in a different order!
I watched the series first, but like the films way more. Partly because of the format, but also just the overall quality of the production. The series looks pretty damn cheap.
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#5

Post by matthewscott8 »

I've been listening to the podcast, and Sorcerer came up. If I was actually going to have the skills and energy to do fanedits, Sorcerer might be one I'd do, in that the decision to have the back stories of the characters in, seemed to be a bad one, the earlier film is a masterpiece and it would be good to watch them one after the other, that is a backstory-less Sorcerer fanedit followed by Wages of Fear.

I did like The Departed over Infernal affairs btw, though neither are favourites. Jack Nicholson was having an absolute ball, he brings some iconicity in that the original doesn't have.

I added 2012 Maniac to my watchlist. As I have no interest in Lord of the Rings, I won't get the dirtying of the hobbit effect, but looks interesting nonetheless.
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#6

Post by matthewscott8 »

Onderhond wrote: December 1st, 2021, 11:10 am
matthewscott8 wrote: December 1st, 2021, 11:04 am This comment will probably get me killed, but I adore the Evangelion Rebuild so far. I haven't seen the original, but from the clips I've seen, I am not feeling like it's going to bring much to the party. Of course everyone else will have seen it in a different order!
I watched the series first, but like the films way more. Partly because of the format, but also just the overall quality of the production. The series looks pretty damn cheap.
Ah interesting, yup, from the clips I've seen it does look just as you say.
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#7

Post by Onderhond »

matthewscott8 wrote: December 1st, 2021, 12:43 pm I did like The Departed over Infernal affairs btw, though neither are favourites. Jack Nicholson was having an absolute ball, he brings some iconicity in that the original doesn't have.
Oof, very much disagree on that one. I'm not the biggest fan of Infernal Affairs, but Scorsese's remake felt way too generic and old-fashioned and lacks the flair of Andrew Lau's trilogy. But yeah, I'd pick Andy Lau, Tony Leung and Eric Tsang over Scorsese's band of actors any day.
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#8

Post by St. Gloede »

Onderhond wrote: December 1st, 2021, 9:33 am
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "remake"?
Comes with a built-in audience.
Haha, yes, so often the case, but I really question the logic more of the time, as that's really more related to reboots and big properties. How many people went to see I Am Legend because they wanted to see the Vincent Price classic with Will Smith for instance? Or how many went to that The Day The Earth Stood Still remake with Keanu Reeves because of the 50s version?
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What about "reboot"?
The same as above, but extra attention given to new target audiences.
Pretty much. :D
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am And finally, what about "re-adaptation"?
The same as above, but used to make cinephiles feel a bit better about it.
:lol:
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Why do remakes exist? Do we really need to see the same story brought to life again and again?
As a fan of genre cinema, that's a pretty interesting question, as the line between core genre films and remakes is often very slim. But they exist because they make commercial sense (see built-in audience).
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What does it take to get you excited for a remake?
The director attached to it, but that's more a general thing than remake-specific.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Can remakes be just as "original" as most other films?
As someone who doesn't care about plot and characters much, my answer is a resounding "yes". It's all about the execution.
:cheers:
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Can you name one - or more - remakes that really stood out as better than the original?
Psycho is always the first one that pops up.
:o

Now that's a shocker! But I have not actually seen the remake.
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#9

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 1:43 pm Now that's a shocker! But I have not actually seen the remake.
Still didn't think it was a superb film, but for me the technical upgrade makes all the difference. Also appreciated the acting better.
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#10

Post by matthewscott8 »

Fyi gloede, In The Image Book, Godard does a little essay on remakes where he shows film scenes that echo through time, also, because he recolourises them, or just generally plays about with the images he essentially is remaking them, often to startling effect, I find the film a visual wonder. He then makes the analogy that human violence over time is remade. We need to learn to do different things with our hands and minds. Mentioning particularly as I know you are a Godard nut
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#11

Post by OldAle1 »

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "remake"?

"burkhill"

What about "reboot"?

also "burkhill"

And finally, what about "re-adaptation"?

"Aiwaz"

What are the key difference between the above, if any, and which excite or annoy you the most?

For those mystified by my first three responses, they refer to longtime IMDb members. The first was a guy who was obsessed with complaining about remakes - it's pretty much all he did - and was possibly the single stupidest person I've ever encountered online. The second was a filmmaker who used to argue that all three terms were the same, no difference at all, when he clearly knew that he was full of shit. I liked him otherwise.

Why do I say he was full of shit? Well, because there *IS* a difference. You may not care about it, or ignore it, but to say the words are just synonyms when they mean something different to (some in) the industry, or to the creative people behind the films - or to people like me who are interested in source materials - is obnoxious. Greta Gerwig's Little Women is not a "remake" of the 1994 film, just because that film was still relevant to some people or because it was the most recent; her film is structured completely differently from all the other versions and is obviously based on her own particular interpretation of the novel - it's a "re-adaptation" because it goes back to the source, not a "remake" which would indicate a new try at a film based on a previously filmed screenplay. And "reboot", a term which I don't think I ever heard until the 2000s or maybe even early 2010s, is something else again, and in my understanding, refers to re-starting a series or franchise and going forward. There's also "re-imagining" and probably some other terms. Point is, they don't all mean the same thing, and I wish people gave a shit about that, but they don't, so feel free to just call me a sour old assshole who doesn't understand the modern world, and then fuck off.

Why do remakes exist? Do we really need to see the same story brought to life again and again?

Obviously money. And sometimes, not money - sometimes it's because somebody has a passion to "get the story right this time" or make something "relevant to today". In those cases I think remakes can quite often be valuable. And of course there's the changing technology and production values, which doesn't always mean a lot to me but can certainly impact the reasoning behind making something again. Silent films re-made because now there's sound, b/w films into color, color films done in widescreen, etc.

What does it take to get you excited for a remake?

Generally the same things it takes for me to get excited about a movie in general - director, writer, actors, reviews from people I trust, etc. I suppose if there were a remake (or re-adaptation I should say, to be true to my snarky point) of a story that had been done poorly before, a story that I loved in it's original form - that would excite me. Nobody's likely to ever do another adaptation of Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale but almost any version I can imagine would have to be better than Akiva Goldsman's disastrous film from a few years ago, so that would definitely excite me. I'd love to see a good film based on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and for a long time hoped Terry Gilliam would do it but that doesn't seem likely, so still waiting... probably plenty of other examples out there.

Can remakes be just as "original" as most other films?

Obviously, since most other narrative features aren't particularly original to begin with.

Is originality over-rated in the first place?

It's just about the most overrated quality there is.

Can you name one - or more - remakes that really stood out as better than the original?

I already mentioned what is likely my favorite example, though that, again, is a re-adaptation. As far as remakes based on previous screenplays, can't think of any off the top of my head. EDIT - oh, another example I should have remembered right away - Branagh's Henry V I liked a lot more than Olivier's, though at this point it's been too long since I've seen either. Further research...I'd say the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatcher is (modestly) superior to the original. Obvious ones like Carpenter's The Thing and Cronenberg's The Fly though both of those are so vastly different from the originals as to make comparisons fairly irrelevant. I like the 2018 Star is Born significantly more than the two 30s films that started the parade (What Price Hollywood being the true 'original' film), and maybe as much as the Garland film but I'd need to see that again. And as far as reboots/re-imaginings for series and such - Battlestar Galactica stands out, though I've only seen the first season of the newer series so far.

Is there a formula to create a successful remake?

If there is, Hollywood at least is mostly ignoring it, given that they keep re-doing 80s stuff, doing it badly, and losing money on it, whereas when they actually do something well and it makes money (do I have to mention the example again?) they ignore it because they're only interesting in going for the adolescent/nostalgic man-boy market. A dozen new Conan films that all flop are far more likely than a dozen new Alcott adaptations that break even or make money.

Do remakes and reboots get an unnecessarily bad rap, and if so, should we try to rehabilitate them? Did we manage to do just that in this podcast?

I haven't listened to the podcast but I suppose I'd say yeah, they get a bad rap. No reason they can't be as good as anything else - if made with the intent to do something good and interesting. The biggest problem is that they mostly exist solely as cash cows, and that gives the whole concept of the remake a bad name, unfortunately. And I would add that it seems to me that endless sequels are a greater pox on the big budget film industry than remakes/reboots/rewhatever.
Here's to the fools who dream.
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#12

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "remake"?
A smiling producer with dollar signs for eyeballs.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What about "reboot"?
A producer turning his computer on and off.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am And finally, what about "re-adaptation"?
A producer reading a book.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What are the key difference between the above, if any, and which excite or annoy you the most?
Source material and target audience. "Remake" is a new version of an older movie ("Psycho"). "Readaptation" is a new version of an old story (Keira Knightley version of "Anna Karenina" isn't a remake of the Greta Garbo version). "Reboot" is basically a remake trying to distance itself from the old version while simultaneously targeting a new audience.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Why do remakes exist? Do we really need to see the same story brought to life again and again?
Could be a lack of imagination or a sincere attempt to improve upon the original. "Robin Hood", "Ben Hur" and "Thief of Bagdad" were all silent hits remade into colour and sound spectacles. I'm guessing you don't believe in reincarnation :P
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am What does it take to get you excited for a remake?
Source material and people involved.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Can remakes be just as "original" as most other films?
Depends. I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could trace the "original" elements of every film as far back as you'd like in history: a hundred years, a thousand years, 4.6 billion years e.t.c.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Is originality over-rated in the first place?
My self-esteem is directly correlated to my perceived originality, so yes.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Can you name one - or more - remakes that really stood out as better than the original?
"The Thing" (1982), "Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938) and "Thief of Bagdad" (1940) all improved upon the previous version.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Is there a formula to create a successful remake?
It has to stand on its own two feet without being held up by the original, if I knew the magic formula I'd be a multimillionaire Hollywood producer.
St. Gloede wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:45 am Do remakes and reboots get an unnecessarily bad rap, and if so, should we try to rehabilitate them? Did we manage to do just that in this podcast?
Yes but it's not entirely the movie's fault, blame the system that encourages remakes and risk-averse producers. Failing that just blame Jeff Bezos.
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#13

Post by Torgo »

I prefer a few American remakes of non-English films to their originals (Departed > Infernal Affairs, CODA > Beliers) and believe that this is one of the biggest sins for any true cinephile and that it will get me hanged one day. Hollywood can't make up their own shit anymore, duh!!

But yeah, many just aren't really necessary or lose the charme.
OldAle1 wrote: December 4th, 2021, 11:08 pm And "reboot", a term which I don't think I ever heard until the 2000s or maybe even early 2010s, is something else again, and in my understanding, refers to re-starting a series or franchise and going forward.
It would appear so. Also, since there are reboots (and retcons!, not to forget those), the intervals between the last take and the "re-invention" or whatever the boot means have become comically short: Spider-Man 3 times in 18 years, Batman 4 times in 30 years, Fantastic Four and Suicide Squad .. hmm, wait, it's almost like I recognize a pattern or prevalent genre for this :ermm:
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#14

Post by St. Gloede »

matthewscott8 wrote: December 1st, 2021, 11:04 am With Solyaris vs Solaris, to me they were doing very different things, and I got a lot from both but in very different ways. The remake with Clooney was much more emotional.
The interesting thing is that there was a previous version of Solyaris made in 1968 as well, granted for TV. Not seen it yet, though I am curious. I have also not had any interest in seeing the Clooney/Soderberg version, but I will likely get that done eventually too.
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#15

Post by St. Gloede »

matthewscott8 wrote: December 1st, 2021, 8:09 pm Fyi gloede, In The Image Book, Godard does a little essay on remakes where he shows film scenes that echo through time, also, because he recolourises them, or just generally plays about with the images he essentially is remaking them, often to startling effect, I find the film a visual wonder. He then makes the analogy that human violence over time is remade. We need to learn to do different things with our hands and minds. Mentioning particularly as I know you are a Godard nut
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

I completely agree. I also loved the effect he added in where the images re-sized themselves. I love the way Godard can take imperfections and make them come to life as beautiful art. Sadly, the visual overdose does mean I have forgotten most of the commentary and mainly recall the imagery, but that also makes it ripe for a rewatch.
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